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
2021 was another year of considerable change and challenges for
our cities, yet these leaders remained resilient and dedicated to
keeping their residents safe, rising to challenges, and taking
action to ensure a strong recovery. When many of these same
leaders came together late last year to review the achievements
and accomplishments that the League of California Cities
delivered in 2021 and plan for the year ahead, it was clear that
they were ready and more prepared than ever to lead their
communities in the new year.
Every day, cities deliver an array of public safety services to
protect the residents and businesses within their communities.
Recent events across the nation have sparked conversations around
reimagining those services, particularly in the area of local
policing. However, in many cities in California, local
leaders are also reimagining how to deliver public safety
services when a wildfire strikes.
The Cal Cities brand has expanded to reflect the diverse mosaic
of the Golden State’s cities. You can see in both the logo and
the bright new color palette that our brand identity
embraces the concept of coming together as a unified block to
promote and protect local democracy and the common interests of
California cities in the state and national capitols.
As local leaders chart their city’s roadmap to recovery,
rebuilding public trust must be as important a priority as
rebuilding our local economies. Leaders at every level of
government must do their part to address the pervasive loss of
trust that is on the brink of bankruptcy. As the level of
government closest to those whom they serve, local leaders are
uniquely positioned to be the laboratories for trust-building.
This month’s issue of Western City magazine features
real-world experiences, resources, and best practices that can
As city leaders worked around the clock to lead their communities
through a global pandemic, they also dealt with devastating
budget shortfalls that forced cuts in local services and delays
in much-needed infrastructure projects. However, we are beginning
to see light at the end of the tunnel. The supply of vaccine
doses is growing, eligibility is expanding, and assistance for
cities in the recently enacted American Rescue Plan is on the
way. Cities will now have resources to begin to recover and
rebuild from the pandemic.
While our local leaders have lofty aspirations for an equitable
recovery, they also recognize that our hopes and dreams cannot be
accomplished without a strong local-state-federal partnership.
2021 will be a year when we will need to fight for our cities
more than ever before. Working side by side with the
inspiring local officials leading our communities, the League of
California Cities remains committed to helping cities meet these
challenges head on in 2021.
The powerful foundation that Western City has built over the last
century positions the magazine perfectly to transform and evolve
into a new version of itself that will inspire its audience in
We are committed to supporting city leaders to secure the
resources necessary to create an environment where all residents
are protected and treated equitably by the institutions created
to serve them.