The 2021/2022 WRCOG Legislative Platform (Platform) is designed to provide guidance to WRCOG and its member agencies on legislation that focuses on issues of mutual concern. Positions adopted by the WRCOG Executive Committee will be forwarded to Sacramento, Washington D.C., and interested parties, as appropriate. By adopting this Platform, the Executive Committee provides guidance to WRCOG staff in expressing its member interests to State and federal legislators. The Platform is adopted by WRCOG at the start of the State’s two-year legislative session.
Typically, items of legislative interest are brought to WRCOG’s attention by WRCOG’s member agencies, which desire WRCOG to take a position on the item, in order to demonstrate a united subregional stance on a particular issue. WRCOG does not currently employ full time legislative staff or lobbyists, and therefore has limited ability to commit significant time to legislative activities. For the General Platform Components described below, staff will, to the extent possible, monitor legislation that falls within the scope of the adopted Platform and use the Platform as a guide to respond to issues and/or requests raised by WRCOG’s member agencies. Staff will strive to also provide information on the impacts of such legislation to member agencies through WRCOG’s existing committee structure.
In 2010, WRCOG established the following Agency priorities, which are listed below under General Platform Components: economic development, education, energy and environment, health, transportation, water, and legislative advocacy. In 2012, WRCOG’s Executive Committee further reinforced these General Platform Components through the adoption of its Economic Development and Sustainability Framework. The Economic Development and Sustainability Framework was created based on the identification of gaps towards fostering a more sustainable region and what roles WRCOG could play in helping fill those gaps. The Framework also provides four general categories of roles for WRCOG:
- Convene a Dialogue
- Facilitate Local Action
- Act Regionally
The Platform will continue to build upon the Economic Development and Sustainability Framework to ensure these established goals continue to guide WRCOG’s role in addressing these and other issues at the subregional level and ensure that WRCOG may expand the institutional structure to help fill in gaps not met by current programs and policies already serving Western Riverside County.
In addition to the General Platform Components, housing and economic development are identified as Priority Issue Areas, recognizing the acute impact of the statewide housing crisis on the WRCOG subregion and the importance of economic development in ensuring a more prosperous future. For these Priority Issue Areas, to the extent possible, staff will engage in more targeted lobbying efforts by, for example, working with WRCOG leadership to coordinate targeted engagement with elected leaders at the State level who represent the subregion and/or sit on relevant Senate and Assembly subcommittees, and/or engage with State agency staff,
such as the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) or the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).
The purpose of WRCOG is to unify Western Riverside County so that it can speak with a collective voice on issues of mutual concern that cross jurisdictional lines. The Agency operates with the goal of respecting local control while providing regional perspective. WRCOG supports efforts to maintain and increase local control, while enhancing efficiency and effectiveness of activities at the local level through regional, State, and federal planning and funding programs.
- Pursue State and federal funding to establish or enhance existing programs that promote quality of life and prosperity for Western Riverside County.
- Oppose legislation that seeks to limit local control or reduce funding opportunities to local jurisdictions.
- Coordinate advocacy efforts to promote the interests of Western Riverside County to decision makers at all levels of government.
- Support legislation that requires additional transparency and communication in State and federal legislative and commission activities.
- Support legislation that requires the Governor and the legislature to pass an on-time budget that does not rely on borrowing or taking from local governments.
Generally, when WRCOG seeks to adopt an official position on an item consistent with this Legislative Platform, the item will be presented to WRCOG’s standing committees, as appropriate, for review and comment, and to the Executive Committee for final approval. If urgent action is needed, the WRCOG Executive Director and/or the Executive Committee Chair may submit position letters and/or undertake other tasks that may be necessary on legislative matters; such actions would be consistent with this Platform. These actions will be reported at subsequent meetings of the WRCOG Committees.
Priority Area: Housing
Housing plays a critical role in one's quality of life.
1. Economic Development
Western Riverside County is a subregion rich in diversity, resources, and labor.
Education plays a pivotal role in the future of Western Riverside County.
3. Energy & Environment
The efficient use and conservation of natural resources and the advancement of alternative energy sources is important to the future sustainability of Western Riverside County.
Activities to promote public health and ensure adequate healthcare are critical components of Western Riverside County’s future.
In order to meet the needs of Western Riverside County’s current population and sustainably accommodate future growth, the subregion must expand the capacity and efficiency of its transportation network.
Western Riverside County’s economic well-being and quality of life depend on securing a reliable supply of water to meet the existing and future demands of the subregion.
7. Other Local Government Issues
The active presence and vitality of local government continues to sustain the subregion.