Public Engagement

Want a Good Police K9? Try the Animal Shelter.

Rescue dogs, including pit bulls, are finding work as police K9s across the country.

How Residents Help Replenish One State's Seed Stores

Minnesota recruits "private pickers" to harvest cones and seeds for reforestation projects by paying by the bushel.

How a State Police Agency Goes Viral (and Maybe Teaches People How to Drive)

The Colorado State Patrol develops relationships with the community and grows its online presence by posting humorous topical videos, a project spearheaded by one of its public information officers.

City Leader Wants Residents to Try Balancing the Parks and Rec Budget

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Federal shutdown delays hurricane recovery funds … another Flint water crisis plea deal …. and confusion comes with Conn. town’s pay-per-bag trash collection proposal.

Local Health Department Uses Holiday Theme to Warn of an ‘Unwanted Present’

“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … a brand new STD.”

Crowdsourcing King Tides to Better Understand Rising Sea Levels

In Washington state and Virginia, the public can help planners and researchers monitor the inundation of low-lying coastal areas.

Checking In on a Census ‘Homework Assignment’ for Cities and Counties

These localities have already launched their Complete Count Committees and taken other proactive steps to avoid undercounting. Has yours?

News Deserts Widen as Newspapers Shut Down

Researchers identified nearly 200 counties without any paper, weekly or daily, “creating a news vacuum for about 3.2 million residents and public officials.”

As Drivers Face Stronger ID Rules, States DMVs See Customer Onslaught

A common message in many states: ‘Save a trip, skip the line and renew online.’

Local Furor After Mayor’s Colin Kaepernick Social Media Classroom ‘Experiment’

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Alaska meth seizures increase … Portland mayor sets “cleanest” city goal … and L.A.’s new emergency shelter.

Another Example of a Simple Idea That’s Spread From One City to Another

In Boise, traffic box art has become an important visual element of the downtown streetscape.

Featured eBooks

Champion of '211' Call Centers Set to Lead National Counties Group

“I’ve become, maybe, a fanatic about 211,” says San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox, who's expected to be the next president of the National Association of Counties.

What Petty Nextdoor Posts Reveal About America

The hyperlocal social-media platform highlights small grievances—and proves that neighbors have more in common than they think.

‘Government Is What We Do Together That We Can’t Do Alone’

As civic technologists gather for this year’s Code for America Summit, there are some key themes worth repeating.

Federal Lawsuit Targets Facebook-Blocking Mayor

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Okla.’s rape-kit deadline; La.’s 10 most distressed water systems … Mich. village may convert paved roads to gravel ones … and more Harvey-like hurricanes await us.

Texas Is Building a Killer App for Killing Bureaucracy

Chief Information Officer Todd Kimbriel wants a digital assistant to navigate the state’s bureaucracy for citizens.

Instantaneously Linking 3-1-1 Callers to Translators

With its Language Access Plan, Pittsburgh’s goal is “to assist all residents and to provide access to all resources.”

5 U.S. Cities Named Finalists for Engaged Cities Award

These localities have done “significant work with citizens to tackle a public problem, clear evidence of impact, and potential to apply the strategy to other problems and geographies.”

There Is Science (and Power) Behind Effective Citizen Communication

Scottsdale, Arizona’s assistant city manager discusses how boosting engagement with residents can be more than just a marketing gimmick.