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May 2020


A Message From ILG’s Executive Director

This month’s ILG newsletter focuses on housing and the impacts of COVID-19 on planning at the state and local level. While COVID-19 response remains top of mind, housing is one of the most pressing and evolving issues for California and has remained a focus area for the ILG team as we work with cities, counties and special districts to meet statewide goals and mandates through some of our core work around public engagement, sustainability and resilience.

The pandemic has created significant funding constraints that will impact local housing production. The ILG team is working with local government leaders up and down the state to identify creative ways to alleviate housing strains and fill gaps in staffing and resources. This month’s newsletter will highlight how we continue to work with local government leaders to provide information and resources that will enable them to keep housing development at the forefront of regional public policy and planning discussions.

In this issue, we’re also excited to acknowledge May as Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. We are blessed to live and work in a state that boasts wonderful cultural diversity and many local government leaders who represent the AAPI community. We are honored to recognize and celebrate those leaders this month and throughout the year.

Last, in this newsletter you’ll find an update on the wide range of local government COVID-response trainings and free resources from ILG, our association affiliates and our partners. We have free webinars scheduled on topics like accessing health data, resetting the local economy, virtual public engagement and re-thinking planning processes. We hope you’ll register.

As always, we are grateful for the dedication and commitment of the thousands of local government leaders throughout the state who are leading boldly in this time of uncertainty. The ILG team is here to champion local government and help local leaders navigate challenges. Please reach out if we can provide any additional resources at this time.

Board Member Spotlight

Nat Rojanasathira
Assistant City Manager, City of Monterey

Q: What does it mean to you being a person of color in your role in local government?

It means that I can bring a different perspective to the community. While I was born and raised in Northern California, I’m a first generation American. Both of my parents emigrated from Thailand to the United States. I had language barriers growing up and relied on public libraries and city recreation programs to connect with others in the community. I can attest to how critical these local government services are to immigrants and first-generation citizens, and provide that unique perspective here in Monterey, “The Language Capital of the World.”

Read more about Nat’s passion for local government, the challenges of COVID and his advice for the next generation.

Article: Cities Reframe Community Conversations About Housing

ILG Program Manager Melissa Kuehne authored an article in Western City Magazine that delves into why affordable housing can be complicated. The article highlights ways California cities are effectively engaging residents in housing discussions and features the cities of Half Moon Bay and Burlingame. ILG’s online Housing and Public Engagement Toolkit was developed last year in partnership with the Department of Housing and Community Development and PlaceWorks to help California local governments establish more trust and transparency by engaging and collaborating with residents on housing-related issues.

Read more.

Funding Available for Housing: LEAP Grants

Funding resources are still available to help cities address their housing needs, including HCD’s Local Early Action Planning Grants (LEAP) Program. LEAP funding can be used to update local planning documents, revamp local planning processes and creative innovative programs that facilitate housing in California communities. Applications are due July 1.

Learn more and apply here.

BOOST Profile: Town of Mammoth Lakes

Each month, we highlight one of our 12 BOOST communities, which are part of a unique pilot program coordinated by ILG and funded by the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC). This month, we focus on the Town of Mammoth Lakes, which is hoping to provide much needed workforce housing in its community.

The Town of Mammoth Lakes has committed to expanding housing in their community. There is a 25-acre plot of land in the middle of town simply referred to as “the parcel”, which is intended primarily for workforce housing. The parcel is zoned for high-density residential and the town has planned for it to include 400-450 affordable units. Residents have been engaged in every stage of planning this area and have contributed to a collaborative concept plan. The town conducted robust community engagement including social media, online surveys for design concepts, public interest interviews, information tables at local events, local organization meetings, monthly updates at public meetings, community meetings, and a multi-day design workshop.

Through the BOOST partnership, ILG also is providing strategic public engagement assistance and actively seeking opportunities to enhance local partnerships and communications.

COVID-19 Resources for Local Agencies


Resetting the Local Economy after COVID-19
Wednesday, June 10

Learn how to quickly and strategically retool local economies in response to COVID-19 impacts on retail, hotels, tourism, industrial and residential markets. Understand the evolving shifts in land use and occupancy, identify sectors that will come back first and learn how to select and implement effective programs that can accomplish recovery in the near term and achieve resiliency over the long term.

Register here.

Reframing the Local Planning Process:
Lessons Learned from the COVID Crisis
Thursday, June 18

The COVID crisis has changed the way that local governments do business. From permit processing to General Plan and Climate Action Plan updates, local governments are finding innovative ways to deliver these essential services and engage their community. Join ILG and our partners from PlaceWorks, the City of West Sacramento and San Luis Obispo County to hear about some of the pivots that local governments have made in their planning processes to continue to meet the needs of residents, businesses and developers, and what policies and practices they can put into place to be better prepared for future crisis events.

Register here.

ILG and Partner Resources

COVID-19 Webinars on Demand

On May 27 ILG hosted a webinar titled “New Public Poll on Local Taxes, Rate Increases & More – Informing Policy Decisions”. Participants learned key insights and public priorities for essential services in light of decreased revenues. Access the recording and presentation here.

Community & Climate Engagement During COVID-19

ILG is proud to present at the 11th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency (SEEC) Forum, which takes place VIRTUALLY from June to November. The ILG Webinar topic is “Community & Climate Engagement During COVID-19: What to do when in person isn’t possible” and will be held on Tuesday, June 30th from 1pm – 2pm. Our presentation will outline innovative strategies for using high-tech and low-tech virtual platforms to engage residents around energy, climate, land use planning and pollution reduction without meeting face-to face. Register here.

Communications Resources for COVID-19

ILG Partner Tripepi Smith has a robust COVID-19 communications resource page for local governments including social media resources, sample language for dedicated webpages and a communications checklist. Read their latest article providing Seven “Plain Language”​ Tips for Local Government Communicators here.

Tips for Economic Recovery Action Plans

Any disaster paradoxically also brings opportunity. Now is the time for developing an Economic Recovery Action plan for cities, counties and special districts that will sustain long after the Coronavirus disappears. ILG partner HdL Companies has outlined some crucial next steps local agencies should be taking. Read HdL’s Economic Recovery Action Plan.

Funding Available: $112 Million Allocated to CA for COVID-19 Relief

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced more than $112 million for California communities through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The funding is part of the $1 billion in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and can be used for projects that specifically address the public health and economic impact of COVID-19. Learn more.

Free COVID-19 Resources for Local Government

Don’t forget to visit ILG’s COVID resources page, which tracks the latest developments with COVID-19 and highlights positive local government response efforts that can lend insight to other agencies and provide best practices for recovery efforts in times of crisis. Access the ILG portal here. Our affiliates also have comprehensive resource pages for their members as well:


Find archives of ILG’s newsletters here.

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