News from the Institute for Local Government

Understanding Local Government: Three Resources on Municipal Finance

Three publications cover the nuts and bolts of fiscal management and revenue resources.

ILG Launches Local Government 101 Project and Seeks Your Ideas

Does your city want to help its residents understand how local government works? Are you frustrated when people complain about how city revenues are raised and spent? Do you wish you had an easy way to explain the Brown Act and Public Records Act to the public and your newly elected and appointed officials?

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government Daniel K. Whitehurst

Leading Isn’t Easy; You Might Want Some Help

Daniel K. Whitehurst is incoming president of the Institute for Local Government. He is a former mayor of Fresno and past president of the League’s Mayors and Council Members Department. He can be reached at dan@danwhitehurst.com.


People don’t want their public officials to be “leaders.” Marty Linsky, a faculty member at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, makes this point, and I think he’s right. Voters say they want strong leadership, but what many really want is the opposite: someone who will protect them from having to change their minds or their ways. And they often get their wish; there is no shortage of candidates who run for public office not to lead, but to be popular or important.

ILG Launches Civic Engagement Survey and New Services for Cities

The James Irvine Foundation and the Community Technology Foundation of California have provided financial support to the Institute for Local Government to help increase local governments’ capacity to more successfully implement inclusive public involvement processes. The goal is to help cities and counties successfully involve their diverse communities in civic engagement efforts. With an initial focus on the Central Valley, participating cities to date include Lodi, Madera, Selma and Stockton.

Building Public Support For Affordable Housing: A New Toolbox

The nuts and bolts of winning community support for affordable housing is the subject of a new Institute for Local Government (ILG) publication, Building Public Support for Affordable Housing: A Toolbox for California Officials.

California Climate Action Network Launched

The Institute for Local Government (ILG) is launching a new program, the California Climate Action Network (CalCAN).

Grant to ILG Allows Cities and Counties to Help Uninsured Children Get Coverage

Many city officials understand the link between health insurance for kids and some of the specific issues their communities are currently tackling, such as childhood obesity, at-risk youth, teen pregnancy, nutrition, truancy and public safety. But approximately 800,000 children in California do not have health insurance.

Institute Housing and Land Use Program Charts New Directions

Last year, the Institute for Local Government (ILG) Board of Directors engaged in a period of reflection concerning future directions for its housing and land use program. After hearing from local officials and others, the board concluded that the program had a solid reputation for quality products in its key areas of focus: regulatory takings; housing; open space/farm- land issues and assisting planning commissioners.

New Grants Mean New Resources For Cities and Counties

The Institute for Local Government (ILG) is the nonprofit, 501(c)(3) research affiliate of the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties. Its mission is to develop forward-thinking resources to help local officials serve their communities. For more about ILG and its work, visit www.ca-ilg.org.


Recent grants to the Institute for Local Government (ILG) from the Bank of America Foundation, Community Technology Foundation and James Irvine Foundation will bring new publications, services and technology resources to Californiacities and counties.

Symposium Explores Better Communication Strategies for Promoting Local Government

Have you ever had this experience? You are at a gathering chatting with people you don’t know. You ask them what they do; they reciprocate. You explain that you are involved in local government. They grimace or make a disparaging remark or joke about government.

New Resources for Local Officials
Success in Public Service: What You Need to Know Before You’re Appointed or Elected

The Institute for Local Government (ILG) has a new resource for local agencies. It’s the brainchild of an intern who posed the question: Wouldn’t it be better if people knew about ethics laws before they sought either election or appointment to public office? That would enable them to make a more informed decision on whether public service is right for them. ILG has taken this idea and created a pamphlet for potential candidates for local office, produced with the generous support of the law firm Best Best & Krieger LLP.

Ethics Program Report: AB 1234 Implementation Is a Key Priority

During the past six months, the Institute for Local Government (ILG) has made helping local agencies with AB 1234 implementation and compliance a key priority. AB 1234 is the new law that mandates ethics training for specified local elected and appointed officials, and imposes certain requirements with respect to local agency expense reimbursement practices.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government Jerry Patterson

How to Leave Your Legacy as a Champion of Good Local Government

Jerry Patterson is a past president of the Institute for Local Government and the 2005 recipient of the League’s Presidents’ Award for longstanding service to California cities. He is a former member of Congress and former mayor of the City of Santa Ana. Patterson presently serves on the Coast Community College District Board of Trustees.


As you work in the trenches of day-to-day service to your community, you may have wondered: How can I ensure that my efforts have a lasting impact? Are there ways I can help to provide a foundation for continued good local government? How will I be remembered by my community, my colleagues in public service and my family? What will my legacy be?