City Clerks New Law and Elections Seminar

December 8 — 10, 2021

Universal City, CA

Save the Date!

Join the League of California Cities for three days of educational content and networking at the 2021 City Clerks New Law and Elections Seminar, in Universal City!

Taking place Wednesday, December 8 - Friday December 10 at the Sheraton Universal Hotel, this innovative conference will delve into current topics of importance to city clerks. Networking opportunities will be available to connect with your peers as well!

Designed for city clerks and staff members of all tenures from throughout the state, this conference will expand your knowledge on a wide range of topics relevant to your roles within your city, and foster relationships and communication with your fellow peers. Now more than ever, the opportunity for city clerks to learn from and network with each other provides invaluable support.

Save the date for this can’t-miss opportunity to sharpen your skills as you prepare your city for the future. Registration will be open soon. 

For questions about registration, please contact our registrar, Megan Dunn. For all other questions, please contact Conference Program Manager, Caitlin Cole.

Call for proposals now open

Explore Previous Seminars

2020 Seminar Session Descriptions

Thursday, December 17

The Diverse and Inclusive City

9-10:30 a.m.

Join us as we explore the working culture of a City and Council through the lens of Diversity and Inclusion. We will examine those areas outside of the scope of just ethnicity and gender, to include age, thinking style, and communication style. We will review and discuss the importance of diversity in the workplace, identify inclusive practices, and call out challenges that may be in place.

Welcome and Introductions: Anthony Mejia, City Clerk, Palm Springs, President, City Clerks Department, League of California Cities

Moderator: Anthony Suber, Deputy City Manager, Town of Atherton

Speakers: | Shelline Bennett, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore


Remote Records Management in Pandemic Times

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Our work environment has changed drastically since March of 2020. Agencies have scrambled to continue serving the public while maintaining efficient, secure access to critical information. Concerns about remote meetings, VPN portals, personal devices, trusted documents, confidentiality and the threat of black hat actors have changed how Records Managers and Information Technology groups provide trustworthy document management. How can we assure management and the public accurate, unobscured access to our information? Are remote meetings considered “records”? In this segment, we will discuss your remote access challenges and how we can best manage the records we need during the seemingly unending shelter in place.

Moderator: Laura Nieto, Chief Deputy City Clerk, Irwindale, Recording Secretary, City Clerks Department, League of California Cities

Speakers: Bruce Meier, President Records Control Services, Inc.


Lunchtime Trivia: TV, Gameshows, and Fast Food!

12:40-1:20 p.m.

Test your knowledge in this interactive themed trivia game, where you will be working together in small teams to see who will come out on top. Prizes and bragging rights are on the line… No googling allowed!


Police Records and the Public Records Act

1:30-3 p.m.

This year, the California Legislature has introduced several pieces of legislation that would continue to expand an agency’s obligations under the Public Records Act. Without question, agencies are facing increasingly new and difficult burdens, especially law enforcement agencies. In this training, Director of PRA Services and E-Discovery Counsel Christine Wood will review the PRA, highlight new and unique disclosure requirements, and discuss best practices for the identification, collection, review and production of public records in the possession of public agencies.

Moderator: Patrice M. Olds, City Clerk, San Mateo, Past President, City Clerks Department, League of California Cities

Speakers: Christine Wood, Director of PRA Services and e-Discovery Counsel, Best Best & Krieger 


Creating Personal Balance in an Unbalanced World

3:30-5 p.m.

There are unprecedented demands on us these days as the chaos in our world continues. Expectations to deliver seem endless, and sometimes unattainable, as we pivot, turn and do flips to find new ways of doing things – both professionally and personally. Losing control often feels only a few steps away and caring for ourselves seems to move to the end of the “to-do list” much faster than it ever has before. The reality is that taking care of ourselves and creating a balanced life is not a “to-do”; rather it is a “to-be”. So, how do we create personal balance in this unbalanced world? Join us as we explore what having mind-body-spirit balance means (which is something different for each of us), and how having that balance can enhance our lives. We’ll talk about how our energy field is affected by our level of balance, and how that in turn affects those around us and our ability to support others (like our elected officials and our team), all of which are important aspects of our ability to be an effective leader in our agency. Resources, tools and tips on how to gain and maintain personal balance that works for you will be offered.

Moderator: Ashton Gout, Deputy City Clerk, Palm Springs

Speakers: Pamela Miller, Institute Director, CA MMC Institute | Joann Tilton, Institute Director, Northwest Clerks Institute

Friday, December 18

Elections, New Law and Fair Political Practices Update

9-10:30 a.m.

In this comprehensive session, attendees will receive an overview of the rules and regulations approved during the 2020 legislative session. Practical and real-world applications to city clerk professional responsibilities and tasks will be discussed, as well as FPPC issues and the intricacies of campaign disclosures, gift regulations, conflicts of interest and more.

Speakers: Dr. Alana Jeydel, Education Program Manager, Fair Political Practices Commission | Neal Kelley, Registrar of Voters, Orange County Registrar of Voters


Tools and Technologies for the Modern Clerk: Navigating the “Now” Normal

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

With the professional landscape changing so rapidly in recent months, many Clerks have been forced to implement new tools and technologies in order to continue providing great service to their customers, both internal and external. This shift has provided opportunities for Clerks to explore and implement solutions that will not only help them provide service immediately, but impact the efficiency of the Clerk’s office long into the future. This session will explore available technologies to address the challenges of the “now” normal, including agenda management, digital signatures, workflows, electronic plan submittal, records management portals, online meetings, and remote workspaces, among others.

Moderator & Speaker: Stephanie Smith, City Clerk, Murrieta

Speakers: Michelle Bigelow, City Clerk, Morgan Hill


Lunchtime Trivia: Slogans and Desserts!

12:40-1:20 p.m.

Test your knowledge in this interactive themed trivia game, where you will be working together in small teams to see who will come out on top. Prizes and bragging rights are on the line… No googling allowed!


The Rules for 2021 Redistricting Changed Again!

1:30-3 p.m.

Like every year for the past 5 years, 2020 saw the Legislature adopt AB 1276, again changing timelines, criteria and other rules for redistricting. This panel will discuss:

The key changes from AB 1276, along with the related AB 849 provisions from last year - highlighting how the process and criteria have changed since the 125 cities made the move from at-large to by-district elections

The options for creating commissions to handle redistricting

How maps are implemented at the County after a redistricting map is adopted

Moderator & Speaker: Shalice Tilton, Senior Consultant, National Demographics Corporation

Speakers: Douglas Johnson, President, National Demographics Corporation | Elio Salazar, Geographic Information Systems Manager, Los Angeles County | Chris Skinnell, Partner, Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni, LLP


Bouncing Back: Resiliency in Times of Stress and Change

3:30-5 p.m.

Life often throws us situations—personal and professional—where we are caught off guard or knocked off our feet. During these times it’s easy to lose our stride and our confidence, but there are ways to get back on our feet quickly, spending less time on the down and more time in creative action. In this talk, Heidi shares the latest in neuroscience, behavioral psychology, mindfulness, and coaching techniques so that you can rewire your own brain for positivity, self-compassion, and a strong sense of purpose.

Closing Comments: Melissa Thurman, City Clerk, San Bruno, 1st Vice President, City Clerks Department, League of California Cities

Speakers: Heidi Connal, Executive Coach, Adventure Traveler, Gratitude Finder


2020 Seminar Session Materials

2020 Seminar Access for Registered Attendees

In addition to access to all live sessions, session materials, and virtual networking opportunities, registering for the conference grants you access to all session recordings for later viewing for a limited time. View the session recordings.


Previous Seminar Session Materials

Call for Proposals

Take advantage of this exciting opportunity to share your ideas, knowledge and expertise at the 2021 City Clerks New Law & Elections Seminar! Deadline: Monday, August 16, 2021. Submit a proposal now

General Information

Who Can Submit

Submissions – noncommercial in nature –  from any individual, group, business or organization, are welcome through August 16. 

How It Works

Cal Cities is seeking thorough, thoughtful, and complete proposals that tell how your session can help city clerks improve their communities, leadership abilities, and knowledge within their roles. Topics to consider include:

  • Elections, Redistricting, and Voting Rights
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Leadership and Personal Development
  • Public Records Act 
  • Records Management
  • Emergency Response and Preparedness
  • Technology
  • Workplace Culture
  • COVID-19 related changes
  • And much more!
Sessions may not include sales, commercialism, or product promotion of any kind. Proposals must be submitted online through the session proposal form. 

Target Audience

This educational event is designed for city clerks of all tenures. The seminar covers current issues and provides city clerks with skills and knowledge that will help them in their daily operations.

All About Proposals

Secrets of Great Proposals

Securing a spot on the program is highly competitive, with approximately 25% of proposals being accepted. You can increase your chances by preparing a thorough, thoughtful and complete proposal that tells how your session would help city leaders and those who work within city governments to improve their careers and communities. When preparing your proposal consider the following elements:

  • Is the topic new and/or critical for city government?
  • Will it draw a wide audience?
  • Will this issue stimulate action and further important discussion?
  • Does the panel reflect the diversity of California cities (north/south, large/small, urban/rural)?

Tips for Successful Proposals

  • Think big
  • Vary the viewpoint
  • Pare down the panel
  • Speaker skills matter
  • Plan for a crowd
  • Try something new
  • Interact with the audience
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Quality counts

Types of Proposals

Over 95% of each year's conference programming comes directly from the open call for proposals. Sessions may be scheduled as a general session or concurrent session at Cal Cities' discretion. Select one of the available formats listed below that best fits your topic and desired outcomes or propose an alternative session format.

  • Keynote Speaker Complete details: This format permits approximately 45 - 60 minutes of an engaging presentation by a single speaker. Depending on time restrictions, the presentation may be followed by approximately 15 minutes of questions and answers with the audience or a moderator.
  • Panel Discussion Complete details: Panels consist of a moderator and a maximum of three speakers who participate in a 60-minute engaging presentation and discussion followed by approximately 15 minutes of questions and answers.
  • Speed Sessions Complete details: Fifteen (15) minute bursts of information on one topic by one speaker followed by five (5) minutes of questions & answers. Typically, these engaging presentations are based on focused projects or personal experience.
  • Facilitated Discussion Complete details: An interactive conversation with attendees on the selected topic. A facilitator may offer a maximum of a 10-minute presentation on which the issue/concern is framed for the attendees and then guide the discussion with prepared questions. At the conclusion of the discussion, the facilitator will spend some time summarizing key findings, suggestions, and points. In total, this session is scheduled for 75 minutes.
  • Alternative Format Complete details: Be creative! If your session does not fit one of the above formats, this is your opportunity to propose something different. Please be sure to provide the time, room setup, and other important details. Alternative formats will be accommodated based on interest level and space and set-up availability.
Requirements, Review, and Policies

Submission Requirements and Review

Submissions will be distributed to volunteers from the target audience and session selection will be conducted through an online vote.

Cal Cities reserves the right to modify accepted proposal session titles, descriptions, presenters or other elements as necessary to insure balance, quality and enhance marketability. If an originally accepted speaker cancels, the session may be disqualified. Additional speakers not included in the original proposal are not permitted to be added without review and approval.

Successful Proposal Considerations

The following criteria may be considered during the review of submissions:

  • Relevance: What are the practical applications of your ideas? Have you included reasoning and documentation to support your conclusions, recommendations and outcomes? Conference attendees prefer presentations focused on outcomes or results. Make the definition and background portions of your presentation brief. Highlight problems encountered, options available, choices made, documented pre- and post-change effects and lessons learned.
  • Content expands attendees' knowledge: Will your presentation expand knowledge beyond entry-level basics? Most conference participants are elected officials, appointed officials, and seasoned professionals. In general, direct your presentation to an intermediate or advanced audience.
  • Originality: Does your presentation advance existing ideas or present new ideas? Has this material been presented elsewhere? You might apply proven techniques to new problems. Or identify and apply new approaches, techniques or philosophies. Assess the degree to which an application is a new tool. Avoid highlighting a named product or service…focus instead on the general attributes, benefits and drawbacks of a given application, process or tool.
  • Examples: Do you have an appropriate number of examples? Documenting comparative results convinces participants that your ideas have been tested in the real world.
  • Timeliness: Will your presentation still be up-to-date and cutting-edge in six to nine months when the conference occurs? Will your topic have implications in the future? How relevant is your topic in the context of pending legislation, regulations and technology?
  • Inclusion of good, solid insights: What attendees want to learn is the reality versus the hype, the positive and negative attributes, problems encountered but not often discussed, realistic expectations for the operational use and adaptability to a changing environment. They are searching for guidelines and models to simplify or manage their own application or installation.
  • Logical conclusions: Are your conclusions supported by data? Attendees place a high value on supporting data in assessing the value and applicability of presentations. Include adequate and convincing details.
  • Identification of outside resources: Have you included sources of information, benchmark data or other examples?
  • Avoidance of product/vendor commercial: No commercials / proprietary information for particular products, services or vendors are permitted.
  • Completeness of proposal: The quality, completeness and accuracy of the proposal will be considered during session selection process.
  • Preferred Speaker Qualifications: Panelists should reflect the diversity of California with a north/south, large/small, urban/rural representation when possible. Additionally, speakers should have:
    • Five or more (5+) years of public presentation experience.
    • Two or more (2+) years of experience related to working in or presenting on the topic of the idea.
    • More than two (2) successful speaking engagements to large audiences at a regional or state level in the past two years.
    • Must not pose a conflict of interest with subject/business area or must disclose such information in each speaker bio submitted.
    • No commercialism.

To ensure a variety of perspectives, Cal Cities policy limits the number of times an individual, group, business or organization can speak at a single conference. In addition, each panel should have no more than one panelist per city/county, firm, company or organization (exceptions may apply)

In the end, you must make your case for the importance of this topic and its relevance to participants. Have you made the best case you possibly can?

Registration and Speaker Policy

The League of California Cities is unable to provide complimentary registration or any reimbursement of expenses, travel, or other compensation. We recognize and deeply appreciate your interest and commitment. The success of our program depends on the efforts of practicing professionals willing to volunteer their time to professional education.

Privacy Policy

We value your privacy and will never share any of your personal information nor sell your e-mail address to an outside party.