March 10, 2021
Media Statement from the Executive Director

“After being told for almost a year to wait for help, with the House’s action today, California’s cities are one step closer to getting resources they need to continue responding to the pandemic and help jump start the rebuilding and recovery of our local economies,” said Cal Cities Executive Director and CEO Carolyn Coleman immediately following the House vote. Read more
Cal Cities News
 
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a landmark $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, which includes $65 billion dollars for every city and town in the country. California cities are expected to receive more than $7 billion dollars to help offset the billions of dollars in revenue shortfalls due to the shutdown of local economies and the billions spent protecting public health and delivering essential services during the pandemic. Read more

City officials and state leagues from across the country brought a united message to federal leaders and lawmakers at this week’s 56th annual National League of Cities Congressional Cities Conference. Working together to address the challenges facing America’s hometowns is more critical now than ever before. California city officials and Cal Cities representatives took center stage during the conference. Read more

“As the Governor said in tonight’s address, not every COVID hero wears scrubs. Our dedicated city officials have been on the front lines for a year, spending billions to protect public health, deliver essential services, provide assistance to vulnerable populations, and help small businesses survive, while experiencing a devastating blow to city budgets and billions in lost revenue,” said Cal Cities President Cheryl Viegas Walker, following Governor’s State of the State Address. Read more

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This morning, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act, which includes $65 billion in direct and flexible funding for every city in America. The act is now on its way to the President’s desk for signature and he is expected to sign H. R. 1319 on Friday. On March 5, Cal Cities Executive Director and CEO Carolyn Coleman sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom urging him to allocate funding from the state’s budget windfall to cities to ensure they can be a strong recovery partner and not a drag on the state’s economic recovery from this pandemic. Read more
Education and Events

Join your public works colleagues March 15, 17, and 19 for a program packed with need-to-know information! This three-day event will feature the latest developments in public works, legislative updates, peer-to-peer networking, and more. Don’t miss sessions integral to public works professionals, such as autonomous vehicles, equitable transportations systems, and virtual licensing and contracting! Read more

There are 2,497 reasons city officials should sign up for the 2021 Legislative Briefing: Bill Introduction webinar on March 18, 1-3 p.m. That’s how many bills were introduced this legislative session. Join the Cal Cities legislative team for a briefing on the critical issues facing cities in the 2021 legislative session. Lobbyists will provide detailed information on key bills pending in the Legislature. Read more

Planning commissioners, city planning directors, and associated staff are invited to attend four days of educational sessions and opportunities to connect with peers at the virtual 2021 Planning Commissioners Academy taking place March 25, 26, 31, and April 1. This academy is a must for new and seasoned planning commissioners alike, with sessions ranging from the basic roles and responsibilities as a planning commissioner to updates on key legislative issues. Register now
 
A dynamic group of committed religious, community, housing, and local government leaders in Walnut Creek came together to solve one of our state’s most pressing problems: the need for more affordable housing. Working together they created St. Paul’s Commons, a mixed-use, transit-oriented affordable housing development that opened its doors to residents in February 2020. Read more
Opportunities for Cities

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies based in the city of La Jolla will refinance existing bonds with the closing of a $98 million taxable loan through the California Statewide Communities Development Authority. Read more

Each year, Cal Cities honors outstanding work in member cities throughout the state through the Helen Putnam Awards for Excellence. Apply online by April 8 at 5 p.m. Read more
More News and Events

The 2021 winners of the Outstanding Local Streets and Roads Project Awards have been revealed, with the cities of Santa Rosa, Santa Clarita, and Oakland taking top honors. The cities of Fremont, Imperial Beach, and Santa Clarita won honorable mentions. Congratulations to the award-winning cities! Read more

On March 8, the League of California Cities, California Association of Joint Powers Authorities, California Special Districts Association, and California State Association of Counties testified in opposition to SB 278 (Leyva) in the Senate Labor, Public Employment, and Retirement Committee. The bill was passed out of the committee on a 5-0 vote and will next be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee. As this measure moves through the legislative process, cities are encouraged to voice their opposition to this measure. Read more
 
The Legislature has numerous hearings on a variety of policy areas and bills of interest to cities in the coming weeks. More than 2,400 bills were introduced and will be heard in policy committees. The League of California Cities will be hosting a webinar on March 18 to discuss key bills impacting cities. Read more
 
Thursday, March 11, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. — Hear from four local government icons about how best to tackle topics like social justice, equity, COVID-19 response, and the growing polarization in our communities. This free webinar is the first in the Institute for Local Government’s new leadership series, LEADING LOCAL, which will serve as a thought leadership forum on challenging topics and issues local government leaders face. Presenters: San Diego County Supervisor (retired) Greg Cox, Oakland City Manager (retired) Henry Gardner, Santa Monica City Manager (retired) Rod Gould, and Daly City City Manager (retired) Pat Martel. Read more
 
Thursday, March 18, 10 a.m. — The Supreme Court's 2021 docket is set for the 2020-21 term. Many new cases of interest to states and local governments have been added, ranging from a takings case to a case involving college athlete pay. Join the State and Local Legal Center for a discussion of the most interesting cases for states and local governments to be decided this term. Presenters: Dan Geyser of Alexander Dubose & Jefferson; Matthew Littleton of Donahue, Goldberg, Weaver & Littleton; Sarah Harris of Williams & Connolly's Supreme Court and Appellate practice; and Lisa Soronen of the State and Local Legal Center. Read more
Cal Cities in the News
"We agree with the Governor that this is our moment to create a California we all want to live in, but in order for our state to continue to lead the world into the future, cities need funding from the state’s budget windfall to ensure cities can respond to the pandemic, meet the needs of residents, and begin to rebuild our local economies.” Cal Cities President and El Centro Mayor Cheryl Viegas Walker responds to Gov. Gavin Newsom's State of the State Address after attending as an invited virtual guest.

Feds Must Act, March 6 Letter to the Editor, The Sacramento Bee
Cities have been on the front lines fighting the pandemic for nearly a year, spending billions to protect public health, assist vulnerable populations and help small businesses. These actions saved lives but depleted city budgets. California cities lost $5 billion in revenue, due to shuttered local economies, with another $1 billion in losses expected this year. Federal assistance to help cities respond to and recover from the pandemic should not be a partisan issue. Cities received zero funding from Washington or the state to address revenue shortfalls. More than 35,000 local government jobs have been lost in California since the pandemic began. This is no bailout. Cities stepped up to protect their communities. Now the federal government needs to be there for cities. - Carolyn Coleman, Executive Director and CEO of the League of California Cities

Foster City concerned about potential new housing law, March 4, San Mateo Daily Journal 
“Housing is something that is of critical importance to the members of our community, and we’ve stated that recently about housing and the concerns we’ve had. Simply stating our support for the League of California Cities in our letter would be sufficient in this situation and appropriate,” Councilman Jon Froomin said. Froomin wanted to send an opposition letter against SB 9 after receiving an email from the League of California Cities, an advocacy organization representing cities’ interests, requesting support. The League of California Cities has requested that SB 9 have significant amendments to close loopholes, limit developer influence, limit exploitation of SB 9 provisions and give city governments more autonomy.
 
California Today: Cities Turn to Washington to Close Pandemic Budget Gaps, March 4, The New York Times (also appeared in The San Juan Daily Star, USA News Hub, and The Bharat Express News)
California cities would get around $8 billion, and counties would get about the same, according to a spreadsheet released with the House version of the bill. “It will go a long way toward positioning our cities for being a strong partner in recovery,” said Carolyn Coleman, executive director of the League of California Cities.