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Article Features By Doug Linkhart

Making equity stick: How to build diversity, equity, and inclusion into the foundation of your city

Equity and inclusion are at the heart of good civic engagement. Communities with inclusive civic engagement experience stronger civic responsibility. As our nation’s values have evolved, local leaders have placed an increased emphasis on creating more equitable and inclusive services, policies, and recently, government charters.

Article Local Works By Karina Gonzalez

From rice mills to infill, West Sacramento transforms city’s waterfront into a model of mixed-use

A project decades in the making, West Sacramento has turned what was once a nearly century-old industrial district into a growing and thriving mixed-use community where people can live, work, and play. To make the city’s vision a reality, it helped create a new financing tool.

Article Features By Caroline Cirrincione

Congress passed a historic infrastructure law: What this means for California and its cities

Old bridge

For years, the League of California Cities has fought for state and federal infrastructure funding. In 2021, the federal government responded with an infrastructure package, including $45 billion expected for California. Cal Cities is carrying out multiple strategies to ensure cities have what they need to access the funding.

Article Features By Brian Lee-Mounger Hendershot

As housing challenges reach new heights, cities pave the way for millions of homes

Apartment complex exterior

The supply and affordability of housing is one of California’s most persistent, high-profile issues. Cities are actively planning, zoning, and approving millions of new homes, but even in the highest-producing cities, there is still an acute lack of housing. This begs a figurative, and increasingly literal, million-dollar question: Why?

Article Features By Brian Lee-Mounger Hendershot

Transformative and desperately needed: The American Rescue Plan Act one year later

In March 2021, cities across the nation breathed a sigh of relief as an economic package that included $65 billion for municipalities finally made its way through Congress and was signed into law. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided badly needed direct and flexible funds to cash-strapped cities on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020.

Article Features By Melanie Perron

2021 Legislative Year in Review

Aerial view of Sacramento and the state Capitol.

For many, the beginning of 2021 felt like a continuation of 2020. COVID-19 continued to significantly impact the globe and cities throughout the state were still reeling from the economic impacts of the pandemic. Any guarantee of state or federal relief for cash-strapped cities was tepid at best. One silver lining was that the League of California Cities was able to build upon key relationships in the Legislature to advance top priorities for cities in 2021.

Article Local Works By Alexa López

Becoming your community’s ally: How the city of Hayward continues to move the equity needle by listening and learning

Hayward sign

While Hayward had an anti-discrimination action plan in place since the 1990s, city officials realized five years ago that it was in dire need of updating. Hayward city leaders took immediate action to reassure the community that the city was in fact an ally. 

Article Features By Lisa Yarbrough

Elk Grove and Chico use technology to increase public engagement on important housing decisions

Aerial of Chico, CA

For many cities, a key component of addressing the affordable housing crisis includes planning for more high-density projects. However, cities must also ensure that community insight and feedback are front and center when deciding how and where affordable housing is constructed. Two Northern California cities — Elk Grove and Chico — have taken civic engagement to a whole new level.

Article Features

Climate change, pension costs, public safety, equity, and more: Upcoming Annual Conference and Expo speakers provide a sneak preview

For the first time in two years, city leaders throughout the state will come together in-person to collaborate on shared issues and celebrate the successes of the past year, at the League of California Cities Annual Conference and Expo, September 22-24, in Sacramento. The excitement is palpable: More than 750 officials signed up within the first 10 days of opening registration. Western City invited conference speakers to share key insights from their upcoming talks. 

Article Features By Lisa Yarbrough

Livermore’s award-winning inclusive engagement approach is paying dividends for the community

Tiny homes

Since 1949, the National Civic League has celebrated the best in American civic innovation by awarding the prestigious All-America City Award to ten communities nationwide. This year, Livermore was the only city in California to receive this honor. The award celebrates the city’s inclusive engagement efforts to improve equity and resilience.

Article Features By Melissa Kuehne

Focus on good government is critical as cities navigate challenging times

A session of government in progress.

The post-pandemic recovery will require city leaders to address significant challenges and make difficult decisions about the allocation of scarce funding, possible reductions in services, and reprioritizing city initiatives. Elected leaders and staff cannot effectively address such challenges without a strong foundation of good government — trust, accountability, responsiveness, and transparency. Now is the ideal time to ensure that your city’s foundation is solid.

Article Features By Gurbax Sahota

The pandemic crushed local economies; recovery depends on how cities navigate emerging economic development opportunities

A key path to growing local revenue and sustaining local economies is investing in economic development to ensure that businesses are successful.

While communities across California and the country excitedly await the disbursement of badly needed relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act and potential assistance from the president’s American Jobs Plan, one question is being asked over and over again — how do we make the most of these precious one-time investments?

Article Features by Jill Oviatt

Despite pandemic-related challenges, California cities pave the way to award-winning infrastructure projects

The city of Santa Rosa’s “Fulton Road Reconstruction” project repaired approximately 3,200 lineal feet of 4-lane principal arterial pavement and associated bike lanes.

Upgrading local streets and roads is critical to communities, and many projects were well underway when the pandemic hit in early 2020. Thanks to the innovation, dedication, and creativity of local officials, the projects were not only completed, but received statewide recognition through the 2021 Outstanding Local Streets and Roads Project Awards.

Article Features by Lisa Yarbrough

Tiny homes in El Centro provide housing for former foster youth attending the local college

Exterior view of El Centro "tiny home."

El Centro was one of the first recipients of funding under Homekey, a statewide program designed to house those experiencing homelessness. Through a partnership between the city and a local college, the funding was leveraged to construct 26 tiny homes that will provide two years of permanent housing for college students who are former foster youths and are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.

Article Features by Jill Oviatt

A fiscal year for the books
Managing city budgets as a deadly pandemic ravages livelihoods and revenues

Steve Rogers, Yountville City Manager, Eric Figueroa, Martinez City Manager, and Kim Summers, Murrieta City Manager

California cities have been on the front lines for nearly a year taking action to protect their residents and businesses and maintain the delivery of essential city services, despite unplanned expenses and revenue shortfalls brought about by the pandemic. Three California city managers reflect on the past year and how on earth one manages a city budget with so much uncertainty, and so little support from the state and federal governments.

Article Local Works by Adam M. Lara

Long Beach Launches Office of Equity to Engage, Educate, and Serve

Long Beach established its Office of Equity in January 2017 to address and improve equity, community health, and safety for those most underserved in its communities.

Article Local Works by Heather Cousin

Libraries Respond in Crisis and Beyond

Library staff throughout California put on masks and gloves and transformed their work with new processes and procedures and with safety and community service as their top priorities.

Article Features by Jennifer Whiting

Register Now for the Reimagined 2020 Annual Conference & Expo, Oct. 7—9

This year’s virtual event offers numerous advantages for attendees and cities.

Camp Achieve Provides Summer Fun and Learning for Richmond’s Youth

This summer camp program delivers a diverse array of learning enrichment activities including robotics, chess, the arts, and physical fitness.

Greening the Concrete Jungle: Daly City Partners With Residents

Project Green Space is a robust urban forestry and green infrastructure program convened by the city and driven by residents. The program empowers community members to actively reshape the future of their neighborhoods by adopting new trees and planting and maintaining rain gardens.