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March 2021
Steve Snider
Downtown Oakland Association

1st Vice President
Emilie Cameron 
Downtown Sacramento Partnership
2nd Vice President
Austin Metoyer
Downtown Long Beach Alliance

Chloe Shipp
San Jose Downtown Association
John Caner
Downtown Berkeley Association
At-Large Directors
Marshall Anderson
Downtown San Diego Partnership

Karin Flood
Union Square Business Improvement District

Kathy Hemmenway
Walnut Creek Downtown
Business Association

Suzanne Holley
Downtown Center Business Improvement District (LA)

Rena Leddy
LA Fashion District
Steve Mulheim
Old Pasadena Management District

Steven Welliver
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.

Immediate Past President
Andrew Thomas
Westwood Village Improvement Association 
Arts District Los Angeles BID
BLVD Association
Carmichael Improvement District, Inc.
City of Morgan Hill
City of Ontario
Downtown Alameda Business Association
Downtown Berkeley Association
Downtown Center BID
Downtown Long Beach Alliance
Downtown Modesto Partnership
Downtown Oakland Association/ Lake Merritt Uptown District Association
Downtown Sacramento Partnership
Downtown San Diego Partnership
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
Downtown Vacaville BID
Downtown Ventura Partners
Downtown Visalians, Inc.
Figueroa Corridor Partnership
Gilroy Economic Development
Greater Broadway District
Hollywood Property Owners Alliance
Kono CBD
LA Downtown Industrial District BID
LA Fashion District BID
Morgan Hill Downtown Association
Old Monterey Business Association
Old Pasadena Management District 
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
Telegraph BID
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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In February the CDA Board of Directors held a special board retreat to craft our first Core Purpose and Values Statement as an organization. The retreat, which was facilitated by Steve Gibson of Urban Place Consulting Group, allowed the board to think deeply about who we are, who we serve, and what we value as an organization. As urban place managers with a commitment Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, we believe that articulating our values is one of the most important steps we can take as an organization and as an industry. Our Board approved the follow statement during our March board meeting:

The core purpose of the California Downtown Association is to collectively lead and empower urban places to attract investment, promote culture, and offer inclusive opportunities for growth.

We value:
  • Diverse, Inclusive Places, and Organizations that allow all to prosper
  • Community as the foundation on which great cities are built
  • Passion for the public realm and a fundamental belief in the vibrancy of cities
  • Partnerships with businesses, residents, visitors, investors and government that together makes our places exponentially better.
  • Resilience and an unwavering commitment to success in the face of all challenges.

This purpose and values statement will now help guide our organizational development, our future legislative advocacy work and our educational programs. If you have not articulated your own values as an organization, we highly encourage you to host a similar board and staff retreat to do this important work. 

In the near future you should receive some information about registering for the upcoming DEI Summit, a webinar we are producing in partnership with the International Downtown Association at the end of April. We hope you will be able to join us as we feature some incredible presenters and facilitators who will help us unpack and process the essential work of racial equity and inclusion in urban place management.

Steve Snider, CDA President
Executive Director
Downtown Oakland Association
CDA Takes Early Action on Key Legislative Priorities   

With the California State Legislature setting policy committee hearings this month, the California Downtown Association has prioritized a number of key bills that are important to our membership. The Board took action to identify three key areas of public policy that will drive our advocacy and lobbying efforts this year. They are: 

  1. Downtown Environment & Safety 
  2. Economic Vitality & COVID-19 Recovery 
  3. Operational Effectiveness of BIDs 

As CDA’s ad-hoc legislative committee continues to review and consider legislative proposals that have been introduced this year, the Board has taken the following positions on three bills:  

SB 285 (McGuire, D – Santa Rosa): California Tourism Recovery Act – SUPPORT 
The “California Tourism Recovery Act” would transfer $45 million to Visit California for implementing their “Calling All Californians” campaign to jumpstart travel when it is safe to do so. COVID-19 has impacted travel and hospitality more than any other industry, confirmed by the report of the Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery. Domestic leisure travel offers one of the best immediate opportunities for recovering California’s economy from the pandemic. The California Downtown Association believes it is critically important that the state make investments in attracting tourism back to California to kick-start the state’s economic recovery. The budget appropriation contained in SB 285 will be an impactful down payment to help California recover from the dire economic impact of the coronavirus once it is safe to travel again. 

AB 361 (Rivas, D – Salinas): Public Records Act: Declared Emergencies – SUPPORT 
The bill would provide public agencies with the ability to meet remotely during declared emergencies to ensure the continued delivery of critical public services. The bill would codify portions of the Governor of California’s Executive Orders from March 2020 relating to the Brown Act, which made it safe for local agencies to meet. The bill’s provisions would allow public agencies, including BIDs, to meet and conduct business during a formal state of emergency or a declared local emergency.  

Existing law requires that local agencies post advance notice of the intent to hold a meeting along with posting the agenda of planned meetings. This bill does not eliminate that responsibility; instead, it allows local agencies to fulfill this requirement without physically posting these notices in areas that may have been rendered unsafe due to an emergency. This bill would codify the flexibility afforded to BIDs by the Governor’s existing Executive Order also ensure that the public is guaranteed the opportunity to observe agency meetings and the opportunity to provide public comment. 

AB 339 (Lee, D – Milpitas): Public Records Act Mandates – OPPOSE 
Unfortunately, AB 339 seeks to add a significant number of unfunded mandates on local public agencies, including BIDs, by requiring public agencies to provide both call-in and internet-based options for participation – in addition to in-person options, for members of the public to attend and comment during any public meeting. The measure further requires extensive translation services in real-time during public meetings and extensive and technical meeting materials, additionally burdening local agencies with significant costs. Imposing these mandated costs on local agencies under particularly challenging fiscal circumstances coupled with the overwhelming practical challenges associated with implementing such a measure makes us deeply concerned about local agencies’ ability to effectively conduct the people’s business. Under this bill, there would be no state reimbursement for these local mandates. BIDs take very seriously their obligations under the Brown Act to operate transparently and provide opportunities for members of the public to participate. Unfortunately, the mandates outlined in this bill would create more burdens on already struggling public agencies and could actually do more to hinder the public process than increase in participation.

Jason Bryant 
Bryant Government Affairs
March 2021 Legislative Update
Construction Activity in DTLA Remains Robust Amid COVID
The Press-Enterprise
COVID-19 hammered the nation’s economy in 2020, but downtown Los Angeles still saw significant construction activity and the 10 largest projects underway have a combined value...

Most LA Metro Riders Could Ride For Free Starting Next Year Under New Pilot Plan
Free bus and train trips on Los Angeles County's regional transit system could become a reality for many riders starting with a pilot program next year.

Oakland Takes Step Towards Banning Single-Family Zoning
The City Council voted unanimously to look into allowing fourplexes citywide and removing long-standing laws that officials called “exclusionary.”

CA Transportation Agency Releases Plan to Support, Promote Sustainable Transportation
Streetsblog California
It's a plan, a framework, a guide - but still, it's a big deal.

Santa Monica, CA Aims to Create Zero-Emissions Delivery Zone Playbook
Cities Today
The pandemic has exacerbated last-mile delivery issues that have plagued cities in recent years, including air pollution and congested roadways, bike lanes and curbsides.
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