Article City Forum Eva Spiegel

League Communications Keep Members Connected

Eva Spiegel is communications director for the League and can be reached at

Keeping members up to date on breaking developments in the Capitol, important policy discussions, upcoming events and other resources is vital to the League’s effectiveness as the leading voice for California cities. The League’s various tools and channels utilize a number of technologies so busy city officials can get the information they need both from the Sacramento office and their grassroots regional public affairs managers in a timely fashion. This approach also ensures that members do not miss important updates and key deadlines.

Website is a One-Stop Shop

The League website ( serves as the hub for the organization’s communication. The homepage offers headlines from the latest stories in CA Cities Advocate, an easy-to-use bill search function to look up League positions on legislation, sample letters, action alerts, a calendar of events and much more.

Visitors to the website can also find information about the League’s core functions, services, resources and affiliates. The Hot Issues pages ( provide city officials with detailed information on current priority policy areas. Visit the Action Center ( to access action alerts and submit a letter about your city’s position on legislation using the League’s convenient online tool. Regional divisions, policy committees, municipal departments and the League Partner Program all have dedicated pages on the website. The About Us section provides information on the League board of directors and how the organization originated in 1898.

Members can also find a calendar of League conferences, events and webinars on the website and register to attend at

Mobile Advocacy App Gives City Officials a Powerful Tool

The League launched a first-of-its kind mobile advocacy app in spring 2015 to help city officials advocate with a united voice on key city-related legislation. The app pushes out action alerts and lets users take direct action from their mobile devices. Although anyone can download the League app, the Legislative Advocacy section within the app is exclusively for city officials who volunteer to be part of the League’s Advocacy Team. Contact your regional public affairs manager to join the city officials who are part of this growing specialized Advocacy Team. You can find contact information for your regional public affairs manager at

CA Cities Advocate Provides Timely Updates

Published on an as-needed basis, the electronic publication CA Cities Advocate ( delivers the League’s news. Typical articles range from updates on recent events in the Capitol and calls to action on legislation to reminders about upcoming League events. CA Cities Advocate includes “California City Solutions,” a regular feature that highlights one of the applicants to the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. Although the projects covered are not the award winners, the innovations that these cities implemented serve as best practices that can often be replicated in other cities.

Local News RoundUp Offers Statewide Overview

In addition to staying current on League news, city officials also follow major issues in cities throughout California. The League’s biweekly Local News RoundUp ( features headlines and summaries of news articles from local, state and national publications on issues affecting California cities.

Listservs Connect Members

League listservs ( offer targeted communication for key segments of the organization’s members. A listserv is simply a group of League members interested in sharing information in a specific subject area via email. To become an active participant and send or receive inquiries, you must be a subscribed member of the list and associated with a League member city. These communication channels allow members to post questions, provide resources to other cities and ask colleagues about current issues.

Social Media Helps Reach a Broader Audience

In today’s fast-paced digital world, social media plays a vital role in information sharing. The League uses social media strategically to engage not only members but also the larger sphere of those engaged in advocacy as well as the press and the public. Social media is increasingly the most popular place for people to get news and share what they find interesting. Twitter users can follow the League @CaCities, and League members on Facebook can find the League at

Western City’s Online Archive Covers Many Municipal Topics

The League’s monthly publication, Western City, can also be found on social media — on Twitter @WesternCityMag and on Facebook at The magazine’s website ( provides a useful archive of articles, which can be searched by topic, title or key word. The online version of the magazine publishes the first of each month, allowing readers to share links to articles and features.

Stay Informed

The League offers its members many ways to keep up to date on the latest legislative developments, advocacy efforts and professional development opportunities. If you are not already subscribing to CA Cities Advocate, it’s a good place to start — visit to sign up.

This article appears in the June 2016 issue of Western City
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