S E P T E M B E R 2 011 |
The Monthly Magazine of the League of California Cities
League of California Cities
Annual Conference & Exposition Conference & Expo Highlights p.20 Strategies for a More Effective Council p.32 Involving Youth in Sustainability Efforts p.16
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Calendar of League Events
Executive Director’s Message
By Rebecca Inman
Get Ready for the Big “Trickle Down”
A look at how the conference will give you fresh ideas to better meet the needs of your city and its residents. Exposition Exhibitors 28
By Chris McKenzie A major change in the role of the federal government is beginning, and it will have dramatic consequences for state and local governments.
League-Sponsored Financial Solutions for California Cities Provide Significant Savings By Dan Harrison These services offer convenient investment and favorable returns, low-cost financing and discounted purchasing.
News from the Institute for Local Government
Annual Conference Sessions Focus on Harnessing Community Resources to Address Current Challenges Learn how to leverage the power of volunteers and more.
Involving Youth In Your Agency’s Sustainability Activities By Yvonne Hunter, Terry Amsler and Steve Sanders Youth participation provides local officials with valuable input.
League of California Cities 2011 Annual Conference & Expo Highlights
Strategies for Creating A More Collaborative, Effective Council Tips on problem-solving, conducting public meetings and more.
California Cities Helen Putnam Award for Excellence
Los Gatos Recognizes Youth-Friendly Local Businesses
Professional Services Directory
President Jim Ridenour Mayor Modesto
1400 K Street Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 658-8200 Fax (916) 658-8240
First Vice President Michael Kasperzak Vice Mayor Mountain View
Second Vice President Bill Bogaard Mayor Pasadena
Immediate Past President Judy Mitchell Council Member Rolling Hills Estates
Executive Director Chris McKenzie
For a complete list of the League board of directors, visit www.cacities.org/board.
Magazine Staff Editor in Chief Jude Hudson (916) 658-8234 e-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Managing Editor Eva Spiegel (916) 658-8228 e-mail: <email@example.com>
21 – 23
League of California Cities Annual Conference & Expo, San Francisco This conference offers dozens of educational sessions, numerous professional development opportunities, hundreds of exhibits and a chance to participate in the League’s policy-making activities at the Annual Business Meeting.
Advertising Sales Manager Pam Maxwell-Blodgett (916) 658-8256 e-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Classiﬁed/Website Advertising and Subscriptions Sara Rounds (916) 658-8223 e-mail: <email@example.com> Contributors Christal Love Sussan Nasirian Tracy Petrillo Kelly Plag
21 Policy Committee Meetings, San Francisco The League’s policy committees review issues of interest to cities statewide and make recommendations to the League board of directors.
22 Legal Advocacy Committee Meeting, San Francisco The committee reviews cases and recommends friend-of-the-court efforts on cases of significant statewide interest to California cities.
Associate Editors Carol Malinowski Carolyn Walker Design Pat Davis Design Group, Inc.
23 Board of Directors Meeting, San Francisco The League board reviews, discusses and takes action on a variety of issues affecting cities, including legislation, legal advocacy, education and training, and more.
Western City (ISSN 0279-5337) is published monthly by the League of California Cities, 1400 K St., Sacramento, CA 95814. Subscriptions: $39.00/1 year; $63.00/2 years; student: $26.50; foreign: $52.00; single copies: $4.00, including sales tax. Entered as periodical mail January 30, 1930, at the Post Ofﬁce, Los Angeles, CA 90013, under the Act of April 13, 1879. Periodical postage paid at Sacramento, Calif.
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Postmaster: Send address changes to Western City, 1400 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. Western City Trademark Reg. U.S. Pat. Off. ©2011 League of California Cities. All rights reserved. Material may not be reprinted without written permission. This issue is Volume LXXXVII, No. 9.
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League of California Cities
15 – 16 (tentative) Legislative Briefings Webinar Learn about the latest legislative developments affecting cities.
30 – December 2 City Clerks New Law & Elections Seminar, Long Beach This seminar covers laws affecting elections as well as many aspects of the clerk’s responsibilities.
30 – December 2 Municipal Finance Institute, Long Beach This conference provides essential information for city officials and staff involved in fiscal planning for municipalities.
Event and registration information is available at www.cacities.org/events. For the latest information on League conferences and events follow us on Twitter @CaCitiesLearn. For legislative and policy updates and more, follow @CaCities. Join us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/westerncity www.facebook.com/LeagueofCaCities www.cacities.org
Executive Director’s Message by Chris McKenzie
Get Ready for the Big
“Trickle Down” A major change in the role of the federal government is beginning to occur, and it will have dramatic consequences for state and local governments and the people they serve. continued
Western City, September 2011
Get Ready for the Big “Trickle Down,” continued
Spending cuts and water have at least one thing in common — they both run downhill. A great deal of attention in Washington, D.C., this summer was focused on extending the federal debt limit. What may be unclear to some is that the debt limit deal, assuming it will be implemented as passed, will require some major federal spending cuts im-
mediately and over the near term that will fundamentally change the federal government’s commitment to defense and domestic spending. The deal also contains an enforcement mechanism that guarantees continued uncertainty over the next few months (and maybe years) about the federal government’s commitment to fund state and local services. A
There is strong evidence that in the months ahead the House of Representatives will demand
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are vital to cities. major change in the role of the federal government is beginning to occur, and it will have dramatic consequences for state and local governments and the people they serve. What’s Coming
Under the debt limit deal, 10-year discretionary spending caps of nearly $1 trillion would be implemented to reduce the deficit. These cuts would be balanced between defense and non-defense spending. In addition, a bipartisan Congressional committee would then identify an additional $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, which could include changing federal entitlement programs (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security) and eliminating tax loopholes.
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The committee’s work must be implemented by Dec. 23, 2011. If the committee fails to do its work, the failure will trigger spending reductions in 2013, divided evenly between domestic and defense spending but protecting Social Security, Medicare beneficiaries and programs that serve low-income people. States have a particular interest in the omission of Medicaid (health care for the poor) spending from the automatic cuts if the committee fails to do its work, but some state officials point out that it could still be trimmed if the committee does its work as designed. continued on page 6 www.cacities.org
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Get Ready for the Big “Trickle Down,” continued from page 4
In announcing the debt limit deal, President Obama said it makes substantial reductions in the base defense budget (something that will be noticed by cities with military bases) of $350 billion initially and will reduce domestic discretionary spending to the lowest level since the Eisenhower administration. While cuts in funding for states could cause even deeper cuts in state-administered health and human services programs (for example, in-home care for seniors, hospital care, etc.), cities may be facing not only the end of the federal job stimulus funding but also deep cuts to programs that make the difference between manageable and unmanageable public safety and environmental services. Commenting on the proposed debt limit deal, U.S. Conference of Mayors
Executive Director Tom Cochran told the New York Times “the proposed cuts were ‘devastating’ to cities” and would “mean fewer cops, fewer firefighters and less money for job creation projects, housing and elderly care.”
The loss of
More Devils in the Details
on our state
As the most aggressive of the two chambers, the House of Representatives has recently witnessed approval of proposals in its Appropriations Committee the week of July 11 that offer a glimpse of what may lie ahead for cities. According to the National League of Cities, the House Appropriations Committee approved a FY 2012 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill that would eliminate the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office and virtually all its programs, including both hiring and
federal funding will only increase the pressure government to violate California’s Constitution and take local funds.
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technical assistance grants. In addition, the bill would make drastic cuts to Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (JAG), the Second Chance Act, and Juvenile Justice Grants. In all, the spending bill cuts more than $1.1 billion from state and local government programs. Second, the House Appropriations Committee also approved the FY 2012 Interior-Environment appropriations bill, which provides funding for the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As approved, the bill would slash both the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRF), by a combined $967 million less than the enacted FY 2011 levels. The bill provides $689 million for the Clean Water SRF and $829 million for the Drinking Water SRF, setting those programs back to FY 2009 levels. In addition, the bill includes level funding for the Superfund Program ($1.2 billion) and reduces funding for the Brownfields Program by two-thirds ($60 million).
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Increasing Pressure to Take Local Funds
Will these specific cuts or some close to them occur? That remains to be seen, but there is strong evidence that in the months ahead the House of Representatives will demand deep spending cuts in domestic programs that are vital to cities. Our ability to shield these programs (or other important programs like Community Development Block Grants) from the deficit budget ax will shift the impact to other domestic programs. If those programs fund important state services, the loss of federal funding will only increase the pressure on our state government to violate California’s Constitution and take local funds for the state budget. If that happens, we must remain vigilant and demand they respect the Constitution. Water and spending cuts at the federal and state levels do run downhill. n
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Western City, September 2011
Financial Solutions for California
Significant Among the many Leaguesponsored services used widely by California cities are three services provided by other organizations. The League helped create each of these organizations to offer value to local governments, and it continues to be involved in their governance and administration. They are: • CalTRUST (Investment Trust of California) — a joint powers authority that provides a convenient way for local agencies to pool their assets for investment; • California Communities (California Statewide Communities Development Authority or CSCDA) — a joint powers financing authority that offers local governments and private entities access to low-cost, tax-exempt financing for projects that provide local public benefit; and • U.S. Communities — a national nonprofit corporation that allows local agencies to piggyback on competitively
bid contracts and secure very deep discounts by taking advantage of public agencies’ enormous collective purchasing power nationwide. These services provide cities value in two ways. The first and most important is through convenient investment and favorable returns, low-cost financing and discounted purchasing. The second is related to the fees the League receives from these services. These fees allow cities working together to accomplish through the League what would otherwise be unaffordable, while keeping League dues affordable. It would require a 55 percent membership dues increase on cities for the League to replace the revenue it receives from these three programs. Here’s a brief introduction to each of these services.
CalTRUST is an innovative partnership. The California State Association of Counties (CSAC) Finance Corporation
Savings and the League created CalTRUST to provide a convenient method for local agencies to pool their assets for investment. The California Government Code specifically authorizes local agencies to directly invest in joint investment pools, such as CalTRUST. Participating is easy. Local agencies can invest with CalTRUST directly, without the need for a city council action to join the joint powers authority (JPA). Any California local agency may participate in CalTRUST. Local treasurers and investment officers govern CalTRUST. As a JPA, CalTRUST is governed by a board of trustees made up of local treasurers, finance directors and investment officers. The board of trustees sets overall policy for CalTRUST; it also selects and supervises the activities of the investment manager and other agents. Wells Capital Management serves as the investment advisor for the program. CalTRUST offers options. Local agencies have access to three types of accounts: 1. Money market (rated AAA/Aaa); 2. Short term (rated AA/S1+); and 3. Medium term.
by Dan Harrison
Local agencies may select account options that match their investment time horizon and cash flow needs. They can easily reallocate among accounts as those needs change. Each of the accounts seeks to attain a high level of current income and preserve principal by investing only in high-quality, fixed-income securities. All CalTRUST accounts comply with the limits and restrictions placed on local investments by California statutes; no leverage is permitted in any of the CalTRUST accounts. CalTRUST is flexible and transparent. There are no account maximums or limits on the number of accounts. Unlimited transactions are possible in the money market and short-term accounts, and monthly transactions are possible in the medium-term account. The daily mark to market, or fair value accounting, of portfolios means no hidden surprises. Twenty-four-hour secure online access to account information reflects all activity through the prior day, including all asset holdings. For more information visit www.caltrust.org.
About California Communities
California Communities has a track record of ensuring that the diverse interests and broad needs of more than 500 local government members and their communities are met through a variety of innovative public agency and private activity bond programs. With more than $47 billion in tax-exempt debt issued since 1988, California Communities has both earned a trusted name and developed the breadth of experience necessary to operate in the California marketplace. Local Government Projects. California Communities has funded more than $11.7 billion for 1,456 local agency participants, including: â€˘ Total Road Improvement Program (TRIP), which leverages gas tax revenue (this is a new service); continued
Dan Harrison is director of administrative services for the League and can be reached at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. www.westerncity.com
Western City, September 2011
Financial Solutions for California Cities, continued
• Tax and revenue anticipation notes — $9 billion;
$36 billion for 1,775 local communityapproved efforts, including:
• Water/wastewater systems — $481 million;
• Affordable housing — more than 54,000 very low- and low-income affordable housing units for 464 multifamily and 118 senior housing projects;
• CaLease lease obligations — $123 million; • Pension obligation bonds — $414 million; • Statewide Community Infrastructure Program — $149 million; and • Vehicle license fee and property tax securitizations — $1.5 billion. Public Benefit Projects. California Communities is known for financing high-quality public benefit projects. It has issued more than
• Manufacturing — 125 projects creating an estimated 10,000 new manufacturing jobs in California; • Hospitals/medical facilities — 645 projects; and • Solid waste disposal and alternative energy — 19 projects. Read the annual Community Benefit Report and more at www.cacommunities.org.
About U.S. Communities
U.S. Communities is the leading national government purchasing cooperative. It provides world-class government procurement resources and solutions to local and state government agencies, school districts (K-12), higher education and nonprofits looking for the best overall government pricing from suppliers. The program offers: • No User Fees — there are no costs or fees to participate; continued on page 13
League of California Cities
CMB REGIONAL CENTERS Creating Jobs and Creating Economic Activity Through Foreign Investment (EB-5)
CMB Export, LLC Regional Center California
CMB Investor Capital $300 Million and Growing. Projects Totalling Over $1.5 Billion in CMB and Matching Funds.
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Environmenta l Projects
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Courthous Improvemen e ts
Airport Sheriff Facilities â€™s Hang ar
roject Sewer P
Railw Improve ay ments
Financial Solutions for California Cities, continued from page 10
• Best Overall Government Pricing From Suppliers — by combining the potential cooperative purchasing power of up to 90,000 public agencies, California cities are able to access the best overall pricing;
through U.S. Communities. In addition, using these services will help keep the League strong and reduce its reliance on membership dues. n
• Quality Brands — U.S. Communities offers thousands of the best brands in a wide variety of categories, services and solutions; • Integrity and Experience — unlike other government cooperative purchasing organizations, U.S. Communities national government purchasing cooperative was founded by five national sponsors and more than 70 state, city and regional organizations; and • Oversight by Public Purchasing Professionals — third-party audits on contracts ensure that program pricing commitments are met, with benchmark analyses against other suppliers and retailers to guarantee participants the best overall value. A majority of California cities already use one or more of the U.S. Communities contracts. However, there is more money to be saved on the products and services cities use every day. The new office-supplies contract that features locally owned office suppliers with national discount pricing is especially attractive. Other offerings include furniture, auto supplies, food, rental equipment, tools, cleaning supplies, office equipment and much more.
Keenan & Associates introduces Futuris, a comprehensive program that provides all your GASB 43 and 45 compliance needs from a single source. For more information please contact Steve Gedestad at 800.338.5247 901 Calle Amanecer, Suite 200, San Clemente, CA 92673 www.keenan.com License No. 0451271
Innovative Solutions. Enduring Principles.
Registering to participate with U.S. Communities government purchasing cooperative is quick, easy and free. Learn more about this one-of-a-kind joint purchasing program by visiting www.uscommunities.org. Beyond the Financial Benefits
The League encourages cities to use these services. CalTRUST fits well into the investment strategy of many cities, most cities will find it helpful to rely on California Communities financing from time to time, and every city can secure high-quality products at lower cost
Western City, September 2011
Join These Leading Communities
Achieving Local Sustainability Learn more at: www.ca-ilg.org/BeaconAward (Applications accepted continuously)
Mark Wheetley, Council Member, Arcata “Arcata is proud to be part of the Beacon Award program. We welcome the opportunity to participate in this program. There are a lot of transferable lessons that can come from our experience to share with other communities.”
Michael Sweeney, Mayor, Hayward “We all have a lot to learn from one another. The Beacon Award program is a tremendous step forward in making sure good practices and success stories are shared. There is nothing like an award program to encourage people to go the next step.”
Carl Morehouse, Council Member, Ventura “We were pleased to step forward and go for the Beacon Award. It’s reflective our community culture and our own goals to save energy. We encourage other cities throughout the state to jump in with us and get involved.”
Ginger Coleman, Council Member, Apple Valley
“We are the first city in San Bernardino County to adopt a climate action plan. There are a lot of things city staff are working very hard on to bring sustainability to the community. It’s nice to have this type of recognition program so cities can showcase what they are doing.”
Greg Cox, Supervisor, San Diego County “San Diego County is excited about participating in the Beacon Award program. I encourage all counties and cities to join the program and strive for the platinum award level. We’ve done a lot in San Diego County and I know we will learn from the other participants.”
San Diego County
C U RRE N T BE ACO N AWARD PARTI CI PANTS (as of August 17, 2011)
Hayward Arcata Livermore Apple Valley Manhattan Beach Benicia Palo Alto Citrus Heights Palm Springs Chula Vista Pleasanton Davis League of California Cities San Carlos El Cerrito
San Rafael San Ramon Santa Barbara Santa Clarita San Diego County Santa Cruz Simi Valley
Sonoma County South Gate Taft Tulare Ventura Woodland Yolo County
www.ca-ilg.org This Program is funded by California utility ratepayers and administered by Southern California Gas Company, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Pacific Gas & Electric Company and www.cacities.org Southern California Edison, under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.
News from the Institute for Local Government
Annual Conference Sessions Focus on Harnessing Community Resources to Address Current Challenges Facing numerous challenges, often with fewer dollars, California’s cities are finding ways to draw on the full resources of their communities to meet local needs. This includes creating unique multi-sector partnerships, harnessing the power of volunteers and engaging a diverse range of city residents. Come hear from local officials and community leaders spearheading these innovative efforts at two concurrent sessions, organized by the Institute for Local Government (ILG), at the League of California Cities 2011 Annual Conference & Expo in San Francisco. Cities are home to an increasing number of recent immigrants and their families. Despite these changing demographics, newer residents are often not as fully integrated into the community or as likely to participate in local public engagement opportunities as other community members. Also, the relationships between newer and older residents may not be optimal, and this can hinder a city’s efforts to address and solve problems together. How can local agencies more effectively involve their immigrant residents in the civic and political life of their community? Plan to attend “Approaches to Immigrant Integration in California Cities: Opportunities for Local Officials,” 8:00–9:30 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 22. At this interactive session you will learn how to build relationships between foreign-born and native-born populations, promote inclusive public engagement and support citizenship and participation by eligible legal residents. Find additional resources on immigrant engagement and integration online at www.ca-ilg.org/immigrantengagement. The second ILG session will offer participants best practices that support the strategic use of volunteers to augment city services in challenging economic times. Make a note to attend “Turning Civic Passions Into Action: Volunteers as Strategic Resources for Cities,” 3:15–4:45 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 22. Topics include the different roles that volunteers can play, the importance of city
leadership and overall strategy required for success, approaches to building service partnerships with community organizations, and information on funding sources to support these programs.
New Public Engagement Assessment Tool For Local Officials While local agencies are increasingly engaging the public, few practical tools exist to measure the success of these approaches. Recognizing this, ILG has created Assessing Public Engagement Effectiveness: Rapid Review Worksheets (online at www.ca-ilg.org/ rapidreview) to help local officials gauge the relative success of these processes and improve future activities. By using these worksheets, a local agency that has sponsored, organized and/ or convened a public engagement process or activity can collect information from both participants and local officials. Although the goal is to assess the relative success of the process just completed and to guide improvements to future engagement activities, these Rapid Review Worksheets can also be useful in the planning stage. An early review of the questions in the worksheets can help guide planning and design of the engagement process as well as ensure that the design and purposes of the process match up with what the agency plans to evaluate. Evaluating local agency-sponsored public engagement enables local officials and others to gauge participant satisfaction, identify lessons learned and make refinements and improvements in future efforts. Find additional information and resources related to public engagement for local officials at www.ca-ilg.org/engagement. n
Western City, September 2011
Involving Youth in Your Agency’s Sustainability Activities by Yvonne Hunter, Terry Amsler and Steve Sanders
Local agencies use a variety of methods to involve young people in local government. Many cities and counties have active youth commissions or youth councils. As local agencies embrace sustainability goals, new opportunities emerge to engage young people. Whether the sustainability activities involve energy efficiency, planning for a more bike-friendly downtown, responding to climate change or updating a General Plan, local agencies throughout California can benefit by including youth as part of the process. Yvonne Hunter is program director of the Institute for Local Government’s Climate Change Program and can be reached at <yhunter@ ca-ilg.org>. Terry Amsler is program director of ILG’s Public Engagement and Collaborative Governance Program and can be reached at <email@example.com>. Steve Sanders is program director of ILG’s Land Use and Healthy Neighborhoods programs and can be reached at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. To learn more about ILG, visit www.ca-ilg.org.
League of California Cities
Increasing numbers of cities and counties are developing climate action plans, as well as incorporating sustainability policies into their General Plans. Many also include policies to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in General Plan updates. The City of Indio asked its young residents for ideas on the design of a new teen center.
Youth, Planning and Climate Change
Asking youth for their input allows the local agency to benefit from the fresh perspectives of young residents who have the most at stake in their community’s longterm future. Youth involvement can also help local agencies more cost-effectively target the resources serving them. Such participation also gives young people opportunities to identify and address issues or challenges that directly affect their lives and the well-being of their communities. And exposing young people to local government and the roles and responsibilities of staff and elected officials may lead them to consider careers in local government. Involving young people also offers the potential to add to the community’s awareness and support for the sustainability effort under way. Consider, for example, how news about a sustainability program or policy can “go viral” when the young people involved share information about their participation and excitement using social media, such as Twitter or Facebook.
The scientific consensus is that climate change will have a direct and indirect impact on Californians, including young people who may be more affected as the consequences of climate change become increasingly pronounced over their lifetimes. Young people hear and learn about climate change from a variety of sources and have varying degrees of understanding of the science, impacts and ways to address climate change.
Virtually all of the strategies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions also promote local sustainability and provide opportunities to engage youth. For example, making communities more walkable and bicycle friendly can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing vehicle use. Input from youth can help improve the effectiveness of these policies, because young people frequently walk and bike to their destinations. San Mateo County leaders organized a “Shared Vision 2025” process consisting of 10 public forums in 2007 to get broad public input in plotting a course for continued
The Indio Teen Center is not only fun but also solarpowered by this array of panels on its roof.
Western City, September 2011
Involving Youth in Your Agency’s Sustainability Activities, continued
the next 15 years of development in the county. As part of a series of community meetings designed to reach a wide cross section of residents, organizers specifically targeted groups of people who were typically less likely to attend public meetings, such as teens. About 125 teens from
throughout the county gathered at a youth town hall meeting and worked in small groups, with each electing a spokesperson to report the goals their group identified. continued on page 46
The 2010 Indio Youth Advisory Council (YAC) played an important role in the design of the solar-powered local teen center. back row (l to r): Jerry Zendejas, YAC advisor; Ritchie Chicas, YAC mayor; John Huang, YAC treasurer; Ruben Torres, YAC member; and Edmundo Amparan, YAC member. front row (l to r): Rosalva Campos, YAC advisor; Karen Jaramillo, YAC secretary; Elizabeth Giron, YAC mayor pro tem; Anelise Saenz, YAC member; Soleil Rubalcava, YAC advisor; and David Ortega, YAC advisor.
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League of California Cities
More Resources Online Read the online version of this article at www.westerncity.com for additional resources, ideas and activities to help your agency involve youth in sustainability activities. The online version of this article includes information to help educate young people about sustainability, including energy, climate change, air quality and water conservation. It provides an annotated bibliography of youth and sustainability resources that includes key items from the Institute for Local Government’s sustainability and public engagement programs, as well as information about local, state and national youth-related sustainability resources offered by public, private and nonprofit groups.