ABAG History

In 1961, elected officials from the region's cities and counties came together to form ABAG-California's first council of governments. Since its inception, ABAG has examined regional issues like housing, transportation, economic development, education, and environment.

In 1970, ABAG broke ground with the Regional Plan, 1970-1990, the Bay Area's first comprehensive regional plan, outlining the first regional open space plan, regional information systems and technology support, criminal justice and training, water policy and waste collection, and earthquake hazards and planning.

Building coalitions, task forces, and partnerships within the Bay region and beyond have typified ABAG's problem-solving approach to issues affecting the Bay Area. Today, ABAG's approach includes research and analysis, education and outreach, and cost-effective member service programs.

The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG)

ABAG is the official comprehensive planning agency for the San Francisco Bay region. ABAG's mission is to strengthen cooperation and coordination among local governments. In doing so, ABAG addresses social, environmental, and economic issues that transcend local borders.

The Bay Area is defined as the nine counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. The 101 cities and all nine counties within the Bay Area are voluntary members of ABAG, representing nearly all of the region's population.


An elected official from each member city and county serves as a delegate to ABAG's General Assembly. The General Assembly determines policy annually, adopts the annual budget and work program, and reviews policy actions of ABAG's Executive Board. Each delegate has one vote, and a majority of city and county votes are required for action. As an advisory organization, ABAG has limited statutory authority.

The 38-member Executive Board, assembling locally elected officials based on regional population, meets bimonthly to make operating decisions, appoint committee members, authorize expenditures, and recommend policy.

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