Monthly News from the

Institute for Local Government

April 2022


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Greetings from ILG!


This month’s newsletter has a special focus on sustainability in honor of April as Earth Month. California cities, counties and special districts are continuing to make notable progress in the fight to advance climate adaptation and resilience, so we’ve included some important updates from our partners to celebrate that work. 


We start our newsletter with a look back at some historical highlights. This month’s video message is hosted by Karalee Browne, ILG’s Assistant Executive Director and lead of our Sustainable & Resilient Communities pillar. The video includes insights and background from ILG board members Jim Keene and Judy Mitchell, both long-time climate enthusiasts and local government leaders. Karalee also represents ILG on the Technical Advisory Council for OPR’s Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program, which just released its 2020-21 Impact Report detailing some of the collaborative solutions that address climate threats in California’s communities.


We also celebrate what is being done right now with recognition of some recent wins by our Beacon and BOOST communities as they pursue funding and implement innovative projects related to housing, transportation, air quality and more.


We also look to the future, with a highlight of the recent reports published by California 100, which frame scenarios for the next 100 years of energyhousing, and transportation in the golden state. The reports examine where California has been and where it currently is within these policy domains, while proposing out-of-the-box ideas that California could consider in the coming decades and century. I was honored to participate in the launch event panel about the reports and discuss how local governments might “operationalize these dreams.”


Beyond environmental sustainability, the ILG team is actively working to address the many complexities local leaders are facing as they try to govern effectively and equitably. To help tackle the growing trend of divisiveness, aggression and incivility in local government, we’re excited to unveil a new partnership with Braver Angels and launch a new Leading Local training series to help staff, elected and appointed officials bridge divides and reduce polarization. This series of workshops will complement our new Cultural Intelligence training series, and both are part of Leading Local. 


This is just a snapshot of the many important projects ILG is working on to support local government leaders. As always, we’re grateful for your service and your support. 




Erica L. Manuel

CEO & Executive Director


Latest News

Video: Earth Month Insights from ILG Board Members James Keene and Judy Mitchell

Western City Magazine: Unique Infrastructure Challenges Facing Rural Communities

ILG Announces Partnership with Braver Angels

Program Updates

Beacon Award Applications Due May 2

BOOST Communities Awarded Clean CA Grants

2020-2021 Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program (ICARP) Impact Report

Congratulations to the April Local Government Champions!

Webinars & Trainings

Local Gov’t Taxes: Budgeting, Forecasting & Future Trends - Wed. 5/4

Planning Commissioner Trainings - April 2022- 2023

Skills for Bridging the Divide - Wed. 5/11

Cultural Intelligence Training Series - Wed. 5/25

Affiliate Updates

Cal Cities City Attorneys Spring Conference - Wed. 5/4

Cal Cities City Leaders Summit - Wed. 5/11

CSDA Special Districts Legislative Days - Tues. 5/17. -Wed. 5/18

The County Voice: Alameda County Brings Vision of a Health Environment to Life

Partner Program Updates

April Featured Partner: BBK

Other Partner News

Become an ILG Partner


Earth Month Insights from ILG Board Members James Keene and Judy Mitchell

Video: Earth Month Insights from ILG Board Members James Keene and Judy Mitchell

Karalee Browne, ILG’s Assistant Executive Director, sat down virtually with ILG Board Members Jim Keene and Judy Mitchell to discuss their work in sustainability as longtime public servants in California local government. Watch here.


Western City Magazine: Unique Infrastructure Challenges Facing Rural Communities

Rural communities face different infrastructure needs and challenges than many larger cities. Programs like ILG’s BOOST Program are offering hope for low-capacity cities struggling to find funding to create more resilient and equitable communities for their residents. Read more.

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ILG Announces Partnership with

Braver Angels

Divisiveness and partisanship have become increasingly prevalent in local government. Public servants from throughout the state are looking for tools to address this issue in a way that is authentic and effective. ILG is excited to announce a new partnership with Braver Angels, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing Americans together to bridge the partisan divide and strengthen our democratic republic. Learn more.


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Beacon Award Applications Due May 2

Beacon award applications for 2022 are closing soon! Spotlight your local agency’s vision for a more healthy, sustainable and resilient California by applying for a Beacon award. The deadline to apply is Monday, May 2. Award applications are open to cities, counties and special districts. Learn more and apply here.


It's Never Too Late to Join the Beacon Program

In honor of Earth Month, ILG celebrates the 173 local government agencies participating in our Beacon Program. Throughout the years, these agencies have demonstrated their dedication to reducing energy and greenhouse gas emissions to help fight climate change. We applaud the achievements of our Beacon award winners and encourage those who have not enrolled in the program to sign up today and join the cohort of dozens of communities around the state that pledge to create a more sustainable and resilient California. Any local agency can join Beacon at any time. And the program is free.The local agencies participating in ILG’s Beacon Program have access to unique networking opportunities and resources.

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Beacon Communities Reach New Heights in Sustainability

County of Alameda Celebrates a Decade of Climate Action Leadership


Town of Truckee Develops “Whole Community Strategies” for Climate Planning

Citrus Heights Water District Expands Programs and Engagement

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BOOST Communities Awarded $6.5 Million in Clean California Grants

The City of Maywood was awarded nearly $1.4 million for beautification through greening and landscaping and infrastructure improvements to increase accessibility and safety for all transportation modes.


The City of McFarland won nearly $500,000 to support the construction of a community garden and bike path to link to the McFarland Pedestrian Bridge.


The City of Needles will receive nearly $2.2 million to support its Marina Park First Beach Project, which will transform the area with public art and education features highlighting local and tribal history.


The City of South San Francisco was awarded over $2.4 million to transform an area in one of the city's most underserved communities into a recreational and educational space.

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2020-2021 ICARP Impact Report

Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program

The Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program (ICARP) at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) has released its 2020-2021 Impact Report. As California faces and expects increasing climate threats, the time for transformational adaptation is now. The Impact Report identifies the core components of the state’s framework for climate adaptation and describes the role of ICARP in coordinating and aligning the state’s resiliency efforts. The ICARP Impact Report will increase understanding of how the state is responding to the onset and acceleration of climate impacts and help readers learn about the resources and services available to support adaptation and resiliency efforts across the state. Read more.

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Congratulations to the April Local Government Champions!

Team ILG loves celebrating all the Local Government Champion nominees. We continue to accept nominations for staff, elected and appointed officials who are doing great work in the service of their cties, counties and special districts. Nominations are accepted year-round.


Congratulations to our April honorees whose dedication to public service is admirable and inspirational.

  • Alex Cardenas, Imperial Irrigation District, Director Division 1
  • Sona Coffee, City of Irvine, Environmental Programs Administrator
  • Jessica Crone, City of Rancho Cordova, Management Analyst
  • Ron Duncan, Soquel Creek Water District, General Manager
  • Rick Fowler, Sacramento County Employees Retirement System, Trustee
  • Steve Jones, City of Garden Grove, Mayor
  • Rhonda Mann, Kings County, Fiscal Analyst
  • Bridgette Moore, City of Wildomar, Council member
  • Justine Rodriguez, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, Director of Marketing & Public Relations
  • Marcia Sablan, City of Firebaugh, Council member
  • Jill Sarick Santos, City of Oxnard, Recycling Manager
  • Christine Viterelli, City of Arvin, Grant Writer


Learn More About This Year-Long Recognition Program and Submit Your Nomination Today!



Local Gov’t Taxes: Budgeting, Forecasting, and Future Trends

Wednesday, May 4

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

California cities, counties and special districts are embarking on annual budgeting activities. These budgets are based on projections around sales tax, property tax, hotel tax and business license fees many of which have been impacted by continued uncertainty from the pandemic and the ever-changing guidelines and protocols. Register for this free ILG webinar to hear about economic and fiscal trends, and how local governments are using this data to inform budgeting and long-term planning.


  • Ken Brown, HdL Companies, Principal
  • Nichole Cone, HdL Coren & Cone, Vice President 
  • Josh Davis, HdL Companies, Director of Professional Services
  • Sheila Poisson, Finance Director, City of Torrance
  • Lydia Romero, City Manager, City of Lemon Grove

Moderated by Melissa Kuehne, Senior Program Manager, Institute for Local Government.

Register Here.

This webinar is hosted by ILG in partnership with HdL Companies.

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Regional Planning Commissioner Trainings

Various Dates from April 2022-April 2023


ILG is hosting a series of regional planning commissioner trainings throughout the state in 2022 and 2023. These sessions are offered free of charge exclusively for city and county planning commissioners and designed to benefit both new commissioners and seasoned professionals. 


The interactive training sessions help planning commissioners better understand:

  • The role of a planning commission
  • How to work effectively with staff and the governing board
  • Effective community engagement
  • CEQA basics
  • Required planning documents
  • Local planning challenges and opportunities


In each training session, we reserve time to network and discuss local planning challenges and opportunities, that are specific for each region. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with experts in the field and learn from fellow planning commissioners about best practices, emerging trends and lessons learned.


All sessions will run from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, with coffee and networking beginning at 9:00 am.


Please click on your region below for more information and to register. Must be a current planning commissioner or planning commission staff and pre-registered to attend. Please email with any questions.









These trainings are hosted by ILG in partnership with PlaceWorks and the California Department of Housing & Community Development.

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Leading Local: Communication Skills for Bridging the Divide

Wednesday, May 11

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm


In our current polarized political environment, many local leaders avoid or dread political conversations with people whose politics differ from their own. They worry, rightly so, that any attempts at political discussions will devolve into arguments and acrimony, and result in reputation issues, anger or retaliation.

In May, ILG and Braver Angels are co-hosting the first session in a new training series on Bridging Divides, which will offer some practical tips for local government leaders to better interact with the public and with colleagues to foster productive and respectful conversations. The training will be part of ILG’s Leading Local series, and will include at least three sessions covering topics such as:


  • Communication Skills for Bridging the Divide – Learn techniques to speak with those you disagree with so you can be heard, listen to truly hear, strengthen relationships and find common ground.
  • Depolarizing from Within – Recognize your inner polarizer and focus on affirming the value and humanity of the other side, even among people you disagree with. Learn and practice skills to intervene in polarizing conversations without risking accusations of disloyalty or naiveté.
  • Managing Difficult Conversations with Constituents and Colleagues – Gain listening and speaking skills within the framework of how to deal with disagreeing constituents and colleagues. Learn to manage and defuse tense and frustrating conversations.


The Communication Skills for the Bridging the Divide workshop teaches skills for having respectful conversations that clarify differences, search for common ground and affirm the importance of relationships. The session also gives participants a safe environment to practice those skills. This interactive training is free to attend, but space is limited and RSVPs are required. 

Register in advance for this training.


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the session.


This webinar is hosted by ILG in partnership with Braver Angels

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About Braver Angels

Braver Angels is an organization uniting Red and Blue Americans in a working alliance to depolarize America.

  • As individuals, we try to understand the other side’s point of view, even if we don’t agree with it.
  • In our communities, we engage those we disagree with, looking for common ground and ways to work together. 
  • In politics, we support principles that bring us together rather than divide us.

Braver Angels activities include organizing community workshops, debates and local alliances, gathering annually to determine national priorities, and convening Red, Blue and Other thought leaders to make new arguments and show better ways to disagree. Braver Angels recently launched a new Braver Politics initiative to enable elected officials, candidates and their staffs to develop skills for communicating across difference, and build constructive relationships across the partisan divide. Learn more at

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Leading Local: Cultural Intelligence Training Series


About the Cultural Intelligence Training Series

Cultural intelligence (CI) or cultural quotient (CQ) is having the capacity to relate to and work effectively with different groups of people and across cultures. Cultural intelligence goes beyond cultural awareness and political correctness. It articulates the core competencies and skill sets necessary for true diversity, equity and inclusion to exist within your organization.

This new virtual training series will examine the various elements of cultural intelligence and how to operationalize it in your local agency and your community. 


The series will take place from April through July 2022 with one (1) two-hour session per month. The training is designed for staff and appointed or elected officials at California cities, counties and special districts. All sessions are free to attend, but space is very limited and registrations are required.


Remaining Session Topics Include:

  • Session 2: Developing the Language of CI – Building a Living Glossary – Wednesday, May 25
  • Session 3: Managing Conflict Through the Lens of Equity – Wednesday, June 29
  • Session 4: Mastering the Art of Crucial Conversations Using CI – Wednesday, July 27


Registration for Session 2 Opening Soon!

Previous Session Recordings:


The training series is hosted by ILG in partnership with the Impact Foundry.


All sessions will be taught by Jacques S, Whitfield, JD. 


About the Instructor

Jacques S. Whitfield is a seasoned Human Resources Executive with over 25 years of experience in human resources management and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB). Whitfield is a Principal HR Consultant with CPS HR, where he serves as the DEI Learning and Education Team Lead. Prior to joining CPS HR, Whitfield served a six-year tenure as the Chief Human Resources Officer and Chief Compliance Officer for the Yuba Community College District where he was responsible for management and oversight of the HR operations for the district and is credited with revitalizing and streamlining the program. Whitfield is a subject matter expert in performance management, employee engagement, diversity, equity and inclusion and state and federal EEO compliance matters. Whitfield is also a subject matter expert in transformational leadership development. He is highly accomplished in successfully working with others to develop professional skills and improve employee effectiveness through training and development.


ILG is the non-profit training and education affiliate of Cal Cities, the California State Association of Counties and the California Special Districts Association.

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City Attorneys Spring Conference

Wednesday, May 4 – Friday, May 6, 2022

Carlsbad, CA


The Cal Cities City Attorneys Conference provides city attorneys with in-depth information about the latest municipal law issues, along with opportunities to connect with colleagues from across the state. Previous topics included emerging issues related to revenue measures, police reform, qualified immunity, housing legislation and more. Register here.

City Leaders Summit

Wednesday, May 11 – Friday, May 13, 2022

Sacramento, CA

The City Leaders Summit is a brand new Cal Cities event where city officials can influence policy decisions in the Capitol and gain top-notch leadership skills. This pinnacle event offers city officials exceptional opportunities to meet with legislators to advocate for cities’ top priorities, as well as participate in peer-to-peer discussions and in-depth sessions covering topics ranging from leadership to emerging issues facing cities. Register here.

More Cal Cities Upcoming Events


Special Districts Legislative Days

Tuesday, May 17- Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Sacramento, CA


Special Districts Legislative Days is the only opportunity for all types of special districts, large and small, north and south, rural and urban to come together with one united voice. Issues like revenue, governance, labor and public works matter to all districts whether they provide water, sewer, fire protection, parks, cemeteries, healthcare, mosquito abatement, ports, harbors, airports, libraries or other essential services. Register here.


The County Voice: Alameda County Brings Vision of a Health Environment to Life


For the past decade, Alameda County has been bringing its vision of a healthy environment and thriving population to life through the County’s Climate Action Plan for Government Services and Operations. Last year, ILG awarded Alameda County numerous Beacon awards for GHG reductions and innovation in sustainability. Read more.



April Featured Partner:

Best Best & Krieger LLP


ILG does important work in support of local governments, but we could not provide the education, training, consultation and resources to our local agencies without the steadfast support of our corporate partners.


This month’s featured partner is Best Best & Krieger LLP (BBK), a national law firm focused on municipal, environmental, employment, business, education, public finance and telecommunications law, government relations and more for public agency and private clients of every size.

Among its many services, BBK provides timely information for local governments regarding regulatory decisions impacting their agencies. BBK just published their latest Legal Alert: White House Council on Environmental Quality Finalizes First Phase of NEPA Regulation Revisions. Read more.



2022 Women's Leadership


Thursday, May 26, 2022

Citrus Heights, CA


The 2022 Women’s Leaders Summit theme is “Looking back, moving forward,” which celebrates the accomplishments of women thus far, while inspiring emerging leaders to continue to make progress by advancing and empowering themselves and other women. Learn more and register here.

MMANC is also accepting proposals for conference sessions from individuals, groups, organizations and Corporate Partners for the upcoming 2022 MMANC Annual Conference. Proposals must be submitted online by Friday, May 6th. Learn more and submit here.

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ARTICLE: Social Media News to Know

Tripepi Smith’s Always-Be-Learning (#ABL) culture drives the firm to stay up to speed on constantly changing social media platforms. This knowledge empowers the team to track, interpret and adapt to the latest and greatest social media trends on behalf of the public agencies we serve. The following is the latest installment of TS's regular roundup of social media news you need to know: 

  • Nextdoor ads launch
  • "Search Insights" feature
  • New options to encourage the adoption of automated captions within videos
  • Edit prior posts
  • Changing the editing process

Read more.


ARTICLE: Need Help Planning

EV Projects?

Earth Day is an opportunity to reflect on what we can do to help keep our planet clean and green. Southern California Edison (SCE) continues to help our state meet its climate goals by advancing principles around health, equity and climate resilience. SCE works with our partners to spread the word on the benefits of driving electric. We provide grants to expand opportunities to electrify, give clean energy recommendations at conferences, offer electric vehicle rebates and do many other things to ensure the benefits of electrification are shared widely. Read more.

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ARTICLE: The 5 Ws of Increasing Gas Prices

Soaring gas prices are affecting everyone. Why are consumers paying so much and when will costs go down? A multitude of factors determine the price paid at the pump, but the largest determinant is the price of crude oil (the raw commodity that gets refined into gasoline). Crude oil prices vary depending on the supply available in the market and the demand for that supply. HdL breaks down the 5 Ws that are currently affecting these prices (the Who, What, Where, When and Why in order of importance). Read more.


ILG’s Partner Program provides a great opportunity to demonstrate your organization’s commitment to good governance at the local level, all while connecting with and engaging local decision-makers. Join us!

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