Over 100 years ago, city leaders from throughout the state came
together as the League of California Cities because they wanted
to make a difference. “They sound much like the city officials
I’m privileged to serve alongside today,” writes Cal Cities CEO
While federal lawmakers grappled with the challenges of electing
a new House speaker, council members and mayors — regardless of
their political affiliation — were tirelessly moving forward to
serve the public. Yet, an emerging challenge is making this
crucial work much tougher.
Cal Cities has had many successes over its 125-year history.
While the outcomes may not be resolved in one legislative cycle,
our accomplishments will be felt by California residents for
years to come. The key to Cal Cities’ effectiveness is the
generations of city leaders committed to uplifting California’s
Reducing emissions from heavy trucks and other large vehicles is
key to California’s efforts to slow the impacts of climate change
and improve the quality of the air we all breathe. However,
reducing greenhouse gas emissions — particularly through the
transition to zero-emission vehicles — does not come without
If our experience in California is any guide, the federal
government may be losing sight of one of the key lessons learned
from the pandemic as it responds to the latest national economic
challenges: People, and the communities that nurture people, must
Seven in ten Californians view housing affordability as one of
the top problems in their community. City officials understand
this and are working hard to find solutions that ensure families
of all income levels can afford to live in their communities.
Local officials understand the importance of shifting past
divisive campaign rhetoric and focusing on how to effectively,
collaboratively, and collegially carry out the duties that voters
expect them to fulfill. Just as there is strength in
collaboration at the local level, there’s strength in
collaboration at Cal Cities.
Everyone wants to feel safe where they live. And that feeling of
safety is the foundation for creating thriving communities where
residents, business leaders, and visitors alike feel a strong
sense of belonging and connectedness.
The annual conference will showcase the creativity and innovation
of cities, recognize city leaders who are moving their
communities forward, and celebrate the success of our advocacy.
We’ll also hear from two powerhouse keynote speakers about
leading with courage and the economic future of the Golden State.
California is racing to prevent the irreversible effects of
climate change, and the stakes have never been higher. Concrete
actions at the local level to protect our world for future
generations are tangible and provide hope that we may still be
able to prevent irreversible damage.
There’s no denying that global events, many spurred by the
pandemic, have had a significant impact on California cities over
the past couple of years. As city leaders focus on retooling
their local economies for today’s new market realities, the need
for robust, effective economic development tools is readily
While there is a critical shortage of housing in California,
there is no shortage of media coverage and commentary on the
topic. However, current coverage and commentary often
fail to tell the whole story. What’s often missing is the
focus of a
recent op-ed I authored for CalMatters. Cities
are making real progress to spur housing production in their