The visits coincided with the League’s annual Legislative Action Day, which was once again a powerful demonstration of the effectiveness of city officials when they come together.
The day began Wednesday morning with a legislative briefing for city officials that featured League President and Lodi Council Member JoAnne Mounce and Gov. Jerry Brown. Highlighting the collective strength of the League, Mounce remarked, “This organization remains a powerful force because of the dedication of city officials throughout California. Thank you for your advocacy to improve the quality of life in your city and all of the cities of California.” she said.
President Mounce welcomed Gov. Brown to the podium and thanked him for his leadership on SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, the $52 billion transportation funding package the Assembly and Senate passed on April 6 and his focus on repaying debt, prudently building reserves and making progress on the growing costs of pensions and unfunded liabilities.
In thanking legislators for their support of the transportation funding package, Mounce acknowledged the challenge it presented. “We know that passing SB 1 was not an easy vote for legislators and not everyone agreed with the result. However, for the League, the effort to fix our roads has always been practical; not partisan,” she said.
Governor Brown, a former mayor of Oakland, reminisced about his own experiences in local government that he said began when he helped Mother Teresa and the Sisters of Charity open a center in San Francisco to help those affected with AIDs. He commented on what often separates local governments from the state and federal governments. “Local government is where you actually have democracy working,” He continued, “You (city officials) are the custodians of democracy in America.”
In reference to the passage of SB 1, the Governor thanked the League and city officials for their advocacy. ”You were crucial in getting the bill passed. The League plays a big role,” said Governor Brown.
Following a briefing by the League’s advocacy team on the League’s strategic goals
, city officials heard from two members of the Assembly both former mayors and city council members.
Assembly Member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, the former mayor of Winters, shared how her experience as a member of a League policy committee, as well as the League board of directors, was instrumental in preparing her for serving in the Assembly and as chair of the Assembly Local Government Committee.
Assembly Member Jim Frazier, the former mayor of Oakley, worked closely with Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose) on the transportation funding package and is the lead sponsor on ACA 5, SB 1’s accompanying accountability measure. In his remarks he recounted the efforts it took to pass the legislation and the positive impact the funding will have on the state and local transportation system.
Legislative Panel Discussion on California’s Housing Challenges
City officials returned to the Sacramento Convention Center after their meetings with legislators in the Capitol for a panel discussion on California’s housing challenges. Moderated by San Diego City Council Member David Alvarez, the event was sponsored by the League’s five diversity caucuses: the African-American Caucus; Asian-Pacific Islander Caucus; Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender Local Officials Caucus; Latino Caucus; and Women’s Caucus.
The panelists who shared their perspectives on California’s housing challenges included:
- Assembly Member Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee;
- Assembly Member David Chiu (D-San Francisco), chair of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee;
- Assembly Member Marc Steinorth (R-Rancho Cucamonga); vice chair of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee;
- Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose), chair of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee; and
- League Legislative Representative Jason Rhine.
“It was a productive day, and the League appreciates the time the many city officials took out of their busy schedules to make the voice of cities heard in the Capitol,” said League Executive Director Carolyn Coleman.
A slideshow of images from the League’s 2017 Legislative Action Day is available to view on the League’s YouTube Channel