City Council signs off on legislative-advocacy platform

Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on Feb. 26.
Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on Feb. 26. Watson/The Signal

Santa Clarita City Council members approved their legislative platform, which outlines the city’s official policy positions, at their final meeting of the year. 

The review involves the council taking a look at the city’s legislative-advocacy platform for the past 12 months, according to Masis Hagobian, intergovernmental relations officer for the city. The platform guides staff on what actions to look out for in terms of regional, state and federal government actions that could impact the city. 

The move was part of an annual review that takes place at the end of the year, usually in December, he added. 

“The purpose of the Santa Clarita 2023 Executive and Legislative Platform is to outline the position of the City Council on priority issues and matters that impact the city’s ability to operate effectively,” Hagobian wrote in an email to The Signal. “City staff will monitor federal and state legislation, and administrative or regulatory proposals, taking appropriate action when required in compliance with the adopted platform in order to safeguard and/or advance the city’s interests in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento.” 

To that end, the council also approved a two-year, $150,000 contract for federal advocacy services and its legislative-advocacy platform for 2023 at last week’s City Council meeting. 

The city’s current contract with MMO Partners, a firm based in Washington, D.C., was set to expire Dec. 31, which prompted the renewal. 

In a report from city staff that recommended a renewal for the contract, officials noted MMO Partners was successful in securing more than $2.5 million in the Federal Appropriations Act of 2022 for two projects that will improve traffic circulation, developing advocacy strategies that furthered federal legislation to enhance the city’s green belt and securing meetings with federal officials to lobby for federal investment, such as funding for the city’s transition to a hydrogen fuel cell-based transit fleet. 

The city’s legislative agenda discussed at last week’s meeting identified 21 federal legislative priorities and more than 50 items of interest at the state level, ranging from efforts to reform the criminal justice system to address concerns over voter-approved propositions calling for early release for prisoners, to opposition to the state’s high-speed rail plans. 

There were no significant revisions of the document through the course of the meeting, but the document could change shape next year, when the membership of the city’s Legislative Committee is formed in January for 2023. Its current membership includes Councilman Cameron Smyth, Mayor Jason Gibbs and Councilwoman Laurene Weste as an alternate. 

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