Annual Report

Message from the Executive Director 

California city leaders rose to new heights yet again in 2021, harnessing strength, pragmatism, and resilience to serve their communities. And just as the League of California Cities has done for more than a century, we were right alongside our city officials, supporting their efforts to improve the quality of life for residents in their communities.

Cal Cities delivered for our members again in 2021 by advancing key legislative priorities and providing high-caliber educational opportunities. As we embark on a new year, I’d like to reflect on the tremendous progress we made together last year.

Working together with our local leaders and partners, we achieved historic funding for broadband, more than a billion dollars for affordable housing and infrastructure, billions of dollars to help those experiencing homelessness, and billions more to help California’s cities recover from the pandemic and rebuild.

We also expanded our educational offerings, both virtually and in person. We continued to move forward our Advancing Equity initiative and supported city leaders with resources, education, and training to help normalize equity concepts, so they become part of everyday conversations that result in actionable change.

With our advocacy and educational programs as strong as ever, so is our membership, with four cities joining as members this past year, bringing our total number of member cities to 479 out of 482, the highest number of member cities since 2009.

Throughout the year, the Cal Cities Strategic Growth Plan, which charts our organization’s course for success, guided our efforts. Together, we mobilized more city leaders in our advocacy efforts, leveraged partnerships to advance legislative priorities, revamped our educational conferences and trainings, and restructured our League Partner program to maximize the value of the program for member cities, League Partners, and Cal Cities. We also began implementing changes to our governance system to enhance membership engagement in leadership opportunities, increase our overall effectiveness in fulfilling our mission and vision as an organization, and ensure that the pathway to leadership is transparent and inclusive.

We also transformed our Cal Cities brand identity, with a new logo and colors that infuse a rejuvenated pride, energy, diversity, and vitality into the mission of strengthening California cities through advocacy and education. Along with the new brand, we launched a new dynamic and accessible website designed to make it easier to find the valuable resources and information that city leaders need.

None of these achievements could have been possible without the tireless efforts of the talented Cal Cities staff, who remain steadfast in carrying out our mission of serving our members. I would like to thank them, as well as our 2020-21 Cal Cities officers and board members for their leadership and guidance, and our League Partners for their generous and continued support of this organization. Together, with all of you, we are driving policies that support California cities and the residents who call our cities home.

With that, I proudly present the Cal Cities 2021 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 2022.

Sincerely,

Carolyn M. Coleman 
Executive Director and CEO