I represented the city of Sunnyvale on January 25th in Sacramento at the League of California Cities’ first policy committee meetings of 2020 to develop recommendations on state legislation affecting cities. I serve on the Housing, Community, and Economic Development Policy Committee, which discussed pressing topics including SB 50.
This is my third year serving on the Housing, Community, and Economic Development policy committee. Most recently, League Peninsula Division President Marico Sayoc appointed me.
Participating in the League’s policy committees is an important opportunity to discuss and shape policies that affect our communities and in many cases our ability to provide essential services to residents. The outcome of these meetings helps to influence the state’s decisions on legislation and it’s important that our city’s voice is heard in this discussion.
This year, SB50 was the primary topic of conversation. Rather than propose amendments, the Housing, Community, and Economic Development Policy Committee voted to recommend to the League of California Cities Board to consider a “plan B” to help cities retain more control. HCED members recommended by a wide margin, that the League Board consider a platform that cities take more of an active role in developing new and affordable housing through a variety of options, including streamlining approval processes and offering inclusionary housing ordinances. Other options include allowing for accessory dwelling units, 4-plexes in single family neighborhoods and capping development fees.
The League has seven standing policy committees: Community Services; Governance, Transparency and Labor Relations; Environmental Quality; Housing, Community and Economic Development; Public Safety; Revenue and Taxation; and Transportation, Communications and Public Works. These committees evaluate proposed legislation as it relates to existing policy and make recommendations for legislation where the League currently does not have policy.
The League’s policy-making process provides a platform to debate the issues facing California cities and direction to the organization with policy recommendations. More than 400 city officials serve on the League’s policy committees and add their collective expertise, wisdom, and opinions to the policy debate that is the foundation of League policy. The recommendations from the policy committees are forwarded to the League board of directors.
Vice Mayor Smith also serves as the President of the League of California Cities Women’s Caucus and served in 2019 on the Community Services policy committee as well.
Following the January meetings in Sacramento, the League’s policy committees are scheduled for April 2-3 in Anaheim, June 4-5 in South San Francisco, and Oct. 7 during the League’s annual conference in Long Beach.
For more information on the League’s policy development process please visit www.cacities.org/polcomm