Articles

Overview

Articles

Article Features by Melissa Kuehne

Cities Reframe Community Conversations About Housing

While most people agree that California needs more housing, the conversation often becomes complicated when it turns to how, where, and why in a specific community. Cities are involving their residents and communities in discussions about housing from a new perspective.

Article Local Works

California Cities Demonstrate Resiliency and Leadership During COVID-19 Crisis

With “safer at home” orders in effect in an attempt to flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread, cities were on the front lines maintaining essential services and working to protect residents who were out of work or lost their job because of the crisis.

Article President’s Message by John F. Dunbar

In an Unprecedented Crisis, Local and State Leaders Step Up

When early reports of infection showed California was among the states with the highest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases, local and state leaders stepped up, taking action to slow the spread of the virus and protect vulnerable populations.

Article Local Works by Jill Oviatt

League Launches Initiative Showing City Projects Making a Difference in Their Communities

Collectively, California cities are creating hundreds, if not thousands, of projects each year that improve the lives of residents. While many people often lament that other levels of government do not always seem to work, California cities can show powerfully through #LocalWorks that local government works.

Fontana Motivates Residents to Walk More and Improve Health

The city faced alarming rates of obesity in its community and launched an innovative effort to improve fitness among residents of all ages. The program exceeded its goals, and its popularity continues to increase.

Article Legal Notes by Gage Dungy and Savana Manglona

New Law Expands Workplace Lactation Accommodation Requirements for Employers

New legislation significantly expands the obligation of all California employers to provide lactation accommodations for employees. As a result, cities should be aware of these new obligations to ensure their worksites are compliant.

West Sacramento’s On-Demand Ride-share Service Addresses Transit Needs

The ride-share service improves access to critical daily amenities and is helping to change the lives of transit-dependent residents. The program has improved mobility for all, especially seniors and youths.

Article Executive Director's Message by Carolyn Coleman

Census 2020: What’s at Stake and Why Every City Needs to Drive Participation

California faces unique challenges to achieving an accurate count — 75 percent of its residents are considered “hard to count” and have been historically undercounted in the census.

Article Features by Randi Kay Stephens

Filling the Workforce Pipeline: Targeted Solutions Address Critical Needs

When a public agency needs entry-level professionals and lacks qualified candidates, what can be done? Cities and the public sector now have a number of available options, including apprenticeships, to consider.

Napa Lighted Art Festival Draws January Crowds

The Napa Lighted Art Festival takes a bold, contemporary approach to the visual arts by bringing emerging light technologies into the city’s streets, where buildings function as large outdoor canvases and attract crowds.

Article Features by Gurbax Sahota

Build Economic Development Momentum With Tools, Teams, and Tactics

In most cities, economic development competes for resources and attention as local officials deal with urgent issues that include affordable housing, emergency response, and more. Despite these challenges, many cities are building momentum in realizing their economic development goals. This article explores some of the tools, potential team members, and tactics that can help your city boost its economic vitality.

Article City Forum by Caroline Beteta

Tourism Powers Economic Growth in Local Communities

With the state’s tourism industry on the cusp of unprecedented growth in 2020, there’s no better time to harness your region’s tourism economy.

Article President’s Message by John F. Dunbar

New Approaches Build Local Economies

Attracting new businesses, retaining employers, and providing opportunities for a skilled workforce are essential to fostering a healthy economy in our cities. California cities are using diverse approaches, programs, and tools to help support economic development and thriving communities.

Article Features by Maria West

What Cities Need to Know About SB 1383 and Funding Organic Waste Management

Cities should immediately begin planning for and implementing the required organic waste collection and edible food recovery services. This work includes assessing and securing adequate capacity for organics processing and edible food recovery, which can be done individually or in conjunction with counties, other cities and regional agencies.

Article Legal Notes by Stephen A. McEwen

Code Enforcement by Drone: Critical Considerations Before Launching

Because not all potential code violations can be investigated from the public right of way, code enforcement investigations may require access to enclosed or shielded areas of private property. In these settings, code enforcement staff may be strongly tempted to rely on emerging drone technology.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government by Nicole Enright

Scrap Your Fears About Food Waste Regulations: Preparing for SB 1383

California cities are preparing to comply with new targets to reduce statewide emissions of short-lived climate pollutants and reduce organic waste in landfills. To help cities with this, the Institute for Local Government is partnering with CalRecycle to raise awareness and connect local governments with resources and expertise.

Article City Forum by Jill Oviatt

Lessons Learned From Utility-Initiated Power Shutoffs

Since October 2019, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company has cut power to Californians more than half a dozen times, with the smallest power shutoff affecting about 30,000 people and the largest affecting nearly 2.5 million. But cities have made it clear that this cannot be the new normal, and power shutoffs are in fact putting residents at real risk.

Article Executive Director's Message by Carolyn Coleman

League Strategic Priorities Set a Course for 2020

The League board of directors, joined by leaders from each of the League’s divisions, departments, policy committees and diversity caucuses, convened in early December to reflect on city accomplishments in 2019, discuss current challenges and establish the League strategic priorities for 2020.

Article Features by Dan Carrigg

2019 Legislative Year in Review

When the 2019 legislative session began, Democrats had gained historic supermajorities in the Legislature. Yet progress for the progressive Democratic agenda was muted. And in the face of multiple attacks on local zoning authority and other challenges, the League and cities emerged surprisingly well.

San Rafael’s Employee-Driven Effort Focuses on Meeting the Community’s Changing Needs

San Rafael asked city employees, “How would you design your department if you could create it today, rather than as it was created decades ago?”

Article City Forum by Meghan McKelvey

Torch Program Recognizes Leadership in Action and Continued Education

This voluntary program recognizes elected officials for continuing their professional development to enhance their knowledge and skills and for undertaking leadership roles to better serve the public. Since the Torch Program launched in 2003, hundreds of city officials have participated by meeting a series of requirements associated with its three levels of achievement.

Article President’s Message by John F. Dunbar

Laying the Groundwork for Success in 2020

Communication and collaboration are cornerstones of the ability to lead, and the League’s positive relationships with legislators are key to cities’ successes in the Capitol. Cultivating open two-way communication with our state leaders is essential to protecting the interests of cities and our residents.

Article Web Exclusive by Kristyn Laurence

The Nightmare Next Door: Elk Grove Takes Action

It was just another quaint suburban neighborhood, but something was missing. On Demonte Way in Elk Grove, no children played together on the sidewalks or rode their bicycles along the street.

Article Legal Notes by Jeff Sloan and Tim Yeung

Investigating Complaints Against Public Employees: New Clarity for Employers

A recent decision from the Public Employment Relations Board provides clarity for employers struggling to balance the need for strict confidentiality with the due process rights of the accused and union requests for information, particularly in cases of sexual harassment.

Article Features by Rod Gould

Beyond Ethics: Establishing a Code of Conduct to Guide Your Council

Local government leaders are adopting codes of conduct to set the rules and expectations for how they govern their cities. Such codes help foster a civil and respectful governing culture consistent with best practices.

Article City Forum by Eve Maldonado O’Toole

California Cities Lead on Affordable Housing and Homelessness Services

A bipartisan coalition of 26 mayors, CEOs and stakeholders representing nearly 17 million residents intends to ignite a national conversation about the fact that strong housing policy is pro-family, pro-jobs and pro-investment — and helps hardworking people.

Article Executive Director's Message by Carolyn Coleman

Building Public Trust in Times of Adversity

When utility-initiated power shutoffs began, city officials stepped up in new and creative ways to provide practical help to residents and communities left in the dark.

King City’s Comprehensive Plan to End Youth Violence

How a city that had the highest per capita murder rate in California turned things around.

Article Features by Erica L. Manuel

Making It Personal: Linking Public Engagement to Public Safety

Any city can increase public safety without major impacts to its budget. An engaged and informed public can help.

Article Features by Michael McLaughlin

Connecting the Dots on Emergency Preparedness, Recovery and Resilience

The challenges associated with disasters include tech-related issues, risk management and the need to create incentives for updating and retrofitting homes to improve wildfire and earthquake resilience.

Article City Forum by Jill Oviatt

Beyond CERT: Neighbors Network Takes Response to the Next Level

Until a disaster strikes, many communities don’t realize that it may be 72 hours to five days before first responders can reach everyone who needs help. A new program in Yountville helps residents be prepared to assist each other in the initial aftermath of a disaster.

Article President’s Message by John F. Dunbar

Partnering With the State to Support Affordable Housing Development: Get Ready

The shortage of affordable housing is a crisis for cities statewide and the focus of a League 2019 strategic goal. The League’s hard work on this issue was boosted by an executive order from Governor Newsom earlier this year.

Article President’s Message by Jan Arbuckle

Tales From the Dusty Trail: City Voices on Statewide Issues

A summary of insights and issues from League divisions statewide.

Article Features by Karalee Browne

Community Choice Aggregation Drives Economic Development

This option reduces electricity costs, provides cleaner energy options, and offers economic opportunity and increased transparency.

Article Legal Notes by T. Peter Pierce

Loaded Questions: Local Regulation of Businesses Selling Firearms

A look at local zoning and safety regulations that cities may adopt and apply to firearms retailers.

Junior Beach Runners Focus on Fitness in Long Beach

The city is changing the lives of local youth at risk for obesity.

Youths DARE to Pay It Forward in Tracy

High school students serve as mentors for younger students.

Article Features

Before, During and After California Wildland Fires: The New Normal

Lessons from one of the worst fire years in California history.

Article Features by Charity Schiller

Newly Proposed CEQA Guidelines Are Coming to Your Town

Key facts and trends city officials need to understand.

Article Executive Director's Message by Carolyn Coleman

November Ballot Measure Attacks Bridge and Road Safety: Mobilize Now

Proposition 6 would repeal the Road Repair and Accountability Act.

Article Features by Katie Pebler

Join the League in Long Beach to Celebrate Its 120th Anniversary

Learn the latest and hear speakers with inspiring ideas.

Article Features by Frank Benest

Winning the War for Talent: The Elected Official’s Role

Talent is mobile and in short supply.

Article Features by Jared Boigon

Keys to Successful Local Sales Tax Measures: Competent Leadership, Community Engagement and Experienced Advice

Tips to make your case to voters effectively.

Article Features by Steven M. Berliner

Strategies to Manage Increasing Pension Costs

Explore ways to tackle this daunting task.

Article City Forum by Eva Spiegel

Invest in Your City by Participating in League Policy Development

Help shape the statewide policies that directly affect your city.

Article Features by Yvonne Hunter

Planning Collaboratively For Extreme Heat Events

Extreme heat events now affect communities statewide and present resiliency planning challenges.

Article by Kanna Vancheswaran

Public-Private Partnership Funds Recycled Water Project in Cerritos

This project conserved water and generated a new revenue stream for the city.

Article Features by Steve Sanders and Karalee Browne

Collaboration Helps Cities Become More Prosperous and Sustainable

Partnerships can help local communities attract investments that advance sustainability and boost local economies.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government by Karalee Browne

Beacon Program Helps Cities Lead the Way to a More Sustainable State

The program helps local agencies reach aggressive state climate goals.

Article City Forum by Jennifer Whiting

Register Now for the 2018 Annual Conference & Expo
Long Beach Convention Center, Sept. 12–14

Approximately 2,000 elected officials and staff will meet, network and attend sessions designed to educate and inform.

Article President’s Message by Rich Garbarino

Energy, Water and the Responsibilities of Stewardship

Energy production is a key factor both in the state’s economy and its environmental quality. Water quality and supply reliability also play a central role in our state’s economy.

Article Features

Local Streets and Roads Awards Showcase Innovation

Cities and counties are using new technology to improve system efficiency and safety for motor vehicle drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. These projects also reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thus helping to meet statewide goals designed to address climate change. And a safe, well-maintained and environmentally friendly local transportation system saves money over the long term for cities, counties and taxpayers.

Article Features by Hang Tran

Three Ways to Connect With Your Community’s Youth

Connecting with young people in your city to promote civic education and engagement provides a number of benefits and has the potential to create a generation of active, informed citizens.

Article Legal Notes

U.S. Supreme Court Revisits Sales and Use Taxes in the E-Commerce Age

The case involves a challenge to South Dakota’s “remote seller compliance law” that imposes sales and use tax collection duties on retailers without a physical presence in the jurisdiction. If the court upholds the state’s scheme, the case could establish sweeping changes to how sales and use taxes are collected in the e-commerce age.

HuePhotography
Article City Forum by Eva Spiegel and Jude Hudson

Relaxation and Inspiration: A Summer Reading List for City Officials and Staff

Western City asked League members which books inspired them as local government leaders, and their recommendations comprise the magazine’s first-ever summer reading list. Whether you’re selecting books to take along on summer vacation or read at home, consider these intriguing titles.

Sanjeri
Article Executive Director's Message by Carolyn Coleman

Transportation Funding, Transparency and Accountability

The League offers a variety of new tools and resources to support cities’ transparency efforts.

Temecula’s Arts and Culture Support a Thriving Economy

The City of Temecula won the Award for Excellence in the Economic Development Through the Arts category of the 2017 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the awards program, visit www.helenputnam.org

Article Features by Wade McKinney

Why We Need Diversity in City Management

Promoting diversity at City Hall is a key strategy for ensuring equitable public service.

Article Features by Dan Carrigg

Redevelopment’s Elimination: Remembering the Local Experience

As new tools emerge, expect local officials to exercise caution.

Article Features by Dan Carrigg

Reassembling Redevelopment

The new tax-increment tools lack the concentrated financial impact provided by the former redevelopment tool. Left unaddressed, this financing gap presents significant challenges for the future use of these tools.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government by Steve Sanders

State Climate Investments Boost Local Communities

State programs aimed at solving climate change can also help cities tackle many of their other community priorities. The cap-and-trade program generates substantial revenue that the state invests to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve other community co-benefits.

Article City Forum by Melissa Kuehne

Task Force Report Helps Cities Address Homelessness

As national and state programs fall short of fully addressing this issue, California’s cities and counties are focusing on collaboration, cooperation and support at the local level to tackle homelessness.

Article President’s Message by Rich Garbarino

Pushing Back on Infrastructure Issues: Key to Our Local and State Economies

The League has focused on transportation infrastructure needs for over a decade, and this remains a priority for California cities in 2018.

Article Executive Director's Message Carolyn Coleman

Fighting Homelessness: Effective Strategies

A new report from the League and its partners showcases existing and emerging approaches that are having a positive impact on homelessness in California communities.

Article City Forum Alex Padilla

Connecting Youth With Democracy

The secretary of state sponsors programs to inform students about upcoming elections while providing unique hands-on opportunities to participate in the voting process.

Article Legal Notes Jimmie Johnson

Lessons for Local Governments About ADA Lawsuits

A recent court decision offers clarification on which standards and regulations apply to which government

Mill Valley Recreation Expands to Serve Special Needs Families

When families needed better options, the city partnered with a local nonprofit to deliver thoughtful and inclusive community based programming.

Article President’s Message Rich Garbarino

Cultivating an Inclusive and Diverse Future Workforce

Programs that introduce our young people to local government and career opportunities in public service can provide a variety of benefits.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government Steve Sanders

Resiliency Is Key to Managing the Risks of Climate Change

Over 2 million households in California are at high or extreme risk from wildfires, and cities statewide will have to step up their efforts in hazard mitigation, emergency planning and resilience.

Article Features Dan Carrigg

How SB 89 Harmed City Annexations — and Why Fixing It Makes Sense

Fixing annexations would restore previous incentives that support state policies advocating for compact growth and the related benefits of consolidating services for an increasing population.

Los Amigos Park Grants Residents’ Wishes in Rancho Cucamonga

The community and city collaborated to build a much-needed park.

San Leandro Homeless Compact Takes a New Approach

This partnership provides long-term housing and services to chronically homeless individuals.

Article City Forum Dustin Foster

Toward an Active California: Best Practices for People-Oriented Cities

Cities are working to improve walking, bicycling and transit options. The “All Ages and Abilities” approach uses bikeways that are physically separated from highspeed and high-traffic roadways.

Article Features Gary Lee Moore

Los Angeles Launches a $1.4 Billion Sidewalk Repair Program

The nation’s largest sidewalk repair effort gets underway.

Article Features Karalee Browne

Challenges of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Cities are tackling the need for charging infrastructure to power electric vehicles. This article highlights pilot programs, lessons learned and more.

Article Executive Director's Message Carolyn Coleman

League Leaders Build on 2017 Successes to Shape 2018 Strategic Goals

An inclusive and interactive gathering of highly engaged city leaders from throughout the state ensures that the League’s highest priorities reflect the common interests of California cities.

Article City Forum Eva Spiegel

Local Streets and Roads Remain a League Priority in 2018

Cities’ active engagement on transportation issues will be vitally important on several fronts, including documenting road conditions and protecting existing transportation funding.

Article Features

Contract Provisions Expedite Flood Cleanup in San José

An unusual emergency services agreement yielded significant benefits when disaster struck.

Article Legal Notes Barbara Kautz

New Housing Laws Change How Cities Process Housing Applications

California’s new housing laws create additional requirements and new compliance rules for cities.

Farmersville’s Innovative Dual Roundabouts Welcome Visitors

The project’s safety and traffic improvements helped secure over $3.8 million in grant funds.

Article City Forum Jennifer Whiting

Upcoming Leadership Training Opportunities

The League offers a range of professional development sessions featuring current research, model programs and best practices.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government Madeline Henry

A Guide to Practical Public Engagement for Local Government

The TIERS Framework and Learning Lab support the use of deliberative planning to better engage the public.

Article President’s Message Rich Garbarino

Amplify Your Community’s Voice by Fostering Future Leaders

California cities use a variety of methods, including citizens’ academies and similar programs, to engage residents in civic life and give them a voice.

Article Features Dan Carrigg

2017 Legislative Year in Review

With over 2,500 bills introduced during the session, the League represented city interests on many issues to protect local control, revenue and flexibility.

Article Features

On the Record
What advice would you offer newly elected council members?

Advice for newly elected council members.

Citrus Heights Addresses Homelessness in a Suburban Community

The city launched a pilot program after local homelessness-related services were reduced or cut.

Santa Clarita Focuses on Employee Development

Training and mentoring employees on the job and investing in their growth saves time and money.

Article Features Jason Rhine

2017 Legislative Session Makes Many Changes to California Housing Law

Fifteen bills made it into the “Housing Package” that Gov. Jerry Brown signed, which includes the League’s “Blueprint for More Housing” legislation.

Article Features Tom Tait

Embracing Kindness to Build Stronger Communities

Kindness is about culture; it is a way of thinking and acting. The ability to foster community resiliency is one of the most important benefits of promoting kindness.

Article City Forum Eva Spiegel

Torch Program Recognizes Leadership in Action and Continued Education

This voluntary program recognizes elected officials for continuing their education to enhance their knowledge and skills and for undertaking leadership roles to better serve the public.

Article Web Exclusive Melissa Kuehne

Tips for Effective Governance

Article Legal Notes Clare M. Gibson

Prevailing Wage Compliance: What Cities Should Do to Avoid Penalties Under SB 96

Prevailing wage laws have changed again. Because prevailing wage requirements apply to all public works contracts over $1,000, these new requirements will apply to the vast majority of municipal…

Article Executive Director's Message Carolyn Coleman

Taking Proactive Steps to Avoid Scandal

When making decisions or taking action, the savvy local official embraces the notion that the law creates a floor for ethical behavior — not a ceiling. In other words, just because a particular…

Article City Forum Norman Coppinger

Maintaining Best Practices in the Cooperative Purchasing Market

The advantages of cooperative purchasing programs include significant savings and a streamlined procurement process.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government Madeline Henry

Engaging Your Community in the Budgeting Process

Public involvement in city budgeting increases financial transparency and promotes greater trust.

Article Features Dan Carrigg

It’s Time to Restore Opportunities for City Incorporation: The Roots of American Democracy

Obstacles to city incorporation should be removed to give communities the same option for self-government that existing cities had.

Article Features Tom Bernard

What Cities Need to Know About GASB 77: New Financial Disclosure Requirements

A proactive approach will help pave the way for cities to comply with GASB 77.

Article Features

On the Record
Most challenging fiscal issue for your city?

Council members describe their city’s most challenging fiscal issue.

Article Features Lynnette Kelly

Understanding Roles and Responsibilities When Issuing Municipal Bonds

Working with unregistered or unqualified financial professionals puts a city at risk.

Article President’s Message Rich Garbarino

How Diversity Makes the League Stronger

Diversity enriches California’s culture and economy and also plays a critically important role in the League.

Article City Forum Tim Cromartie

Local Siting Grants Available for Corrections Re-Entry Facilities

A $25 million Community-Based Transitional Housing Program offers incentive grants for providing transitional housing sites for recently released offenders.

Article Legal Notes Robert Saxe

Court Rejects Challenges to Mello-Roos District in San Ramon

The decision is an important reminder for cities that the creation of Mello-Roos Community Facilities Districts may be a potential tool to supplement funds needed to provide services to new…

Article Executive Director's Message Carolyn Coleman

Stopping the Runaway Pension Train

Increasing pension costs could push cities already in financial distress closer to the brink of bankruptcy.

Santa Clarita Pushes Back Against Heroin

The city mobilized a hard-hitting campaign to address a crisis.

Article Features Heidi SanbornAkin BabatolaDebbie Raphael

Focusing on Safe Disposal of Sharps and Pharmaceutical Waste

Local governments’ extended producer responsibility programs offer policy models for other states.

Article Features Patrice Chamberlain

Police Departments Use Creative Approaches to Build Public Trust

A foundation of community trust and strong community relationships is crucial for law enforcement to effectively prevent crime and safely resolve situations that involve residents.

Article Executive Director's Message Carolyn Coleman

Celebrating Our Accomplishments — and Protecting Local Control

We have achieved important victories on behalf of cities this year on our strategic goals and in other areas.

Woodland Commits to Fitness

A public-private partnership promotes healthy living and provides free fitness classes and more to residents of all ages.

Article Features Michael Martello

The Public Official and the FPPC: Forging a New Partnership

A partnership of the League and the FPPC can provide numerous resources to support community dialogue about transparency.

Article Features June Catalano

Crisis Management for Cities

An unexpected event requires careful, strong management and teamwork in the face of extreme pressure.

Article Features Dan Sperling

Will Driverless Vehicles Create a Better Future?

The coming revolutions in electric, shared and automated vehicles present many potential scenarios.

Article Features Tia Boatman Patterson

State Launches Initiatives to Maximize Housing Resources With New ADU Financing and Other Tools

Partnerships between state agencies and cities maximize resources and move us closer to resolving California’s affordable housing challenges.

Article Features Jennifer Whiting

League of California Cities 2017 Annual Conference & Expo Highlights

Attend educational and networking events to hear about inspiring ways to better serve your city.

Article Features

On the Record
What is your city’s greatest strength?

Council members describe their city’s greatest strength.

Article Features Shaye Diveley

CEQA: New Strategies for Streamlining Environmental Review

Several options have the potential to significantly reduce the time and cost associated with environmental review.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government Melissa KuehneMartin Gonzalez

Connect With ILG at the Annual Conference

Don’t miss ILG sessions and events at the conference. Meet the staff, browse materials and get answers to your questions.

Article City Forum Cindy Mills

Help Keep Bigger Trucks Off Our Roadways

Proponents of bigger trucks are lobbying for longer, heavier double-trailers, which pose threats to public safety and infrastructure.

Article Legal Notes Hongdao Nguyen

What Cities Should Know About Public Records in Private Accounts

Local agency employees’ personal accounts and devices may be subject to the state’s Public Records Act.

Oxnard Taps Youth to Improve Quality of Life

City Corps participants gain valuable career skills.

Article Features Jennifer Cohen

Planning for Self-Driving Cars

Public officials need to act quickly to enact policies and plans.

Article Features Ryder Todd Smith

Protecting Your Professional Reputation Online

Public figures need to pay attention to more than just newspaper coverage.

Article Features Jennifer Whiting

League of California Cities 2017 Annual Conference & Expo Preview

Optimize your time at the conference.

Article Features Jim Lewis

Getting the Most Value From Your City’s Technology Investment

Technology increasingly serves as the backbone for providing local services.

Article Features Hang Tran

Governments Engaging Youth: Preparing for College, Career and Civic Life

Cities and school districts collaborate on work-based learning programs.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government Randi Kay Stephens

New Toolkit Helps Local Governments Engage Youth

City and school officials partner to support young residents.

Article President’s Message Joanne Mounce

Connecting Youth and Civic Leadership

Youth commissions foster civic engagement and citizenship skills.

Article City Forum

Transportation Funding Will Begin Flowing Soon

Cities should note key deadlines and prepare now.

Article Executive Director's Message Carolyn Coleman

Maximizing Your Voice for City Priorities

Attend the League’s 2017 annual conference and advocate for your city during the final days of the legislative session.

Claremont Crisis Intervention and Outreach Saves Trees

Concerned residents volunteered to implement a program to mitigate the drought’s impact.

Article Features Karalee Browne

California Cities Create Carbon Funds to Support Climate Action

Many local agencies are developing internal funding sources to implement energy and climate action activities.

Article Features Tracy Dunne

Pleasanton Makes Recycling Water a Priority

The city’s efforts will save an estimated 450 million gallons of drinking water per year.

Article Features

Local Streets and Roads Awards Highlight Best Practices

The awards program recognizes local government projects that reduce waste and costs and promote sustainability.

Article City Forum

AskRail App Provides Hazmat Data for First Responders

The app provides immediate access to information about hazardous materials a railcar is carrying.

Article President’s Message Joanne Mounce

Making Cities Smarter

A few key principles apply to any smart city efforts, regardless of size or scope.

Article Legal Notes Joan S. Smyth

California’s Design Immunity Defense: Why Your City Wants It and How to Get It

The defense can shield public agencies from liability.

Article Features George Khalil

Data Loss Prevention and Cybersecurity: A Practical Guide

Adapting and responding to cyber threats and protecting critical infrastructure are essential for cities.

Article Features John Montenero

The Paperless Office: Improving Service and Morale

Automating office workflows frees additional staff time for more strategic services.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government Melissa Kuehne

Increasing the Effectiveness of Public Engagement Efforts

Online tools can bring more diverse voices to the local decision-making process.

Article City Forum Megan Macpherson

10 Changes Shaping Local Government Communications

Social media and other tools are impacting city strategies.

Palm Desert Capitalizes on Arts and Culture

First Weekend Palm Desert helps increase the city’s tax revenues and makes it a regional center for the arts by drawing crowds to lively events from November through May.

Article Features

Local Leaders Make the Leap to the Legislature, Part 2 of 2

The California Civic Leadership Institute® is an educational program sponsored by the League Partners and designed for local government elected officials interested in running for the Legislature….

Article Features Sarah RubinMahvash Hassan

Immigrants, the Economy and Civic Engagement

Immigrants contribute significantly to California’s economy, both as employers and workers. The cities of Brawley, Oakley and Mountain View offer examples of how engaging immigrant communities…

Article Features Ignacio Dayrit

Fight Blight in Your City With Brownfields Tools

An underused set of funding resources offers tools that cities can use for virtually any site.

Article Executive Director's Message Carolyn Coleman

Changing How We Think About Economic Development

Economic development is both a strategy and a process involving a web of interdependent factors.

Article City Forum

New Website Matches Businesses With Government Incentives

The California Business Incentives Gateway gives local governments a cost-free way to expand outreach to businesses.

Article Legal Notes Gage C. Dungy

Workplace Protections for Transgender Employees

State and federal laws expressly protect a person’s transgender status.

Rancho Cucamonga’s Kitten Nursery Steps Up

Animal shelters nationwide are inundated during “kitten season.”

Article Features

Local Leaders Make the Leap to the Legislature, Part 1 of 2

The California Civic Leadership Institute® is an educational program designed for local government elected officials interested in running for the Legislature.

Article Features Patrice Chamberlain

Cities Fight Hunger and Improve Youth Health With CHAMPs

The Cities Combating Hunger Through After-School and Summer Meal Programs (CHAMPs) initiative supports city-led efforts that increase access to summer and after-school meal programs.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government Randi Kay Stephens

Cities and Schools Partner for Positive, Transformational Outcomes

Culver City offers a model for successful community-schools partnerships.

Article President’s Message Joanne Mounce

How Volunteerism Enriches Communities

The small-town feeling of community that many of us experienced as youngsters has become more elusive. Volunteering gives us a sense of connectedness and offers multiple benefits.

Article City Forum Charlotte Dickson and Kanat Tibet

The HEAL Cities Campaign Helps Build Complete Parks Systems

Obesity and related diseases threaten the health of cities’ most vulnerable populations, particularly children and youth. In response, California cities are participating in the Healthy Eating…

Fairfield Reverses Crime and Neglect in Parkway Gardens

The city took legal action to help property owners effect change and address the shootings, illegal drug sales, traffic and other problems that plagued the complex.

Article Features

On the Record
What has been the biggest change in your city in the past 10 years?

Mayors and council members describe the biggest change in their city in the past decade.

Article Features

Mather Veterans Village: A Place to Call Home

A new community for formerly homeless veterans with disabilities comprises 50 apartments, with plans underway to expand the project, add more housing and provide permanent supportive services on-site.

Article Executive Director's Message Carolyn Coleman

Finding Solutions to the Affordable Housing Shortage

Significant barriers and disincentives constrain the production of housing. These include local and national economic and job market conditions, challenges for developers and a lack of funding and…

Article City Forum Eva Spiegel

Funds Coming to Help Chronically Homeless Californians With Mental Illness — Partner Now With Counties to Prepare Programming

Although the No Place Like Home program funds will not be available until 2018, the California Department of Housing and Community Development has released the Notice of Funding Availability for…

Article Features Dane Hutchings

California Voting Rights Act Reform Spurs Collaboration

The League and stakeholders negotiated a reform package that balances increased civic outreach with cost mitigation for cities.

Article Features Tim Cromartie

What Cities Should Know About Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act

Changes in the law related to marijuana raise many concerns for cities.

Article Features Eva Spiegel

In Desperate Need: California’s Crumbling Streets and Roads

A recent report underscores the critical need in California to develop a transportation funding solution that will keep residents and the economy moving forward.

Hayward’s Water Facility Ranked in Top 30 for On-Site Green Power Production

The facility produces excess energy equivalent to approximately $400,000 annually and offsets energy costs for other city facilities.

Article President’s Message Joanne Mounce

Local Infrastructure Conditions: A Crisis Situation

We can either pay to fix and maintain our infrastructure today or pay much more in the future to replace it.

Article City Forum Jeanette Kennedy

Building Communications Infrastructure for First Responders

The ability to communicate is critically important for first responders in emergency situations. The First Responder Network Authority is working to deliver a broadband network for public safety…

Article Features

On the Record
What’s your city’s top issue for 2017?

Mayors and council members share their city’s top issue for the coming year.

Article President’s Message Joanne Mounce

What You Need to Know About Legislative Advocacy and the League

Keeping track of legislation and priority bills that affect your city is critically important for elected officials. The League provides an array of helpful tools to make this task easier.

Article Features

Meet the League’s New Executive Director

Carolyn Coleman is the League’s first female executive director and its fourth executive director since 1934. She brings over 25 years of experience in public service and advocacy to her new…

Article Features Dan Carrigg

2016 Legislative Year in Review

Despite another chaotic legislative session, city officials can be satisfied that the League helped hold the line to preserve local control, revenue and flexibility and made progress in several areas.

Article City Forum Dan Carrigg

A Look at the League’s 2017 Strategic Priorities

The League is focusing on public safety, affordable housing, the homelessness crisis and funding for critical transportation and water infrastructure.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government Melissa Kuehne

ILG Releases Updated Ethics Resources

To help local officials navigate complex state and federal laws, ILG recently updated two of its flagship ethics resources.

Article Features Michael Coleman

A Primer on California City Revenues, Part Two: Major City Revenues

Understanding the essentials of city finance is critical for city decision-makers. Elected officials find their job is easier when they can explain municipal finance’s basic elements to their…

Bakersfield Creates Jobs for Homeless People

The city and its partners created a model that helps communities use limited resources to solve multiple problems.

Article Legal Notes David Urban

Religion in the Public Sector Workplace

Public employers often face situations in which the religious beliefs of their employees become a major legal issue. This article explains applicable law and addresses some common scenarios.

Article Executive Director's Message Dan Carrigg

Proposition 54 Launches a New Era of Legislative Transparency

The measure won’t put the “gut and amend” game out of business, but it helps California voters, journalists and the democratic process.

Article City Forum Eva SpiegelAmanda Cadelago

Open & Public: Newly Revised Guide to the Brown Act Now Available

City officials, residents and journalists find this practical guide to be an invaluable resource.

Article President’s Message Joanne Mounce

How Effective Is Your Council?

After the election is over it can be hard to put aside the competitive mindset, move beyond politics and begin working as a cohesive team.

Article Features Michael Coleman

A Primer on California City Revenues, Part One: Revenue Basics

Though every city is different, some essential elements of city revenues are common to cities throughout California.