In 2007, the League awarded Assembly Member Anna Caballero (D-28, Salinas) its “Legislator of the Year” award, in appreciation of her support for local government on a variety of issues throughout the legislative session.
Daniel K. Whitehurst is incoming president of the Institute for Local Government. He is a former mayor of Fresno and past president of the League’s Mayors and Council Members Department. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
People don’t want their public officials to be “leaders.” Marty Linsky, a faculty member at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, makes this point, and I think he’s right. Voters say they want strong leadership, but what many really want is the opposite: someone who will protect them from having to change their minds or their ways. And they often get their wish; there is no shortage of candidates who run for public office not to lead, but to be popular or important.
Proposition 90, the eminent domain reform initiative on the November 2006 ballot, was a Trojan horse measure that included provisions unrelated to eminent domain. Prop. 90 would have cost California taxpayers billions of dollars annually and would have eroded basic laws protecting the state’s economy, environment and communities. The measure would have also undermined cities’ land use authority and local control. It was part of an effort to capitalize on public outrage over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Kelov. City of New London, which affirmed its previous ruling that government can use eminent domain to acquire private property for economic development purposes.
The League’s lobbying strength relies on cultivating and maintaining effective relationships with legislators, both in Sacramento and at the local level. When legislators take extra steps to help California cities, they deserve our recognition and thanks. Assembly Member Anna Caballero (D-28, Salinas) was honored by the League as “Legislator of the Year” in September 2007.
In his 2007 State of the State address, Governor Schwarzenegger called for an era of “post-partisanship.” Recently reelected, the governor was eager to build upon the legislative achievements of 2006, which included voters’ approval of the state infrastructure package, the enactment of AB 32 (Nuñez) climate change legislation, the increase of the minimum wage and other accomplishments. The governor maintained that 2006 proved politicians could set aside their differences and tackle California’s problems.
The City of Walnut Creek won an Award for Excellence in the Health and Wellness Programs category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the award program, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.
The City of Santa Maria won an Award for Excellence in the Health and Wellness Programs category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the award program, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.
The City of Chino won an Award for Excellence in the Health and Wellness Programs category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the award program, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.
Kourtney Burdick is deputy general counsel for the League and can be reached at email@example.com. JoAnne Speers is executive director of the Institute for Local Government and a former general counsel for the League; she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Patrick Whitnell is general counsel for the League and can be reached at email@example.com.
This column offers a brief and very general historical look at California cities’ constitutional history and powers. This information sheds light on some of the struggles cities face in protecting local control in the courts and the Legislature.