Executive Director's Message

A group of mostly white men, and a few women, standing together for a photo in 1911.
Article Executive Director's Message By League of California Cities Executive Director and CEO Carolyn Coleman

Cal Cities at 125: The issues change, our mission has not

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 Carolyn Coleman.

City leaders participating in a panel on combating hate crimes and hate speech at the League of California Cities 2023 Annual Conference and Expo.
Article Executive Director's Message By League of California Cities Executive Director and CEO Carolyn Coleman

Local officials are pushing back against hate speech and bigotry

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.

Article Executive Director's Message By League of California Cities Executive Director and CEO Carolyn Coleman

The biggest wins don’t happen overnight

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 communities.

Article Executive Director's Message By League of California Cities Executive Director

Cities can be powerful leaders for climate action

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 significant challenges.

Article Executive Director's Message By League of California Cities Executive Director and CEO Carolyn Coleman

Federal clawbacks will further shift the burden to local governments

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 come first.

Article Executive Director's Message By League of California Cities Executive Director and CEO Carolyn Coleman

On housing, let’s get beyond the rhetoric of blame

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.

Article Executive Director's Message By League of California Cities Executive Director and CEO Carolyn Coleman

Strong city leadership is all about collaboration and partnership

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.

Article Executive Director's Message By League of California Cities Executive Director and CEO Carolyn Coleman

Feeling safe and connected is the key to thriving communities

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.

Article Executive Director's Message By League of California Cities Executive Director and CEO Carolyn Coleman

Inspiring keynote speakers, policy experts, and solutions for top city issues — all at the 2022 annual conference

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.

Article Executive Director's Message By League of California Cities Executive Director and CEO Carolyn Coleman

While global climate change is daunting, local actions provide hope

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.

Article Executive Director's Message By League of California Cities Executive Director and CEO Carolyn Coleman

Outside the box approaches to economic development are fueling local economies and revitalizing communities

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 apparent.

Article Executive Director's Message By League of California Cities Executive Director and CEO Carolyn Coleman

The real scoop on cities’ efforts to spur housing production: They’re making real progress

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 communities.