January 5, 2022
Cal Cities News

With the state again expecting a multibillion dollar budget surplus — currently estimated at $31 billion — and with continued COVID-19 impacts, cities can expect many of last year’s policy issues to resurface. However, the name of the game for this month is unfinished business, as lawmakers have several looming constitutional deadlines. Read more

The new City Leaders Summit combines components of the Mayors and Council Members Executive Forum with Legislative Action Day. The event offers opportunities for city leaders to meet with legislators and discuss the most pertinent issues affecting their cities, along with in-depth educational sessions. Read more

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has issued guidance on the newly enacted SB 389 (Dodd, 2021), which permits some businesses to sell alcoholic beverages to-go if certain conditions are met. The law is slightly different from the pandemic regulatory relief that expired on Dec. 31, 2021. Read more
Education and Events

Jan. 20-21 and Jan. 27-28  — Join the League of California Cities for four days of virtual educational sessions and peer-to-peer sharing at the New Mayors and Council Members Academy. This virtual conference is a must-attend for newly elected officials or seasoned city leaders who would like a refresher course on the basic legal and practical framework in which city officials operate. Delve into critical training on important, fundamental topics for local government taught by peers and subject matter experts. Register today

Feb. 2-4 — The City Managers Conference provides city managers and assistant city managers with essential information to help them better lead their cities. This year's conference covers a wide range of topics that will enhance the professional capabilities of city managers and prepare them for a variety of situations — with ample opportunities for peer-to-peer sharing and learning. During the conference, city managers can learn how to work more effectively with city council members, find new programs for unhoused residents, and discover how to create a more diverse workforce. Register today

March 16-18 — Set in San Ramon, the Planning Commissioners Academy is designed for new and veteran planning commissioners and provides city officials with updates about recent legislative and regulatory changes, as well as an overview of the roles and responsibilities of a planning commissioner. This year's conference covers introductory and advanced California Environmental Quality Act procedures, tips on how to navigate SB 9 (Atkins, 2021) processes, planning commission roles and responsibilities, relationships between commission, staff, and city council, and key housing legislation. Register today

March 23-25 — Held in Monterey, the Public Works Officers Institute is designed for public works professionals of all career levels and provides them with the information and updates needed to more effectively run city and county public works departments. This year’s sessions cover a variety of topics, such as road safety, bridge programs, legislative updates, and leadership. Additional information is available in the “program at a glance” section of the conference webpage. Register today
Opportunities for Cities

$57 million in noncompetitive grants is available to local jurisdictions, including cities and joint powers authorities, to implement SB 1383 (Lara, Statutes of 2016) organic waste regulations. Eligible projects include collection, education and outreach, edible food recovery, capacity planning, procurement requirements, record-keeping, enforcement and inspection, and program evaluation/gap analysis. Base award amounts are set at $20,000 for eligible entities; expenditures or costs incurred before the term start date are not eligible for reimbursement. Questions can be submitted in writing to grants@calrecycle.ca.gov. Read more

The two-year program includes approximately $296 million for communities to beautify and improve local streets and roads. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has added new tools, application instructions, and forms for applicants. Caltrans also updated the program's guidelines, most notably correcting an error related to the CalEnviroScreen mapping tool. Caltrans will hold an applicant webinar on Jan. 12, at 1:30 p.m. Applications are due Feb. 1, 2022. Read more

Under the new program, eligible households can receive up to a $30 per month discount toward internet service; households on qualifying Tribal lands can receive up to $75 per month. Additionally, households can receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. The Federal Communications Commission launched a related toolkit to help partners promote the program. Read more

California Volunteers is seeking applications for the #CaliforniansForAll Youth Workforce Development Program, an initiative administered in partnership with cities and counties from throughout California. The initiative is designed to increase youth employment, develop career readiness, and strengthen cities’ capacity to address critical issues like climate change, food insecurity, and local COVID-19 recovery. This competitive grant opportunity is available to any city with 300,000 residents or fewer. Applications are due by Feb. 15, 2022. For questions, contact Cal Cities Community Services Lobbyist Caroline Cirrincione. Read more

2021 was another year of considerable change and challenges for cities, yet city leaders remained resilient and dedicated to keeping their residents safe. They rose to the occasion and took action to ensure a strong recovery. When many of these same leaders came together late last year to review the achievements and accomplishments that the League of California Cities delivered in 2021 and plan for the year ahead, it was clear that they were ready and more prepared than ever to lead their communities in the new year. Read more

For many, the beginning of 2021 felt like a continuation of 2020. COVID-19 continued to significantly impact the globe and cities throughout the state were still reeling from the economic impacts of the pandemic. However, the League of California Cities was able to build upon key relationships in the Legislature to advance top priorities for cities in 2021. Read more
More News and Events

Monday, Jan. 24, 12:30 p.m. — During the last two years, local governments have pivoted to virtual and hybrid meetings to ensure transparency and maintain safe opportunities for public engagement. Now, with new changes to open meeting laws and the return to more in-person activities, local governments are being asked to pivot yet again. Join the Institute for Local Government, legal experts, and local government colleagues to hear updates on the open meeting laws, the best practices for running virtual public meetings, and the lessons learned from navigating virtual, in-person, and hybrid meetings. Register today
Cal Cities in the News
Cities now have to collect our food waste. The San Diego region is scrambling to comply, The Voice of San Diego, California News Times, and 3 others, Jan. 5

A new California law is forcing cities to cut down on food waste in landfills. To meet the requirement, San Diego cities are increasing costs on residents and businesses to launch a new waste collection program on the fly. The law, SB 1383, aims to cut down on the powerful planet-warming methane gas that largely comes from rotting food in the airtight domain of a landfill. The League of California Cities, a statewide lobbying group for local governments, estimates 92 percent of California cities will raise solid waste and recycling rates between one and 20 percent in the next three years to comply with SB 1383. Read more

CalRecycle received close to $170 million from legislators for 2021 and 2022 to build more infrastructure for organic waste, improve composting opportunities and cut down on edible food waste. Of that, about $60 million was set aside as technical assistance grants for cities to get their programs in order...“This infusion of dollars from the state will go a long way,” League of California Cities Legislative Representative Derek Dolfie said of the grants. But it amounted to “a drop in the bucket,” when it came to avoiding increases in trash pickup rates for Californians at a time when inflation is on the rise and the state’s economy is still feeling the economic punch of the pandemic. Read more
What you need to know about California’s new composting law — a game changer for food waste, The Los Angeles Times, The Sacramento Bee, and 19 others, Dec. 26

Californians will ring in the new year with the unfurling of a groundbreaking law that will change how they dispose of their organic waste, particularly leftover food and kitchen scraps. Senate Bill 1383 requires all residents and businesses to separate such “green” waste from other trash, but the program will be rolled out gradually for homes and businesses in the coming months, with the actual startup date varying, depending on the location of your home or business. A survey by the League of California Cities found that most local governments expect refuse collection rates to increase less than 20%, with 1 in 5 cities saying they expect charges to go up more. Read more
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