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November 2020


A Message From ILG’s Executive Director

“Looking behind, I am filled with gratitude. 

Looking forward, I am filled with vision. 

Looking upward, I am filled with strength. 

Looking within, I discover peace.”

- Native American Proverb

In this month’s newsletter, we reflect on all the people and organizations that help ILG deliver on its mission to serve and support local government leaders.

In addition to thanking our affiliates, partners and friends, we’re also highlighting some exceptional work being done to address equity and justice in California’s communities. Our board member spotlight will feature a column from League of California Cities Executive Director Carolyn Coleman and we’ll showcase a few local agencies doing the hard but important work to center community voices and embed equity in their decision-making and planning processes. 

Despite the many challenges 2020 has brought thus far, the team at ILG is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work with cities, counties and special districts to forge ahead, to innovate and to make meaningful change.

Board Member Spotlight

Carolyn Coleman

Executive Director, League of California Cities (Cal Cities)

Bold Approaches and New Ideas to Solve Old Problems

Published in Western City Magazine 

November 2020

As a Black woman, issues of race, equity and justice are deeply personal for me and have been part of a recurring narrative of systemic inequity for a majority of my life. These issues are fueling the many diverse voices calling for change that we hear loudly today. It is inspiring to stand alongside California’s local leaders who are, to borrow from Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, “challenging the status quo with bold approaches and new ideas to solve old problems.”

The League’s mission includes not only advocating for the common interests of cities, but also helping city leaders lead on challenging issues their communities face by providing education and resources that focus on promising strategies and new solutions. Just as the League pivoted to help city leaders navigate through the pandemic, wildfires and power shutoffs, we are also pivoting to support leaders as they take action to advance equity in their communities.

Read More

East Palo Alto Explores Equity Issues Tied to Flood Protection & Economic Development  

After months of coordination and preparation, the City of East Palo Alto recently submitted a comprehensive $6 million grant application for the Safer Bay Project in an effort to fund critical flood protection and ecosystem support in the city. 

If selected, East Palo Alto – a BOOST program participant – and its project partners will expand protections for East Palo Alto residents by removing flood burdens and protecting the area from impending sea level rise. 

The project will restore more than 600 acres of former salt ponds, create new and improved habitat and enhance public recreation by creating new trails. With approximately 100 acres of prime development potential, the proposed protections will enable much-needed development in a community that has historically been under-developed and underserved by public programs. 

In addition to addressing important equity and environmental justice issues, the proposal is the epitome of collaboration. The project involves public, private and non-profit organizations including local utility providers, the City of East Palo Alto, San Mateo County Office of Sustainability, the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority, San Mateo County Flood and Sea Level Rise Resiliency District and three nonprofit organizations: Nuestra Casa, Acterra and the Institute for Local Government.

Learn More About the Project

Salinas’ Alisal Vibrancy Plan Centers Community Voices to Address Equity Challenges

The Alisal is a historically disadvantaged community on the east side of Salinas, a BOOST program participant. Many of the community’s majority Latino residents are farmworkers and over 30 percent live in poverty. 

The city recently embarked on a broad-based initiative to address historic inequities in planning and development. They launched the Alisal Vibrancy Plan (AVP) in 2016 and have worked diligently with the East Salinas Building Healthy Communities (BHC) group of residents and community-based organizations to expand community engagement and leadership in the area.

After years of engagement, advocacy, coordination and collaboration, the AVP has become a model for expanding public dialogue and enhancing trust. Learn how the city put the community at the center of their planning process, embraced resident empowerment and removed traditional barriers to civic participation to improve their outcomes and improve equity in the region.

Read More

The City of Salinas – a BOOST program participant – recently won the Award for Excellence in the Enhancing Public Trust, Ethics and Community Involvement category of the 2020 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. 

Beacon Program Celebrates 11 Years of Sustainability, Equity & Resilience for California Communities

ILG recently honored 36 California cities that have taken significant steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy and implement best practices in sustainability. Each city won a prestigious Beacon Award.

In a year when we’ve responded to a global pandemic, devastating wildfires, social justice demonstrations, economic uncertainty and more, ILG looks to these communities as examples of cities taking action — despite competing priorities — to make their communities more resilient, vibrant and equitable. 

Through their hard work, this year’s award winners reduced over 5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent to removing almost 1.1 million cars from the road or powering 866,000 homes for one year. This also equates to about $450 million in public health benefits.

After 11 years, the Beacon Program now supports and recognizes over 160 participating cities and counties that are committed to building healthy and vibrant communities. 

Read More and Watch the Beacon Ceremony

Thank You To Our Affiliates

ILG is proud to be the non-profit training and education affiliate of three statewide associations, representing more than 2,500 local agencies in California.

Thank You To Our Partners

We’re grateful to our corporate partners for providing year-round support and thought leadership on a wide variety of issues affecting local government leaders. 

News from our Partners

LCW Webinar: 2021 Legislative Update for Public Agencies

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a number of new bills passed in this year’s Legislative Session that will go into effect on January 1, 2021. This webinar will provide an overview of key new legislation involving labor and employment laws that will impact California’s public agencies. Cost starts at $75. Register here.

Tripepi Smith: Are You Ready for Redistricting?

For the hundreds of jurisdictions in California with by-district elections, the 2021 redistricting process is right around the corner. Is your agency ready? Here are three tips to keep in mind as you head into 2021:

  • Start planning now.
  • Get ready to be flexible this year.
  • Bring in the experts.

2021 is going to be a busy year. Visit our redistricting webpage or get in touch with Tripepi Smith President Ryder Todd Smith (626) 536-2173 or to start planning your outreach process. 

Strategic Growth Council Launches New Partners Advancing Climate Equity Program

SGC Seeks Community Leaders from Across California to Join Pilot “Partners Advancing Climate Equity” Cohort 

SGC recently launched PACE, a new program providing training and technical assistance to frontline community members seeking to build community capacity to drive climate action and resilience. Participants will connect with other leaders from across California while receiving support to advance action on climate-related projects in their communities. SGC is looking for community leaders from across California interested in advancing their community’s vision for climate resilience and social equity. The application to join the PACE cohort is now open and due Thursday, December 3 at 5:00 p.m. Apply here.

Give the Gift of Good Governance on Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a special day when we give back to non-profit organizations that support our communities year-round⁠. This year, we hope you will consider making a donation to ILG. Your tax-deductible contribution will help expand our programs on leadership, governance, civility, ethics, sustainability and equity. Help promote good government at the local level. Make a gift today!

Support ILG Today!

Find archives of ILG’s newsletters here.

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