Advancing Equity


Advancing Equity

Article President’s Message By League of California Cities President Daniel Parra

Inclusivity keeps California vibrant, but representation can’t solve everything

In 2022, California became the first state to achieve 10% LGBTQ+ representation in the state Legislature. This inclusiveness has a profound impact on policymaking. But representation doesn’t solve everything, notes Cal Cities President Daniel Parra.

Article California Cities Helen Putnam Award for Excellence By Justine Jimenez

West Sacramento hits a home run for employers and high schoolers

When it comes to improving career readiness, West Sacramento is knocking it out of the park. A paid internship program has placed over 200 high school students in local internships that equip students with industry-specific and transferable skills.

Article California Cities Helen Putnam Award for Excellence By David Franz

One of California’s busiest libraries isn’t where you think it is

The Shafter library was seemingly doomed to closure in 2020. Today, it is one of the busiest libraries in the state per square foot of space.

Article Features By Jackie Krentzman

This is ‘on the level of the Flint water crisis,’ warn advocates at California’s southern border

Toxic waste from the Tijuana River has created a public health, economic, and environmental nightmare for cities in San Diego County. The ongoing crisis is a classic example of a local issue that requires a bipartisan regional, state, and federal response.

Article Features By Brian Lee-Mounger Hendershot

Anti-Asian hate crimes are down, but people are still worried. And for good reason

It’s easy to think of anti-Asian hate as a red or purple state problem. But most incidents occur here in California. Even though anti-Asian hate decreased in 2022, experts are warning this could be an aberration. Here’s what cities can do to mitigate the next wave of hate.

Article California Cities Helen Putnam Award for Excellence By Phil Pitchford

The Riverside Art Museum makes history with ‘The Cheech’

When the city of Riverside was looking for a way to reuse its historic library building, it turned to an unlikely ally: the comedian Cheech Marin. The tired structure was reborn in 2022 as “The Cheech,” a national cultural center for Chicano art.

A girl in a motorized wheelchair works on a laptop.
Article California Cities Helen Putnam Award for Excellence By Mike Lee

Moreno Valley puts youth on the path to career success

Like many cities, Moreno Valley grapples with a low college completion rate. A new set of low-cost programs aims to change that. Nearly two-thirds of participants have experienced an improvement in their GPA. Most have secured full-time jobs in their fields and reported positive changes in their wages.

An artificially generated image of farmers picking vegetables.
Article President's Message By League of California Cities President Daniel Parra

Climate change impacts us all, but some more than others

A new report found that the existential effects of human-caused climate change are getting worse. The bright spot in all of this is that many cities in California are at the forefront of trying to address climate change. That’s why we must think locally but act statewide.

An artificially generated image of a man speaking a podium.
Article Special to Cal Cities By Liz Campos

Opinion: We cannot let hate campaigns upend remote public meetings

Cities throughout California, including Ventura, are dealing with an uptick in hate speech during remote public meetings. But just knowing that vile, hateful comments can happen does not fully ready you for a well-organized hate campaign.

A child biking alone on a protected bike bridge.
Article Features By Melissa Lee, CNU-A

Transportation networks are at a critical crossroads

Access to transportation in under-resourced communities — both in rural areas and large central cities — has reached a critical juncture. In these neighborhoods, transportation isn’t just a convenience, it’s a lifeline.

A group of commission members sitting at a long dais.
Article Features By Brian Lee-Mounger Hendershot

Oakland and Sacramento city attorneys: Civilian oversight is crucial to policing

More cities are using civilian oversight organizations to reform and oversee their police departments. But what these organizations can do varies from city to city. Western City sat down with city attorneys from Oakland and Sacramento to discuss their cities’ approaches to civilian oversight.

Group of professionals reviewing data
Article Solutions for Cities By Jasmine Nachtigall-Fournier

GovInvest’s Live Compensation Module paves the way for agile workforce strategies

Employers can no longer afford to be reactive when recruiting new employees. GovInvest’s new compensation module provides continuous insights in a digestible format that can keep your agency competitive and responsive.

Article Features By Teri Black, Maxine Gullo, Reina Schwartz, and Tony Winney

Investing in diversity may make you a better employer

Retirements, generational shifts, and changing attitudes about work-life balance have shifted employee loyalties and tenures. Many of us are wondering how to stop the churn and make our organizations places where people want to work for long stretches of their careers. One solution is to invest in diversity recruitment and retention.

Article Features By Doug Linkhart

Cities in California are making systemic changes to advance racial equity

In the U.S., public trust is tied not just to good governance and public outreach, but also historical issues of racism. To create change and increase trust, we need to change the structure of our systems.

Article President’s Message By League of California Cities President Ali Sajjad Taj

We must double down on our equity commitments during tougher fiscal times — especially those for unhoused residents

With the state foreshadowing some belt-tightening, things could get worse before they get better. Now more than ever, we need to keep fighting to ensure that the cities have the resources they need to help our most vulnerable residents.

Article Legal Notes By Robert Lennox, Simon Silva, and Glen Googins

So you have diversity: Now what?

Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives often stall out due to a lack of personnel, resources, or formal policies. Diversity management is one way that leaders can champion these principles and make meaningful change.

Article News from the Institute for Local Government By Roberto Carlos Torres

State and federal funding are advancing environmental justice. Here’s what that means for cities

Federal and state governments are funding environmental justice programs at record levels. For some cities, this raises an important question: What is environmental justice? The answer may look different for each city, but the processes are often similar.

Article California Cities Helen Putnam Award for Excellence By Bill Grady

Enhancing public trust and inclusion in one of California’s most diverse communities

Once a nearly all-white community, Lakewood has become one of California’s most diverse cities. When the murder of George Floyd made national news in 2020, the resulting public outrage shook the bedroom community and led to calls for change. The resulting 10-point action plan and first year of implementation are major milestones for the city.

Article Features By Marlene Coss

Redwood City implements first citywide equity plan, articulating its commitment to equitable services and programs

Like many communities, Redwood City was caught off balance in 2020. The resulting two years of work underscore the long-term commitment needed to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.

Article Local Works By Karina Gonzalez

Mountain View breaks language barriers to create a community for all

Mountain View created the Spanish and Chinese Language Civic Leadership Academy programs as part of its commitment to diversity and inclusion. The eight-week programs improve participants’ understanding of local government and city services. Some graduates have even applied for boards and commissions or ran for city council.