Four RSG partners–Alexa Smittle, Tara Matthews, Hitta Mosesman, Jim Simon–and Associate, Suzy Kim (who operates our Berkeley office), attended the League of California Cities Conference in San Jose from September 30 to October 2. While there, we enjoyed learning what cities throughout California are doing to improve their communities.
Millbrae is attracting foreign investment by partnering with stakeholders in its diverse community. After identifying community needs and projects ready for investment, the city partnered with dignitaries and expats living in Millbrae, and the local Chinese Business Association, to conduct outreach. City staff learned that investors want to see a return on their investment within five years. These investors like to promote the use of technology developed in their home countries. Popular industries are manufacturing, green space, and technology. Millbrae is also updating its city codes and requirements to enable flexibility, such as permitting off-site parking for a popular Chinese restaurant.
Perris and Davis have implemented Healthy Community initiatives to promote physical and social health. Perris promoted a “Live Well Perris” campaign with several events such as walks and hikes with the mayor, free workouts in the park, a “biggest loser” challenge with more than 600 participants, and a “senior citizen prom.” Davis is building social health and capital by sponsoring neighborhood courts staffed by community volunteers. Low-level offenders can elect to go to a neighborhood court instead of a traditional court. The concept promotes mediation and community dialogue and identifies systemic problems, like alcoholism on the university campus that can be addressed through other programs.
Later this week, we’ll highlight the top community issues identified by conference attendees. Watch this space to find out what they are!
Written by Suzy Kim, an Associate at RSG.