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)
“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
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
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.