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Home > News > News Articles > 2020 > March > Planning Commissioners Gain Wealth of Knowledge at League Academy in Sacramento March 4-6
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Planning Commissioners Gain Wealth of Knowledge at League Academy in Sacramento March 4-6

March 11, 2020
More than 400 city planning commissioners from across the state came together in Sacramento last week for the League of California Cities Planning Commissioners Academy to participate in a full range of education sessions, and exchange city planning challenges and experiences.
The event provided valuable tools and resources that attendees can take back to their communities and apply to their profession.
The conference began with a welcome from the League’s Executive Director Carolyn Coleman and Planning and Community Development Department President Ernie Schmidt, Redwood City Planning Commission vice chair.
“City planners develop incredible plans to build incredible cities. I truly appreciate the hard work you do every day,” said Coleman.
Attendees also enjoyed enthusiastic opening keynote speaker Rebecca Sanborn Stone from Community Workshop, LLC. Sanborn Stone shared how improvisation (improv) philosophies and activities can build community, revitalize your place, and change the way you plan – all for the better. City planners also heard how to apply an improv mindset to their planning work, creative tricks and activities, and left with inspiring stories and examples of improv community at work.
During the three-day conference, sessions included legal powers and obligations as a planning commissioner, the basics and technicalities of the California Environmental Quality Act, how to foster an effective planning staff-city council relationship, how to efficiently handle challenging situations that arise during meetings, and what planners need to know about city finance.

The event also featured short speed sessions on emerging issues such as the importance of using the city’s general plan to make land use decisions, challenges and opportunities in designing and implementing policies for shared mobility devices, and rules and regulations for accessory dwelling units.

For the final day of the conference, attendees received the latest updates on top legislative issues of importance to city planners from a panel of speakers, which included League Legislative Representative Jason Rhine and California Department of Housing and Community Development Housing Policy Specialist Sohab Mehmood.

Keynote speaker Eric M. Bailey, bestselling author of The Cure for Stupidity: Using Brain Science to Explain Irrational Behavior at Work, wrapped up the conference, providing attendees with a strategy to better communicate with others based on decades of brain science research into every-day language.

Check the League’s Facebook page for more photos to come!

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