Tom Butt
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March 21, 2022

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, CivicWell (formerly the Local Government Commission) held its traditional Yosemite Policymakers conference this past weekend. I have been a member of this organization of city council members and county supervisors ever since I was first elected to the City Council in 1995. I have served on the board for over 15 years and chaired it for two years.

It has been a huge resource for policy ideas and has played a key role in tens of millions of dollars in grants for the City of Richmond. See the 2021 Impact Summary below.

The conferences always brings together top California state and nonprofit officials to share with local electeds the latest information on state polices and programs. Attending this year were the following:

  • Wade Crowfoot, Secretary, California Natural Resources Agency
  • David Shabazian, Director, California Department of Conservation
  • Lynn von Koch-Liebert, Executive Director, California Strategic Growth Council
  • Phil Ting, Assemblymember, Chair of Committee on Budget
  • Bob Wieckowski, Senate Chair of Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Resources, Environmental Protection and Energy
  • Jason Elliot, Senior Counselor to Governor Gavin Newsom.
  • Lori Pepper, Deputy Secretary for Innovative Mobility Solutions at California State Transportation Agency
  • Micah Weinberg, CEO, California Forward

It was nice to reconnect with a former board member Anu Natarajan, who is now Lead of the $1 billion Facebook Housing Initiative. She told me she has money for Richmond.

Figure 1 - Kate Wright, executive director of Civic Well, Lynn von Koch-Liebert and Micah Weinberg

Figure 2 - Wade Crowfoot.

Figure 3 - Traditional stop at California's oldest saloon, the Iron Door in Groveland.