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Executive Director's Message Archive

Title Issue
Why Home Rule Is the Birthright of California’s Cities

Why Home Rule Is the Birthright of California’s Cities

Local control, or home rule, provides the foundation for city governance. This article examines the state’s history and the Legislature’s tradition of meddling in local affairs.

July 2014
Are City Governments the Last Bastion Of Democracy?

Are City Governments the Last Bastion Of Democracy?

Cities are not just the laboratories of democracy; they may well also be its salvation.

May 2014
The Alchemy of Leadership and the Consent of the Governed

The Alchemy of Leadership and the Consent of the Governed

What impact does the public’s distrust of government officials have on how people perceive leadership? Why do some unpopular leaders later achieve prominence while other more popular leaders quickly fade from public memory? Is “effective leadership” a transient quality, changing over time as public needs and opinions shift, or is it constant and unchangeable?

March 2014
League Leadership Reviews Progress On New Advocacy Strategy and Sets 2014 Goals

League Leadership Reviews Progress On New Advocacy Strategy and Sets 2014 Goals

When the leadership of the League gathered in November for the annual goal-setting meeting, League staff was pleased to report that the organization had concluded a largely successful 2013 legislative year.

January 2014
Can Art and Emotion Inspire Effective Leadership?

Can Art and Emotion Inspire Effective Leadership?

Artist and speaker Erik Wahl’s performance at the League’s recent annual conference inspired city officials to think creatively about the skills they may have that can be put to work in serving the public.

November 2013
The Conversations We All Need to Have, Again and Again

The Conversations We All Need to Have, Again and Again

Rather than have a national “conversation” about race, President Obama suggested, in effect, that we have millions of conversations about it over the next few years.

September 2013
Why We May Mean “Local Diversity” When We Talk About “Local Control”

Why We May Mean “Local Diversity” When We Talk About “Local Control”

Gov. Jerry Brown recently observed that in a state that values diversity as much as California, you would think there would be more support for honoring the differences among communities. So what causes state officials to pre-empt local control and impose one-size-fits-all laws?

July 2013
If You Rebuild It They Will Come: How State-Local Partnerships Have Changed the Face of California and Its Cities

If You Rebuild It They Will Come: How State-Local Partnerships Have Changed the Face of California and Its Cities

Today multiple bills are pending to recreate tax-increment financing. It requires vision, persistence and enough public investment to attract private capital and development that produce much-needed jobs for Californians.

May 2013
Are We at the Tipping Point in Building a New State-Local Partnership?

Are We at the Tipping Point in Building a New State-Local Partnership?

As the economy begins to recover and the state budget shows signs of stabilizing, the challenges facing California require strong leadership at all levels. Many of our new state legislators came from local government and bring a fresh perspective. Are we on the brink of a new era?

March 2013
League Leadership Sets Strategic Path For 2013

League Leadership Sets Strategic Path For 2013

More than 100 city officials worked together to develop the League’s strategic goals for 2013, which include building partnerships, continuing pension reform, expanding community and economic development tools, and implementing effective branding.

January 2013