Presented in appreciation of the legislators’ support for local government on a variety of issues throughout the legislative session, the awards were announced at the League’s annual conference, held in October 2005 in San Francisco.
Eve O’Toole is the League’s legislative representative in Washington, D.C., and principal of MARC Associates. Yvonne Hunter is a legislative representative for the League in Sacramento.
As cities pursue opportunities on the federal level, understanding the nuances and differences between the federal and state legislative processes is key to advancing your objectives with your federal elected officials. Although the basic process is similar, there are significant differences.
Terry Amsler directs the Collaborative Governance Initiative for the Institute for Local Government. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 658-8263.
“Across the country, cities are in the midst of a fundamental shift in the way that citizens and government work together. Frustrated with prevailing arrangements, many local leaders have put a new emphasis on mobilizing citizens in order to make decisions, overcome conflicts and solve critical public problems.”
Scott Summerfield is the former public information officer for the City of Newark and former communications director for the Oakland Chamber of Commerce. Sheri Benninghoven served as the first communications director for the League of California Cities following her tenure as public information officer for the City of Anaheim. Benninghoven and Summerfield, principals of SAE Communications, now consult with cities on their communications planning and messaging.
You’ve been asked to deliver a “state of the city” address to the chamber of commerce or do a lengthy interview with the city hall reporter from your local newspaper. You’ll probably check with staff for updates on major projects and issues, gather some statistics and use this research when you’re in the spotlight. Sounds pretty easy, right? You’ve done it many times and you invariably feel successful when the speech goes off without a hitch or the interview contains accurate details about your important initiatives.
Dan Carrigg is the League’s legislative director. League Legislative Representatives Yvonne Hunter, Jean Flournoy Korinke, Anthony Thomas and Deputy Executive Director Dwight Stenbakken also contributed to this article.
Although numerous legislative measures affecting local government were signed into law in 2005, most have minimal impact on core local authority. So while the larger battles raged over the politics of the November special election, from a local government perspective, 2005 was a fairly positive year.
Adverse publicity and prosecutions related to local officials’ compensation and use of public resources has led to new state laws that take effect Jan. 1, 2006. One law, AB 11, targets city council member compensation levels. Another, AB 1234, takes aim at expense reimbursement practices.