January 2023



Rena Masten Leddy, LPM

Urban Place Consulting Group

Immediate Past President

Steve Snider

Downtown Oakland Association


Vice President

Austin Metoyer

Downtown Long Beach Alliance

2nd Vice President

Suzanne Holley

Downtown Center Business Improvement District (LA)


Chloe Shipp

San Jose Downtown Association



John Caner

Downtown Berkeley Association


At-Large Directors

Shifra de Benedictis-Kessner

City of Oakland

Mackenzie Carter, LPM

The Hollywood Partnership

Kevin Clerici

Downtown Ventura Partners

Josh Coyne

Downtown San Diego Partnership

Kathy Hemmenway

Walnut Creek Downtown

Business Association

Christian Martin


Steve Mulheim

Old Pasadena Management District

Jameson Parker

Midtown Association Sacramento

Andrew Robinson

The East Cut

Marisa Rodriguez

Union Square Alliance

Bettina Swagger

Downtown San Luis Obispo

Andrew Thomas

Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. 

Liz Lorand Williams

Downtown Sacramento Partnership


Promoting Santa Monica

The Argonaut 

Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) has opened a fresh chapter with the arrival of its new CEO, Andrew Thomas, a placemaker who spent 10 years working with DTSM as director of operations earlier this century. 


Pasadena Named Fourth Most Creative City in the Country

Pasadena Weekly

From esteemed establishments like the Huntington Library and Norton Simon Museum to a bounty of rising creatives, Pasadena has long been a home for the arts.


The Pandemic Changed S.F.’s Public Spaces — the Fights Over Them Will Keep Growing in 2023

San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco’s public realm in 2023 will likely be as contested as the city itself.


LA City Planning Director Vince Bertoni on State Housing & Planning Paradigm Shift 

The Planning Report

The flow of foreigners working in Mexico City has yet to slow, causing housing costs to rise, displacing residents and upending the fabric of neighborhoods. 


Five Takeaways From California’s 2022 Demographic Changes


California’s recent population losses could provide an opportunity for state leaders to address the challenges facing the state. 


Do you have your ear to the ground when it comes to the latest downtown news in your region? To submit news to be considered for inclusion in the newsletter, please contact us.

Letter from President of the Board, Rena Masten Leddy

I hope that you are all doing well after a very rainy beginning to 2023. I know that many of you have had damage to your homes and/or downtown infrastructure. The CDA Board sends support and good wishes to you and your stakeholders as you recover from the damage.

We have an important update on the options for remote Board meetings. The Brown Act continues to allow board members to attend a board meeting by teleconference (audio or video) if the teleconference location is open and accessible to the public and identified on the agenda. Of course, the agenda must be posted at each teleconference location and public comment must be allowed at all locations. But, this option is not always a great one because a board member may not be in an accessible location or does not want to publicize their location. In other words, if your board member is at home, they must post their location and allow the public to attend at their home. During the declaration of the State of Emergency, AB361, Emergency Remote Meetings, was passed. AB 361 allowed all board members to meet remotely without complying with the traditional teleconferencing requirements of allowing the public access to individual board member locations and/or publishing those locations. This option will go away on February 23, 2023 after the State of Emergency ends. Any teleconferencing will go back to requiring publishing all locations and allowing the public to attend any of those locations.

On January 1, 2023, the CA legislature passed AB 2449, Remote Participation, which provides Boards subject to the Brown Act another option for attending board meetings remotely. AB 2449 is similar to AB 361 in that there must be an opportunity for the public to comment, but adds some new requirements:

  • A quorum of the board must attend the meeting in person at a location open to the public within district boundaries.
  • The public must have access to the meeting via a two-way audiovisual platform or a two-way audio service and a live webcast.
  • Public comment must be allowed via the remote platform as well as in person and the public must be able to offer comments in real time.
  • Agendas must provide notice to the public of how to access the platform.

Importantly, AB 2449 also imposes requirements on when a board member may participate remotely. It only allows a board member to participate remotely under its provisions if:

  1. There is “just cause,” including need to provide care to a family member, an illness, or a disability, or traveling on government business. The member must notify the board of the “just cause,” by providing a general description, as early as possible.
  2. There are “emergency circumstances,” such as a physical or family medical emergency that prevents a member from attending in person. The member may only participate remotely upon approval by the governing board after the board is provided with a general description of the circumstances.
  3. A member may only participate remotely for “just cause” for two meetings per calendar year; a member may not participate remotely for “just cause” or “emergency circumstances” for more than three consecutive months or at 20% of regular meetings in a calendar year if the board meets fewer than 10 times per year. 

I hope that this summary is helpful to you. As we get used to another “new normal”, please reach out to your own legal counsel to determine which option, if any, is best for your organization.

Rena Masten Leddy, LPM

CDA President

Urban Place Consulting Group


2023 WCUDF Registration Now Open

Be a part of the conversation at this year’s West Coast District Forum! Join the San Jose Downtown Association, California Downtown Association (CDA) and IDA on March 29-31, 2023. This year’s theme – Leading in Transformative Times – where we’re going to tackle the issues that matter most in your urban district. We will address how we, as place managers lead our districts to survive and thrive in these challenging times. Discover DTSJ and explore its five distinctive districts here. 


Government Affairs Report by Jason Bryant

Governor’s 2023-2024 January Budget Overview

Earlier this month, Governor Newsom unveiled a $297 billion budget plan outlined in his January 2023-24 State Budget proposal. With the state anticipating a $22.5 billion budget shortfall, the Governor’s budget proposes a number of budget cuts, shifts and funding delays given the anticipated revenue shortfalls. The plan represents a stark contrast on the state's fiscal and economic position and is reflective of declining budget revenues given the state's reliance on capital gains tax revenues that are tied to housing and stock market conditions. 


Despite the budget shortfall, the Governor has avoided major cuts to core programs and budget priorities and maintains funding in some key areas of policy, including much of the CARE Court Program the Governor championed last year with CDA’s support. The release of the January budget proposal kicks off negotiations between the Governor's Office and the Legislature through the budget subcommittee hearing process, the release of the "May Revise" budget plan, and final negotiations and passage of a state budget plan by June 15, 2023.  


The 2023-2024 budget overview outlines some of the major initiatives – organized by issue area – that are found in the Governor’s Budget Proposal.  

Jason Bryant 

Bryant Government Affairs

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