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June 2021


A Message From ILG’s Executive Director

Greetings from ILG and Happy Pride Month!

Our state has begun the arduous process of re-opening and gradually lifting the COVID-19 restrictions of the past 16 months. This is no easy feat and many of us are experiencing the euphoria, anxiety and confusion that may accompany this “return to normalcy.” The ILG team is continuing to host virtual webinars and workshops, but we are beginning to venture out in-person for various events and consultations.

I was excited to present insights at the CSDA General Manager’s Leadership Summit this week. I participated in a breakout session about authentic public engagement and served on a panel with two other experts, including ILG partner Ryder Smith of Tripepi Smith. We spoke about the challenges and opportunities of this new post-pandemic world where in-person engagement is now possible, but virtual engagement is here to stay. That’s why in this month’s newsletter, we’re announcing details about ILG’s recently revamped TIERS public engagement training. After a one-year hiatus, we have converted the in-person training to a virtual environment and updated the content to reflect our new hybrid engagement reality. We hope you’ll consider registering yourself or a member of your team.

This newsletter also includes information about a number of other important conferences and trainings that will help local agency leaders continue to navigate the complexity of their roles and address common challenges ranging from housing to redistricting to sustainability and more. We also welcome some new ILG corporate partners and pay tribute to a longtime ILG employee who passed away unexpectedly this year, Steve Sanders.

As we reflect on everything that has transpired over the past 16 months, the team at ILG is incredibly grateful for your continued support and engagement. We will take our traditional summer hiatus with our monthly newsletter in July, but we’ll look forward to connecting with you again in August.

Erica L. Manuel
CEO & Executive Director

A Tribute to Steven Royce Sanders - Dedicated Public Servant


The ILG team is sad to announce the passing of another ILG friend and local government champion. Former staff member Steve Sanders was beloved for his kind heart and his commitment to family and community. He was a stalwart leader in sustainability policy and equity. In his role as a program director at ILG, Steve was a strategic thinker with big dreams. He often charted his goals on the office white board, which later materialized into full-fledged programs to combat big issues like climate change or housing scarcity. Steve retired from ILG in 2019 but his service left an indelible mark. Learn more about Steve’s exceptional life and legacy at the link below. 

Read more about Steve



Public Engagement Training for Local Government Leaders
ILG’s TIERS Workshop: Think – Initiate – Engage – Review – Shift

Virtual Training via Zoom
Thursday, September 9 & Friday, September 10, 2021

Now more than ever proactive, transparent dialogue, authentic collaboration between government and communities and equitable engagement is being championed across the country. 

ILG is excited to launch its re-designed TIERS Public Engagement Training in a virtual format. The TIERS training offers a step-by-step framework that helps California local government leaders master the public engagement process and build trust in their communities. TIERS will help you operationalize your outreach and engagement efforts in a more sustainable and collaborative way and provide you with resources and digital tools to authentically engage your community in a post-COVID world.

This comprehensive training is open to any local government leaders in California. The content is specially designed to apply to a variety of common local agency initiatives requiring public engagement, ranging from housing and climate change to budgeting and public safety. The training sessions will take place virtually over two days, with four hours of training on each day. 

Registration for this comprehensive training is just $600, a savings of more than 15% from 2019 costs.


Beacon Award Application Deadline Fast Approaching!
Beacon Award Application Period Open Through July 31, 2021

Now is the perfect time to join over 160 California local agencies 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 local agencies that are working to build more vibrant, climate-conscious and sustainable communities. We’re accepting new members and new award applications. New for 2021, special districts are also eligible to join the program. Learn more.

This year, we’re excited to unveil some changes to the Beacon Awards program that will expand opportunities for local governments to be recognized. 

Beacon Vanguard & Spotlight Awards: Apply for award consideration for the silver, gold and platinum levels. New this year is the opportunity to apply for a lithium-level Spotlight Award in greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Learn more and apply.

New! Leadership & Innovation Awards: Whether your agency is a Beacon participant or not, ILG invites cities, counties, special districts and Beacon Champions to apply for our brand-new competitive award categories. Learn more about eligibility and apply.



Equity and Housing: Meeting and Exceeding California’s Fair Housing Requirements
Tackling California’s Housing Crisis Webinar Series
Thursday, July 1, 2021
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

California’s housing crisis is growing. To help city and county leaders better navigate complex housing issues in their communities, ILG launched a webinar series featuring subject matter experts on land use, 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.

Registration is free.


  • Tyrone Buckley, Assistant Deputy Director of Fair Housing, Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Muhammad Alameldin, Economic Equity Fellow, The Greenlining Institute
  • Lori Droste, Councilmember, City of Berkeley
  • Isaac Rosen, Associate, Best Best & Kreiger

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


About the Tackling California’s Housing Crisis 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 strategic discussions 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:

  • 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.

This webinar series is hosted by ILG in partnership with:

Redistricting: What Your Community Needs to Know
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Redistricting is a complex process that may be challenging to explain to your residents. This process will be further complicated by the fact that cities are still working to navigate virtual and hybrid public meetings and engagement activities. In this webinar, you’ll learn about new outreach rules,tips and strategies to effectively communicate and engage with your residents on redistricting topics.

Registration is free.


  • Mark Jomsky, City Clerk, City of Pasadena
  • Ryder Smith, President, Tripepi Smith
  • Melissa Kuehne, Senior Program Manager, Institute for Local Government


This webinar is hosted by ILG in partnership with:

Webinar Recordings from ILG

ILG’s recent webinars focused on wildfire risk and resilience, advancing climate and equity goals, and helping local governments with the financial realities of COVID-19 recovery. The webinar recordings, presentations and additional resources are now available on our website and below..

Access All ILG Webinar Recordings Here


Western City Magazine: Focus on good government is critical as cities navigate challenging times
By Melissa Kuehne, Senior Program Manager

After more than a year of crisis response, local leaders are grappling with increased pressure, burnout and fatigue on top of the ongoing challenges of effectively and efficiently running our cities, counties and special districts. To compound that, many local leaders also face growing complexity in orienting new council and board members amidst increased partisanship at the local level. 

With numerous newly elected city leaders in 2021, many jurisdictions are in the process of onboarding new elected official who may have had very few face-to-face interactions with their colleagues prior to being elected. The stay-at-home orders disrupted standard orientation timeframes and goal-setting processes that would have allowed electeds and staff to get to know each other, understand leadership styles and build relationships. As a result, many jurisdictions may find it difficult to establish shared values and develop a sense of team — two key components of effective governance.

This recent article from ILG highlights this growing trend and offers some solutions.



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

2021 CSDA Annual Conference & Exhibitor Showcase
August 30-September 2, 2021
Monterey Conference Center
Early bird registration is available through Friday, July 30, 2021

The CSDA Annual Conference and Exhibitor Showcase is the one conference special district leaders can’t afford to miss! It is the most densely packed educational and networking experience available to special districts. 

Come together with other special district leaders from across the state to meet with industry suppliers, hear from the best in special district-specific topics with over 30 breakout session options, network with your peers and more at the leadership conference for special districts. 

Learn More and Register

Cal Cities 2021 Annual Conference & Expo 
September 22-24, 2021
An In-Person Event!

Join Cal Cities and fellow city officials from throughout the state for their in-person annual conference in Sacramento. Learn, collaborate and celebrate with unparalleled educational and networking forums, including dynamic panel discussions, keynotes, breakout sessions and opportunities to connect directly with your peers. ILG will be hosting several educational sessions throughout the conference. Stay tuned for more details! 


New American Rescue Plan Information for Cities

In a major win for local governments, new American Rescue Plan guidance from the U.S. Department of the Treasury expands the eligible areas for broadband infrastructure investment. The previous definition of “unserved or underserved” areas was too restrictive and based on Federal Communications Commission data, which is not always accurate. 

The new guidance stipulates that cities may invest in areas where not all households or businesses are unserved or underserved, if an objective of the project is to provide service to unserved or underserved households or businesses. For more guidance and updates, click on the link below.


CSAC Institute Classes Are Open For Registration

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

July Featured Class: Initiating, Navigating and Negotiating the Dynamics of Change in County Government – July 15, 2021
This course focuses on changing policy and administrative approaches in county government. The course discussion explores a six-part framework developed from change processes in children’s services, health services, homelessness and other issues for underserved or vulnerable communities challenging county governments in California. Learn more.

August Featured Class: Finding the Blind Spots: Personal & Organizational Best Practices & Strategies for Countering Implicit Bias - August 19, 2021
Hard won gains of the civil rights movement stand as one of the defining aspects of the United States as a nation. Despite these gains, significant gaps remain when we look at outcomes in education, health, employment and wealth on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability and other demographics. So, what’s going on? Learn more.

ILG Welcomes Our Newest Corporate Partners!

Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley
Representing Local Governments Throughout California

Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley is a municipal law firm with offices in Pasadena, Grass Valley, Sacramento, Solana Beach and Sonoma that represents public and private clients throughout California in municipal law, including public revenues, land use, elections, labor and employment, post‑redevelopment, housing, public works contracting, utility services, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Act regarding Local Agency Formation Commissions and associated litigation. 

Visit Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley’s website here.

Empowerment Institute Center for Reinventing the Planet

Empowerment Institute’s Center for Reinventing the Planet is the world’s foremost expert in empowerment and second order change. Over the past thirty years it has empowered millions of people worldwide to reduce their environmental footprint and hundreds of cities to become more sustainable. Since 2006, it has applied its behavior change methodology to empower tens of thousands of households to create low carbon lifestyles. It has participated in eight research studies on its behavior change methodology with one academic study describing it as “unsurpassed in changing behavior.” 

Visit Empowerment Institute’s website here.


Article: Newly Adopted Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Regulations Remove Certain Requirements Related to Physical Distancing, Face Coverings and Partitions

On June 17, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) readopted an amended version of the Emergency Temporary Standards (Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Regulations) (“June 17 Amendments”). These amendments affect many of the requirements that have been in place since OSHSB initially adopted the regulations in November 2020, including those related to employees’ use of face coverings, physical distancing at worksites and the installation of partitions between workstations. Read more.

Article: Charge Ready- A Plan for California

Southern California Edison (SCE) is leading the transformation of how energy is produced and used to confront the climate crisis. SCE is halfway on the pathway to 100% clean power and working to plug more cars, trucks, buses and equipment into that clean power supply. SCE believes the transition to clean modes of transportation and a carbon neutral economy can create a fair, sustainable and more prosperous future. Read more.

Article: Tripepi Smith’s PublicCEO Report Now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and More

The PublicCEO Report is available on all major podcasting platforms. Now you can hear from fellow policy buffs and local government nerds on the go with StitcherSpotifyApple Podcasts and Amazon MusicRead more.

Stay tuned for an upcoming episode featuring ILG’s CEO and Executive Director Erica L. Manuel.

Article: Health Boost From Nature

Trees lining a street may encourage people to take a longer stroll or choose to bike to work. New research shows how access to natural areas in cities can improve human health by supporting physical activity. The researchers plan to equip city planners with tools to create healthier, more sustainable cities around the world.

Your local city park may be improving your health, according to a new paper led by Stanford University researchers. Read more.

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