League Partners

Through its League Partner program, the League of California Cities provides an opportunity for outside organizations to support the work of cities while engaging in educational activities, policymaking, conferences, regional meetings, and networking events throughout the year. League Partners represent many industries and bring a unique perspective to city officials. Whether they are participating in regional division meetings, Cal Cities Policy Committees, or through various online or in-person educational forums, League Partners bring a valued voice to conversations around city issues.




Become a League Partner
Build Your Brand and Raise Your Profile Through the 2021 League Partner Program

The League Partner program is the gateway to local elected officials and the local government decision-making process in California.

Build Your Network

The program connects California’s businesses, nonprofit associations, labor communities, and other organizations with local government leaders from the state’s 482 cities.

This unique network provides vast opportunity for dialogue and participation with local governments and can provide the right venues to establish the contacts and conversations necessary to help organizations reach their goals.

Gain Recognition

League Partners gain wide recognition throughout the year at numerous events and conferences that draw thousands of city officials, as well as in publications such as Western City magazine and Cal Cities' website.

Learn More About the Partner Program

2021 Webinar Series 
March 3, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.

Curative explored how they develop local partnerships to transition from providing large-scale COVID-19 testing to vaccine distribution across California. The session highlighted the importance of public-private partnerships such as the one Curative has formed with the City of Riverside. 

Presenters: Haley Albert, Director of Growth, Curative; Agatha Bacelar, General Manager, Curative; Mark Annas, Emergency Services Administrator, City of Riverside; Brian Guzzetta, Captain, City of Riverside; Kaitlin Bilhartz, Marketing Communications Project Manager, City of Riverside

January 20, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.

League Partner and Charter Communications presented a webinar that focused on how ISP’s and municipalities can partner to bring resources to communities, connectivity, adoption of services, and best practices in the permitting process to complete projects that will increase economic success for residents and businesses.

Presenters: Keri Askew Bailey, Group Vice President, Charter Communications; Antonia Castro-Graham, Deputy City Manager, City of Fullerton; Sunne McPeak, Presiden, and CEO, California Emerging Technology Fund; Michael Santorelli, Director at Advanced Communications Law & Policy Institute, New York School of Law


Past Webinar Series
December 2, 2020, at 1:30 p.m.
PowerPoint Slides │ Stream Recording

League Partner, SitelogiQ shared how cites can help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in your facilities, including using best of class technologies available that can effectively irradiate 99.4% of the COVID-19 causing virus with the lowest first cost and lowest operating cost of all other systems.  Learn how to significantly reduce operating costs through intelligent facility and infrastructure upgrades to hedge against declining revenues in such unprecedented times.

Presenters: John Burdette, CEM, CDSM, LEED AP | Director, State & Local Government, SiteLogiQ; Paul Douglas, Facility Solutions Specialist, SitelogiQ; Jessica Ritter, Facility Solutions Specialist, SitelogiQ

November 18, 2020, 1:30 p.m.
PowerPoint Slides Stream Recording

League Partner, VANIR explored public-private partnership trends and the associated demands for alternative delivery solutions. The American Society of Civil Engineers scorecard provided a deep analysis of the existing infrastructure deficit. As we move from stabilizing our economic decline to economic recovery and growth, government investments in infrastructure are expected to play a critical role.

Presenters: Michael Burns, PE, PgMP, DBIA, Executive Director of Infrastructure & P3, VANIR; Victoria (Tori) Taylor, President & CEO of Project Finance Advisory, Ltd. (“PFAL”); Jeffrey Purtell, Senior Associate, DLR Group; Geoffrey Stricker, Senior Managing Director, Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

October 21, 2020, at 1:30 p.m.
PowerPoint Slides  │ Stream RecordingWebinar Materials 

Join League Partner, Expedia Group, for a presentation and panel discussion on topics ranging from travel and tourism in a COVID-19 world, to how to effectively regulate short-term rentals in your city and achieve compliance. The City of Palm Springs shared how they created fair and effective short-term rental regulations that achieve high compliance.

Presenters: Richard de Sam Lazaro, Senior Government Affairs Manager, Expedia Group; Lisa Middleton, Councilmember, Palm Springs; Boris Stark, former Palm Springs Vacation Rental Code Enforcement Official

September 23, 2020, at 1:30 p.m.
PowerPoint SlidesStream Recording

Join League Partner, Kaiser Permanente, as they present findings from their recently released playbook entitled, "Planning for the Next Normal at Work." The playbook was designed to guide employers and businesses through health considerations they will need to address as they safeguard workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare to bring employees back to traditional work environments.

Presenters: Jennifer Castillo, MPH – Workforce Health Consultant, Kaiser Permanente; Brianne Jackson, MPH – Senior Workforce Health Consultant, Kaiser Permanente

June 24, 2020, at 2 p.m.
PowerPoint SlidesStream Recording

Learn all about an innovative and improved way to install fiber with microtrenching — it’s faster,
smaller, and less invasive from start to finish. Microtrenching allows fiber to be installed underground while minimizing disruption to the roadway, traffic flow, and your community

Presenters: Scott Longhurst, Governmental Affairs Manager, Crown Castle International, scott.longhurst@crowncastle.com;  John Toccalino, VP Design & Construction, West Region, Crown Castle, john.toccalino@crowncastle.com; Kevin James, President of the LA City Public Works Commission, City of Los Angeles, Kevin.James@lacity.org; Rochelle Swanson, Government Affairs Manager, Crown Castle, Rochelle.Swanson@crowncastle.com
Speakers Bureau and Expert Session Registry

The League Partner program is developing a list of Partner-led educational sessions that can be drawn from throughout the year to provide educational sessions for conferences, regional division meetings, or webinars. The ability to submit a session is restricted to League Partner members and is a direct benefit of participation in the program. Partners should submit session concepts and potential presenters via our online submission tool.  

Partner Directory

League Partners represent many industries and bring a unique perspective to city officials. One of the program’s many benefits is enrollment in a searchable online service directory. 

Search the Partner Directory >

Partner Briefings

Upcoming Partner Briefings
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Past Partner Briefings

A monthly briefing that covered upcoming events and opportunities. 

A monthly briefing that covered upcoming events and opportunities. 

This briefing focused on Partner program changes for 2021, including new levels and benefits. 

Planning Commissioners Academy

March 16 — 18, 2022

San Ramon, CA

Save the Date!

Designed for new and seasoned planning commissioners alike, this conference provides city officials with information about the roles and responsibilities of a planning commissioner, offers a basic legal and practical framework, and helps foster relationships with fellow planning commissioners. Last year's conference covered topics like CEQA, how to prepare findings and conditions of approval, the planning commission’s role and responsibilities, diversity and inclusion, leadership, relationships between commission, staff, and city council, key legislative issues, and more.  

For questions about registration, please contact registrar, Megan Dunn. For all other questions, please contact Education and Events Manager, Christina George.

Please see our event and meeting policies.

Explore Previous Academies

2021 Academy Session Descriptions

Thursday, March 25

You Can't Quarantine Laughter

9-10:15 a.m.

In a hilarious, interactive virtual keynote, Greg Schwem, dubbed “your boss’ favorite comedian” by HuffPost, discusses the role humor can, and should, play as Americans enter a new post-pandemic world. Greg provides real-world examples of companies which have used humor to improve their bottom lines and fend off problems before they became full-blown crises. Greg will also candidly discuss why he feels humor has been disappearing from the corporate world, and why it should return. Prepare to make full use of the chat box. Greg encourages (a little) virtual heckling.

Welcome and Introductions: Joel Rojas, President, Planning and Community Development Department, Development Services Director, San Juan Capistrano

Speaker: Greg Schwem, Business Humorist, Corporate Entertainer, Author


Planning Commission 101: The Nuts and Bolts of Planning

10:45 a.m.-12 p.m.

Learn the basics about planning laws, typical planning documents, and how they fit together. The nuts and bolts of general plans, housing elements, specific plans, zoning codes, subdivision ordinances, design review and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) will be discussed. Presenters will walk attendees through typical project review and decision-making processes. Learn how plans, codes, and regulations can be written to ensure that principles of sustainability, equity and community-building are incorporated in new development.

Moderator & Speaker: David Early, Senior Advisor, PlaceWorks

Speakers: William Anderson, FAICP | Marc Roberts, City Manager, Livermore


You Got Your RHNA – Now What?

1:30-2:45 p.m.

Cal Cities, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) will discuss different zoning strategies to accommodate your RHNA. This presentation will include an overview of different strategies for the site identification process, common mistakes HCD is seeing, and debunking myths. The presentation will then be followed by a discussion about specific RHNA scenarios and brainstorming through solutions.

Moderator and Speaker: Jason Rhine, Assistant Legislative Director, League of California Cities

Speakers: Paul McDougall, Housing Policy Manager, CA Department of Housing and Community Development | Sohab Mehmood, Housing Policy Specialist, CA Department of Housing and Community Development


CEQA, From the Beginning

3:15-4:30 p.m.

Hear an introduction to the role of CEQA in the planning process, as we cover the basics in this dynamic session. Join us as we pull back the curtain on parts of the process, including the types of documents you will see, how environmental decisions are made, and the responsibilities of staff and the commission at each stage in the process. The tools and approaches taken by those who prepare the documents for your review will also be discussed, with an opportunity to ask questions throughout the session.

Moderator: Eric Nelson, Director, Planning and Community Development Department, Planning Commissioner, Dana Point

Speakers: Shannon George, Vice President/Principal, David J. Powers & Associates | Mark Teague, Principal, PlaceWorks

Friday, March 26

Speed Sessions

9-10:20 a.m.

Moderator: Ernie Schmidt, Immediate Past President, Planning and Community Development Department, Planning Commissioner, Redwood City


In the Trenches with Your General Plan

9–9:40 a.m.

The general plan is more than the legal underpinning for land use decisions; it is a vision about how a community will grow, reflecting community priorities and values while shaping the future. It is critical for planning commissioners to understand the purpose and role of general plans. This session will provide an overview of general plan history, content and legal requirements, relationship to regional plans and programs, and current policy trends. This session will also discuss the importance of the general plan and how planning commissioners use the document regularly to make land use decisions and environmental determinations.

Speaker: Dan Amsden, AICP, Director of Planning Services, MIG


Value Capture: Zoning and Entitlements as "Currency" Generators for Cities

9:40–10:20 a.m.

In a post COVID-19 digital economy private sector, land use preferences are shifting from retail and hotel to residential and industrial. Many cities have monetized land use by approving projects that emphasized sales tax and TOT. Post-COVID, the private sector will submit projects less accretive to a city’s economic sustainability. How can cities capture sufficient value from future applications? This session focuses on “development currency “tools cities can use to reset local economies including examples of how to maximize community and fiscal benefits through land use, zoning and entitlement policies that capture value and improve quality of life.

Speaker: Larry Kosmont, Chairman & CEO, Kosmont Companies


How to Prepare Findings and Conditions of Approval

10:45 a.m.-12 p.m.

As a planning commissioner, your decision to approve an application is based on whether you can make the required findings and draft conditions of approval that can be implemented. Learn the reasons why findings are so important in rendering a decision on a project and what conditions of approval are and how to prepare them.

Moderator: Debbie Chamberlain, First Vice President, Planning and Community Development Department, Community Development Director, San Ramon

Speaker: Patricia Curtin, Partner, Wendel Rosen LLP

Wednesday, March 31

City of Dysfunction Junction: How to Conduct an Effective and Respectful Planning Commission Meeting

9-10:15 a.m.

Enjoy a mock planning meeting skit, where you will learn some do’s and don’ts for when you are seated on the dais.

Moderator: Caitlin Cole, Conference Program Manager, League of California Cities

Facilitators: Christi Hogin, Attorney, Best Best & Krieger | Michael Jenkins, Of Counsel, Best Best & Krieger


CEQA, In the Weeds

10:45 a.m.-12 p.m.

This session assumes some familiarity with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Hear an in-depth discussion on the process of crafting mitigation measures, long and short-term impacts, and how the CEQA landscape changes with legislation, court decisions, and agency preferences. We will delve more into why CEQA documents look the way they do, the role of findings, and what to do with late-hit letters. Presenters will seek to demystify some of the more technical sections of the document.

Moderator: Eric Nelson, Director, Planning and Community Development Department, Planning Commissioner, Dana Point

Speakers: Shannon George, Vice President/Principal, David J. Powers & Associates | Mark Teague, Principal, PlaceWorks


Relationship Between Planning Commission, City Council, and Planning Staff

1:30-2:45 p.m.

As a city official there will be various competing values and priorities that drive you and your colleagues within your city. Your success on the planning commission requires an effective relationship with your planning staff and city council, where everyone’s values are respected and represented. Learn how to work together while cultivating each of your diverse roles.

Moderator: Meghan McKelvey, Manager, Department and Member Services, League of California Cities

Speakers: Debbie Chamberlain, First Vice President, Planning and Community Development Department, Community Development Director, San Ramon | Eric Nelson, Director, Planning and Community Development Department, Planning Commissioner, Dana Point | David Sander, Council Member, Rancho Cordova


The Planning Commission's Role and State Limits on Its Discretion

3:15-4:30 p.m.

The Planning Commission, implementing the City’s General Plan and Zoning Code, decides which projects are built in the city. The Commission’s decision to approve or deny a use permit or variance is often an exercise of discretion. The State Legislature recently limited the Planning Commission’s discretion through both the Housing Accountability Act and Housing Crisis Act as to certain kinds of housing projects. This presentation will explore the bounds of the Planning Commission’s discretion and the limits of State law, with a particular focus on new state legislation.

Moderator: Joel Rojas, President, Planning and Community Development Department, Development Services Director, San Juan Capistrano

Speakers: Aleks Giragosian, Senior Counsel, Colantuono Highsmith & Whatley, PC | Matthew Summers, City Attorney, Ojai and Barstow, Colantuono Highsmith & Whatley, PC

Thursday, April 1

Legislative Update

9-10:15 a.m.

Learn about recent bills that have passed, as well as top issues that are trending in the legislature, and the significance for city planning commissioners.

Moderator and Speaker: Jason Rhine, Assistant Legislative Director, League of California Cities

Speakers: Nicole Enright, Senior Program Manager, Institute for Local Government | Melissa Kuehne, Senior Program Manager, Institute for Local Government


From Dangerous Discourse to Extraordinary Engagement: Changing the Conversation on Inclusion

10:45 a.m.-12 p.m.

Diversity is a fact. Inclusion is a choice. If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that it is important to take a good, hard, long look at how we are doing business and truthfully examine how to do business better. Inclusion has moved beyond a buzzword and is now an expectation of our communities, our organizations, and our teammates. It is incumbent upon us to ask and effectively answer two questions: "Who else needs to be included in our conversations?" and "How can we effectively engage them?" This session will give you a new personal lens into conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion, and it will equip you with specific strategies for changing how you do business to be more inclusive.

Closing Comments: Joel Rojas, Department President, Development Services Director, San Juan Capistrano

Speakers: Eric Bailey, Managing Partner, Extraordinary Balance | Nicole Lance, Managing Partner, Extraordinary Balance


2021 Academy Session Materials


2021 Academy 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 Academy Session Materials

2020 Session Materials
2019 Session Materials




Contact Staff

Egan, Mike
Mike Egan
Manager, Sponsorship and Corporate Development
(916) 658-8271

Helen Putnam Awards

The Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program recognizes and promotes the outstanding efforts and innovative solutions made by city governments each year. Learn about the Helen Putnam Awards.

Cities for Workforce Health

The Cities for Workforce Health helps support cities develop and foster employee wellness programs. Along with Kaiser Permanente, Keenan & Associates, and the HEAL Cities Campaign, League Partners work to provide educational content, one-on-one consultation, and financial support to cities at a variety of levels. Learn about Cities for Workforce Health.