Back to Help

Frequently Asked Questions About California Local Membership

  •   PUBLISHED JAN 21, 2021 7:04 A.M.

In which we explore how to do stuff with a free California Local membership.

1. How do I change my password?

When signed in, you'll see a drop-down menu on the upper right side of the California Local site window with your first name as the title. 

Click to display the drop-down menu, and select Profile.

In your member profile, you'll see a button titled Change Password.

Click it and follow the instructions.

2. What do I do if I forget my password?

Not a problem.

Use a web browser to visit California Local, and click on the Sign In button. When the Sign In form is displayed, click on the Forgot Password link and follow the instructions.

3. What’s my member profile for?

Your member profile is how to get to all of your “stuff.”

It has quick links to things you’ve posted, it’s where you change your password, and it’s where you can sign up to be a paying sponsor.

4. How does Follow/Unfollow work, and what’s it good for?

Members who are signed in often see Follow or Unfollow buttons in the upper right side of certain views, such as Topic or Community Group or Government or Voices overviews.

Following causes a tag to appear in the bar right below the pulldown menus on the top of every view. Clicking the tag returns you to a view of related content. 

Unfollowing causes the tag to be removed.

Following a view is useful when there’s a lot of changing information, such as events, combined social media feeds, discussion activity, or new articles.

The California Local weekly newsletter is also customized to the entities you follow, and will include upcoming events for the week ahead, summaries of what happened in the past week, and other reports specific to the followed entities.

Following something makes it easy to stay up to date on it.

5. What do I do when I notice incorrect or missing information on a page?

When you are signed in as a member,  you'll see a box titled Help Keep It Fresh in the right column of various list and detail views of information.

If you notice incorrect or out-of-date information or see that we’re missing something that you know about and want to share, click the Help Keep It Fresh Tell Us button, and fill out the form that will be displayed.

Thanks for helping keep California Local accurate and comprehensive!

6. How do I flag inappropriate content?

All member contributed content is displayed with a link titled Flag.

If you see inappropriate content, click the Flag link associated with that content. Fill out the form that appears.

Be sure to note how the content violates the code of conduct.

California Local staff will review the code violation report and the reported content and take appropriate action.

7. What’s with my emoji?

Your emoji is meant to represent your mood, your personality, what kind of day you’re having, whatever.

You can choose and set your emoji via the Change Emoji link in your member drop-down menu.

Your emoji appears with your name when you post a public comment or are the author of some other kind of content on California Local.

8. Are my votes, survey responses, ratings, and other feedback private?


We aggregate them into totals and run stats on the data and compile reports on the totals, which we work to get in front of decision makers and voters and members of the community, but we never share your personal data with anyone. 

9. Why aren’t anonymous comments supported?

Our members are required to take responsibility for the words and content they post on California Local. 

Putting your name to your stuff and behaving in a civil manner represent the minimum skin in the game required by the California Local Code of Conduct.

10. Why am I automatically signed out?

You are automatically signed out of your session on California Local if you have been inactive for over 60 minutes.

This is a security precaution to limit the possibility of you stepping away from your computer for a long period of time and having another person use it to post something under your name.

11. Is my long-form content auto-saved?

No. California Local does not perform autosave in forms or content editor.

It’s a good idea to compose longer pieces of writing as plain text in your favorite auto-saving text editor, and then copy and paste it into the California Local content editor.

13. How do milestones work?

Milestones are a short way for members to announce the passage of a significant event.

Members fill out an online form in which they specify the category, up to 5 emoji, and up to 128 characters of text.

Milestones are displayed in the Voices section of the member's county.

Milestone categories include:

  • Birth
  • In Memory Of
  • Wedding
  • New Job
  • Retirement
  • New School
  • Graduation
  • Congratulation

14. How do discussions work?

Discussions consist of three components:

A Discussion Topic set by California Local editors, which defines the overall subject under consideration, such as "What are your thoughts about the XYZ Project"

Discussion Threads, posted by California Local members, which address the topic, such as "The XYZ Project looks good but I have questions about traffic impact."

Comments under Discussion Threads, posted by California Local members, which address or riff off the thread.

15. What are the different types of discussions?

California Local supports the following kinds of discussions:

General - in which members share their thoughts on the Discussion Topic

Knowledge Exchange - in which members either pose questions to the community ("what's the best rose to plant in X City?") or share tips and tricks ("this one simple thing is helping me survive remote work")

Personal History - in which members share memories of events, eras, milieus specific to the local community

Letters to the Editor - in which members represent items which need to be addressed by the community or placed on the social agenda

16. How do photo albums work?

We encourage our members to contribute photos to our public albums. 

If you have an original digital photo which you'd like to contribute to one of our public photo albums, you can do so by signing in and visiting the specific album and clicking the Submit A Photo button.

You'll need to enter a photo title and caption, with a short description of where the photo was taken.

Photos which are not selected for publishing will be discarded. Sorry, due to the volume of incoming material, we can't inform you or explain our reasoning.

Captions or other information included with photos which are selected for publishing might be lightly edited for brevity and clarity, with additional information provided by our editor.

Photos submitted by you are available in your member profile. You can choose to edit or delete the photo at any time. Deleting your photo removes it from the California Local servers completely.

17. How do Letters to the Editor work?

California Local members are encouraged to speak up and speak out about things which need to be on the public agenda.

Letters to the Editor are intended to initiate community consideration and discussion of matters of import.

Use the form in the Discussions overview in Voices to submit your letter for consideration by our Letters editor. 

Letters which are not selected for publishing will be discarded. Sorry, due to the volume of incoming material, we can't inform you or explain our reasoning.

Letters which are selected for publishing might be lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

18. How are Code of Conduct violations handled?

Member content such as discussion threads or comments or milestones, etc., can be flagged by other members as violating the California Local Code of Conduct, which is always displayed in member participation areas.

Reports of code violations are reviewed by California Local staff, who check the content in question and either disagree and unflag the content, or agree and mute the content. The content remains in the database, but is not displayed. The member who violates the code is sent a message notifying them of the content being muted, with the reason why. 

Escalation for repeat offenders can include muting the offender, meaning their posting privileges are suspended, or booting the member, meaning their password is changed and they are locked out of their California Local account.

Members who frivolously and repeatedly report other members for code violations may also go down the escalation path of muting and/or booting.

Support California Local

$10 • $25 • $50 • Our Impact