Alyssa Silhi—City of Lincoln Councilmember, Placer County Air Pollution Control District Board Chair and League of California Cities’ Sacramento Valley Division Board of Directors Secretary—joined Renne Public Policy Group (RPPG) as director of government affairs in February 2022. Formerly a legislative representative for the California Special Districts Association, she brings 15 years of government affairs experience to the firm, with expertise in policies critical to local government including climate adaptation and resiliency, water and wastewater, energy, utilities, transportation and public works. She is a proven strategist with a reputation for balancing effectiveness with strong ethics, skillful communication and a nuanced understanding of local agency operations. Here, Alyssa, shares news of her new role advocating for local government issues vital to RPPG clients.
What special skills or perspectives do you bring as a new leader on the RPPG team?
Dane (RPPG, Managing Director) has curated a team that is exceptional at servicing government agencies for the public good. Every member of our team has broad experience in government affairs; we have collective experience advocating for and collaborating with cities, counties and special districts to affect positive change at the state level. When it comes to servicing our clients, I have unique insight on not only the pressures on local agencies but also the dynamics of council and board processes and council-manager relations. I believe this dual experience in navigating policy change at both the state and local level positions me to effectively advocate for our clients. I’m excited to join the team and to continue the RPPG standard of highly attentive, individualized representation as we work together to advance the needs of local communities.
What would you most like RPPG’s current and prospective clients to know about you?
Not only am I an experienced lobbyist, I bring a practitioner’s point of reference. I’m currently serving my fourth year as both an elected city council member and a special district board member. I believe this provides our clients with a distinct advantage when navigating complex state policies that have a direct impact on local agency operations. Coupling this dual experience with my deep understanding of the state legislative process and established relationships within the legislature, state agencies and the administration allows me to be a true value-add for both current and prospective clients.
But most importantly, similar to my colleagues, I have a passion for local government issues. I understand the decisions made in Sacramento have long-lasting, ripple effects at the local level, and it’s RPPG’s job to help those impacts be a net positive. I feel it is a privilege and an honor to be our clients’ voice in Sacramento.
How would you describe RPPG to a potential client?
RPPG is a full-service, lobbying and consulting firm that provides a tailored experience to help local agencies navigate the complexity of the state process while advancing polices specific to their communities. We don’t just focus on educating lawmakers, we take the time to educate our clients—empowering them to effectively communicate to their residents on state polices impacting their day-to-day lives. RPPG’s niche business model strives to provide wraparound service delivery so that each and every client is both seen and heard. We understand what our clients need to accomplish in Sacramento in order to do their job at the local level.
Why do you think municipal agencies should choose to work with RPPG?
I think municipal agencies should work with RPPG because we are genuinely enthusiastic to be effective advocates for municipal agencies. We focus on the details and are steadfast in our desire to effectively represent our clients. It’s the foundation on which RPPG was built. Every member of our team offers a unique, value-added perspective on local government. Our staff has an authentic understanding of how cities, counties and special districts function and what they need to be successful; that local perspective is enhanced by long-established partnerships and relationships in Sacramento.
How does the relationship between Renne Public Law Group, Renne Public Policy Group and Renne Public Management Group inform or enhance each entity’s service to its clients?
The seamless relationship between Renne Public Law Group, Renne Public Policy Group and Renne Public Management Group is one of the things that was attractive to me. Regardless of what a local agency needs—whether it is legal assistance, business advice, grant writing or lobbying services—our expert staff can help, with service rooted in devotion to local governance and the public interest.
What are some challenges and new developments you anticipate in the field of municipal government relations and, in the face of these challenges, how is RPPG positioned to advocate for its clients?
In the wake of COVID, many relationships have transitioned to remote: that includes lobbying and advocacy. Public agencies’ needs in Sacramento need to be navigated differently. This calls for advocates who have strong relationships and work ethics, and who are creative and tenacious in the pursuit of their clients’ needs. The ability to go above and beyond, to reach out to the right person and to know the right timing is newly critical.
Post-COVID-19, local agencies are faced with the challenge of having to do more with less resources. Issues such as homelessness, affordable housing, addressing aging infrastructure, maintaining tax revenues, bridging the digital divide, maintaining consistent and reliable critical local services and creating resilient communities prepared for the next disaster weigh heavy on the local jurisdictions actively seeking solutions for their residents. The good news is California is currently experiencing a precedential fiscal surplus. Coupled with the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, of which California is slated to receive over $40 billion over the next eight years, there is opportunity for local voices to not only be heard but their needs funded. However, it will take working with proven advocates who can successfully navigate the intricacy of the State Budget process and engage with decision makers in Sacramento to secure results that ease local burdens and eliminate barriers.
I think RPPG is positioned to advocate for its clients by virtue of its personalized, wraparound business model. Our staff are known individually and collectively for our superb ethics and superior relationship-building. That’s what it takes right now, when everything is virtual and the world is half upside-down. Municipal agencies must rely on people who are able to communicate well, leverage established relationships and continue to get the job done. And that’s what I think RPPG promises and delivers.
Renne Public Policy Group (RPPG) is a full-service lobbying and consulting practice that strives to advance the interests of public agencies and companies that align with public entities. As a division of Renne Public Law Group (RPLG), RPPG provides clients with full wraparound services informed by a keen understanding of California’s evolving legislative and political landscape.