California Civic Leadership Institute

Created in 2005 in response to the increased turnover and a loss of institutional knowledge, the League Partner-sponsored California Civic Leadership Institute (CCLI) gives local leaders a broad, in-depth understanding of critical issues affecting the state, provides them with the tools they need to succeed if elected to the Legislature, and provides a forum where lasting bonds can be created among California’s rising political leaders. 

Celebrating 16 Years of Success   

The California Civic Leadership Institute is led by a top faculty of current and former legislators, policy and political experts, and members of the media.  The California Civic Leadership Institute has two distinct components.  First, attendees participate in a field trip where they take part in policy discussions led by experts related to the field trip location. (Policy issues covered include water, transportation, energy, and housing.) The second part takes place in Sacramento and focuses on the day-to-day realities of the political climate in Sacramento. A reception is held so that candidates also can network with third house representatives in the Capital community.    

For more information on CCLI, please contact Cal Cities Director of Public Affairs Bismarck Obando.


CCLI Alumni


Alumni Network

Graduates of the California Civic Leadership Institute become part of an exclusive alumni network and are recognized at various networking events and other opportunities throughout the year.  In the 2021 State Assembly alone, over 70% of its members have local government roots. Cal Cities is proud to report that all of its California Civic Leadership Institute Alumni are currently serving in the Legislature. 

  • AD 02: Jim Wood-D, Former Council Member, Healdsburg
  • AD 04: Cecilia Aguiar-Curry-D, Former Mayor, Winters
  • AD 05: Frank Bigelow-R, Former Supervisor, Madera County
  • AD 07: Kevin McCarty-D, Former Council Member, Sacramento
  • AD 08: Ken Cooley-D, Former Council Member, Rancho Cordova
  • AD 09: Jim Cooper-D, Former Council Member, Elk Grove
  • AD 10: Marc Levine-D, Former Council Member, San Rafael
  • AD 11: Jim Frazier-D, Former Mayor, Oakley
  • AD 14: Tim Grayson-D, Former Mayor, Concord
  • AD 17: David Chiu-D, Former Supervisor, San Francisco
  • AD 18: Rob Bonta-D, Former Vice Mayor, Alameda
  • AD 22: Kevin Mullin-D, Former Mayor, South San Francisco
  • AD 24: Marc Berman-D, Former Council Member, Palo Alto
  • AD 28: Evan Low-D, Former Mayor, Campbell
  • AD 32: Rudy Salas-D, Former Council Member, Bakersfield
  • AD 33: Thurston “Smitty” Smith-R, Former Mayor, Hesperia*
  • AD 41: Chris Holden-D, Former Council Member, Pasadena
  • AD 48: Blanca Rubio-D, Former School Board Member, Baldwin Park USD
  • AD 50: Richard Bloom-D, Former Mayor, Santa Monica
  • AD 56: Eduardo Garcia-D, Former Mayor, Coachella
  • AD 64: Mike Gipson-D, Former Council Member, Carson
  • AD 67: Kelly Seyarto-R, Former Council Member, Murrieta*
  • AD 68: Steven Choi-R, Former Mayor, Irvine
  • AD 73: Laurie Davies-R, Former Mayor, Laguna Niguel*
  • AD 76: Tasha Boerner Horvath-D, Former Council Member, Encinitas
  • SD 12: Anna Caballero-D, Former Mayor, Salinas
  • SD 17: John Laird-D, Former Mayor, Santa Cruz*
  • SD 19: S. Monique Limón-D, Former Trustee, Santa Barbara School Board
  • SD 23: Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh-R, Board Member, Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint USD*
  • SD 25: Anthony Portantino-D, Former Mayor, La Cañada Flintridge
  • CD 31: Pete Aguilar-D, Former Mayor, Redlands
  • U.S. Senator: Alex Padilla, Former Council Member, Los Angeles
  • California State Treasurer: Fiona Ma, Former Supervisor, San Francisco
  • California State Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tony Thurmond

*Class of 2020

California Civic Leadership Institute logo