How to Get Involved

Welcome to the League of California Cities!

Local city officials are the reason California's cities are resilient and diverse communities where our residents can live, work, and play. Cal Cities is here to help ensure you are the best city official you can be for your community. 

To help you get started with Cal Cities, the resources below outline your membership benefits and how you can engage with and get the most out of your membership.




Learn More About Cal Cities

Membership and Benefits

Get access to unmatched advocacy, updates about the latest policy issues, cutting-edge professional development, and more. 

Members' Roadmap

New to Cal Cities or want to get the most from your membership? We’ve created a roadmap to help you get started.

2023 Advocacy Priorities

We stand ready to work collaboratively with the state and federal governments and other stakeholders to accomplish our strategic advocacy priorities.


The League of California Cities engages with city officials through a variety of channels to keep them informed on the issues that matter most to cities.

Western City Magazine

Dive deeper into big policy issues and trends and receive practical ideas for city officials in the monthly digital Western City magazine.

Cal Cities Delivers

Cal Cities delivers major victories for cities year after year – protecting local control, securing billions of dollars in new funding, and preserving existing city resources.

Get Involved


Functioning as professional societies with educational and networking opportunities, municipal departments play an essential role in forming Cal Cities policy and programs. Each department is represented on the Cal Cities’ board of directors and policy committees.

Regional Divisions

Representing virtually every city and town in California, Regional Divisions are at the core of our advocacy efforts. City officials — both elected and career — help develop region-specific programs and carry out grassroots activities that support chosen legislative, regulatory, and ballot measure goals.


Caucuses advocate for equitable state policies within Cal Cities’ internal committees and departments, ensure that the unique needs of their respective communities are responded to, and promote the advancement of officials from traditionally marginalized communities.

Coastal Cities Group

Composed of 61 cities located within California's coastal zone, the Coastal Cities Group (CCG) collaborates on sea level rise mitigation efforts, land use regulations, and other issues of mutual interest.

Rural City Information Exchange

Rural communities often face different challenges than their urban counterparts and, even when the issues are similar, the solutions can differ dramatically.

Policy Committees

City officials actively debate, shape, and steer Cal Cities’ policy-making process and advocacy efforts. Over 400 officials collectively add their expertise and guidance to Cal Cities through one of seven policy committees.

Advocacy Tools

Cal Cities provides up-to-date information about the legislative process, lobbying, and which bills are scheduled for hearings. Hone your advocacy skills by diving into our Advocacy Tools.


Mission, Vision, and Beliefs

Our mission is to expand and protect local control for cities through education and advocacy to enhance the quality of life for all Californians. Our vision is to be recognized and respected as the leading advocate for the common interests of California's cities. Learn more about Cal Cities' core beliefs


City Clerks New Law and Elections Seminar

December 13-15, 2023

San Diego Mission Bay Hotel

1775 East Mission Bay Drive, San Diego, CA

Seminar SOLD OUT. No onsite registrations.

Designed for city clerks and staff members of all tenures from throughout the state, the City Clerks New Law and Elections Seminar expands an individual’s knowledge on a wide range of topics relevant to the city clerk’s role within their city and fosters relationships and communication with peers. The opportunity for city clerks to learn from and network with each other provides invaluable support. We hope you can join us December 13-15 in San Diego for our 2023 City Clerks New Law and Elections Seminar! 

For registration questions, please contact Megan Dunn. For other questions, please contact Kayla Boutros.

Please see our event and meeting policies.

Become a sponsor

*With an update in technology, registration will now happen directly through your MyCalCities account. If you have not used your MyCalCities account already, please review details about the portal and contact us for questions. You will be asked to log in to register. Registration will require a credit card. 

2023 Seminar Information


Full Registration Includes:

  • admission to all educational sessions  
  • admission to the Wednesday evening reception, Thursday breakfast and lunch, and Friday breakfast 

  • access to all program materials 


Registration Process: 

With an update in technology, registration will now happen directly through your MyCalCities account. Please take a moment to set up your account so you are ready to go! If you have not used your MyCalCities account already, please review details about the portal and contact us for questions.  

Online registration ended Dec. 6. No onsite registrations will be available.

If you are registering someone other than yourself, first sign in as yourself and then choose the option to register someone else.   

Note: Registrations through MyCalCities are available for credit card payments only. If you need to be invoiced and pay with a check, create your account and then reach out to conference registrar, Megan Dunn to request an invoice. Full payment is due at the time of registration.  

To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact conference registrar, Megan Dunn. Every effort will be made to honor requests submitted.  

View Cal Cities’ event and meeting policies in advance of the seminar.  


Full Conference Registration Fees 

Online registration ended Dec. 6. No onsite registrations will be available.

Member-City Officials and Staff  


Non-Member City Officials and Staff 


All Others 



One-Day Registration Fees 

Member-City Officials and Staff 


Non-Member City Officials and Staff 


All Others 


Guest Reception Pass 



*The guest/spouse fee is restricted to persons who are not city or public officials, are not related to any Cal Cities Partner or sponsor, and would have no professional reason to attend the conference. It includes admission to Wednesday’s networking reception only. There is no refund for the cancellation of a guest/spouse registration. It is not advisable to use city funds to register a guest/spouse.  

Refund Policy 

Advance registrants unable to attend will receive a refund of rate paid, minus a $75 processing charge, only when a written request is submitted to Megan Dunn, and received on or before Dec. 6. Refunds will not be available after this date. If you are unable to attend, you may substitute a colleague for your entire registration. 

Hotel and Travel

A limited number of hotel rooms are available at a reduced rate for conference attendees. The discounted hotel rate cut-off is Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023.  

STEP ONE: Online registration ended Dec. 6. No onsite registrations will be available.

Registration can be completed through your MyCalCities Portal.  

NOTE: Instructions on how to access your portal can be found at this link.  


STEP TWO: Book a hotel room  

Hotels are subject to sell out prior to the deadline – reserve early!  


Seminar Location:  

San Diego Mission Bay Hotel 

1775 East Mission Bay Drive  

San Diego, CA 


Group Hotel Rate (per night): $189 – Single/Double Occupancy (plus tax and fees) 


Hotel Changes or Cancellations

Hotel reservation changes, date modifications, early check-out, or cancellations must be made directly through the hotel. Please note that after Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023 has passed, you may incur a financial penalty and minimum one-night room charge or attrition fees.  


PLEASE NOTE:The information you provide to Cal Cities when registering for a Cal Cities conference or meeting may be shared with the conference or meeting hotel(s). The hotel(s) will also share with Cal Cities the information you provide to the hotel(s) when you make your hotel reservation for the conference or meeting. The information shared between Cal Cities and the hotel(s) will be limited to your first name, last name, email, and dates/length of stay in the hotel. 


CAUTION! You must be registered for the conference prior to booking a hotel room. Do not make a hotel reservation unless you are sure it is needed. Your city/company will be financially responsible for all cancellation/attrition fees. If you are making hotel reservations for others, please confirm with each individual, in advance, that they actually need hotel accommodations and intend to use them on the dates you are reserving. 


Parking and Transportation 

Parking is complimentary for those attending the conference. 


The Mission Bay Hotel is located five miles from the San Diego International Airport. 

Schedule at a Glance


Wednesday, Dec. 13 


Registration Open 

8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. 


Premium Sponsor Tables Open 

8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. 


Opening General Session 

10 a.m.-Noon 


Networking Lunch 

Noon-1:30 p.m. 


Educational Session 

1:30-3:00 p.m. 


Exclusive Premium Sponsor Break 

3:00-3:30 p.m. 


Educational Session 

3:30-5:00 p.m. 


Joint Reception with Fire Chiefs  

5:00-6:00 p.m.  


Thursday, Dec. 14 


Registration Open 

8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. 


Networking Breakfast 

8:00-9:00 a.m. 


Educational Session 

9:00 a.m.-Noon 


Networking Lunch 

12:00-1:30 p.m. 


Concurrent Educational Sessions 

1:30-3:00 p.m. 



3:00-3:30 p.m. 


Concurrent Educational Sessions 

3:30-5:00 p.m. 


Friday, Dec. 15 


Registration Open 

8:00-10:30 a.m. 



8:00-9:00 a.m. 


Educational Session 

9:00-10:00 a.m. 



10:00-10:30 a.m. 


Closing Educational Session 

10:30 a.m.-noon 





Session Materials
Explore Previous Seminars

2022 Seminar Session Descriptions

View the 2022 City Clerks New Law and Election Seminar program.

Wednesday, December 7

Registration Open

8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Premium Sponsor Tables Open

8:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

Opening Keynote: How to Get Things Done When You’re Not the Boss

10:00 a.m.-noon

Sometimes you’re not in charge. You cannot tell people what to do, yet you still need their help to do your job. Yes, it’s possible to get results, influence others, and lead projects without being a boss, but how? By establishing a reputation for integrity and trustworthiness you’ve got a good start—yet you need to master certain skill sets to succeed. This keynote explores strategies for helping city clerks achieve their professional goals regardless of the constellation of circumstances they face.

Opening Remarks: Marc Donohue, President, City Clerks Department and City Clerk/Communications Director, Eastvale
Speaker: Mitchell Friedman, Principal, Mitchell Friedman Communications

Networking Luncheon

noon-1:30 p.m.

Strategies for Creating Dynamic Multi-Generational Teams

1:30-3:00 p.m.

It used to be called the generation gap. With seven living generations, the potential for generational differences in the workplace is high. In this session, hear from a Baby Boomer, a Gen Xer, and a Millennial on what it means to say “back in my day,” and how celebrating each other’s differences and unique perspectives is a better leadership approach than trying to get everyone “on the same page.” Participants will learn strategies for translating generational language differences, why innovation doesn’t have to abandon tradition, and will leave with a new appreciation for their co-workers.

Presentation of Sponsors: Ashton R. Arocho, Second Vice President, City Clerks Department and Deputy City Clerk, Fontana
Moderator and Speaker: Stephanie Smith, Director of Election Services, Best Best & Krieger, LLP
Speakers: Paula de Sousa, Partner, Best Best & Krieger, LLP
Frank Splendorio, Of Counsel, Best Best & Krieger, LLP

Visit with Sponsors

3:00-3:30 p.m.

Wearing Multiple Hats: How to Manage a PIO Role

3:30-5:00 p.m.

The role of a Public Information Officer (PIO) comes with several responsibilities ranging from creating social media posts to devising a public engagement strategy. Many agencies add these responsibilities to differing roles, making balancing them with an everyday workload a daunting task. During this session, presenters will share their insights on managing multiple roles, the communications that come with it, and community engagement best practices. The foundational knowledge shared in this session will help you deliver in your role as a city clerk.

Moderator: Jessica Blair, First Vice President, City Clerks Department and Communications Director/City Clerk, Half Moon Bay
Speakers: Michelle Bigelow, City Clerk/Public Information Officer, Morgan Hill
Jorge Garcia, Assistant City Manager, Pismo Beach
Ryder Smith, President, Tripepi Smith

Joint Networking Reception with Fire Chiefs and Municipal Finance Officers

5:00-6:30 p.m.

Make new friends and catch up with old ones while enjoying delicious appetizers and tasty beverages during the evening networking reception. This joint reception is open to attendees from all three Cal Cities conferences: the Fire Chiefs Leadership Seminar, Municipal Finance Institute, and City Clerks New Law and Elections Seminar. It's the perfect opportunity to form support networks inside and outside your profession.

Thursday, December 8

Registration Open

8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Networking Breakfast

8:00-9:00 a.m.

New Law and Election Update and More!

9:00 a.m.-noon

It’s that time of year again. In this session, we will share highlights from the previous legislative session; discuss new bills related to elections, records, and the Brown Act; and review new Fair Political Practices Commission rules, regulations, and filing requirements. In addition, we will identify which department programs and practices currently work, which do not, and what legislative solutions may be the answer to future challenges of the profession, especially as it relates to meetings, records, elections, and voting.

Moderator: Randi Johl, Department Director, City Clerks Department, City Clerk/Legislative Director, Temecula
Speakers: Michael Cohen, Associate, Renne Public Law Group
Chloe Hackert, Education and External Affairs Unit Manager, Fair Political Practices Commission
Dane Hutchings, Managing Director, Renne Public Policy Group
Lindsey Nakano, FPPC Senior Legislative Counsel, Fair Political Practices Commission
Johnnie Pina, Legislative Representative, League of California Cities

Networking Luncheon

noon-1:30 p.m.

Federal Resources for Elections

1:30-3:00 p.m.

Under the Help America Vote Act of 2002, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission serves as a clearinghouse for best practices in election administration. These best practices can be scaled back or downsized as needed to work across jurisdictions. In this session, presenters from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission will introduce the agency’s clearinghouse function and highlight the resources and best practices that election officials can leverage to help with every aspect of election administration; from cyber security to language assistance, chain of custody, post-election audits, and accessibility.

Moderator: Debra Black, Recording Secretary, City Clerks Department and City Clerk, San Dimas
Speakers: Kammi Foote, Senior Election Subject Matter Expert, U.S. Election Assistance Commission
Christy McCormick, Commissioner, U.S. Election Assistance Commission

Building a Strong Working Relationship with Your City Manager

3:30-5:00 p.m.

As clerks, we are dedicated to our organizations, managers, and councils, but how do you build a strong relationship with a city manager when those positions are ever changing? In this session, we will discuss how to build a better relationship with your city manager, understanding your role as the clerk, and how to work within your boundaries and stay in your lane. This session will teach you what your city manager expects of you and how to coach your city manager on what is expected of them, as well as how to work through difficulties.

Moderator: Ashton R. Arocho, Second Vice President, City Clerks Department and Deputy City Clerk, Fontana
Speakers: Heather Glaser, City Clerk, Mountain View
John Kunkel, Interim City Manager, Huron
Graham Mitchell, City Manager, El Cajon
Marci Reyes, City Clerk, Kerman

Friday, December 9

Registration Open

8:00-10:30 a.m.

Networking Breakfast

8:00-8:45 a.m.

When Discourse Fails and Recalls and Initiatives are on the Horizon

8:45-10:15 a.m.

In the era of unprecedented election challenges, municipal clerks are obligated to exhaust all means of communication to maintain public trust. These efforts include encouraging civil discourse and facilitating access to timely and relevant information. In this session, attendees will learn how to productively engage internal and external stakeholders to lower the temperature in the room, as well as the technicalities of how to conduct a recall or initiative in a community when the temperature remains a little too hot to handle.

Moderator: Marc Donohue, President, City Clerks Department and City Clerk/Communications Director, Eastvale
Speakers: Dawn G. Abrahamson, City Clerk, Vallejo
Melissa Kuehne, Senior Program Manager, Institute for Local Government
Lisa Pope, City Clerk, Vernon

Creating Greater Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Through Language Access

10:30 a.m.-noon

Democracy requires participation and as City Clerks we must create a transparent and accessible environment. Online access to meeting information is a powerful tool, but in order to reach as many communities as possible, a language access program is necessary. Hear about programs implemented in other cities along with the lessons learned. Panelists will discuss how they discovered that it is possible to do more to engage the entire community and increase meaningful participation, even with limited resources.

Moderator: Jessica Blair, First Vice President, City Clerks Department and Communications Director/City Clerk, Half Moon Bay
Speakers: Kerry Bigelow, City Clerk, Chula Vista
Diana Fuentes, Assistant City Clerk, San Diego
Sarah Gorman, City clerk Services Manager, Santa Barbara



2022 Seminar Session Materials

Thank You Sponsors

Speaker Center

In the Speaker Center, you can find resources for all speaker-related details including deadlines, , presentation guidelines, layout, and structure, speaker agreements, and presentation submission directions.  

Should you have any questions, please contact the education department. 


Speaker Agreements and Important Deadlines
Below are key presenter deadlines and directions on how to complete the Speaker Agreement Form. Providing your digital signature allows Cal Cities to move forward in planning and promoting your session, as well as publish your name and affiliation on our website and in marketing materials. Your contact information will remain strictly confidential. 

Important deadlines 

Sept. 26: Complete your Speaker Agreement Form through your MyCalCities Portal and note any specific audiovisual requests. Instructions on how to access your portal can be found at this link.  

Dec.6: Deadline for advance conference registration. Speakers receive complimentary one-day registration or 30% off full conference registration. Please contact Megan Dunn by Dec. 6 for more information. Once that is complete, you will be prompted to book a hotel room. NOTE: Nov. 21 is the discounted hotel rate cut-off. 

Sept.-Dec.: To ensure each speaker is comfortable with their responsibilities during the presentation, please hold at least one conference call with all of the panelists in your session. The session planning chair, typically the person who submitted the proposal for the conference, is responsible for connecting with the other speakers to hold a session planning call. 

Dec. 4: Submit your final presentation to Cal Cities within the “My Speaking Session” of your MyCalCities Portal.

Presentation Guidelines

Our goal is to provide exceptional educational experiences, networking opportunities, and innovative tools that will make attendees and their cities more successful. Studies show that adults learn best when they are actively involved in the process rather than passively listening or watching. Most seminar attendees are knowledgeable about the subject, and therefore are interested in hearing what others know and what their experiences have been. Accordingly, we urge you to plan your presentation with these suggestions in mind.

The most common complaints on session evaluations from prior seminars are:

  • "The presentation was a 'sales' pitch for a particular product or service."
  • "I couldn't read the slides."
  • "One speaker took so much time that the others were not able to give their full presentations."
  • "I'd like more practical knowledge."

Please consider the following as you prepare for your presentation:

  • Relevant content for experienced audiences that stretches thinking and provides new approaches.
  • Content that is delivered in an engaging way and draws on the experience of the attendees.
  • Examples and case studies of real success (and successful failures).
  • Try to add stories, anecdotes, testimonials, or demonstrations that emphasize your point. We all remember a good story, and thus more easily the lesson with it.
  • Provide tools and information that the audience can implement.
  • If there are other speakers in your session, coordinate with them in advance to decide your speaking order and ensure that all presentations fit into the assigned time allotment. If you do not have the contact information for your co-presenters, please contact us at
  • Selling from the podium creates conflict of interest problems. Education sessions at the Public Works Officers Institute should never be an advertisement. Therefore, presentations may not include any commercialism for specific products or consulting services.
Session Layout and Structure

The League of California Cities encourages our presenters to use the most engaging educational platform possible when speaking at the City Clerks New Law and Elections Seminar. We recognize that each session has a unique format and presentation style based on the preferences of the speaker(s) and content being presented, but the following examples are provided as a general guideline in planning your session. 

Panel Discussions: 90 minutes, with up to 3 speakers

Presider (5 minutes)     

  • Welcome
  • Frame session
  • Introduce speakers

Speaker(s) #1, #2 and #3 (25 minutes)   

  • Summary of relevant experience
  • Learning objectives
  • Core session content
  • Summary of key points

Presider (10 minutes)   

  • Facilitate Q&A
  • Final comments

Single Speaker Session: 90 minutes, 1 speaker

Presider (5 minutes)     

  • Welcome
  • Frame session
  • Introduce speaker

Speaker #1 (75 minutes)            

  • Summary of relevant experience
  • Learning objectives
  • Core session content
  • Summary of key points

Presider (10 minutes)   

  • Facilitate Q&A
  • Final comments

    As a reminder, sessions may not include any product/service demonstrations or commercial presentations for specific products or consulting services. Please contact the education department with any questions, concerns or assistance needs you may have.

    Cal Cities by the Numbers

    476 Member Cities

    57 Board Members

    16 Regional Divisions

    10 Municipal Departments

    5 Diversity Caucuses

    Cal Cities Bylaws

    Cal Cities staff, boards, departments, finances, committees, and divisions are governed by an extensive set of bylaws.


    FPPC Compliance

    The League of California Cities is a “publicly funded nonprofit organization” for purposes of Government Code section 84222.5. This statute imposes several requirements, including posting Cal Cities’ FPPC ballot measure campaign filings on its website.