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

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.

Help With Affordable Housing Issues

The Bank of America Foundation awarded ILG $35,000 to produce Getting to YIMBY: An Introductory Guide for Local Officials. The YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) guide will offer local officials information and strategies to address concerns that residents frequently raise about the siting and development of affordable housing. Further funding is being sought to develop a comprehensive YIMBY Toolbox with additional publications and resources, and to support its dissemination through associated training and educational sessions.

The YIMBY Toolbox will be an important addition to the resources that ILG already offers on affordable housing issues. Many of these resources can be accessed through the Housing Resource Center on the ILG website at

Expanding Inclusionary Efforts

The James Irvine Foundation and Community Technology Foundation grants will help local officials find more effective ways to include diverse populations in public involvement efforts. Funds will be used, in part, to buy and distribute website translation software and digital translation equipment for simultaneous translation of public meetings.

These same grants will also give ILG the capacity to help local officials develop inclusive public engagement strategies, along with identifying relevant ethnic print and electronic media in the state.

Funded resources and services will first be available to Central Valley communities. Interested cities and counties in that region should contact Terry Amsler at ILG’s Collaborative Governance Initiative (e-mail:

The James Irvine Foundation grant will allow ILG to collect and distribute case stories illustrating the successful engagement of diverse groups, as well as add resources to an existing grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to develop a Guide to Immigrant Civic Engagement. This guide will enhance the capacity of local public officials to engage members of immigrant and refugee communities in civic activities.

When they are completed, these materials will be available through the League, California State Association of Counties (CSAC) and ILG.

Statewide Survey in the Works

This new funding will also permit ILG to conduct a statewide survey of city and county elected officials and staff to gauge their beliefs and opinions about public involvement. The results will help ILG create a more informed and strategic communications plan for promoting inclusive and effective civic engagement.

As the nonprofit research affiliate of the League and CSAC, ILG will use these new funding resources to expand services for local officials and their communities throughout the state. For more information about ILG programs, visit

This article appears in the January 2007 issue of Western City
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