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February 2021
Championing Diversity and Inclusion


A Message From ILG’s Executive Director

We’re nearing the end of Black History Month, a time I always appreciate. Each year, I learn something new and inspiring about African Americans who have shaped our nation’s past and our present. 

Championing diversity and inclusion is a core part of promoting good governance. At ILG, we believe that the best way to advance civil rights is to expand civics education and encourage authentic, inclusive public engagement that welcomes all voices, backgrounds and cultures in public policy discussions. The leaders of today’s California’s cities, counties and special districts have an exciting opportunity to reflect and celebrate their communities’ unique characteristics with the policies they propose and advance.

While February is typically a time when we highlight Black issues, it’s important to have candid conversations about representation, diversity, inclusion, equity and race all year round. It’s also important to celebrate the many accomplishments we have achieved in other months as well. That’s why ILG will always acknowledge and recognize the many important contributions of BIPOC leaders in California local government year round. 

In that vein, this month I was proud to announce a new and unique webinar series called LEADING LOCAL. This free leadership series is specially curated for local government staff and elected officials. We will bring together local government leaders, experts, authors and academics from a wide range of backgrounds to provide thought leadership on timely and important governance topics. Sessions will cover a broad range of issues and challenges, like leading through conflict, exploring equity, building personal resilience, bridging divides and more. Additional details on the series, including our first session scheduled for March 11, are included below.

In this issue, we also highlight some important upcoming trainings from our affiliates and introduce some of our fantastic new corporate partners.

As always, we hope you find this information useful for helping navigate the complexity of your important roles.

Erica L. Manuel
CEO & Executive Director

Board Member Spotlight

Randi Johl
Legislative Director and City Clerk, City of Temecula
Cal Cities Liaison to the ILG Board 

Johl to Co-Lead New Advancing Equity Advisory Committee

Cal Cities has launched an Advancing Equity Advisory Committee in an effort to support California cities’ quest to root out systemic racism. The committee will provide resources and policies to assist cities in reevaluating their operations and services through an equity lens. ILG board member, Randi Johl, will serve as committee co-chair. ILG stands with Cal Cities in helping create an equitable and just future for all Californians.


Erica Manuel Appointed to Statewide Advisory Board
California Resilience Project Launches Multi-Sector Resilience Effort

ILG CEO & Executive Director Erica L. Manuel has been appointed to the Advisory Board of the California Resilience Project, a new statewide effort across philanthropy, government and communities that is focused on bringing a regional approach to resilience. This exciting new collaborative led by the Resilient Cities Catalyst will tackle unprecedented, urgent and compounding resilience challenges, linked by common drivers. Learn more here.


New Webinar Series: LEADING LOCAL
First Session: The Role of Local Government in Times of National Crisis

Thursday, March 11, 2021
11:00 am – 12:30 pm

What is the role of local government during times of national crisis? How can local government leaders provide basic services at the local level while also addressing some of the big challenges our nation is facing? You’re invited to hear from four local government icons about how best to tackle topics like social justice, equity, COVID response and the growing polarization in our communities. This session is the first in ILG’s new leadership series, LEADING LOCAL, which will serve as a thought leadership forum on challenging topics and issues local government leaders face. Registration is free.


  • Greg Cox, San Diego County Supervisor (retired)
  • Henry Gardner, Oakland City Manager (retired)
  • Rod Gould, Santa Monica City Manager (retired)
  • Pat Martel, Daly City City Manger (retired)

Moderated by Erica Manuel, CEO & Executive Director, Institute for Local Government


About the LEADING LOCAL Series
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.

Public Safety Reform & Innovation Webinar Series, Hosted by RPLG
First Session: The Catalyst and the Context for Reform 

Friday, March 12, 2021 
9:30 am – 11:15 am

Moderated by Erica Manuel, CEO & Executive Director of ILG

The killing of George Floyd was the spark, but the fuel for the current outcry for police reform had been building for a long time amidst shootings of unarmed people of color, a broken criminal justice system and structural racial and socio-economic inequities. 

How can we channel public outrage and demands for radical restructuring toward positive changes in the paradigm of public safety and policing? A new webinar series hosted by ILG partner Renne Public Law Group will explore these complex issues and more. 

The first session will be moderated by ILG’s CEO & Executive Director, Erica L. Manuel. It will set the stage for exploring proposed public safety reforms and innovations by seeking to more fully understand the core problems in the current public safety model.


Additional Series Topics Will Include:

About the RPLG Public Safety Reform and Innovation Webinar Series
Public agencies across the nation are re-examining policing and public safety amidst public demands for racial justice, exploration of alternative approaches and reform. This webinar series will focus on current reform and restructuring efforts and necessary steps to implement change. The program is geared toward city and county officials, managers, police leadership and others interested in actionable steps toward safer and more equitable police practices and alternative public safety models. 

Featuring presentations by policymakers, former police chiefs, experts in alternatives to traditional approaches and community advocates, the series will cover a variety of topics including oversight models, labor issues, best practices on use-of-force policies and crowd control, and alternative public safety approaches. Speakers will provide real-world examples and cover practical approaches that advance multiple public policy goals in this challenging field.

Registration is FREE and sessions will be held on various Fridays from 9:30 – 11:15 a.m. from March – April 2021.

For more information, visit:

Exploring New Housing Laws and Ordinances
Thursday, April 1, 2021
2:00 pm – 3:00pm

State laws and regulations pertaining to land use, housing and development are complex and ever-changing. Join ILG and our partners the Department of Housing and Community Development, Cal Cities and the California State Association of Counties to hear an update on current housing laws and proposed legislation that will impact local housing development.


  • Chris Lee, Legislative Representative, California State Association of Counties
  • Sohab Mehmood, Housing Policy Specialist, Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Jason Rhine, Assistant Legislative Director, Cal Cities

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


Webinar On Demand: Strategies to Streamline Your Local Government Budget Process

This year’s budgeting cycle will likely be more challenging than ever for cities, counties and special districts. ILG partnered with ClearGov to host a webinar covering important updates to the Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) criteria for the Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards and sharing strategies to streamline the annual budgeting process by automating workflow, increasing collaboration and centralizing data.

Thank you to our speakers:

  • Shannon Buckley, Assistant Administrative Services Director, City of Lake Elsinore, CA
  • Don Reynolds, City Manager, City of San Juan Bautista, CA
  • Chris Bullock, Co-founder and CEO of ClearGov Inc.
  • Will Fuentes, CPFO, MBA, Finance Director, City of Campbell, CA


Access ILG webinar archives here.


ILG’s Beacon Program provides recognition and support for California local agencies that are working to build more vibrant and sustainable communities. Beacon awards acknowledge voluntary efforts by cities, counties and special districts that are reducing greenhouse gas emissions, saving energy and adopting policies that promote sustainability.

The Beacon Program: A Framework for Local Climate Action
Monday, March 1, 2021
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
Panel session hosted by ILG, part of TLG GOVAPALOOZA Conference

ILG is excited to present a panel session at the nationwide Govapalooza conference about our Beacon Program and how Beacon participants are utilizing ILG’s unique framework to advance local climate action. TLG Govapalooza will bring together thousands of elected officials, appointed leaders, department heads, local gov’t employees, academics, students, business executives, nonprofit partners and committed individuals to engage in an incredible celebration of the very best in local government.

Registration for the full 5-day event (with access to recordings) is $299. Register Here.

Beacon Program: 2021 Lunch & Learn
Thursday, March 4, 2021
12:30 pm – 1:00 pm

Bring your lunch and join us for a special Lunch & Learn event to hear about new Beacon award categories, exciting changes to existing categories, and how we incorporated your feedback into a re-imagined Beacon Program for 2021. We’ll preview the upcoming award application period, celebrate bringing special districts into the program, discuss peer learning and educational webinar topics, and more. This session is open to current Beacon Program participants and prospective members. Registration is free. Register Here.


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 Ethics Trainings for Planning Commissioners (hosted by ILG)

  • Understanding Public Service Ethics Laws and Principles (AB 1234)
    Friday, April 9, 2021
    10:00 am – 12:00 pm. 
    Register here.
  • Harassment Prevention Training for Supervisors and Officials (AB 1661)  
    Friday, April 16, 2021 
    10:00 am -12:00 pm. 
    Register here.

2021 Cal Cities Annual Conference & Expo is Still Accepting Session Proposals!
Proposals are due Wednesday, March 31.
Learn more and submit here.

CSCDA Webinar: Workforce Housing Program
Co-Hosted by ILG
Thursday, March 18, 2021 

Increasing rent prices, decreasing fund tools and rising demand continue to exacerbate California’s housing crisis. State and local leaders alike recognize the need to identify strategies and funding to address the housing needs of all residents – including the “missing middle.” Join CSDCA and your local government colleagues to hear about the Workforce Housing Program and tools available to help local governments meet the workforce housing needs in their communities. Register Here.

Virtual Workshop: California Voting Rights Act
Tuesday, March 16 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Wednesday, March 17 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

This presentation for Special District leaders will address recent developments concerning the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA). The presentation will include a discussion about how to analyze racially-polarized voting. (Cost for CSDA members and non-members). Register here.


Migration Study – Local Gov’ts Need Help Now

UC Davis Center for Regional Change is collaborating with USC and Occidental on a study looking at the migration from the Bay Area to the Central Valley. The USC and Occidental team have just released an op-ed highlighting some of the early findings from their work to date.

Learn more about the study here. 

Read the op-ed here.

Webinar: Response to Emergencies That Impact All Citizens: Rights of the Individual vs Health & Welfare of Community
Wednesday, March 17 at 1:30 p.m.

How do Ethics play a role in emergency response? One way is in the determination of when the rights of the individual should be sacrificed to keep the entire community safe. What does that decision making process look like? And how does a community enforce such a mandate? Join ICMA for an exciting discussion on these ethical questions.

Register here.


Bang the Table
Change the Way You Engage Your Community

Remove barriers to participation by giving your community an easy way to get involved – when and where they choose. EngagementHQ centralises community engagement, making it easy to capture, analyse, and report on city-wide engagement through one single platform.

Visit Bang the Table’s website here.

Let Every Voice Count

Polco’s mission is to bring communities together around their most important topics on a single inclusive platform. Polco works to give leaders reliable insights through civil and constructive civic participation. Their ultimate vision is to improve resident quality of life in communities everywhere.

Visit Polco’s website here.

Powerful Online Software. 
Made for Governments Like Yours.

ClearGov® is the leading provider of Budget Cycle Management software, focused on helping local governments and their department heads streamline the annual budgeting process by automating workflow, increasing collaboration, and centralizing data. ClearGov solutions are powerful enough to support local governments of every size, yet affordable enough for even the smallest towns and villages. Hundreds of communities across the country rely on our cloud-based Budget Cycle Management solutions to modernize their budget process.

Visit ClearGov’s website here.

Help ILG Continue to Support Local Government

Help ILG continue to support California’s cities, counties and special districts by making a donation today. Your tax-deductible contribution to the Institute for Local Government is an investment in helping educate, train and support our local public agencies. Every dollar you give will make a difference in your community.

Donate Today!

Find archives of ILG’s newsletters here.

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