The Torrance City Council voted 7-0 Tuesday evening during a regularly scheduled Council meeting to discontinue its membership with the League of California Cities effective January 1, 2023. The vote followed a lengthy discussion amongst Council members, comments from Cal Cities representatives and City staff.
City leaders made their decision on what they described as a failure by the League of California Cities to support its primary mission of advocating for local control of land-use and zoning. Torrance Council Member Mike Griffiths who spearheaded this discussion says, “After nearly 2 years of expressing our concerns to Cal Cities about their dismal record on protecting local control, land-use and zoning, they’ve yet to show any significant effort to uphold their own mission statement. We cannot continue to be a member of an organization that does not advocate or protect cities like ours. We needed to take a stand and send a message.” Torrance has been a member of the League of California Cities since its incorporation in 1921.
Torrance remains active in other membership organizations such as the Independent Cities Association, South Bay Council of Governments, United States Conference of Mayors and the Southern California Association of Governments. Collectively, these organizations provide similar access to best practices and solutions, education, and legal advocacy for state and federal issues.
Torrance Mayor George Chen says, “While discontinuation of membership will create a savings of nearly $34,000 in annual membership fees, it was not our motivation. We hope to work together with the League in the future if changes are made by the League to refocus on advocacy of local control.” City Manager Aram Chaparyan stated that current retained consultants will continue to provide Torrance with a voice of advocacy at the state and federal levels.