Five things to know about the Cal Cities General Assembly

Jul 26, 2023

The Annual Conference and Expo in Sacramento is just two months away! During this time, member cities can vote on policy resolutions — if there are any — at the General Assembly. Here are the five most important things to know about the General Assembly.

1. The General Assembly considers different types of proposals

Policy resolutions — proposals brought forth by members on issues of importance to cities — may be considered at the General Assembly. If a majority of the General Assembly approves a resolution, it becomes Cal Cities policy. Cal Cities staff did not receive any policy resolutions by the July 22 deadline for consideration at the 2023 General Assembly.

Members may still introduce petitioned resolutions during the conference. If qualified, these resolutions go to the General Assembly for consideration. The Resolutions Committee may disqualify petitioned resolutions if they are non-germane to city issues or similar in substance to another resolution.

Both types of resolutions, if approved, guide Cal Cities’ efforts to promote local decision-making and lobby against policies that erode local control.

Amendments to the Cal Cities bylaws are also brought to the General Assembly for approval. No bylaws amendments were proposed this year.

If the Cal Cities president does not receive any petitioned resolutions by Sept. 21 at 8:30 a.m., the General Assembly will not convene this year.

Raising awareness about the different types of proposals and the resolution process is a major Cal Cities priority. A brief breakdown of the proposals and process is available online.

2. Every member city has a vote at the General Assembly

Comprised of one voting delegate from every member city, the General Assembly is just one way that city officials can shape Cal Cities policy. Council-appointed voting delegates play an important role during the General Assembly by representing their city on potential Cal Cities policy and business.

3. Debate is encouraged

The Cal Cities Board of Directors approved several changes to the General Assembly’s debate guidelines and timeline in response to member feedback. If there are any qualified, petitioned resolutions, the General Assembly will convene at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 22. This earlier time slot will give members more time to engage in full debate without worrying about missing their flight or ride back home.

The Board also made it easier for members to debate when discussion is most needed.

Representing cities with one voice to protect and promote local control is a cornerstone of Cal Cities’ success. That’s why participation and debate from voting delegates who represent the diversity of member cities is crucial. More information on these improved rules will be released as the Annual Conference and Expo approaches.

4. We’ve improved the voting delegate experience

Cal Cities is working to increase voting efficiency and limit time spent on procedural matters. Voting delegates can expect more instruction and visuals this September to help them fully understand the General Assembly process and procedures. Seating will also be set up in a business meeting format, an improvement allowed by the earlier timeslot.

5. Remember to review these helpful primers and reminders

Cal Cities is here to ensure cities have all the resources needed to assign their voting delegate and vote on potential policy changes. The Cal Cities Resolutions Process and General Assembly webpage and one-pager are great places to start. Also new this year: Cal Cities will host a pre-conference information session for voting delegates to explain their role. Information about the webinar will be available in a future issue of Cal Cities Advocate