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October 2019


A Message From ILG’s Executive Director

Greetings from ILG!
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the California communities currently experiencing hardship from the threat of wildfire, evacuations and loss of property or power.
More than 300 fires have burned or are still burning in California this week alone. As local governments work to prepare, respond and recover from disasters, including but not limited to wildfires, we have to remain vigilant and focused on resilience.
ILG hosted two workshops for participants – one about informing the public about serving on public agency boards, and another about creative partnerships to help local agencies tackle the regional challenges of homelessness.
Unfortunately, California local governments are facing threats from more than just natural disasters. Key issues like housing, homelessness and economic development remain top priorities for local leaders and state officials alike.
We understand the complexity of governing during times of crisis. That’s why this month’s ILG newsletter will focus on the intersectionality of these issues and some new resources available to help mitigate them. We also congratulate our 2019 Beacon awardees and highlight a number of relevant events, conferences and trainings across the state.
As always, we’re here to help you — our partners — get the tools and information you need to build capacity, secure funding and continue to make a lasting, positive impact. 
With care and enthusiasm from everyone at the Institute for Local Government,
Erica L. Manuel
CEO & Executive Director

Funding Opportunity: Governor Newsom Launches PSPS Resiliency Program for Local Governments

In the wake of many utility-initiated Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS), thousands of Californians are being left in the dark. As fires continue to rage throughout the state, Governor Newsom announced the launch of a $75 million Local Government PSPS Resiliency Program to support state and local government efforts to protect their communities and improve response to PSPS actions. Half of the funds ($37.5 million) have been allocated to local governments and the deadline to submit an RFP to receive an allocation is Tuesday, November 12. More information is available here.

Disaster Preparedness & Response – Local Government Resources

There are a wide range of online resources available to help local leaders navigate the complexity of disaster response. Below are a few key links.

CSDA Hosts Climate Adaptation Roundtable

Climate planning and hazard preparation is critical to resiliency. The California Special Districts Association (CSDA) is hosting a Climate Adaptation Roundtable on Wednesday, Nov. 6 in Berkeley to help special districts adapt local and regional infrastructure for climate change and its effects. ILG is moderating an expert panel that includes representatives from the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research, the State Water Resources Control Board, the Strategic Growth Council and the Department of Water Resources. Special Districts representatives are invited to attend to learn about adaptation strategies and how to access resources for climate planning and hazard preparation. More information can be found here.

Homelessness Policy Workshop & Resources

ILG affiliates California State Association of Counties (CSAC) and the League of California Cities are jointly hosting a Homelessness Policy Workshop on Monday, Nov. 4 in Sacramento. The workshop will focus on funding opportunities, successful local government projects, state coordination and how cities and counties can collaborate to tackle the homelessness crisis. Registration for the event has ended, but numerous resources are available for cities and counties to address this pervasive issue. For example, CSAC has organized a Homelessness Action Team to provide key information and updates to counties, especially as it relates to the Governor’s Council of Regional Homeless Advisors. County-specific resources can also be found here.

You can also view the Homelessness Task force report developed by ILG, the League and CSAC here.

Don’t Miss CSAC’s Annual Meeting

CSAC is celebrating 125 years of exceptional service to California counties at its Annual Meeting from December 2-6 in San Francisco. This year’s conference will feature thought-provoking speakers who will inform and inspire, workshops on critical issues of concern for counties and key updates on CSAC’s legislative priorities.

The counties that earned 2019 Beacon Awards will also be honored at the event.

To learn more about the conference, including featured keynote speakers, breakout sessions and registration information, click here.

Congratulations to the 2019 Beacon Award Winners

This year, 11 cities took home the prestigious full Beacon Award with another 22 cities earning Beacon Spotlight Awards for individual achievements around greenhouse gas reductions, energy savings and implementation of sustainability best practices. All winners exemplified the 2019 theme of “Energy to Innovation.” View a video of the Full Beacon award winners below, which include highlights from the cities of Brisbane, San Carlos, Carson, Cupertino, El Cerrito, Foster City, San Rafael, Santa Barbara, Burlingame, Santa Cruz and the Town of Truckee.

Interested in joining ILG’s free Beacon Program? Find out more about Beacon and how it can help your community by visiting ILG’s website.

White House Launches New Opportunity Zone Website

The White House just released a new online resource for its federal Opportunity Zone program. Opportunity Zones are a new community investment tool designed to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide. The program offers additional incentives to private investors to encourage support for underserved communities and help spur economic development in the rural and urban communities that need it most. If successful, Opportunity Zones may be able to increase affordable housing, prevent gentrification, promote job growth and support workforce development. To view the new website, click here

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