October 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

Andrew Thomas

Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. 

Liz Lorand Williams

Downtown Sacramento Partnership


San Francisco Billionaires, CEOs Battle ‘Doom Loop’ With New Ads

City Lab

Looking to reverse the negative narrative surrounding San Francisco and attract more companies, a group of local business leaders and billionaires is rolling out a multimillion-dollar ad campaign to polish the city’s battered image.


Why tiny homes will remain part of California’s homelessness equation for years

Cal Matters

Tiny homes are increasingly California cities’ shelter option of choice — but how far they go in solving homelessness is a contentious question.


Six California Cities Cleared for Speed Cameras


California Assembly Bill 645, signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, paves the way for automated traffic enforcement in more California cities.


What Americans Can Learn From Europe’s People-Friendly Places

Strong Towns

“[I]t’s not accidental. It’s leadership. And it’s a community that is willing to bite the bullet and commit themselves to a pedestrian-friendly core.”


Governor Vetoes Safe Passage for Bikes


The Safe Passage for Bikes Bill (AB 825, Bryan) would have allowed people to ride bikes on sidewalks adjacent to streets...


How Air Pollution Intersects with Unsafe Streets


Long-term exposure to toxic pollutants produced by cars and trucks causes heart disease, respiratory and lung issues in adults and children, dementia, miscarriage, psychotic episodes in teens, and reduced cognitive ability.


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Save the Date: 2024 West Coast Urban District Forum

Save the date to join the Downtown San Diego Partnership, California Downtown Association and International Downtown Association for the West Coast Urban District Forum on February 28, 29 and March 1, 2024. This year’s theme – Pillars of Resiliency – will address how residents, businesses and tourism continue to support the changing urban economy. We will share best practices and strategies to sustain and grow strong communities and discover new ways to motivate our staff, boards and stakeholders. Join us in San Diego to network with peers, exchange ideas and share solutions. Registration is coming soon!

Government Affairs Report by Jason Bryant

Governor Signs CDA’s Priority Legislation into Law


With the State Legislature acting on hundreds of bills during the final weeks of session, the Governor considered each of the CDA priority bills ahead of the October 14th signature/veto deadline. We are pleased to report the Governor signed each of CDA’s bills which are important for downtown economic recovery, mental health reform, and improving operational efficiencies for BIDs.  Below is a list of this year’s priority legislation:


AB 1217 (Gabriel, D-Woodland Hills) – SUPPORT – SIGNED INTO LAW, 10/8

This legislation extends provisions of AB 61 (Gabriel, 2021) which has helped to facilitate the state’s restaurant recovery by building on local programs such as the City of San Francisco’s “Shared Spaces” program, San Jose’s “Al Fresco” plan, Sacramento’s “Farm to Fork Al Fresco”, Long Beach’s “Open Streets Initiative”, San Diego’s “Slow Streets Program”, and Los Angeles’s “L.A. Al Fresco Program” to expand outdoor dining opportunities statewide.


These local programs have been a tremendous success — and have proven to be incredibly valuable for so many community restaurants throughout the state. AB 1217 will help community restaurants in the following ways:


  • Ensuring restaurants statewide can take advantage of local outdoor dining expansion opportunities;
  • Extending the ABC’s regulatory relief, allowing expanded outdoor alcohol;
  • Allowing for the preparation and service of food as a temporary satellite food service without obtaining a separate satellite food service permit.


AB 1217 contains some of the most successful elements of emergency pandemic relief and continues beyond the timeline provided in AB 61. We know that expanded outdoor dining has been critical to the success of so many community restaurants as they work to recover from the pandemic.


SB 43 (Eggman, D-Stockton) – SUPPORT – SIGNED INTO LAW, 10/10

This legislation updates the definition of “gravely disabled” to include a new focus on preventing serious physical and mental harm stemming from a person’s inability to provide for their needs for nourishment, personal or medical care, shelter, or attend to self-protection or personal safety, due to their mental or substance use disorder. When deciding about the risk of harm, the bill would require the court to consider when a person is unable to appreciate the nature of their disorder and that their decision-making is impaired due to their lack of insight into their mental or medical disorders.


It would also create a hearsay exemption for information contained in a medical record, presented by an expert witness, in order to ensure all relevant information is presented to, and considered by, the court when making a gravely disabled determination.


The focus of the gravely disabled definition solely on the ability to provide for one’s food, clothing, and shelter is inadequate to address the real needs in our communities and often leads to criminalization and jail rather than treatment. This standard has remained largely unchanged since 1967 and has become a serious barrier to needed treatment for those at risk of dying on our streets. We are in the midst of a worsening behavioral health crisis and the failure to address this definition has led to tragedy for more and more families desperate to get help for their loved ones.


AB 557 (Hart, D-Santa Barbara) – SUPPORT – SIGNED INTO LAW, 10/8

This legislation eliminates the January 1, 2024 sunset on the provisions of the Brown Act that provided additional flexibility for local agencies looking to meet remotely during an emergency while still maintaining public access and transparency. This legislation will provide a narrow but important emergency authority, allowing local governing bodies to safely meet and act during applicable states of emergency declared by the Governor.


AB 361 (Rivas, 2021) codified, until Jan 1, 2024, numerous provisions of Governor Newsom’s Executive Orders pertaining to the Brown Act in 2020. The provisions only apply if an emergency or public health orders prevent a local agency board from meeting in-person. If the meeting could still be held in-person without endangering local agency board members or personnel, then the local agency would not be permitted to rely on the provisions added to California Government Code section 54953 by AB 361. Local agencies needing to meet remotely pursuant to those provisions are only permitted to do so in concert with an emergency declared by the Governor of California.


By removing the sunset, AB 557 preserves the critical flexibility for local agencies needing to meet remotely to continue providing the public with essential services during a Governor-declared emergency. By adjusting the renewal period for resolutions to 45 days (up from 30 days), AB 557 would provide accommodation for those agencies regularly meeting on a fixed date every month.


SB 76 (Wiener, D-San Francisco) – SUPPORT – SIGNED INTO LAW, 10/10

The bill allows local jurisdictions to create designated outdoor “entertainment zones” that will enable local brick and mortar bars and restaurants to sell takeout alcoholic beverages to patrons for consumption at street fairs, outdoor festivals, and other events. As amended, SB 76 would also enable music venue licensees to serve alcohol at a limited number of private events at their venue that do not involve entertainment in addition to a few other technical fixes.


While not a panacea, this measure will aid the recovery of downtown small businesses by removing barriers to brick-and-mortar businesses participating in nearby outdoor events, like street fairs and festivals. It will also allow municipalities to create entertainment zones that allow neighborhood businesses – which are currently barred from selling alcoholic beverages to-go during festivals – to participate on equal footing with outside vendors

Jason Bryant 

Bryant Government Affairs


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CDA District Digest Copyright 2023

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