Annual Report

Message from the Executive Director 

After a year like no other, the light at the end of the tunnel is starting to brighten, and as we embark on a new year, the League of California Cities looks forward to supporting California’s 482 cities and towns in their efforts to recover stronger than before ― just as Cal Cities has done for over a century. As we officially conclude 2020, I’d like to reflect on the progress we’ve made together in this truly unprecedented year. 

2020 will be remembered for a global pandemic, social unrest, California’s worst-ever wildfire season, massive energy blackouts, a divisive election season, and more. But 2020 was also the year that local leaders rose to challenges of a magnitude we’ve never experienced, reimagined how to serve in unchartered waters, and started to recover in transformative ways that will leave our cities even stronger than they were before. 

In a year like no other, the strength and resiliency of our cities and our local leaders shined through. Local leaders demonstrated, more than ever, why local government is the most trusted level of government. 

As city leaders navigated this challenging environment, Cal Cities remained by their side. We reimagined how we serve our members, and how to support members with the resources they needed the most. We transformed many of our educational conferences to virtual offerings. We fought at the state and federal level for resources for cities to respond to COVID-19 and recover from its impacts. We committed to working alongside cities in their efforts to advance equity in their communities. We leveraged our existing communication channels ― and created new ones ― to ensure cities had access to vital information in real time. 

I’d like to acknowledge and thank the talented and dedicated Cal Cities staff who gave new meaning this year to the terms “nimble” and “pivot” in carrying out Cal Cities' mission of expanding and protecting local control for cities through advocacy and education while in a virtual environment the vast majority of the year. Together, with our members and partners, we proactively drove state and federal policy that reflects the needs of California cities and the residents who call our cities home. 

I would also like to express my gratitude to the 2019-20 Cal Cities officers and board members for their leadership and guidance, and our League Partners for their generous support of this organization. We are stronger when we work together, and a unified voice will be incredibly important as we continue the fight to get cities the resources they need to recover and move their communities forward. 

With that, I proudly present the Cal Cities 2020 Annual Report, which captures our collective achievements in support of California cities over the past year. I look forward to all we will accomplish together in 2021. 

Carolyn M. Coleman 
Executive Director and CEO