May 1, 2023


Hello Friends of ILG,


As we kick off the month of May, the Institute for Local Government is looking forward to celebrating many of our local government leaders across several recognition weeks and holidays.


Of course, we’re looking forward to celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May. We remain grateful for everything our AAPI leaders do to uplift their communities and ensure local government is working toward progress and equity. Stay tuned for details about an upcoming Leading Local webinar session featuring AAPI local government voices.


From May 7-13, ILG will be celebrating Public Service Recognition Week, taking the opportunity to recognize the selfless public servants who lead our cities, counties, and special districts. We will be hosting a civic & youth engagement webinar in the spirit of this recognition week, so stay tuned for details about that event as well.


We’ll round out the month honoring members of the U.S. Armed Forces with Memorial Day. ILG Board Member and CEO of the Clovis Veterans Memorial District Lorenzo Rios is featured in this newsletter edition and shares some of his district's critical work supporting veterans in the Central Valley. It’s a fascinating read.  


There’s a lot to celebrate and share this month, so look out for a few different vlogs from me in May highlighting some of the things that keep us energized and inspired to do this important work.


ILG is grateful to our cities, counties, and special districts for working hard every day to create vibrant, resilient and unique communities. Thank you for paving the way for the next generation of public servants and building onramps into the public sector that will help ensure the important work of good local governance continues into the future. 


In community,

Erica L. Manuel

CEO & Executive Director


  • 2022 Annual Report
  • Conversation with Board Member Lorenzo Rios
  • Roundtables, Workshops & Trainings
  • Funding Opportunities
  • Special Districts Beacon Awards Deadline Extended
  • Recognize a Fellow Public Servant
  • Affiliate Updates
  • Partner News
  • What We’re Reading
  • ILG In the Community


ILG released its 2022 Annual Report capturing all the impact and innovation ILG made alongside California local governments last year. 2022 was a year of change and resilience for California’s local governments but ILG remained focused on its mission to be a supportive presence, providing resources, events, trainings, and convenings that helped local governments serve their communities at the highest level. We are grateful to all the local government leaders, partners and affiliates for their ongoing collaboration. We are excited to share what we have done together and how we will continue the momentum in 2023. .


We also thank our partners and affiliates for their ongoing collaboration. We are excited to share what we have done together and how we will continue the momentum in 2023. 

Read the report.



This month, ILG sat down with one of our newest board members, the CEO of the Clovis Veterans Memorial District, Lorenzo Rios. Board Member Rios is a decorated veteran and a longtime public servant, and we are grateful for his dedication to public service and supporting Central Valley communities.

ILG is celebrating Public Service Recognition Week in May. Can you share a little bit about your path into public service?


As a veteran of both the United States Marine Corps and Army, my path into public service was shaped by my military experiences. Enlisting in the Marines taught me to believe in possibilities bigger than the fears found by my internal narrative. This mindset carried over into my service in the Army, where I had the privilege of leading some of the greatest Americans I have ever served with. These experiences taught me valuable lessons about leadership, duty, and service to others, and instilled in me a deep sense of responsibility to give back to my community and country. Today, I continue to pursue public service in various ways, inspired by the example set by my fellow service members and the values I learned in the military.


Who are some public servants that inspire you?

President John F. Kennedy and General Colin Powell are two of the most inspiring public servants who have influenced my life. President Kennedy's famous call for service to others and his vision of space exploration challenged people to dream bigger than ever before. His leadership in advancing civil rights and promoting peace inspires those who seek to make a positive difference in the world. General Powell's story of rising from humble beginnings to become a top military leader who transitioned into civilian life and continued to lead with distinction as Secretary of State is a testament to the power of hard work, dedication, and service to others. He inspired me to strive for excellence and use my talents to positively impact my community, country, family, and personal pursuits. President Kennedy and General Powell's commitment to service, leadership, and vision for a better world inspires me to make a positive difference in my life and the world around me.


What advice would you give to any young people considering public service as a career? 


My advice to anyone wanting to pursue public service as a career would be to start by identifying the social issues you are most passionate about and find ways to get involved in those areas through internships, volunteer work, or community service. Be self-motivated and develop strong communication, leadership, creative problem-solving, and critical thinking skills, as they are essential in any public service career. Additionally, seek out opportunities to network and build connections with professionals in the field. Lastly, stay committed to your goal of making a positive impact on society and be willing to work hard and overcome challenges to achieve it.

What has been your favorite project or biggest accomplishment you’ve achieved in your career?


One of my favorite programs I have accomplished has been the creation of Military Signing Days and Salute to Patriots. Although that sounds like two different programs, they are one project with a public and private connection.


The public connection has students electing to serve their country recognized in front of their school, similar to how athletes are recognized when they sign on to a sports team. In the same fashion that students who choose to play sports are encouraged by their peers, so are the students who choose military service as they embark on an adventure where their talents make a difference in defending the freedoms of all Americans.


The private portion of the program has students recognized at a dinner where their family is introduced to a support network and traditions unique to the branch of military service the student elects to serve in. At each table, we present the student and their parent to another parent who has a child serving in the same military branch of service as the student at the table, a veteran from the same branch of service, and a current military member serving in the same branch of service as the students. The goal is to introduce the family to some traditions unique to the branch of service and local connections for the family so that a support network is created while the student serves away from home. The military member in uniform who sits at the table answers current realities in service. At the same time, the veteran provides a perspective on how military service shaped their opportunities after military service. The military parent offers perspective on the challenges of being separated from their loved one and serves as a sounding board for the new parent to leverage while their child prepares to go and serve in the military.


The program facilitates community building by creating space where the civilian community shows its support of the students as they prepare to go serve their country through military service and the military community has the opportunity to welcome its new members. Elected officials, educators, and business leaders line up to shake every student’s hand as their name is called and are recognized on stage and as they exit the stage are welcomed by all veterans and uniformed military personnel lined up prepared to shake their hand and welcome them to their new community. The symbolic gesture of crossing from one space into another has helped bridge the civilian and military communities.


The program has made a big difference in the lives of students, parents, veterans, and current serving military personnel. All the participants are afforded the opportunity to encourage each other and an opportunity to have their perspectives heard. Everyone learns from each other and finds a community that understands their needs.


The program has grown beyond the boundaries of the district and now has community members from around the state asking for assistance in developing a similar program in other communities. I am humbled by the outpouring of support found around the state, and I am honored to have the opportunity to help other communities create programs that make a positive impact on the lives of their citizens. 

What has been the best (or worst) advice you’ve been given in your career? What did you learn from it?

As a public servant, the virtue of never missing the opportunity to say nothing can be a powerful tool in promoting collaboration and inclusion. By actively listening to the needs and concerns of all stakeholders, including those who may have different perspectives or backgrounds, we can create a more inclusive and effective policy-making process. By staying open-minded and willing to learn from others, we can build trust and work together towards common goals. Additionally, remaining silent, when necessary, can prevent misunderstandings and avoid negative consequences. Therefore, as public servants, we should strive to appreciate the value of silence and use it wisely to promote collaboration and inclusion.


Learn more about the Clovis Veterans Memorial District's History and the Military Signing Days and Salute to Patriots program in the video above.


Regional Planning Commissioner Trainings

Next training:

  • Shasta, Trinity, Siskiyou, Lassen, Plumas and Modoc Counties | Friday, May 12

These trainings are offered in-person, free of charge, exclusively for city and county planning commissioners. Content is designed to benefit both new and seasoned professionals. 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. Learn more and sign up for a training.


This training series is hosted by ILG in partnership with HCD and Placeworks.

Did You Miss Our Recent Webinars?

Check out the event recordings below:

  • Sustainability at Every Size: How Any Local Government Can Move the Needle on Climate - Learn more about ILG's Beacon Program and Awards from former Beacon Award winners.

  • Budget Season: How Local Governments Can Build and Maintain Fiscal Health - Hear from ILG partner HdL Companies discuss economic, sales tax, and business license trends plus economic development best practices.

Coming Soon from ILG:

  • The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Public Policy and Local Governments
  • Civic Engagement for Gen Z: How to Meaningfully Engage Youth in Local Government
  • Public Meeting Facilitation Techniques for Local Governments


Homekey Round 3 Application Now Available

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has announced the application for the Homekey Round 3 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). 

Homekey is an opportunity for state, regional, and local public entities, as well as tribes, to develop a broad range of housing types, including but not limited to hotels, motels, single-family homes and multifamily apartments, adult residential facilities, and manufactured housing, and to convert commercial properties and other existing buildings to Permanent or Interim Housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Application Process

HCD will accept applications on a continuous, over-the-counter basis through July 28, 2023, or until the available funds are exhausted, whichever occurs first.


Applicants must submit a pre-application consultation survey to HCD prior to applying. To request a pre-application consultation survey, please email Based on individual survey results, HCD will determine whether a pre-application consultation is required. Applicants may not submit an application until cleared to do so by HCD, based on HCD’s review of the survey and pre-application consultation, if applicable.


Who is eligible to apply?

Homekey Round 3 will distribute $736 million in grant funding to local public entities, including cities, counties, or other local public entities, such as housing authorities, as well as federally or non-federally recognized Indian tribes within California.

Learn more and apply.


Beacon Awards Application Period Extended for Special Districts Until May 30


The special district award submission window for Beacon Leadership and Innovation awards has been extended to Tuesday, May 30.


The Beacon Leadership and Innovation awards celebrate the efforts of cities, counties and special districts to implement collaborative, inclusive, and equitable climate resilience and adaptation programming in their communities.



Whether your agency is a Beacon participant or not, you are invited to submit an innovative project, program, plan, or policy your agency has implemented for Leadership and Innovation award consideration in the following categories:


  • Leadership in Climate Resilience and Adaptation
  • Equity and Engagement in Climate Resilience and Adaptation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration in Climate Resilience and Adaptation
  • Innovation in Energy
  • Innovation in Clean Transportation


Cities and counties are also eligible to submit Beacon Awards applications through Friday, July 7.


Not a Beacon Member? Join today! Our Beacon Program helps local agencies understand the actions they can take - from clean energy to efficient transportation, adaptation planning, community engagement, and more - that are aimed at reducing emissions, saving energy, and building resilience. Through Beacon, local agencies gain access to best practices, resources, technical assistance, and peer support. 


Learn more and apply today. For questions, contact Nikita Sinha at


It's Public Service Recognition Week -Nominate a Local Government Champion!

Public Service Recognition Week is the perfect time to nominate a local government colleague for a job well done. Anyone working in one of California's counties, special districts or cities – from staff to elected or appointed officials – are eligible. Self-nominations are encouraged!


Help us celebrate the important work local leaders are doing in the areas of: 

  • Public Engagement & Equity;
  • Leadership & Governance;
  • Sustainable & Resilient Communities; and 
  • Workforce & Civics Education.


Nominees will be featured in social media posts and on our website.


Click here to nominate.


ILG is the nonprofit training and education affiliate of the League of California Cities, the California State Association of Counties and the California Special Districts Association.


Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP): Why ACP Matters for California and How Counties Can Increase Enrollment

Please join the California State Association of Counties for the first of four webinars designed to help counties increase enrollment in the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). State and county leaders will explain why ACP is so important and how counties can help more county residents receive $360 in annual broadband subsidies, among other ACP benefits.

Register today.

City Attorneys Spring Conference

May 17-19, 2023

Hyatt Regency Monterey

1 Old Golf Course Rd, Monterey, CA 


Join the League of California Cities for three days of educational content and networking at the next Spring Conference.


The 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 and qualified immunity, housing legislation, and more. MCLE credits are offered.

Learn more and register today.

General Manager Leadership Summit

June 25-27, 2023

Everline Resort & Spa

400 Squaw Creek Rd, Olympic Valley, CA


The General Manager Leadership Summit offers fantastic networking and professional development opportunities for special district general managers and other management staff from districts of all types and sizes throughout California.


Come together with others facing the same challenges and opportunities, learn from expert instructors, and return to your district refreshed and reenergized. Consider sending an emerging leader from your district to this conference – it could be the first step in preparing our next generation of special district general managers.


ILG CEO & Executive Director Erica Manuel will also be moderating a panel on Adaptive Leadership at the Summit.

Learn more and register today.


Clean Water, Complicated Laws Webinar Series

Join BB&K’s leading water quality attorneys for a monthly webinar series offering practical guidance on water quality issues, laws and regulations. The series will explore the major concerns wastewater, stormwater, and recycled water managers face, and dive into the many complicated issues that arise regarding water quality.


When: Every 2nd Thursday of the month in 2023

Time: 10-10:30 a.m. PT/1-1:30 p.m. ET

Register today.

Risk Management Educational Forum

Register today for a totally rad educational experience at the California JPIA’s 28th Annual Risk Management Educational Forum, titled It’s Like, Totally Risk Management, August 30–September 1, 2023, at the Omni La Costa Resort in Carlsbad. The Forum provides two and a half days of educational opportunities, including panel presentations, networking, and a keynote speech from Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton. Hamilton will share his experience of persevering even when obstacles’ shadows loom large as a figure skater, commentator, producer, cancer survivor, and activist. Learn more.

Lineworkers: 'A Sense of Pride and Satisfaction' 

During Hurricane Sandy in 2012, 67,000 lineworkers nationwide responded to the request to restore service to millions of customers who lost power from Florida to Vermont. The following year, Congress designated April 18 as National Lineman Appreciation Day to recognize the brave men and women who protect the public by safely keeping electricity flowing. Lineworkers are dedicated to a unique skilled trade that is a critical component of the power grid servicing homes, businesses and government, often working in harsh conditions such as wind, heat, rain and snow. They are also sometimes required to be on call because emergencies can arise at any hour. Read more

Headshot Photography - Smiles in All Scenarios

Imagery is a powerful tool that can provide people with a sense of familiarity and connection to people they haven’t met before. One of the most common forms of photography sets itself up perfectly for this connection: headshots and portraiture. A conventional headshot can serve as a warm invitation to learn more about an organization or agency and help promote further engagement. But how can photos like these be achieved? With proper execution of lighting, angle and location, a headshot can bring people into the world of your organization! Read more.

Register for the Upcoming Climate Adaptation Forum

ILG is a longtime supporter and partner of the Climate Adaptation Forum (CAF), which is accepting tour and partner-led workshop proposals to help shape a dynamic program. CAF organizers hope to feature a diverse program that is responsive to the needs of California’s growing community of climate leaders; one that provides tangible and meaningful opportunities for participants to connect, learn, strategize, and build mutual support. If you have a tour or workshop idea be sure to submit by Friday, May 5th! Learn more.


California 100: Strong Support for Strengthened Civics Education in High School


ILG research partner, the California 100 Initiative released results from their new California Considers Deliberative Poll®. Key findings show strong support (greater than 60% both pre and post deliberation) for a strengthened high school civics course and increased support for K-12 education, among others. Read more.

GovTech: It's Been a Pretty Bad Day for Governments on Twitter

The pullback of Twitter's blue check marks led to the quick rise of fake accounts spreading lies about public services and officials. Now that Twitter doesn’t verify governments and other users people who want to follow agencies on social media — the real public agencies — are probably better off going to government websites and following accounts from there. What comes next, and how can state and local governments deal with the news reality? Read more.

PPIC: Californians See a Need for Immediate Action on Climate Change

According to a recent PPIC Statewide Survey, three in four Californians think it is necessary to take steps to counter the effects of climate change right away, while one in four say it is not necessary to take steps yet. Overwhelming shares of Democrats and independents—compared to just one in three Republicans—think that steps should be taken right away. While more than two in three across regions and demographic groups think action should be taken right away, there are some differences within these groups. Read more.


ILG “BOOSTS” La Puente Egg Hunt

As part of the BOOST program, our Senior Program Manager Roberto Carlos Torres attended the La Puente Easter Egg Hunt Event to talk to residents about the city’s general plan updates to the Safety Element and new Environmental Justice Element being drafted by ILG.


The event saw hundreds of residents and provided the city with an opportunity to engage them on these important efforts. Residents were able to express their gratitude for the city’s work so far and share their priorities and concerns about addressing environmental justice and planning for natural disasters. 

ILG CEO Erica Manuel Attends the Building Workforce Partnerships Conference

ILG's CEO and Executive Director Erica Manuel attended the Building Workforce Partnerships Conference in San Diego hosted by the California Labor Federation. A strong public sector workforce depends on meaningful partnerships with labor, educators, employers, workers and community organizations. ILG is looking forward to collaborating with the worker community to move California's public sector workforce development efforts forward.


Erica also serves as the Chair of the Public Sector Subcommittee of the State Interagency Council on Apprenticeships. In that role, she is working to advance realistic solutions to growing public sector workforce challenges through strategies related to workforce recruitment, retention and career pathways. 

ILG Highlights City/County Collaboration at Joint City and County Summit on Homelessness


CSAC and Cal Cities recently hosted a joint City-County summit on homelessness where County and City leaders embarked on a path to create a comprehensive statewide plan to address homelessness. ILG CEO and Executive Director Erica Manuel facilitated a panel during the summit, focusing on the collaboration, opportunities and challenges for rural cities and counties.


Attendees also heard from members the Newsom Administration and legislative leaders about how to support an effective homelessness response system with clear roles and responsibilities as well as sustainable funding.

ILG & Stockton Mobility Collective Team Attend Earth Month Events

In addition to the April 1 Launch Event, the Stockton Mobility Collective (SMC) Outreach Team attended two outreach events: The Rise N' Drive EV test ride event hosted by Catholic Charities Diocese of Stockton on April 8 and the Stockton Earth Day Festival on April 23. The Rise N' Drive event allowed folks to sign up for test rides in electric vehicles provided by local car dealerships to familiarize them with the technology. After or before their rides, the SMC Outreach Team connected with event attendees and helped them sign up for our carshare and bikeshare services. At Earth Day, the SMC outreach team joined a number of vendors and performers to celebrate the importance of caring for our planet and its natural resources. The team interacted with over 180 participants to teach them about our project offerings and how to access them.

ILG also joined the First Annual Stockton Mobility Collective & Stockton Rising Joint Summit. This summit brought the Stockton Mobility Collective and Stockton Rising project teams together to share data about project progress, celebrate milestones and successes, discuss lessons learned, and how to use these lessons to promote a vision for the future of Stockton. ILG is helping facilitate outreach and event coordination for the collective's sustainable transportation efforts. 

San Joaquin Valley Policy Conference Brings Sustainability Leaders Together

ILG's Senior Program Manager Melissa Kuehne moderated a session at the 2023 San Joaquin Valley Policy Conference. The session, "Innovations in the Valley: Spotlight on Sustainable Transportation Equity", featured:

  • Christine Corrales, Senior Regional Planner, San Joaquin Council of Governments
  • Carolina Ilic, AICP, Assistant Director, Department of Transportation – Fresno Area Express, City of Fresno
  • Courtney Espinoza, MBA, Business Manager, City of Fresno
  • Benjamin Kimball, Deputy Executive Director, Tulare County Association of Governments

This conversation focused on the intersection between transportation, sustainability, and equity efforts in the Central Valley.

Innovative Pathways to Public Service Hosts In-Person General Meeting Featuring Regional Workforce Leaders

The Innovative Pathways to Public Service collaborative, administered by ILG, hosted its General Meeting in April. This was IPPS' first in-person meeting since 2020 and brought together Sacramento region public sector workforce leaders to learn about organizational planning, diversity, and recruitment strategies for California's public sector agencies. The panel of experts included: 


  • Kriztina Palone, Senior Program Officer, James Irvine Foundation
  • Anette Smith, CEO, Impact Group Enterprises LLC
  • Tiffany Vital, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer, California Department of Water Resources

Stay tuned for upcoming IPPS meetings and the chance to engage in the collaborative's future work by checking out the IPPS website.

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