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Subject Areas


Ballot Measures and Campaigns

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.


Beacon Program

ILG’s Beacon Program provides recognition and support for California local agencies that are working to build more vibrant and sustainable communities. Beacon honors voluntary efforts by cities, counties and special districts that are reducing greenhouse gas emissions, saving energy and adopting policies that promote sustainability. 


BOOST Program

About the BOOST Program

All Californians deserve to live in communities where they can have access to clean air and water, clean transportation, affordable housing and economic opportunity. Yet many communities across the state lack the staff capacity and resources to develop projects and secure funding to make this a reality for their residents. To help address this need, we have partnered with the California Strategic Growth Council (SCG) on the BOOST Program to help local governments across the state build capacity to address those needs.


Budgeting and Financial Management

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.


Climate Action

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.


Economic Development

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


Meeting Resource Center: Tools for Effective Meetings

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.


Ethics and Transparency

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 with these laws and understand the unique legal and ethical obligations of being a public servant.  


Healthy Communities, Land Use and Planning

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.


Homelessness in California

In response to the growing issue of homelessness throughout California, the League of California Cities and California State Association of Counties have partnered to create a Joint Homelessness Task Force. The Task Force is working to promote collaboration between cities and counties in addressing the complex problem. ILG partnered with the League and CSAC to create the final report below.


Housing Toolkit

ILG created this toolkit to help communities engage in authentic discussions to address barriers and to think creatively about housing as a way to ensure that all of California’s residents can thrive. It provides a common language, understanding of barriers and roles and a structured framework to build a different community engagement approach.


Inclusive Public Engagement

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.

These resources range from the benefits of, and steps for planning successful engagement and specialized approaches to issues such as budgeting, land use, immigrant engagement, and economic development. 


Leadership and Governance

To thrive, California’s cities, counties and special districts need the best of governance and administrative leadership. When elected officials and top management professionals partner and govern efficiently, local government agencies can more effectively serve their communities. These resources aim to help elected officials and staff collaborate and effectively govern.

To assist with this, ILG is partnering with Cal-ICMA, the League of California Cities, CSAC, CSDA and the California City Management Foundation, to provide the resources below.

If you have additional articles, books or materials to support effective governance, please share them with ILG’s Senior Program Manager Melissa Kuehne at


New to Public Service

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.


Recycling Resource Center

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.


Workforce & Civics Education

ILG is committed to providing resources that support local governments’ efforts to strengthen public sector career pipelines and civics education resources. The following resources are curated to help local leaders and education partners develop successful civics education and workforce initiatives.

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