2020 Yosemite Policymakers Conference

2020 Yosemite Policymakers Conference

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California mayors, city council members, county supervisors, city managers and other high-level department heads all come together in the middle of the breathtaking beauty of Yosemite National Park at the 29th Annual Building Livable Communities Conference in March 2020.

This popular conference always features a timely and inspirational agenda designed to provide California’s policymakers with tools and innovative solutions to address community needs.

2020 Yosemite Policymakers Conference

The Great Pivot: California at the Crossroads

We find ourselves today at a historic crossroads, where we have a chance to choose paths – in our housing, transportation and energy – that offer promising opportunities amid pressing perils that threaten the future of our communities. Pivoting now is the only way to ensure future prosperity, social equity and community resiliency. 

The transportation path we pursue now will determine how we move from place to place in the future. The mobility landscape is rapidly evolving, and the decisions we make now can help ensure that our communities have a shared, electric, accessible, safe, people-powered mobility future that supports health, climate and social equity goals. Our ability to pivot away from the current preoccupation with personal cars will affect how much we do – or don’t – exacerbate environmental degradation, increase costs for families and communities, and expand social inequities.

We also need to pursue a different housing path. California needs 3.5 million new homes – affordable to a diverse spectrum of households and income levels – to close the gap in our housing supply. Our housing crossroads also presents us with an immediate imperative to fix to our expanding homelessness crisis. 

The decisions of where and how we build those new homes over the next five years will shape our ability to curb the rise in vehicle miles traveled and reverse a trajectory that will continue to degrade natural and working lands, place people in areas of high wildfire risk, make traffic problems worse, unnecessarily increase infrastructure costs, and pollute our air and water. Making the right choices now can, taken together, improve the quality of life for everybody and make our communities more resilient, healthy and prosperous.

The third step we must take is how we power everything in our lives. Along with housing and transportation challenges, the energy sector is also experiencing widespread disruption and evolution – as we’ve seen with the recent PG&E bankruptcy and power shutoffs as well as the rapid growth of Community Choice Energy. Moreover, these energy impacts are affecting communities differently, unfairly. The gap between the richest and the poorest U.S. households is now the largest it has been in the past 50 years — despite low national unemployment and more than a decade of consecutive annual GDP growth. 

As we make decisions about the places where we live and work, about how we get to and from those places, and about how we power our lives, we must also power – and empower – the equity of prosperity that makes our families and our communities healthy and strong.

From our individual and collective experiences, we know that the blueprint for the clearest path to our best future lies with local governments. Local governments invent, encourage and implement the solutions to many of California’s pressing challenges – from affordable housing to climate-change responses to the transitions in our energy and mobility sectors. With all of these important responsibilities, local leaders must come together at this historic crossroads to share their ideas and successes, and advance holistic, forward-thinking solutions.

Thank you to our 2020 Conference Sponsors!


For questions on the conference program:
Ryan Dana
Event Associate
(916) 448-1198 ex 309

The Yosemite Policymakers Conference is presented by the Local Government Commission.

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