Riverside recently became the first city in the state to offer incentives to builders who meet the strong, measurable requirements of the California Green Builder (CGB) program. This cost- effective, turnkey program improves the environment without increasing the city’s workload or costing its taxpayers a penny.
The James Irvine Foundation and the Community Technology Foundation of California have provided financial support to the Institute for Local Government to help increase local governments’ capacity to more successfully implement inclusive public involvement processes. The goal is to help cities and counties successfully involve their diverse communities in civic engagement efforts. With an initial focus on the Central Valley, participating cities to date include Lodi, Madera, Selma and Stockton.
Michael Coleman is fiscal policy advisor to the League. More information on city finance is available on his website at www.californiacityfinance.com.
In the coming months, cities will see the first substantial influx of all locations of street and road, housing and other infrastructure funds from the November 2006 bond measures. With this, California’s much needed public works improvements will be under way. In FY 2008-09, it is likely these allocations will continue. Voters have responded to pleas for infrastructure funding, and the state is making good on the commitment to fund local projects. Local governments now have a great responsibility to produce results and, down the road, cities will be asked for greater action and participation in meeting California’s infrastructure needs.
In response to the rising cost of living in California, 21 cities have enacted living wage ordinances (LWOs). Included in this group are large cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento and Oakland; small cities such as Sonoma and Fair-fax; and medium-sized cities like Berkeley.1 These ordinances vary in some respects, but in general, their purpose is the same: They set a wage requirement that is higher — often much higher — than federal and state minimum wages.2
This article is excerpted from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) California Infrastructure Report Card 2006. Reprinted with permission. For more information about ASCE, visit www.asce.org. Special thanks to Yazdan Emrani, president, ASCE Orange County Branch, and Mike Kincaid, past president, ASCE San Francisco Section, co-chairs of the California Infrastructure Report Card 2006, for their assistance.
The magnificent Golden Gate Bridge, the dams and water systems of the west, our transcontinental railroads and unparalleled network of modern interstates, and the airports, seaports, tunnels and transit systems that serve our cities — all of these are part of California’s infrastructure.