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Advancing Equity 

The League of California Cities doesn't just advocate for the common interest of cities. It also helps city officials lead on challenging issues their communities face by providing education and resources that focus on promising strategies and new solutions. In June 2020, the Cal Cities Board of Directors issued a statement committing to the creation of an equitable and just future for all Californians. Cal Cities is dedicated to supporting its members by connecting them to resources and educational opportunities that strengthen their knowledge and capacity to eliminate racial disparities, heal racial divisions, and build more equitable communities. Below, is a list of foundational resources, which will grow as we deepen our knowledge and breadth in this space. 


Advancing Equity Community

We are excited to announce the Cal Cities Advancing Equity Community where members can connect with one another to share information and resources. The new tool enables city officials to post information, give feedback, share resources, and interact with other city leaders on diversity, equity, and inclusion within cities. This community is open to all Cal Cities members. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Meghan McKelvey. Sign up now >

Equity Roadmap

Cal Cities is dedicated to supporting city leaders by connecting them to resources and educational opportunities that strengthen their knowledge and capacity to eliminate racial disparities, heal racial divisions, and build more equitable communities. The Cal Cities Equity Roadmap lays out the organization’s planned actions and strategies to support city leaders in advancing equity in their communities. Read more >

Resources for Cities

Cal Cities Learning Opportunities

Free to watch

  • Advancing Racial Equity: An Introduction - Cal Cities and the National League of Cities REAL Department set the stage for the work necessary to expand city leaders' knowledge and capacity to eliminate racial disparities, heal racial divisions, and build more equitable communities. ​Cal Cities webinar originally offered Aug. 27, 2020.
  • Advancing Racial Equity: A Discussion - Cities across the nation are grappling with frustration, outrage, and grief stemming from the effects of systemic racism. Join leadership from the National League of Cities REAL Department and three California city leaders for a discussion on how they are building more equitable and just cities.  Keynote panel discussion originally offered at the League of California Cities Annual Conference and Expo on Oct. 8, 2020.

Learn from other cities in Western City's magazine 

The November 2020December 2021, and December 2022 issues of Western City magazine highlight efforts to address systemic inequities in city institutions and policies and replace them with systems that are inclusive and fair.  

Other Resources
  • NLC REAL: The National League of Cities (NLC) Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL) program was established in the wake of the 2014 unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, to strengthen the capacity to build more equitable communities. The REAL department offers tools and resources that help local elected leaders build safe places where people from all racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds thrive socially, economically, academically, and physically. Please refer to the following reading list:   
  • Racial Equity Resolution provides a template and talking points that explain why pursuing equity is good for local government. 
  • The City Leader’s Compass to the My Brother’s Keeper Landscape offers resources for city leaders working to respond to the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge. This publication highlights a comprehensive set of steps cities can take to tackle disparities, change systems, and improve outcomes for boys and young men of color. 
  • GARE: The Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) is a national network of government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all. GARE supports jurisdictions that are at the forefront of work to achieve racial equity; develops a “pathway for entry” into racial equity work for new jurisdictions; and builds local and regional collaborations that are inclusive and focused on achieving racial equity.   
  • Race Forward: Race Forward brings systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity. The organization conducts original research on pressing racial justice issues ranging from immigration to economic inequality. 
  • ICMA Race, Equity, and Social Justice: Materials curated by the International City Managers Association (ICMA), along with reports and surveys that describe approaches that have an impact and provide the opportunity to learn from the experiences of others. 
  • Mayors and Business Leaders Center for Compassionate and Equitable Cities: Resources, including ideas, initiatives, toolkits, and reports, by mayors and for mayors and other city leaders.    



Latest News

Dec 1, 2021

Becoming your community’s ally: How the city of Hayward continues to move the equity needle by listening and learning

While Hayward had an anti-discrimination action plan in place since the 1990s, city officials realized five years ago that it was in dire need of updating. Hayward city leaders took immediate action to reassure the community that the city was in fact an ally.

May 26, 2021

Message from League of California Cities Executive Director

Eight minutes and 46 seconds. It’s been a year since we witnessed the senseless death of George Floyd, a father, a son, a brother, and a friend. His brutal death sparked a movement with local leaders, police officers, citizen protesters, and others coming together to stand for the common causes of equity and justice in California and our nation.

Apr 21, 2021

Message from League of California Cities Executive Director

Tuesday’s guilty verdict of a former Minneapolis police officer in the killing of George Floyd on a street corner almost a year ago cannot erase the pain and suffering of Mr. Floyd’s family; nor does it solve the longstanding issues of systemic inequities that exist in our country. However, it does offer some accountability as we continue on the road towards meaningful justice and equitable treatment for all.