November 18, 2020
Cal Cities News

​Cal Cities is seeking input and feedback on the biggest issues facing cities in the next three years. Members have until Nov. 19 to complete the easy online survey. Survey results will help determine Cal Cities 2021 legislative priorities that will be adopted by the board in December. The survey has become an important source of information for the organization, and the feedback received will play a vital role in developing member-informed legislative priorities for the year. Read more

In lieu of parades and large in-person celebrations, cities across the state found meaningful ways to commemorate the service, sacrifice, and contributions of our nation’s veterans this past Veterans Day. From virtual presentations, to military flyovers, to collecting letters for veterans and active service members, cities worked hard to ensure the brave men and women who fearlessly defended our freedom received the recognition they deserve. Read more

Everybody knows we are the League of California Cities, but ask people what our abbreviated name is and you’ll get a variety of answers, including: LOCC, LCC, the League, and CA Cities. Today, we are launching a new moniker for our organization: Cal Cities. The League of California Cities will always be our official name but starting today, get used to seeing Cal Cities in all written, verbal, and digital communications when an abbreviated version of our name is needed. Read more

Gov. Gavin Newsom and state public health officials announced earlier this week the decision to pull an “emergency brake” in the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, resulting in 94 percent of California’s population in the most restrictive “purple” tier. The Governor also announced an emergency allocation of $62 million in one-time funds to local governments implementing Project Roomkey, so that counties throughout the state can continue to provide housing to current Project Roomkey participants. After months of advocacy efforts from Cal Cities, Caltrans released guidelines for cities and counties to issue temporary encroachment permits, enabling commercial activities in the state highway right-of-way to support businesses located along state highways. Read more
Education & Conferences
TOMORROW, Nov. 19, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. — Don’t forget to sign up for tomorrow’s webinar to learn about the new laws from the 2020 legislative session that will impact cities. Cal Cities legislative representatives will provide insight on how these new laws will affect local land use authority and affordable housing, residents experiencing homelessness, disaster response funding and policy, COVID-19 response and recovery, public safety, cannabis, police reforms, budgets, and other areas of critical importance for cities. Speakers: Advocacy and Public Affairs Deputy Executive Director Melanie Perron, Assistant Legislative Director Jason Rhine, Legislative Representatives Derek Dolfie, Bijan Mehryar, and Nick Romo, and Policy Analysts Caroline Cirrincione and Johnnie Pina. Register now

Calling all city clerks and finance professionals! Cal Cities is offering two educational conferences in December developed just for you. These engaging and informative virtual events will offer opportunities to discuss pressing topics and share best practices, and learn about new laws impacting cities. Register now
Opportunities for Cities
The workforce housing finance program, created this summer by the California Statewide Communities Development Authority, will help lower rents in more than 1,000 apartments in the City of Anaheim. The apartment communities will be priced for the budgets of the “missing middle,” working families who earn too much to qualify for low-income housing but still struggle to afford to live near where they work. Read more
More News and Events

The application period for a presidential policy committee appointment is now open! Each year, the Cal Cities president may appoint up to 16 city officials to each policy committee. Cal Cities presidents may bring different priorities for these appointments which can include: adding city officials with expertise on important policy matters, enhancing diversity of viewpoints, providing opportunities for new city officials to serve, and retaining the experience of long-serving members. To request a presidential appointment, visit the Cal Cities website, and fill out the 2021 Presidential Appointment Request form. Presidential appointment request forms must be received by Dec. 4. Read more

City officials now have greater clarity about when a governmental decision will have an “indistinguishable” effect on the public generally, which may permit participation in a decision despite a potential conflict of interest. The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) recently amended Regulation 18703, which explains how the “public generally” exception applies to conflicts of interest. The change is intended to make it easier to identify potential conflicts of interest. Beginning Nov. 18, Regulation 18703 will expand the exception in instances where the only relevant interest is a city official’s primary residence and clarify application of the exception to special circumstances. Read more

Cal Cities President and El Centro Council Member Cheryl Viegas Walker announced her leadership appointments to the Cal Cities Coastal Cities Group (CCG). The CCG was created by the Cal Cities Board of Directors in November 2006 as a forum for cities within the coastal zone to discuss coastal issues and build a relationship with the California Coastal Commission. Read more
Wednesday, Dec. 2, 12-2 p.m. The League of California Cities Women’s Caucus has partnered with 2020 Women on Boards to host a “Sacramento City Conversation on Board Diversity: Women Directors during Times of Crisis.” This is part of a series of virtual national events hosted by 2020 Women on Boards to encourage dialog about women's status on U.S. corporate boards. Speakers: California First Partner and California Partners Project Co-Founder Jennifer Siebel Newsom; Macy’s Head of Strategy, Vice President, and General Manager Anddria Clack-Rogers Varnado; California State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson; California Secretary of State Alex Padilla; and California State Teachers’ Retirement System Investment Officer Mary Morris. Register today

In July 2020, the South San Francisco Mayor’s Commission on Racial and Social Equity was launched in partnership with San Mateo County. The commission’s mission is to proactively advance equity in the city’s internal and external processes and to recommend policy and program changes to overcome institutional inequities. Public engagement plays a key part in the commission’s work. Learn more in Western City magazine.
Cal Cities in the News
As public pension costs soar, some Southern California agencies turn to controversial borrowing to fill deep holes, Nov. 15, Orange County Register (also appeared in The Mercury News, East Bay Times, San Bernardino County Sun, Los Angeles Daily News, Pasadena Star-News and 6 more)
“California cities are facing multiple pressures on their budgets, and so projections of increased pension obligations are certainly unwelcome news,” said Bijan Mehryar, a legislative representative for the League of California Cities, in a statement.

I am proud to say that Santa Clarita has won 19 Helen Putnam Awards of Excellence from the League of California Cities. This is more than any other city in the state. In 2020, we took home not one, but two of these prestigious honors — one for the “I Found Sammy Clarita” campaign and one for our College Internship Program.

Last week, during the League of California Cities Annual Conference & Expo, “Light the Way” was recognized as the city of Davis received the 2020 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence in Economic Development through the Arts.