Author Archive

Michael Grass

Michael Grass
Michael Grass, who joined the Government Executive Media Group in June 2014, is the founding co-editor of DCist.com and worked as a copy editor at Roll Call, local and online editor at The Washington Post's Express newspaper, deputy managing editor at The New York Observer's Politicker.com, deputy managing editor at Washington City Paper and the D.C., Maryland and Virginia local editor for The Huffington Post. He also managed a non-profit network of state-based policy news sites in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and New Mexico.
Management

City Hall Transition Underway as San Francisco Remembers Ed Lee

Acting Mayor London Breed: “He was humble and determined no matter what job he held. He was fair and collaborative no matter the heat of the moment. What mattered was helping his fellow San Franciscans.”

Health & Human Services

Massachusetts Offers In-State Tuition Break for Students From Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

It’s the latest way the Bay State has assisted the U.S. territories in the wake of the destruction brought by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Management

Wild Turkeys Drawn to Their Reflection Highlight an Unusual Human Policy Challenge

Building design can easily confuse avian creatures. Here are steps to keep birds of various feathers from flocking together where you don’t want them.

Public Safety

Yes, Boston Faces a Very Real Earthquake Risk

A repeat of the 1755 Cape Ann quake could devastate one of the nation’s oldest cities. But the costs of strengthening vulnerable buildings and infrastructure may not be worth it.

Infrastructure

In Congested Cities, It Takes a Champion to Deliver Bus-Priority Infrastructure

Local jurisdictions are looking at less-expensive ways to improve transit service through traffic-clogged corridors. But it takes advocates inside and outside government to make them a reality.

Health & Human Services

Portland Mayor Hits Back at Carson’s Comments on Homelessness in West Coast Cities

Ted Wheeler says that if the HUD secretary thinks government should take a passive role, he “should step aside and allow someone up to the task to lead.”

Smart Cities

Mayors Gather in Chicago to Sign New International Municipal Climate Charter

"Rather than burying our heads in the sand, Chicago is working with cities across the country and around the world to address the threat of climate change," according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Public Safety

Santa Ana Winds Fuel Quickly Moving Fire in Southern California

After an already difficult year across the West, dangerous fire weather conditions continue in parts of the Golden State.

Infrastructure

Chicago Mayor Looks to Give City’s ‘Mothballed White Elephant’ a Possible New Life

An unused train station that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build currently sits empty. But a potential public-private partnership could eventually change that.

Management

Fresno Officials Offer Amazon an Unusual Set of Keys to the City

As Chicago dangles $1.32 billion in personal income tax diversions in hopes to land the HQ2, a bid from California's fifth-largest city promises something very different.

Management

When Seconds Matter, Tiny Flaws in User Design Can Slow Things Down

Bus service can be delayed for a variety of reasons, including squinting. Yes, squinting.

Health & Human Services

Public Health Emergency Declaration Extended in San Diego

While local officials think a deadly hepatitis A outbreak has eased somewhat, they’ve faced challenges in communicating the continuing risk.

Finance

5 Good Reasons Why Local Governments Should Embrace Long-Term Budget Forecasting

There are plenty of reasons why cities and counties focus on short-term fiscal needs. Here are some advantages for those who change that risky mindset.

Smart Cities

These Days, ‘We Aren’t Innovating in Isolated Business Parks’

“Smart, long-term bets” are vital for economic development, according to Bruce Katz, centennial scholar at the Brookings Institution. And those bets are best when clustered in revitalizing cities.

Management

How to Rediscover ‘Heart and Soul’ in Small-Town America

While there are plenty of great civic engagement case studies out there, they’re not always specifically geared for smaller communities.

Public Safety

Rethinking Hazard Mapping After Wildfires Entered Urban Areas Thought to Be ‘Unburnable’

Local officials across the West should pay attention to what happened to one devastated neighborhood in Santa Rosa, California.

Tech & Data

The Necessity of Creating Fictitious People to Improve Digital Government

“When we say as a state, ‘who are our users?,’ we have to segment users out,” according to Georgia’s chief digital officer.

Public Safety

When an Unnamed Storm Brings Far More Destruction Than a Named Hurricane

Hurricane Nate will likely be quickly forgotten in Louisiana, but the impacts of last year’s catastrophic flooding are still being felt.