Municipal law expert honored with the Prestigious League of California Cities Lifetime Achievement Award

Sep 20, 2023

Contact: Karina Gonzalez
(916) 658-8223


Sacramento — The League of California Cities Past Presidents Council today announced the selection of Betsy Strauss as the recipient of the 2023 Past Presidents’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

Strauss has served as Special Legal Counsel to Cal Cities for three decades, advising on a wide range of municipal finance and land use legislation impacting cities. She provides critical legal counsel on statewide ballot measures that Cal Cities has sponsored or opposed. In 2004, Strauss played an integral role in Cal Cities’ successful passage of Proposition 1A, a ballot measure that protects local tax revenues from diversion by the state.

“Today, we recognize a true champion of local government,” said Cal Cities Immediate Past President and Walnut Creek Mayor Cindy Silva. “Held in the highest regard by her colleagues at Cal Cities and among city attorneys throughout the state, Betsy combines her encyclopedic legal knowledge with unwavering dedication to advancing municipal interests and fostering legal excellence. We honor her commitment to California cities, public service, and good government.”

Strauss has played an active role in Cal Cities’ City Attorneys Department, including serving as the Department President. Later she served as city attorney for the cities of Napa, Fairfield, and Rohnert Park. Most recently, Strauss played a key role in shaping ACA 1, which would reduce local voter thresholds from two-thirds to 55 percent for local measures to fund infrastructure and affordable housing.

The Cal Cities Past Presidents’ Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1996 and is given annually.

Established in 1898, the League of California Cities is a nonprofit statewide association that advocates for cities with the state and federal governments and provides education and training services to elected and appointed city officials. Cal Cities’ mission is to expand and protect local control for cities through education and advocacy to enhance the quality of life for all Californians.