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April 2021


A Message From ILG’s Executive Director

Greetings from ILG,

In honor of Earth Month, our April newsletter focuses on some of ILG’s recent work around sustainability and resilience. We cover a wide range of topics, including climate action, air quality, housing and more.

We are especially excited to announce the results of our 18-month BOOST pilot program detailed in a Best Practices Report we released this week in partnership with the Strategic Growth Council. We also feature our board member Hilary Straus, who leads the Citrus Heights Water District. He provides some insights into what his agency is doing to help educate residents around protecting the water supply. And last, we share affiliate and partner news about education and training opportunities, conferences and legal updates.

We hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter and that we all work toward celebrating Earth Day every day.

From all of us at ILG,

Erica L. Manuel
CEO & Executive Director

Board Member Spotlight

Hilary Straus
General Manager, Citrus Heights Water District

What are some of the ways that your agency is protecting the local water supply, which is critical to regional sustainability and resilience?

Water. It’s a part of our daily life and we can’t live without it. That’s why my agency is doing as much as possible to protect one of our most valuable resources today so that we are better prepared for the future.

Over the last 100 years, Citrus Heights Water District (CHWD) has been committed to providing safe, clean and dependable water to our community. Now, more than ever, we are taking the lead by offering a wide-range of water efficiency programs to educate and inform our customers. 

Read more


Housing Webinar: Rental and Mortgage Assistance, Tenant Protection and Other Tools to Support Residents During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Session 2 of “Tackling California’s Housing Crisis” Webinar Series
Thursday, May 6, 2021
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted economic opportunity and the ability for California residents (many of whom were already burdened) to afford housing costs. While the pandemic has created a number of challenges, local governments have formed partnerships and explored unique strategies to help their residents stay housed. This webinar will share programs and tactics local governments have put in place including rental assistance, tenant protection and anti-displacement practices.


  • Christine Viterelli, Grant Writer, City of Arvin 
  • Heather Vaikona, President & CEO, Lift to Rise 
  • Carrie Harmon, Assistant Director, Riverside County Economic Development Agency 
  • Maryann Leshin, Deputy Director of Housing & Community Development, City of Oakland 

Moderated by Melissa Kuehne, Senior Program Manager, Institute for Local Government

This FREE webinar is hosted by ILG in partnership with PlaceWorks and the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. The series is funded by California Department of Housing and Community Development.


About the Housing Webinar Series

California’s housing crisis is growing. To help city and county leaders better navigate complex housing issues in their communities, ILG is hosting a webinar series featuring subject matter experts on land use and housing, legal regulations and parameters and community engagement. This series will provide information and best practices, facilitate discussion and answer questions to help local governments better address housing issues in our communities.

Sessions take place the first Thursday of every month at 2:00 pm, April through October 2021.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • Effective Leadership in Housing and Development: June 3
  • Equity and Housing: Meeting and Exceeding California’s Fair Housing Requirements: July 1
  • Strategies to Engage Your Community on Housing Issues: August 5
  • Climate-Resilient Land Use & Housing Policies: September 2
  • Housing Strategies to Tackle Homelessness: October 7

Learn more

New Webinar Series: LEADING LOCAL
All Previous Sessions Now Available On Demand!

2020 was fraught with unprecedented challenges ranging from a global pandemic, to extreme natural disasters, to a divisive and polarizing election cycle. Local government leaders are being asked to step up in entirely new ways. How can they serve as role models for their communities and their peers in these ever-changing times? LEADING LOCAL is a new thought leadership forum from ILG that is focused on addressing difficult topics and sensitive issues local government leaders face. Sessions will cover a wide range of issues and challenges like leading through conflict, civility and ethics, building personal resilience and more. LEADING LOCAL … because leadership starts at the local level. All LEADING LOCAL sessions will be specially curated with content for elected officials and staff at California cities, counties and special districts.

Past LEADING LOCAL Webinars Available On Demand:

Upcoming Session Topics:
Webinar dates and times to be announced; topics subject to change

  • Building Personal Resilience 
  • Leading through Conflict
  • Building Bridges & Bridging Divides 
  • Implicit Bias
  • Exploring Equity in Your Local Agency
  • Civility & Ethics
  • Collaboration across Boundaries & Jurisdictions


Pilot Program Successfully Converts $1 Million Investment into Nearly $50 Million in Grant Funding for Under-Resourced Communities to Address Climate Change 
ILG and the California Strategic Growth Council Announce Results of 18-Month Pilot Program for Local Governments

ILG and the California Strategic Growth Council (SCG) recently announced the successes of the BOOST Pilot Program designed to help California local governments advance climate change and equity goals. The outcomes and successes of the program are outlined in a new report released Tuesday.

Through the BOOST Program, ILG:

  • Provided grant writing assistance for 59 grants totaling almost $50 million, including $42,918,714 in California Climate Investment (CCI) funding opportunities and $6,630,000 in SB2/LEAP grants to support planning, affordable housing, equitable transportation and climate mitigation and resilience projects;
  • Facilitated discussions between local agency partners, state agency staff and technical assistance providers working on 12 grant programs from five different state agencies;
  • Provided strategic counsel, allocated funding, secured resources and/or identified expert consultants to help develop six Climate Action and/or Resiliency Plans; 
  • Trained dozens of local agency staff on authentic public engagement strategies through numerous customized capacity-building workshops; and 
  • Strengthened local planning projects by facilitating discussions and building relationships with community-based organizations and advocates that provided valuable input to support more equitable planning to address the needs of vulnerable populations. 

Read more.

Download BOOST Report

Beyond BOOST: Advancing Climate and Equity Goals
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

To achieve the State’s equity and environmental goals, all Californians must have access to clean air and water, clean transportation, affordable housing, and economic opportunity. But not all local governments currently have the capacity and resources to make this a reality for their residents. This webinar will share best practices and lessons learned from the BOOST pilot program that helped local governments across the state build capacity to address those needs. Join SGC, ILG and our BOOST community partners from the cities of Arcata, Bakersfield and Paramount for a discussion about the successes and lessons learned from this program as well as on tips and tools to engage your community, advance climate action planning and develop meaningful partnerships with other local agencies and community-based organizations. You’ll walk away with an understanding of how capacity building support mixed with the creativity and passion of local government staff can combine to make our communities, and our state, a more sustainable, resilient and vibrant place for all.


  • Karalee Browne, Assistant Executive Director, Institute for Local Government
  • Cecelia Greigo, Economic Development Principal Planner, City of Bakersfield
  • David Loya, Community Development Director, City of Arcata
  • Wendy Macias, Public Works Manager City of Paramount
  • Arleana Waller, CEO, ShePOWER Global

Moderated by the California Strategic Growth Council

Register Here

BAAQMD Taps ILG to Develop New Public Participation Report Reinforcing Commitment to Air Quality, Equity and Engagement
The mission of the BAAQMD is to create a healthy breathing environment for every Bay Area resident while protecting and improving public health, air quality and the global climate.

Clean air is critical for building a healthy, vibrant and sustainable community.

Recently, The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD or Air District) partnered with ILG to draft an update to their 2013 Public Participation Plan, which highlights the Air District’s ongoing commitment to equity and engagement. The new report – Our Shared Journey Toward Meaningful Community Engagement: Where We’ve Been & How We’re Navigating the Road Ahead Together – includes some of the tools and resources BAAQMD has utilized to ensure ongoing outreach is inclusive and equitable for all communities. This new report shines a spotlight on how and where the Air District is expanding community engagement strategies and policies to advance the community’s air quality goals. 

Learn more about the Air District’s plan for engaging with and receiving input from the public here.

Download the Report

First Special District Joins ILG’s Revamped Beacon Program
Beacon Application Period Open Through July 31, 2021!

ILG recently welcomed the first California special district into our flagship Beacon Program. The El Dorado County Air Quality Management District joined over 160 California cities and counties already in the Beacon Program that are committed to advancing sustainability in their communities and promoting safer and healthier places to live, work and play. 

ILG’s Beacon Program provides recognition and support for California local agencies that are working to build more vibrant, climate-conscious and sustainable communities. New for 2021, special districts are now eligible to join the program. 

Beacon Program Application Period Open

The Beacon Program recognizes voluntary efforts by local governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy and adopt policies and programs that promote sustainability. Award categories focus on progress toward saving energy, reducing GHG emissions, implementing and adopting sustainability best practices. Participating agencies can apply for awards through July 31, 2021. Learn more.

Beacon Program Introduces New Award Categories

This year, ILG is offering new award categories that recognize achievement in Leadership, Innovation, Equity and Collaboration. 

  • Leadership in Climate Resilience and Adaptation
  • Equity and Engagement in Climate Resilience and Adaptation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration in Climate Resilience and Adaptation 
  • Innovation in Energy
  • Innovation in Clean Transportation

The program has been expanded and is now open to cities, counties, special districts and Beacon champions. Learn more.

Learn More and Apply to Join


ILG is the non-profit training and education affiliate of Cal Cities, the California State Association of Counties and the California Special Districts Association.


Cal Cities City Attorney’s Spring Virtual Conference 
Registration Still Open!
May 7, 14 & 21, 2021
Learn more and register here.

Parks and Recreation Roundtables
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Learn more and register here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Learn more and register here.

California Special Districts Association

General Manager Leadership Summit
Sunday, June 27 – Tuesday, June 29, 2021
The Resort at Squaw Valley

The General Manager Leadership Summit provides the best networking and professional development opportunities for special district general managers and other management staff from districts of all types and sizes throughout California. 

Come together with others facing the same challenges and opportunities, learn from our expert instructors and return to your district refreshed and reenergized. Consider sending an emerging leader from your district to this conference – it could be the first step in preparing our next generation of special district general managers. Register Here.

ILG’s CEO & Executive Director Erica L. Manuel will be speaking during the Summit at a session titled, “Authentic Public Engagement: Strategies & Tools for Managers” Monday, June 28 from 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm. 

CSAC Institute 

The CSAC Institute for Excellence in County Government May classes focus on county government leadership. Browse the course catalog here.

May Classes


Roseville Today
Careers in Government Day 2021: 
City of Roseville Teams Up with High Schools to Explore Public Service Careers

Careers in Government Day (CIGD) is an annual program led by the regional collaborative Innovative Pathways to Public Service (IPPS) with participating local governments and schools throughout the Greater Sacramento Region. This year’s CIGD was transformed into a month-long virtual series of activities allowing a record number of students to participate. 

To address the growing public service workforce gap, the City of Roseville and Roseville Joint Union High School District provided local students the opportunity to explore careers in public service during “Careers in Government Day 2021” (CIGD) on April 14, 27, and 28.

More than 500 local high school students in twenty different classes heard City of Roseville employees discuss their career fields in local government through virtual presentations. Students learned about the skills needed to join a government agency and explored high-demand public sector careers.

CIGD 2021 was sponsored by the City of Rancho Cordova.

Read More

The Bakersfield Californian
Salinas named one of the cleanest cities by 
American Lung Association’s State of the Air

Salinas was a BOOST Pilot Program participant and 2020 BEACON Program Spotlight Award Winner for Community Greenhouse Gas Reductions

Salinas is ranked one of the cleanest cities in California, according to the “State of the Air” report by the American Lung Association. The recently released list ranked cities based on multiple factors, including unhealthy spikes in particle pollution and annual particle pollution levels. 

Salinas made the list for having zero unhealthy ozone days and tied for the 22nd cleanest city when it came to annual levels of particle pollution. The data covered measurements from 2017-2019. 

Read More

What Can the Bay Area Do About Rising Seas? 
East Palo Alto Has a Few Great Answers

East Palo was a BOOST Pilot Program participant and the SAFER Bay project was a key outcome from the BOOST Program efforts

East Palo Alto residents will be protected from potential floods, in part by a new, high levee that separates a portion of the City from the San Francisquito Creek.

“This is a 20-year-in-the making project [that] really started in that 1998 flood,” said Mayor Carlos Romero, standing atop the levee overlooking a neighborhood of mostly one-story homes and car-lined streets. “This was inundated. I had friends here who had 4 feet of water in their living room.”

The goal is to have the old levee entirely replaced by 2030. The project has formalized into the Strategy to Advance Flood Protection, Ecosystems and Recreation along San Francisco Bay, less cumbersomely known as SAFER Bay.

Read More


Article: Engaging Your Community on Climate Change and Sustainability

Whether you are bringing a community together on Earth Day in Milwaukie or creating a green economy in Peterborough, improving environmental sustainability begins at the local level. Take a look at how cities, counties and other municipal organizations across the globe are engaging the community on the issue of climate change. Read more.

Article: Beware of Coastal Act Violations: Court Upholds Coastal Commission’s Authority to Impose up to $20 Million Penalty

The California Legislature gave sharper teeth to the Coastal Act in 2014 by authorizing the Coastal Commission to impose a staggering penalty against any person in violation of the Coastal Act’s public access provisions. Under Public Resources Code section 30821, the Coastal Commission could impose a penalty of up to $11,250 for each day the violation persists for up to five years. Read more.

Article: Ready, Set…Charge!

SCE is electrifying transportation through Charge Ready by installing, maintaining and covering installation costs for charging infrastructure, while participants own, operate and maintain the charging stations. The program also provides rebates toward the purchase of charging stations. Learn more.

Article: Avoiding Murky Waters: Tips for Communicating About PFAS

PFAS chemicals (or Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are being detected in water sources across the nation. As states such as California establish their own PFAS regulations in the current absence of federal limits, local agencies must ensure they are aware of emerging state requirements and take appropriate action while at the same time communicating clearly and proactively with stakeholders. Read more.

Article: The Impact of COVID-19 on Property Tax Revenue

The impact of stay-at-home orders severely impacted sales and use taxes as well as transient occupancy taxes. Already strained city budgets were under assault. One of the only bright points was that property tax revenues remained almost unaffected by the pandemic and its negative economic effects. Read more.

New PublicCEO Podcast Series

The PublicCEO Report is a video and podcast series hosted by PublicCEO owner and Tripepi Smith President Ryder Todd Smith. In each Report, Ryder sits down with a thought leader to talk policy, current events, personal experiences and challenges facing local government. Stay tuned for an upcoming episode featuring ILG’s CEO and Executive Director Erica L. Manuel.

FREE Coaching Webinar: Leading from the Middle
Wednesday, May 19
1:30 p.m.

Being a leader does not require you to be in a top management position. The individual who gets the team together to download the paper pallet instead of requiring one person or individual to do it alone is a leader. Whether your organization has a formal process for improvement, or changes are made in a more informal way, there are opportunities for any employee to serve as a leader. Register here.

HCD Releases Updated Guidance to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing and Launches New Fair Housing Data Viewer

This National Fair Housing Month, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) is pleased to release updated Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Guidance Memo along with a new interactive AFFH Data ViewerRead more.

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