News from the Institute for Local Government

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government By Karalee Browne

So you have a climate action plan and a budget deficit. What now?

Many cities in California are planning for and mitigating the effects of climate change. Yet, many of those same cities are looking for ways to do more with less. Here’s how three budget-conscious cities are funding and developing local climate action plans — and a free, flexible framework for your own city. 

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government By Nikita Sinha

How cities are using open data to advance climate equity

Climate action planning and data are more important than ever. Funding programs are increasingly prioritizing projects that empower and benefit vulnerable populations. Some cities have found it beneficial to incorporate multiple layers of data into their systems.

Article News from the Institute for Local Government By Erica L. Manuel

A new training helps cities turn ‘down the fires of contempt’

The rise in incivility, partisanship, and polarization is making it difficult for agencies to maintain the basic decorum needed to carry out their missions. ILG’s partnership and training with Braver Angels seeks to bridge the partisan divide and rebuild the social fabric.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government By Seth Yund

The struggle is real, but so are the options. How cities can attract a strong workforce

It is no secret that cities are struggling to hire and retain staff. Employment is well-below pre-pandemic levels and a majority of workers are considering leaving their jobs. These trends illuminate both the diminishing capacity of city government and the opportunity for norm-breaking programs.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government By Nikita Sinha

Smaller cities charting a path to carbon neutrality

The California Air Resource Board released a plan mapping out a path toward carbon neutrality by 2045. But with little over a decade remaining in the state’s timeline, there is still a lot of work ahead. Fortunately, many cities are ahead of the game. Some are even aiming for carbon neutrality earlier than 2045.

Article News from the Institute for Local Government By Ruben Duran and Victoria Hester

What cities need to know about the state’s new remote meeting law

Some local agencies are considering making remote or hybrid meetings the new normal and recent changes to the Brown Act — including AB 2449 (Rubio, Blanca, 2022) — have given cities a new way to conduct hybrid meetings. However, this law has several restrictions and raises a host of administrative questions.

Article News from the Institute for Local Government By Taylor Buck

Leadership strategies for cities experiencing workforce challenges

Labor shortages and high staff turnover have created challenges for both employers and employees. Taking cues from other sectors, city governments have found creative and proactive ways to address workforce gaps and create sustainable organizations.

Article News from the Institute for Local Government By Roberto Carlos Torres

State and federal funding are advancing environmental justice. Here’s what that means for cities

Federal and state governments are funding environmental justice programs at record levels. For some cities, this raises an important question: What is environmental justice? The answer may look different for each city, but the processes are often similar.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government By Taylor Buck

Making the most of the post: Ways to boost your city’s social media strategy

Social media can be more than a source of division. When used thoughtfully, social media can be an avenue for productive discussions and trust-building between cities and their residents. 

Article News from the Institute for Local Government By Erica L. Manuel

ILG explores housing, ethics, climate, and equity at the Annual Conference and Expo

The Institute for Local Government will host sessions on a number of timely topics, including housing, climate change, and equity, at this year’s annual conference. 

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government By Hanna Stelmakhovych, Nikita Sinha, and Allison Shea

Reach for the switch: Engagement strategies for California’s energy future

Passing energy efficiency policies can be a cost-effective and impactful way to meet the state’s climate goals. Making this change effectively and equitably requires intentional public engagement strategies — especially since these policies are highly technical and can negatively impact low-income residents.

City hall meeting
Article News from the Institute for the Local Government By Melissa Kuehne

Tools to strengthen public trust in the face of increased divisiveness

Elected leaders cannot effectively address challenging local issues without the strong bedrock of good government — accountability, responsiveness, and transparency. Recent political turbulence has made building, or even maintaining, that foundation extremely difficult. The Institute of Local Government has a suite of public trust and ethics resources to help local leaders navigate the issues and build a strong foundation for success. 

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government By Karalee Browne

Isolated and costly: The unique infrastructure challenges facing rural communities

Rural communities face different infrastructure needs and challenges than many larger cities. And although the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has many cities excited about the upcoming opportunities, rural leaders worry that they lack the staff and matching dollars to compete with bigger cities for their fair share of the bounty.

Women on computers
Article News from the Institute for the Local Government By Melissa Kuehne

Planning for the future: New land use and housing resources for cities

To help support planning commissioners, their staff, and other officials interested in land use and planning, the Institute for Local Government has updated its flagship Planning Commissioners Handbook and compiled a list of related resources. The update is intended to help local officials understand the planning process and provide a window into future planning challenges on the horizon.

Article News from the Institute for Local Government By Melissa Kuehne

Breaking the cycle: Steps for reducing negative discourse and incivility in public meetings

According to a recent report from the National League of Cities, more than 80% of local government officials have experienced some form of harassment, abuse, or violence while in office. That same report states that 87% of public officials have observed an increase in such behavior, with many noting a dramatic increase since the beginning of the pandemic.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government By Julia Salinas

Change happens at the speed of trust: Key lessons from ILG’s equity roundtable

The pandemic has brought equity to the forefront of many city programs and services. From updating recruitment practices and hiring equity officers to developing equity ordinances and reexamining public policies and programs, cities throughout California have made notable changes to their daily and long-term operations. 

Diverse hands joined together
Article News from the Institute for Local Government by Institute for Local Government

Connect with ILG — and these local leaders — at the Annual Conference and Expo

At this year’s League of California Cities Annual Conference and Expo, the Institute for Local Government (ILG) will host sessions on a number of timely topics related to our core pillars of work, including leadership and governance, public engagement, sustainable and resilient communities, and workforce and civics education.

Article News from the Institute for the Local Government by Karalee Browne

Make equity and sustainability decisions with communities, instead of for communities

The stakes are high as cities engage in major planning efforts and adopt new budgets to ensure that they have the planning, infrastructure, and resources to adapt to this new normal. But how do we ensure that the new plans and policies we create will actually make our communities more equitable, environmentally resilient, and economically vibrant? The Institute for Local Government (ILG) offers five strategies for cities, based on recent research, as well as the technical assistance, and capacity-building support.

Aerial view of the city of Arcata, one of the 10 cities to participate in the 18-month BOOST Pilot Program designed to help California local governments advance climate and equity goals.
Article News from the Institute for the Local Government by Karalee Browne

BOOSTing economic development and equity in California communities

The Institute for Local Government (ILG) launched a pilot program called BOOST, in partnership with the Strategic Growth Council, to help under-resourced communities build capacity to advance their climate, equity, and economic development goals. Through this program, ILG worked with 10 cities and two regions to develop projects and programs that promote more equitable, just, and economically-thriving communities. 

Exterior view of Sacramento fourplex.
Article News from the Institute for the Local Government by Karalee Browne

Beyond the short term: Land use principles to advance fair housing goals

Over the past year, cities have implemented a variety of programs to help keep vulnerable populations housed, but cities need to look beyond short-term relief. Local planning and policy decisions present some unique opportunities to remedy longstanding inequities, specifically through the housing element update process and activities related to AB 686.