January 6, 2021
Cal Cities News

Cal Cities worked tirelessly in 2020 to support city members with the resources they needed — fighting at the state and federal levels for funding, transforming educational programs, and leveraging communications channels to ensure cities had access to vital information as needed. The Cal Cities Annual Report recounts an unforgettable year. Read more
The Human Rights Campaign, in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute, released its 2020 Municipal Equality Index in which 15 California cities received the maximum score of 100 on the nationwide assessment of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law, policy, and services. Read more
Serving on the Cal Cities board of directors is an opportunity for you to be a statewide leader shaping state policy and the actions of the organization. Cal Cities is currently accepting applications to fill two vacant at-large board positions from city officials interested in serving. Applications are due by close of business Jan. 12. Read more
Executive Director's Message

This year, under the leadership of Cal Cities President Cheryl Viegas Walker, we will continue our focus on ensuring California cities have the resources to respond to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and to recover. Your engagement in Cal Cities advocacy, policy committee meetings, educational opportunities, and more will remain a key asset as we help local leaders address the challenges and issues facing California cities. Read more

Ahead of the Jan. 10 deadline to introduce a State Budget proposal, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Jan. 5 previewed a $4.5 billion Equitable Recovery for California’s Businesses and Jobs plan, which will be part of the 2021-22 State Budget and seek to help businesses and jobs affected by COVID-19. The Governor also requested immediate action items from the Legislature on Jan. 6 to approve $600 rapid cash support to low-income Californians, and extend the statewide eviction moratorium which is currently set to expire on Jan. 31. More details on these plans, as well as the full State Budget proposal, are expected on Friday, Jan. 8. Read more
Education and Events

Hundreds of city clerks, finance directors, and their staff virtually attended the League of California Cities’ premier educational events in December to learn about important and emerging topics relevant to their city roles and to connect with peers to exchange best practices. Read more

New mayors and council members have a tremendous opportunity to learn the ropes of elected office and to connect with peers during four days of educational sessions at the virtual League of California Cities 2021 New Mayors and Council Members Academy, Jan. 21-22 and Jan. 28-29. Read more

Cal Cities is gearing up for the next City Managers Conference! Join your fellow California city managers online for timely topics of importance to city leaders and peer-to-peer connections. California city managers and assistant managers will have the opportunity to connect with each other and keep current on a wide range of issues facing cities. Read more

Did you know that over 95 percent of the League of California Cities’ educational programming comes directly from our open calls for proposals? Cal Cities is now seeking session proposals for the 2021 Planning Commissioners Academy. The call for proposals is an opportunity to share best practices and innovative approaches to issues city planning commissioners face. Submit proposals by Jan. 21. Read more

Through their many years of service in local government, these outgoing mayors and council members have sage advice about how to be an effective city leader and wise words for new mayors and council members as they embark on their journey to lead their city forward. Read more 
Opportunities for Cities

Your city still has time to highlight a street or road infrastructure project or program that has demonstrated a significant improvement in your community’s street system. The Save California Streets Coalition nomination period is open for its annual Outstanding Local Streets and Roads Awards Program, which highlights cities and counties that are employing projects, programs, practices, and innovative technologies and materials to achieve preservation, safety, and sustainability goals for the statewide local street and road system. Submit your nomination by Jan. 29. Read more

The Department of Housing and Community Development extended the deadline for Local Early Action Planning grant applications to Jan. 31. These flexible funds can be used for housing element updates, permit processing improvements, developing or improving accessory dwelling unit ordinances, rezoning efforts, or any project that accelerates housing production. Cal Cities affiliate, the Institute for Local Government (ILG) is part of the technical assistance team available to help cities apply. For assistance with identifying projects, application review, or questions about the process, reach out to Karalee Browne or Melissa Kuehne with ILG. Apply today.

New affordable housing for low-income residents in the City of Merced will soon be constructed with funding from the issuance of $27.3 million in tax-exempt and taxable multi-family affordable housing bonds through the California Statewide Communities Development Authority. Read more
More News and Events
Wednesday, Jan. 20, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. — This is a special opportunity for stakeholders to engage with CalPERS leaders in an open and less formal setting on a variety of pension and health care topics. Stakeholders who represent CalPERS members, employers, and retirees are welcome to participate. The event will be held online via Zoom. Register now

The California Commission on State Mandates finalized the instructions for claiming reimbursement last month for certain costs related to sections of the Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015. In May 2020, the commission concluded that certain reporting requirements set forth in a section of the act constituted a reimbursable state-mandated program for cities that employ or contract for peace officers. Read more  
Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 11 a.m. — U.S. Supreme Court amicus briefs can and do make a difference! The Justices regularly cite to them in opinions and ask about them at oral argument. In this State and Local Legal Center webinar, three former SCOTUS clerks will discuss how to write an effective U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief from a state and local government perspective. Presenters: John Neiman with Maynard Cooper, who clerked for Justice Kennedy and was Alabama’s Solicitor General; Elizabeth Prelogar with Cooley, who clerked for Justices Ginsburg and Kagan, and was an Assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General; and Usha Vance with Munger, Tolles & Olson, who clerked for Chief Justice Roberts. Register now
Cal Cities in the News
What the federal stimulus package means for California, Dec. 22, CalMatters (also appeared in Vallejo Times Herald, GVWire, East Bay Times, The Mercury News, Capitol Public Radio, Daily Democrat, and 8 more)
“Revenue shortfalls resulting from the pandemic have decimated city budgets, threatening jobs, services, and local economies, yet Congress has ignored local leaders and economists who for months have been calling for federal aid to support cities’ frontline efforts and help jumpstart economic recovery,” Carolyn Coleman, executive director of the League of California Cities said in a statement.

The League of California Cities has appointed City of Burbank Mayor Bob Frutos to serve as Public Safety Policy Committee member for the League of California Cities.

The Local Government Working Group, consisting of representatives from the California State Association of Counties, League of California Cities and California Coastal Commission met virtually to discuss their priorities for addressing sea level rise statewide in 2021.

‘It is madness’: Governors rage over stimulus snub, Dec. 16, Politico (also appeared in Yahoo News, MSN.com, and 4 more)
“Cities have been told for months that their time will come — well, our communities are out of time,” said League of California Cities Executive Director Carolyn Coleman.

"We need to adjust the way we're going to provide direct assistance to cities that take into account the realities of their funding losses," said legislative representative Nicolas Romo. "That includes how their budgets are constructed, whether they're tourist towns, and what the impacts to the local economy are."