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December 2020
Andrew Thomas
Westwood Village Improvement Association

1st Vice President
Steve Snider
Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt-Uptown District Associations
2nd Vice President
Emilie Cameron 
Downtown Sacramento Partnership

Kathy Hemmenway
Walnut Creek Downtown
Austin Metoyer
Downtown Long Beach Alliance
At-Large Directors
Marshall Anderson
Downtown San Diego Partnership

John Caner
Downtown Berkeley

Karin Flood
Union Square Business Improvement District

Suzanne Holley
Downtown Center Business Improvement District (LA)

Rena Leddy
LA Fashion District
Steve Mulheim
Old Pasadena Management District

Chloe Shipp
San Jose Downtown Association
Immediate Past President
Steven Welliver
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
Arlington Business Partnership
Arts District Los Angeles BID
Improvement Association
BLVD Association
Carmichael Improvement District, Inc.
City of Beverly Hills
City of Monterey Park
City of Morgan Hill
City of Ontario
Downtown Alameda Business Association
Downtown Berkeley Association
Downtown Business Association-Bakersfield
Downtown Center BID
Downtown Long Beach Alliance
Downtown Modesto Partnership
Downtown Oakland Association/ Lake Merritt Uptown District Association
Downtown Pomona Owners Association
Downtown Roseville Partnership
Downtown Sacramento Partnership
Downtown Santa Barbara, Inc.
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
Downtown SLO
Downtown Vacaville BID
Downtown Ventura Partners
Downtown Visalians, Inc.
Figueroa Corridor Partnership
Gateway to LA Airport Business District
Gilroy Economic Development
Greater Broadway District
Hollywood Property Owners Alliance
Kono CBD
LA Downtown Industrial District BID
LA Fashion District BID
Old Monterey Business Association
Old Pasadena Management District 
ParkSmart, Inc.
Paso Robles Main Street Association
Placerville Downtown Association
Playhouse District Association
Progressive Urban Management Associates, Inc.
R Street Sacramento Partnership
Riverside Downtown Partnership
San Jose Downtown Association
South Park BID
Sunnyvale Downtown
Telegraph BID
Temescal Telegraph BID
The River District
The Unity Council
Tracy City Center Association
Tulare Downtown Association
Union Square BID
Walnut Creek Downtown Business Association
Westwood Village Improvement Association 

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Andrew Thomas VP
Looking Back

2020 is nearing its end. If you are exhausted, I can empathize. This year has been an interminable series of gut punches, and it seemed that every time we picked ourselves off of the mat, we were hit again.

But we downtown placemakers are nothing if not resilient and versatile. We continued to lift up ourselves and our communities and to lead in every way imaginable. We have delivered essential cleaning and safety services. We have communicated public health information to our stakeholders, and grant and aid packages to our business community. We have raised money to buy local meals and then deliver them to hospitals. We have created shop local campaigns, set up outdoor dining, placed social distancing markers on our sidewalks, connected our most vulnerable population to services and housing, removed thousands of graffiti tags, and completed countless other actions to help our districts. In my 20 years in this industry, I can’t think of a time when we were needed more.

Like our members, the California Downtown Association has worked incredibly hard during the past year. We strongly advocated for two bills which were signed into law. These are AB 1976 (Eggman, D-Stockton) dealing with Laura’s Law, a bill which strengthens California’s mental health laws; and SB 288 (Wiener, D-San Francisco), a bill which provides important CEQA exemptions for transit projects. CDA successfully held off another legislative attempt to create burdensome and costly email storage requirements. We joined coalition partners to defeat at the ballot box Propositions 15 and 21. CDA also made the painful last-minute decision to pivot from our 2020 West Coast Urban District Forum that was scheduled for mid-March to a scaled-back virtual conference.

Despite the challenges of the past year, I am optimistic about 2021. In California, it is very likely that the multiple vaccines currently being administered will lead to a robust economic recovery. In 2021, CDA is prepared to build upon our affirmed position as leaders advocating for our members’ legislative priorities. CDA is also working on a March 2021 virtual event on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and CDA has determined to hold our 2021 West Coast Urban District Forum in San Jose at the earliest possible date.

As I complete my second and final year as CDA President, I look back with pride at the accomplishments of the organization. None would have been possible without the incredible dedication of my fellow Board members, and the commitment and support of our CDA members. I also am incredibly excited to work with incoming President Steve Snider. Steve is a tremendous leader and advocate for our downtown places. CDA is in excellent hands.

It has been my pleasure to work with each of you. On behalf of the CDA Board of Directors, have a terrific holiday season and a fantastic start to the new year.  

Andrew Thomas, CDA President
Executive Director
Westwood Village Improvement Association
Legislature Returns with Renewed Focus on Bills to Help Californians Hurt by the Pandemic
The California State Legislature was sworn-in on December 7th which marked the start of the 2021-22 legislative session. While the ceremonies are mostly for organizing purposes and to officially swear-in those who won their races in November, it was also the first day for lawmakers to introduce new legislation, which offers a sense of the priorities for the upcoming session.

A series of promising bills were introduced that are designed to address some of California’s more systemic issues related to housing affordability and the economic impacts suffered by small businesses who have been shuttered or severely limited due to the state’s “stay-at-home” orders. Given CDA’s advocacy efforts in 2020, we can expect to reengage on priority housing, homelessness and COVID economic recovery related legislation.  

While the deadline to introduce legislation is several months away, the list of bills below is a good preview of some of the legislation that the CDA Board will review and consider. CDA will continue to track and monitor all newly-introduced legislation and we encourage our members to share with us any bills or legislative ideas that are important to you and your members. 

Assemblyman Chiu (D-San Francisco) has introduced bills designed to extend residential eviction protections through December 31, 2021 which are set to expire on February 1, 2021. Chiu has two bills related to evictions.
  • AB 15 (Chiu) – Tenant Stabilization Act of 2021 
  • AB 16 (Chiu) – Tenant, Small Landlord & Affordable Housing Provider Stabilization Act of 2021

Senator Caballero (D-Salinas) has also introduced a similar tenant protection measure, albeit a more modest bill, that would extend eviction protections through April 1.
  • SB 3 (Caballero) – Extends tenant protection act to March 31, 2021

Assemblyman Gabriel (D-Encino) has introduced a bill that would allow local governments to expand outdoor dining privileges once restaurants are permitted to resume outdoor dining. 
  • AB 61 (Gabriel) – safe outdoor dining program

Senator Wiener (D-San Francisco) is reviving a measure that stalled this year that would allow cities to voluntarily expedite rezoning of lots restricted to single-family housing for up to 10 units. 
  • SB 10 (Wiener) – authorizes development of 10 units per parcel in transit-rich areas

Senate Pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) is reintroducing a bill to allow up to two duplexes on a single-family parcel. 
  • SB 9 (Atkins) residential subdivisions

Jason Bryant 
Bryant Government Affairs
December 2020 Legislative Update 
Should San Diego Approve Limits on the Number of Short-term Vacation Rentals?
The San Diego Union-Tribune
The San Diego Planning Commission this week endorsed a plan to cut short-term rentals by 50 percent.

Metro Board Approves Final EIR for East San Fernando Valley Light Rail Transit Project
The Source Metro
Big news today on Metro’s plans to build a light rail line in the San Fernando Valley: The Metro Board certified the...

Judge Sides With Restaurants on LA County Outdoor Dining Ban
Courtnhouse News
A Los Angeles County judge has overturned a county ban on restaurants serving guests outdoors as arbitrary and backed...

Permanently Affordable Real Estate for Arts and Culture Matters
Next City
A San Francisco Department of City Planning survey in 1976 hinted at a possible future for the building built in 1922 ...

California’s State Regulator Approves New Autonomous Vehicle Programs
Cities Today
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved two new autonomous vehicle (AV) programmes that will ...

S.F. Releases Most Detailed Plan yet for Homeless Living in Hotels. Here’s What’s at Stake
San Francisco Chronicle
Over the next year, San Francisco’s homeless department says it will “end homelessness” for 2,300 people living in...

California Bond Program Helps Cities Secure Middle-Income Housing Without Upfront Cost
Next City
A new program run by the California Statewide Communities Development Authority is designed to help cities meet their...
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