Executive Director's Message

Article Executive Director's Message Chris McKenzie

“Once Upon a Time”: Storytelling and the Art of Leadership

City leaders often must inspire people to accept and even support changes in their lives that they might otherwise oppose, and storytelling can play a key role.

Article Executive Director's Message Chris McKenzie

League Sets 2015 Strategic Direction in Leadership Workshop

A senior leadership meeting of city officials from throughout the state used a dynamic, inclusive goalsetting process that built on the success of prior years and charted some new directions…

Article Executive Director's Message Chris McKenzie

Ethics, Transparency and Building Public Confidence in Local Government

This month Western City focuses on the issues of ethics and public trust. The League and the Institute for Local Government (ILG), the nonprofit research affiliate of the League and the California State Association of Counties, offer a variety of helpful resources about these topics for local elected officials and city staff.

Article Executive Director's Message Chris McKenzie

The Fiscal Challenges Ahead for Cities

With three major municipal bankruptcies in California cities in recent years, it is clear that the risks of overcommitting a city to long-term liabilities are not just theoretical — they are…

Article Executive Director's Message Chris McKenzie

Disruptive Technology, Public Policy and Leadership

Public sector leaders face a number of challenges related to disruptive technology.

Article Executive Director's Message Chris McKenzie

Why Home Rule Is the Birthright of California’s Cities

Local control, or home rule, provides the foundation for city governance. This article examines the state’s history and the Legislature’s tradition of meddling in local affairs.

Article Executive Director's Message Chris McKenzie

Are City Governments the Last Bastion Of Democracy?

Cities are not just the laboratories of democracy; they may well also be its salvation.

Article Executive Director's Message Chris McKenzie

The Alchemy of Leadership and the Consent of the Governed

What impact does the public’s distrust of government officials have on how people perceive leadership? Why do some unpopular leaders later achieve prominence while other more popular leaders…

Article Executive Director's Message Chris Mckenzie

League Leadership Reviews Progress On New Advocacy Strategy and Sets 2014 Goals

When the leadership of the League gathered in November for the annual goal-setting meeting, League staff was pleased to report that the organization had concluded a largely successful 2013…

Article Executive Director's Message Chris McKenzie

Can Art and Emotion Inspire Effective Leadership?

Artist and speaker Erik Wahl’s performance at the League’s recent annual conference inspired city officials to think creatively about the skills they may have that can be put to work in serving…

Article Executive Director's Message Chris McKenzie

The Conversations We All Need to Have, Again and Again

Rather than have a national “conversation” about race, President Obama suggested, in effect, that we have millions of conversations about it over the next few years.

Article Executive Director's Message Chris McKenzie

Why We May Mean “Local Diversity” When We Talk About “Local Control”

Gov. Jerry Brown recently observed that in a state that values diversity as much as California, you would think there would be more support for honoring the differences among communities. So what…