Local officials and staff often have questions about what can and can’t do during campaign season. ILG offers resources to help answer this question including restrictions on using public resources (including staff time, agency supplies and other resources paid for with taxpayer dollars) for ballot measure activities and campaign conduct codes, legal resources and tips for candidates.
The Beacon Program is a statewide program that provides recognition and support for California cities and counties that are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy and adopt policies and programs that promote sustainability.
Local governments rely on sound budgeting and financial management to efficiently manage operations and provide essential services to the public. This section of the Institute’s website includes resources to help newly elected officials learn the basics of financial management as well as contains resources to help officials and staff engage the public in the budgeting process.
The Cities Counties Schools Partnership is dedicated to improving the conditions of children, families and communities at the local level by promoting and encouraging coordination, integration and increased efficiency of local services and joint facilities use among cities, counties and schools in all California communities.
The partnership comprises members representing the California School Boards Association, California State Association of Counties, and League of California Cities. In 2015, the CCS Partnership formally became a project of the Institute for Local Government.
Local leaders grapple with a variety of community development and public health challenges as they craft and approve policies impacting children, youth and families. Elected officials and key staff work with community partners to engage with and provide services to children, youth and families. This section of the Institute’s website includes relevant resources, materials and stories that demonstrate what local governments are doing to improve and create vibrant and healthy communities for children and youth to live, learn and play.
California has received worldwide attention for the state’s ambitious efforts to address climate change. California’s 482 cities and 58 counties are proud of what they have accomplished to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and are poised to do more in the years ahead. Despite limited resources, cities and counties across the state have found cost efficient, innovative solutions that reflect the unique characteristics of their communities.
Many cities, counties and special districts are pursuing sustainable economic development – policies and practices that help communities attract and retain jobs for the long term, while also maintaining environmental quality, conserving resources, addressing economic disparities and promoting public health. The Institute offers information, case stories, studies and reports, and links to organizations that can help local officials in their efforts to create more prosperous and sustainable local communities. Many of these strategies have the added benefit of reducing short-term a
Meetings are central to democratic decision-making. Leaders can increase the effectiveness of public meetings with thoughtful advance planning and by taking a few simple steps. The Institute’s Meeting Resource Center aims to help local officials and agency staff in these efforts by providing practical tools and useful materials.
In California, state and federal laws create a complex set of requirements that guide elected officials and agency staff in their service to their communities. ILG offers a variety of resources to help local officials and staff comply these laws and understand the unique legal and ethical obligations of being a public servant.
One of the most important responsibilities city and county officials have is guiding the physical growth of their communities through local planning. Planning covers a broad range of activities including determining how land will be used, how to provide infrastructure and services to those uses, and what the built environment will look like. Local agencies are given land use planning authority or police power to shape their communities in both the federal and California constitutions.
Local governments throughout California have experienced a variety of benefits thanks to inclusive public engagement. ILG provides tipsheets and resources to effectively plan and implement inclusive engagement strategies.
Leading public organizations and governing with colleagues on a board or council is a challenging art of community service. The Institute recognizes that many aspects of leadership and governance are not intuitive. Essential skills for both officials and public administrators include understanding how to work with residents, staff and fellow elected officials. This section of the Institute’s website offers resources and materials on responsibilities and powers, making decisions, developing community leadership, working with media and more.
Effective and efficient government among city councils, county boards, special districts and all levels of local government occurs through leadership and governance. This section offers materials explaining the nuts and bolts of local government structures and processes for newly-elected or newly-appointed officials, members of the public, media, and for students at all educational levels who want a better understanding of how local government works.
Waste reduction and recycling is an essential element of a sustainable community. In addition to conserving resources and protecting the environment, reducing waste and finding new uses for recycled materials benefits local residents, businesses, and public agencies alike. As California residents and businesses recycle more, local governments are looking to build additional recycling infrastructure projects and expand existing programs. The Institute offers a variety of resources, webinars and case examples to help local governments do just that – finance, site and operate residential and commercial recycling projects and programs in their communities.
These resources were developed under a contract with the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).
Technology can help local governments change the who, when, where and how of educating and engaging local residents. Whether it’s economic development, housing, immigrant integration or a local contentious issue, local agencies are experimenting with different kinds of technology to enhance their engagement of the public. ILG offers tools and techniques on how to best use technology to increase engagement.