The California Downtown Association (CDA) was founded in 1971 and has evolved into one of the country’s strongest and most recognized business district organizations. CDA was initially formed – and works today – as a forum for information exchange leading to solutions to mutually shared problems to help business districts succeed.

California Downtown Association’s membership is diverse, representing urban place managers, main street programs, and neighborhood improvement districts who bridge the gap between public, private and community needs on a statewide scale, and brings together small, medium and large sized organizations to share best practices, collaborate on solutions and advocate proven strategies.

Over half of California Downtown Association members are the executive directors and managers of BID’s, property and business improvement districts (PBIDs) and voluntary merchant associations. These organizations range from small, shoestring organizations sustained by dedicated volunteers to million dollar organizations charting the way for emerging 24/7 urban centers. While these organizations vary in size and funding, their missions are similar: Provide support to the business and property owners whose livelihoods depend on safe, clean and visitor-friendly environments.

California Downtown Association members include economic and community development directors and staff as well as managers of cities throughout the state. Cities throughout California are engaged in community development efforts that are reinventing downtowns to accommodate high-density live/work economies.

The balance of California Downtown Association membership is comprised of consultants and vendors whose companies provide services such as streetscape improvements, BID formation and management, urban planning, marketing, branding and other supporting industries.

Member Benefits

Together, California Downtown Association members are a strong network of professionals whose work is shaping the future of our downtowns and community business districts.

Advocacy & Public Policy: The health of California’s business districts is directly linked to legislation proposed (and passed) by city, county and state legislative bodies. CDA is there to learn and communicate about upcoming bills to provide members the opportunity to become aware of and advocate as appropriate. CDA has been instrumental in various recent efforts to ensure that legislation meets the needs of members and our sectors.

Collaboration: CDA collaborates with regional and industry partners to provide access to experts and networking while exploring relevant industry topics. CDA brings members together locally, regionally, and statewide…virtually and in-person to exchange valuable information, ideas and best practices.

Education & Communication: The West Coast Urban District Forum, CDA’s annual conference, is a popular and visible event offering engaging educational and networking opportunities.

  • Our member e-newsletter targets the topics and issues of most interest and concern to members. Focus is on business district news and legislation as well as upcoming events and member accomplishments.
  • This website features current news postings, related industry resources and links, a calendar of events and job postings and a range of supplier resources.

Networking: Through the various communications channels, members can easily connect to one another, consultants, vendors and revitalization experts throughout the state.

CDA is committed to providing the desired level of services and benefits you deserve. A membership to CDA is a great business asset and the return on investment is significant. Imagine the cost of handling these issues alone — significantly more than the cost of your yearly membership!


For more information on membership, please contact:

Kathy Hemmenway, CDA Membership
Executive Director, Walnut Creek Downtown
(925) 915-4488

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