December 2021
Steve Snider
Downtown Oakland Association
Vice President
Austin Metoyer
Downtown Long Beach Alliance

Chloe Shipp
San Jose Downtown Association
John Caner
Downtown Berkeley Association
At-Large Directors
Marshall Anderson
Downtown San Diego Partnership

Kathy Hemmenway
Walnut Creek Downtown
Business Association

Suzanne Holley
Downtown Center Business Improvement District (LA)

Rena Leddy
Urban Place Consulting Group
Steve Mulheim
Old Pasadena Management District

Immediate Past President
Andrew Thomas
Westwood Village Improvement Association 

Everything you need to know about California’s plan to slash solar incentives
Los Angeles Times
It’s been two years since California reached 1 million solar roofs, a landmark in the fight against climate change. Now the story of solar power in the Golden State may be approaching another turning point.

Op-Ed: L.A. can no longer afford to push bikes and buses aside
Los Angeles Times
Because safe bike lanes are scarce, people who might be interested in biking — especially for short trips in their neighborhood — don’t risk it, out of self-preservation.

Newsom: Southbound 15 Freeway near Nevada line will be widened to alleviate traffic jams
The Sun
A 5-mile stretch of Interstate 15 south of the Nevada state line will be widened this spring in an effort to eliminate a frustrating bottleneck that has caused miles of backups for travelers to California, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Sunday.

Let's Retire Our Ideological Labels For Cities
Last week, CP&DR covered what was, for many, a shocking rejection of a 495-unit housing development in the heart of San Francisco by the city's Board of Supervisors.
Is your entire staff reading this newsletter? Please forward to your team and ask them to sign up!
Looking Back & Looking Forward
As place management professionals, we are always prepared for adversity and uncertainty. It is part of our job description. Here we are again looking squarely at both as we see the Omicron variant working its way into our personal and professional lives. Once again, this pandemic is impacting the well-being of our families and our communities just as we thought we saw some light at the end of the tunnel. As we close out another pandemic-ridden year and transition into 2022, I honestly have difficulty remembering what life was like before mask mandates and social distancing protocols. This lack of personal and social connection is the exact opposite of our place management strategies that seek to build those connections as the foundation for building healthy communities. After all, what is a place without the people?
In my district in downtown Oakland, we have been praying, like a farmer praying for rain, for workers and visitors to return to our once vibrant downtown. We have been so close to genuinely reopening, but now it’s not clear when the rain will come. There will likely be a light drizzle for the foreseeable future, but I am confident we will fight our way through these challenges. I am certain downtown Oakland and all urban centers, and commercial corridors will once again become gathering places and the epicenter of our cultural lives.
I am also sure about the great work of the California Downtown Association and the urban place management industry. Collectively, we have the passion, we have the vision, and we have the expertise to help our communities through any challenge. Looking back on the past year, I am enormously proud of our accomplishments as an organization and industry. At CDA, we grew both our Board participation and our membership. We expanded our reach throughout California, and we continued to strategically advocate for legislation that helps create healthy neighborhoods and more functional cities.
Along with our valued partner, the International Downtown Association, we created a series of DEI Summits focused on the history of race and place in America and the essential work of diversity, equity and inclusion. There has never been a time where our heartfelt leadership could not be more needed and best practices shared and implemented. As passionate placemakers and place-keepers, we will continue to frontline challenging issues that impact the health of our neighborhoods and communities, such as mental illness, homelessness and creating inclusive and equitable economic development opportunities.
As I complete my term as CDA President, I am humbled by the opportunity of having led this fabulous organization. As I said to my fellow Board members when I stepped into this role last January, it was my goal from day one to approach the development and management of this organization as a team. The Board indeed took this to heart. We created a team environment that enthusiastically got the work done and significantly expanded the organization's capacity. There are too many people to individually thank for the support and contributions over the past year. Still, you can rest assured that I will offer this same level of support to our incoming President, Rena Leddy. Rena is a highly experienced place management professional with management experience of both small and large BIDs throughout the country and extensive experience working in both southern and northern California. There is no doubt that Rena will continue the organization's momentum as we gracefully and strategically move into the new year.
It has been my pleasure to work with each of you. On behalf of the CDA Board of Directors, have a wonderful and safe holiday.
Steve Snider, CDA President
Executive Director
Downtown Oakland Association

The leadership of the California Downtown Association was heavily engaged in a number of critical policy areas as 2021 was another strong year for the Association’s advocacy efforts. Focusing in on the organization’s three top priorities this year, which include:

1. Operational Effectiveness of our BID membership
2. Economic Recovery & Vitality for our Downtowns
3. Improving the Environment of our Downtowns/Public Safety & Retail Theft

With strong interest in continuing to address the societal and economic impacts of the COVID-19 and the variants, increasing housing availably/affordability and staggering increase in homelessness throughout the state, 2022 will give CDA opportunities to engage the State Legislature and Governor Newsom’s Administration.

Operational Effectives for our BIDs and their Boards of Directors 
CDA co-sponsored urgency legislation this year that allows local agencies, including BIDs, to continue to meet and provide essential local services during any statewide public health emergencies. AB 361 (Rivas, D-Salinas) was signed into law gives public agencies the authority to meet remotely during a declared state of emergency. To ensure transparency and public access, the bill requires agencies to post agendas and all meeting information but the bill does not force public agencies to host in-person meetings, does not require board members to physically be present at any remote participation site if those members are participating virtually.

Economic Recovery and Vitality of our Downtowns
As our downtown restaurants and bars continue to gain their footing after the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 and subsequent public health orders, CDA-sponsored legislation that was signed into law allowing for the expansion of outdoor dining, providing additional flexibility for utilizing shared spaces between businesses and allowing for the sale of to-go alcoholic beverages. The three major pieces of legislation were supported by a wide range of business, travel, restaurant industry organizations as well as the California Downtown Association.

AB 61 (Gabriel, D-Los Angeles) – SUPPORT
This bill empowers local jurisdictions and the Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) to provide much-needed regulatory flexibility to support struggling restaurants. This bill builds on initiatives restaurants and local governments took, at the outset of the pandemic, to expand critical outdoor dining spaces.

SB 314 (Wiener, D-San Francisco) – SUPPORT
This bill assists the hospitality industry recover from the devastating impacts of the pandemic, enacting common sense reforms, restructuring outdated laws, and allowing businesses more opportunities to recover. This legislation will help California’s events, restaurants, and bars recover economically from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by creating more flexibility in how they can serve alcohol, including where they can serve alcohol, how they can share spaces with other businesses, and how frequently a catering permit can be used.

SB 389 (Dodd, D-Napa) – SUPPORT
This bill would allow the holder of a retail on-sale license or a licensed beer manufacturer, licensed wine manufacturer, or craft distiller that operates a bona fide public eating place to sell alcoholic beverages for off-sale consumption for which their license permits on-sale consumption. The ability to include alcoholic drinks with to-go orders has been helpful for many restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Improving the Environment of our Downtowns/Public Safety & Retail Theft 
CDA played an important role in the passage of AB 331 (Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles) which extends until January 1, 2026 the existing Organized Retail Crime Task Force (ORCTF) housed within the California Highway Patrol. The bill extends the pairing of an effective criminal statute with a state-level entity dedicated to enforcing it, both of which are essential in the fight against organized retail crime (ORC). Organized retail crime typically involves a criminal enterprise that organizes multiple theft rings at a number of retail stores and employs a fencing operation to sell the illegally obtained goods for financial gain. According to a recent survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF), organized retail crime (ORC) is a $30 billion problem nationwide and rising. That survey also identified Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento among the top ten metropolitan areas for ORC in the country.
Do you have your ear to the ground when it comes to the latest downtown news in your region? To submit news to be considered for inclusion in the newsletter, please contact us.
CDA District Digest Copyright 2021
Powered by the International Downtown Association