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September 2020


A Message From ILG’s Executive Director

Greetings from ILG!

Last week we welcomed the first day of Fall. The days are gradually getting shorter, but the list of topics we could cover in this newsletter continues to grow.

The role of local government is ever-evolving and the value of the critical services local agencies provide has never been more apparent than now. Our state continues to battle against the wildfires ravaging so many communities, threatening the health, safety, and well-being of thousands. We recognize and honor the resolve of our state, local, and community partners to rise to this incredible challenge.

In this issue, we outline additional disaster preparedness tips from our partner, Listos California, as well as some other updates on programs impacting air quality. We also spotlight an air quality tracking tool from ILG’s partner, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, which serves the Central Valley.

September also marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. Our board member spotlight highlights Nicholas S. Gonzalez, a first generation American who identifies as Latinx and shares his perspective on career development and finding inspiration in local government.

Last but not least, it’s conference season! Don’t miss upcoming registration deadlines for three major conferences hosted by our affiliates, the League of California Cities, CSDA, and CSAC. Plus, our annual Beacon Awards ceremony has gone virtual and we will be celebrating the accomplishments of 36 cities on October 8 at a free online event featuring Senator Fran Pavley (ret.). We hope you’ll register for these conferences and look for ILG’s sessions and activities on the respective schedules.

Board Member Spotlight

Nicholas S. Gonzalez, ILG Board Member
Immediate Past President
Municipal Management Association of Southern California

What does it mean to you being Latinx in your role in local government?

As a person of color and first-generation, I feel that it is my duty to show others that they can accomplish their dreams and have a successful life. As a child, I did not know of any positive role models who looked like me. My parents and siblings did their best to motivate and encourage me to be the best person I can be. As I started college and began working, I began interacting with many individuals, some people of color, who saw something in me and helped guide and push me in the right direction. I have been
blessed with so many great mentors throughout my career and I hope to pay that forward by mentoring others. There are many individuals in the community whom I serve that do not have role models, so it is important to me to be a visible presence for them and connect with others.

What advice do you have for the next generation currently working in public service or looking to serve?

My advice to those who would like to work in public service is to get involved in professional development organizations. The more time you devote to your development, the more you will learn and grow. Organizations like MMASC offer a network of individuals with whom you can not only engage in local
government conversation with, but also establish life-long friendships with peers and mentors. Mentors who you can seek advice from will help prepare you for your next interview and so much more. I have been very fortunate to have a tribe of friends and mentors that have helped guide me to where I am
today. If not for my involvement in professional development organizations, I would not have a broad perspective of local government and or its services and vast opportunities. Networking with peers helps you stay on top of the latest innovative ways local governments are engaging with their  communities in our ever-changing world.

Read more.

SJVAPCD’s Real-Time Air Monitoring Tool Keeps Residents Informed and Engaged

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s Real-Time Air Advisory Network (RAAN) is a free, state of the art system specifically designed to inform Central Valley residents about local air quality. It offers online, 24/7 access to the most up-to-date hourly air quality information for Central Valley neighborhoods; automated email or text notification whenever air quality is poor; and specific health guidelines for outdoor exercise based on five different air quality levels.

Learn more.

A STEP Up For a Southeast Bakersfield Community

Air quality and transportation are closely linked. But transportation is about more than just getting people from point A to point B. For many, having access to quality transportation services could mean the difference between getting a good paying job, having access to healthcare, or being able to spend precious time with family and friends.

For residents living in one Southeast Bakersfield community, known as the MLKcommUNity, this is a reality. Years of disinvestment have resulted in significant mobility obstacles. Inconsistent and inequitable implementation of plans and processes have lead to a dearth of adequate, accessible, clean, and reliable transportation services for residents throughout the community. Learn how Bakersfield’s partnership with ILG and a collaborative grant proposal with local agency and community organizations could help change things for the better in this bustling Central Valley city.

Read more.

ILG Joins Local Government Associations in Support of Listos

California’s Five Steps to Disaster Preparedness

Team ILG joined our affiliates, the League of California Cities, California State Association of Counties, and California Special Districts Association in adopting Listos California’s five steps for disaster preparedness during National Disaster Preparedness Month.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent years of increased wildfire and other major disasters across the state, our collective of statewide associations, representing a wide range of local government leaders who are charged with providing their communities with timely and accurate information about their local preparedness and response efforts, agree that it’s urgent for our state and all of our communities to welcome a new culture of preparedness. To advance this urgent priority, ILG has adopted Listos California’s accessible and free five steps to prepare for disaster:

  1. Get alerts to know what to do.
  2. Make a plan to protect your people by creating an emergency contact list and an evacuation plan.
  3. Pack a go bag with things you need.
  4. Build a stay box to stay safe at home for when you can’t leave.
  5. Help friends and neighbors get ready.

Together, we are working to ensure new levels of resiliency across the state as we create new opportunities to connect more people to the steps that will keep individuals, families, and communities safe. Listos is a project of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).

Learn more.


California Special Districts Association
2020 VIRTUAL Board Secretary/Clerk Conference
October 26-28

Whether you are a new or an experienced board secretary/clerk, continuing education is essential to staying current on the many aspects of your job. In an effort to expand educational opportunities for this important position in special districts and to provide an opportunity to recognize individuals who invest the time in becoming trained in the various components of the job, CSDA created the Board Secretary/Clerk Certificate Program. The Certificate has become the gold standard for special district board secretaries and clerks throughout California. You’re invited to participate as a first-time attendee to earn your certificate and come back year after year to advance your knowledge of special districts through new and exciting breakout sessions tailored for your role in special district management.

Register here.

Special Districts Made Easy
Educational Brochure, Video Promotes Understanding
of Special Districts

CSDA has released two tools that help raise awareness and understanding of special districts. The tools include a free downloadable 16-page educational brochure about special districts and a three-minute video entitled “Special Districts 101″.

Learn more.

2020 CSAC Virtual Annual Meeting
November 12-19

The first virtual CSAC Annual Meeting will be an opportunity to discuss emerging issues, reflect on the challenges of the last six months, and learn from other county leaders about what is working well at the local level. CSAC will welcome new supervisors to the ranks, meet as policy committees and caucuses, and elect the leadership for the next year.

The ILG team will be hosting ethics trainings during the event to ensure local government officials are in compliance with state-mandated ethics requirements.

Learn more and register here.


Find archives of ILG’s newsletters here.


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