GovLove is a podcast about the people, policies and profession of local government. From Mayors and City Managers to interns and everyone in between, we interview the people making a difference in their communities to learn about the great work being done at the local level. GovLove is brought to you by Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL).
Managing an international city. Tommy Gonzalez, the City Manager of El Paso, Texas, joined the podcast for a wide ranging interview. He talked about his career path, which started with 22 years in the US Army, how he revamped the El Paso budget process and the complexities of running a community on the border. He also shared how he has supported process improvement and what it took to win quality awards at two different organizations. Host: Ben Kittelson
Reliable insights for policy makers. Two guests join the podcast to talk about best practices in local government communications, using social media and finding better ways to measure resident opinion. Lisa Holder is the Communications Officer for the City of Sanford, Florida and shared her approach to keeping residents informed. Rachel Rembrandt the Head of Customer Success for ZenCity shared how their platform uses artificial intelligence and data from different social media platforms to gather insights for policy makers. Host: Javon Davis
Tackling complex challenges affecting Toronto residents. Paula Kwan the Director of the Civic Innovation Office for the City of Toronto joined the podcast to talk about leading an Innovation Team and driving culture change in an organization. Paula discussed her career path, which started in Toronto's technology sector, and working on issues like translation for residents that speak many languages. Host: Ben Kittelson
Democratizing data science. Two members of the Civis Analytics team join the podcast to talk about their work and engaging with local governments around Census 2020. Mo Cheeks is a Sr. Business Development Manager, and former Madison, WI Council Member, and Christopher Dick is the Managing Director of Civis Analytics. They talked about using data in a Census outreach campaign. Host: Kent Wyatt
Recognizing communities for civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation. Rebecca Trout, the Program Director of the All-America City Award & Membership, joined the podcast to talk about the National Civic League's work. She shared the history of the All-America City Award and stories from some of the communities they have recognized. Host: Javon Davis
Reinventing fiscal analytics. Chris Fabian, the Co-Founder of ResourceX, joined the podcast to talk about his work with local governments and improving how they prioritize the services they provide. Chris shared why ResourceX was started and examples from communities doing priority based budgeting. He also talked about government as a platform and starting a city from scratch on the moon. Host: Alyssa Dinberg
Data equity and local solutions. Dr. Eric Trevan, public administration faculty at Evergreen State College, joined the podcast to talk about economic development and analytics. He talked about his career path, which included time in local government and leading an economic development agencies, as well as the perspective of Native American communities. Host: Javon Davis
An empathy-driven approach to solving problems and serving everyone. Ryan Dowd the Executive Director of Hesed House, a homeless shelter in Aurora, Illinois joined the podcast to talk about serving people experiencing homelessness. Ryan talked about his book, A Librarian's Guide to Homelessness, and his training for libraries on how to work with challenging homeless patrons. He also dispelled myths around homelessness and discussed different policy approaches. Host: Kent Wyatt
Using mobile messaging to connect with hard-to-count populations. Perla Ni is the Founder and CEO of CommunityConnect Labs, the Census Outreach Project, and GreatNonprofits. She joined the podcast to talk about how local governments can reach all of their residents for the upcoming census. She shared how it's important to meet people where they are and how the Census Outreach Project can help. Host: Javon Davis
Building and sustaining a culture of equity. Brion Oaks, the Chief Equity Officer for the City of Austin, Texas, joined the podcast to talk about how they make racial equity actionable. He shared how they work to create a shared understanding around the history of segregation and discrimination in Austin and how old policies still impact the city today. Plus he described how the equity office works with departments to examine what they do with a racial equity lens and include that value in their work and budgets. Host: Ben Kittelson
Managing beaches in an era of climate change. Two guests joined the podcast to discuss shoreline management at the local level. First, Dr. Robert Young from the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines discussed a recent report that they published which did a cost-benefit analysis of buying out property owners in North Topsail Beach, NC versus maintaining the shoreline. Then Greg "Rudi" Rudolph, the Shoreline Protection Manager for Carteret County, NC, talked about his day to day work, the mechanics of beach renourishment, and his perspective on the report. Rudi also shared how they plan for sea level rise. Read the report: Coastal Hazards & Targeted Acquisitions, A Reasonable Shoreline Management Alternative Host: Ben Kittelson
Designing better government. Earlier this summer GovLove hosted a live recording at the Code for America Summit in Oakland, California. Three guests joined to talk about trends in local government and how they interact with data and technology in their organization. Warren Logan is the Policy Director of Mobility & Interagency Relations in Oakland, CA; Laura Biediger is a Community Engagement Strategist in Durham, NC; and Stephanie Chase is the Director of Libraries for Hillsboro, OR. Host: Kirsten Wyatt
Analytics and open data. Jason Jones, the Analytics and Innovation Manager for Guilford County, North Carolina, joined the podcast to talk about his work and career path. Jason shared what it took to set up a data program at Guilford County, how they have partnered with universities on projects and the importance of adding context to data. He also talked about his career path, creating his current role and how working in human resources has informed his career. Host: Ben Kittelson
Helping cities and counties listen to their employees. Dr. Leisha DeHart-Davis joined the podcast to talk about the University of North Carolina School of Government's Workplaces Initiative. She shared her research into public sector organizational dynamics and how managers can make their employees feel valued and part of a community.
Data for good. Three people joined the podcast to talk about the 2020 Census and ways that local governments can ensure their communities get counted. They are all working with the Census Opportunity Project a process for engaging government, communities, and the technology industry to create digital tools related to the Census. Denice Ross is a Fellow in Residence for the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation; Lorena Molina-Irizarry is the Director of Operations of Census Open Innovation Labs; and Drew Zachary is the Co-Director of Census Opportunity Project.
Public service and civil rights. A father-son duo joined the podcast to talk about their different paths working with local government. Former Mayor Joe Riley led the City of Charleston, SC for 40 years and was involved in redeveloping downtown Charleston and starting the International African American Museum. Bratten Riley is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Citibot, a software platform that allows residents to text their local government for information and for organizations to keep residents informed.
Sharing ideas, experiences and stories. Mac Prichard the President of Prichard Communications and Founder of Mac's List joined the podcast to talk about local government communications and job searching. He talked about how communications plans need to be strategic and align with the goals of the organization. Mac also discussed his "Find Your Dream Job" podcast and the skills of job searching.
To chalk or not to chalk. Two lawyers from Ancel Glink joined the podcast to talk about the recent court ruling outlawing the use of chalk to enforce parking requirements. ShawnTe Raines, Partner, and Matthew DiCianni, Associate, walked through the case and the implications for local governments. They also touched on a few other legal issues at the local level that have their attention.
Strategy, planning, storytelling, innovation. Matt Finch joined the podcast to talk about his work with libraries and other government entities on planning for the future. In this wide ranging interview he shared his path into doing this work, becoming future ready and tools for growth and change.
The youngest female Mayor in the country. Mayor Tara Campbell from the City of Yorba Linda, California joined the podcast to talk about her two roles in local government, serving as Mayor of her hometown and working as Chief of Staff for Orange County Supervisor Donald Wagner. Mayor Campbell talked about what led her to local government, why she wanted to run for office and what she works on as a Chief of Staff. She also shared how her two roles influence one another and the issues facing cities in Orange County, CA.
Empowering new leaders. Niel Laudati,Legislative and Public Affairs Director for the City of Springfield, OR, joined the podcast to talk about how the City is working to empower under-represented leaders. Through their City Link program participants meet leaders from different departments, learn about local government and build their resume for serving on boards or running for office. Niel also shared his career path in local government and his passion for Springfield.
Linking theory to television. Dr. Erin Borry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham is teaching ethics in a creative way, by using the show Parks & Recreation. Scenes involving your favorite City of Pawnee employees are great case studies for understanding the dilemmas that public servants can face. Dr. Borry shares why she wanted to use the show in her classroom and examples of what students learn.
Solving problems. Terrance Smith, the Director of the Innovation Team in the City of Mobile, Alabama, joined the podcast to talk about innovation, working with departments and taking on blight. Terrance shared the process the i-Team went through to get a handle on the problem of blight and then how to address it, which eventually led to a change in state law. He also talked about how they communicate about their work and how they bring in other city staff to explain their process.
From borough and township to municipality. Mayor Liz Lempert joined the podcast for a wide ranging interview on consolidating governments and providing compost service in Princeton, New Jersey. Mayor Lempert shared her path into elected office and winning the 2018 Mayors Challenge for their composting initiative. She also walked through the process of consolidating Princeton Township with Princeton Borough and the impact it has had on both the community and government operations.
Examining the inclusiveness of cities. Xavier Persad, Sr. Legislative Counsel for the Human Rights Campaign, joined the podcast to talk about the Municipal Equality Index. Each year cities are rated based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer and the city leadership's public position on equality. He also shared what cities have made strides on the index and what policies cities should look at to improve how inclusive they are.
Sustainable innovation. Nick Kittle, Government Innovation & Performance Coach and author, shares his lessons on leadership, innovation and improving local government. He talked about his experience as a Chief Innovation Officer, his book Sustainovation and the work he's doing now for Cartegraph. From building momentum to not being afraid to get fired, Nick has great advice for those wanting to make a difference.
Advancing inclusive local government. In honor of Pride Month, Pam Davis, Sr. Management Analyst for the City of Boulder, Colorado and the Leader of CivicPRIDE joined the podcast to talk about empowering LGBTQIA+ leadership in local government. CivicPRIDE is the first nationally recognized LGBTQIA+ professional association for local government management. Pam shared her coming out story and why a group like CivicPRIDE is needed in local government. She also discussed what organizations can do to be more inclusive of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Institutionalized inequity in hiring. Dr. Shannon Portillo from the University of Kansas discusses how we have to challenge the assumption that merit-based hiring practices are "neutral." She and a co-author argue in a recent journal article that those practice can actually reinforce the preference of white men in public organizations. The article argues that if organizations want to encourage a diverse workforce they need to challenge these long standing hiring practices.
Leading (r)evolution in public libraries. Stephanie Chase, Library Director, and Hillary Ostlund, Library Manager, from the Hillsboro, Oregon public library joined the podcast. They talked about how they are adapting their expectations of employees and the service to patrons to improve customer service. In this wide ranging interview they covered everything from throwing out the organizational chart to night libraries and serving homeless patrons.
Measuring success. A trio of strategic planning and performance measurement experts joined the podcast to talk about their work: Ed Foley the Performance Management Analyst for the City of Olathe, Kansas, Josh Edwards the Strategy & Performance Director for the City of Durham, North Carolina, and Laura Chandler a Director at Clearpoint Strategy. Ed and Josh both shared their organizations' journey and Laura added the perspective of a software platform geared for strategic plans and performance measures. This interview was recorded from the 2019 Transforming Local Government Conference in Reno, Nevada.
Public safety and collaboration. Gary Jenkins, the Police Chief for Pullman, Washington, shared how his department uses drones to enhance their police work and improve operations. Chief Jenkins talked about how they started their program, training staff and how they collaborate with other city departments and organizations. He also shared his career path to becoming a police chief and the unique challenges of policing in a college town. This interview was recorded from the 2019 Transforming Local Government Conference in Reno, Nevada.
Unleash employees. Tom Darling the Division Manager of Public Service University at the City of Albuquerque, NM joined the podcast to talk about training staff and changing culture. He discusses why "entrepreneurship" is a useful trait and why it's important to bring to local government. He also talks about motivation and inspiring employees int he workplace. This interview was recorded from the 2019 Transforming Local Government Conference in Reno, Nevada.
Budgeting in a college town. Barrett Warren the Budget & Strategic Planning Manager for the City of Auburn, AL joined the podcast to talk about her path into local government and working in a college town. She shared how Auburn is balancing the demands of housing a big college student population with maintaining its small town aesthetic. She also explained "War Eagle" and how the city is working to communicate about the budget. This interview was recorded from the 2019 Transforming Local Government Conference in Reno, Nevada.
Writing legalese for residents. GovLove Legal returns with a discussion of how to write about complex legal topics in a way that is understandable for residents and elected officials. Jenny Kosek, Communications Strategist in West Allis, WI, and David Silverman, Partner at Ancel Glink Law Firm, share their perspectives and tips for taking complex legal topics and communicating them clearly.
Solving real-world problems with data. Three people from the City of New Orleans, Louisiana joined the podcast to talk about how the City uses data and earning a What Works Cities Certification. Melissa Schigoda is the Director of the Office of Performance and Accountability, Eric Ogburn is the Director of Enterprise Information and Jonathan Wisbey is the Chief Technology Officer. They shared how the certification process helped them improve their processes and transitioning their data program from Mayor Landrieu to Mayor Cantrell.
Testing innovative solutions. Adrienne Moretz, Civic Lab Project Manager, and Monica Hernandez, Director of Innovation & Partnerships, joined the podcast to talk about their work for the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG). They discussed Civic Lab, a program that works with teams from around their region to design and launch pilot projects aimed at regional challenges. In year one they took on "Smart Mobility" and had some innovative approaches to transportation that covered both downtown Sacramento and rural parts of their region. Both guests also shared their career path to local government and their plans for year two of the program. This interview was recorded from the 2019 Transforming Local Government Conference in Reno, Nevada.
Using new technology for sustainability. Diana Robinson, Energy Manager for Manatee County, FL, discussed how they are using drones to support their work on sustainable buildings, communications and more. Diana shared what it was like setting up a drone program and using different types of cameras. This interview was recorded from the 2019 Transforming Local Government Conference in Reno, Nevada.
Lessons for recovery after a large-scale trauma. Author and psychologist Melissa Glaser joined the podcast to talk about how a community deals with traumatic events. She shared her experience working in Newtown, CT after the Sandy Hook shooting. She also discussed lessons for community leaders dealing with tragic events.
Community service. Joe Nail the CEO and Co-Founder of Lead for America joined the podcast to talk about their two-year fellowship program for young leaders in local government. The program takes undergraduate students interested in public service and matches them with organizations in their community. Joe shared his background and why he wanted to start this program. He also explained how local governments can participate and what the experience is like for fellows.
Trends in planning. GovLove was recently at the National Planning Conference for a session all about right-of-way. Local governments hold the public right-of-way in trust for the benefit of the public; but rapid changes in technology, federal policy, and constitutional law are increasing demands for services and challenging local regulatory authority. Experienced local government attorneys, and industry professionals discuss best practices for right-of-way management in the face of emerging challenges. Panelists include: Alan Weinstein, Cleveland State University; Alicia Giudice, San Rafael, CA; Brandon Bordenkircher, Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development; Daniel J. Bolin, Ancel Glink; Gail A. Karish, Best Best & Krieger LLP; and Isidro A. Jimenez, San Francisco, CA. This episode was recorded from the 2019 National Planning Conference in San Francisco, CA.
Designing better government. Dan Hon, the Co-Chair for the 2019 Code for America Summit, joined the podcast to talk about the work of Code for America, how he got involved and why technologists should work with governments. Dan also shared some of the agenda they are planning for the conference and tips for attendees.
Local government innovation and faith in public service. Eric March, Strategic Initiatives Analyst for Durham County, NC joined the podcast to discuss Innovate Durham, a partnership program between the County, City of Durham and local startups. Eric shared his path in public service from an engineer to an innovation office. He also discussed his work for a church and compared the similarities of the work to local government. This interview was recorded from the 2019 Transforming Local Government Conference in Reno, Nevada.
Two Mayors and a Chief of Staff. Mayor Danene Sorace, former Mayor Rick Gray and former Chief of Staff Pat Brogan joined the podcast to talk about creating and advancing Lancaster's strategic plan. Mayor Gray and Pat Brogan shared the creation of the city's first strategic plan and current Mayor Sorace talked about embracing and continuing to advance the plan. They also shared their paths into public service, the role of Chief of Staff and both mayors' perspectives on leadership.
ELGL Knope Award Winner. Brent Stockwell, the Assistant City Manager of Scottsdale, Arizona, discussed their award-winning park the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. He talked about the work that went into winning the ELGL Knope Award, stories from park staff and how they tried to improve their communications strategy during each round of the competition. This podcast was recorded from the 2019 Transforming Local Government Conference in Reno, Nevada.
Civic dreamer and doer. Sarah Moss joined GovLove to talk about her unique career path that has switched between campaign and political roles to administrative roles. She shared what led to her first role in politics and how she ended up in local government. Sarah also discussed her work as a consultant and her professional philosophy.
Engagement and shaping communities. Three guests join the podcast to discuss approaches to neighborhood planning and the work that goes into engaging residents. Mercy Murguia is a Commissioner for Potter County, TX; Dina Newman is the Director of the Center for Neighborhoods at the University of Missouri at Kansas City; and, AJ Fawver is the Planning Director for the City of Lubbock, TX. All three discussed their perspectives on planning and engagement as well as how each of their communities approach neighborhoods.
Purchasing and RFPs. Chris Van Beke the CEO and Co-Founder of Vendor Registry talks about improving the way vendors and governments work together, from updating paper processes to improving communication. Chris also shared his career path to leading a tech company focused on procurement.
Can't be neutral on a moving train. Two members of the leadership team in Iowa City, IA joined the podcast to talk management, recruitment and their path to public service. Geoff Fruin, City Manager, and Ashley Monroe, Assistant City Manager, shared their experiences going through hiring processes and what they look for in hiring leadership positions. Geoff and Ashley also talked about what they are working on, from data driven policing to engagement.
Meeting people where they are. Jay Dawkins the CEO of PublicInput joined the podcast to talk about community engagement and reaching more people through engagement. Jay shared his career path to leading a software company and how they work with local governments. He talked about pitfalls in engagement like the "if you build it, they will come" mistake and why engagement matters.
Diversity in the local government profession. Two professors from the University of North Carolina School of Government share findings from recent research on the diversity of city and county managers. Leisha Dehart-Davis and Kimberly Nelson talked about what they heard from interviewing managers for their "Near the Top" report and the importance of attracting women and people of color to local government management.
Using and regulating drones in government. GovLove Legal is back. Derke Price and Erin Pell from the law firm Ancel Glink join the podcast to talk about the regulations around drones. From how the law varies from state to state to how the Federal government treats drones they cover what you need to know. Derke and Erin also share examples of how local governments are using drones to support their work.
Shift Indy. Ken Clark the Chief Information Officer for the City of Indianapolis and Marion County, Indiana discussed his career path and his work updating the organization's website. Ken shared how he got buy in for a new approach to the website, the work that went into bringing it into the 21st century and how they improved the user experience. Ken also talked about the importance of understanding finances and how he cut his departmental budget while also taking on this enormous project.
Engagement in Bologna, Italy. The Deputy Mayor of Bologna, Matteo Lepore, talked about how his city won an Engaged Cities award for their work engaging residents with local government. By engaging with residents the City is able to bring people into the process of shaping public spaces. Learn more from their case study: Co-Creating Urban Commons.
Finding innovative ideas with residents not just for them. Tulsa, Oklahoma has been empowering their residents to address longstanding or emerging civic challenges in partnership with city staff. James Wagner, the Chief Financial Officer and former Chief of Performance Strategies and Innovation, talked about their Urban Data Pioneers and Civic Innovation Fellowship programs. Through these programs Tulsa residents can learn about data analysis or human centered design as they bring new ideas into City Hall. The city received an Engaged Cities Award for their efforts.
Celebrating the most effective solutions to engagement. Myung Lee, the Executive Director of Cities of Service, joins the podcast to talk about their Engaged Cities Award, spotlighting solutions from around the world and her winding career path. Myung also shared the work of Cities of Service and how they help Mayors build stronger cities.
Leading Hillsboro. Mayor Steve Callaway from Hillsboro, Oregon joined the podcast to talk about his path into public service, how his city works to attract people into local government and reaching out to the Latino community. Mayor Callaway also discussed his viral social media post on dealing with a racism and his love of the Hillsboro Hops.
Cool things about parks. To celebrate the start of the #ELGLKnope Award contest for the best Park facility in the country we have an interview between Eleanor Wyatt and Bobbi Nance. Eleanor is a 9-year-old that has strong opinions about parks and Bobbi is the President of Recreation Results, a company that uses data and strategy to advise local governments in the parks and recreation sector.
Using scrum in local government. Michelle Thong, the Digital Services Lead at the City of San Jose, CA, joined the podcast to talk innovation, iteration and engaging the tech community. She shared the three innovation behaviors her office works to encourage in the organization and how she works to be a multiplier. Michelle also talked about starting the Code for San Jose brigade and how the City works with volunteers.
Transforming data into action. Miguel Sangalang, Deputy Mayor for Budget & Innovation, and Amanda Daflos, Innovation Team Director, joined GovLove to talk about their work at the City of Los Angeles, California. They discussed earning the top level of the What Works Cities Certification and how they are pairing budget with innovation. They also shared why they think data is important and how the City uses data to make decisions.
Measuring employee engagement. Bob Lavigna the Director of the Institute for Public Sector Employee Engagement at CPS HR joined the podcast to talk about why organizations should take employee engagement seriously. He argues that there is a business case to keeping employees engaged at the workplace and that the best organizations have recognized this. He also shared his path into working with governments and the value of employee surveys.
Communications and media relations. Chris Floore, the Assistant to the County Manager for Public Affairs in Macon-Bibb County, Georgia, joined the podcast to talk about his work and building relationships with the media. Chris discussed the importance of the public information officer role and how he prepares staff to work with the media. He also responded to a report from the Society of Professional Journalists says public information officers are making it more difficult to get access to interviews and information.
Battling disparities through planning. Two people from the City of Minneapolis, MN join the podcast to talk about the hottest comprehensive plan in the country, Minneapolis 2040. Heather Worthington is the Director of Long Range Planning and Paul Mogush is the Manager of Community Planning for Minneapolis. Heather and Paul discussed the goals of the new comprehensive plan, which put dealing with racial disparities at the center of their work, and how they engaged the public throughout the process. The new plan will make big changes to land use in the city including eliminating single family zoning and parking minimums.
The best episodes of the year. All five regular GovLove hosts teamed up to hand out awards and recap the year of GovLove. Kirsten, Alyssa, Javon, Kent and Ben all selected four of their favorite episodes to honor with the most prestigious award in local government podcasting, a GovieLovie. In addition to handing out awards, the hosts shared what they hope to cover on the podcast in the future, their favorite holiday food and highlights from ELGL’s 2018. The Top Episodes of the Year: Kirsten #195 Innovation & Equity in Parks & Recreation with Kylie Bayer-Fertterer, Justin Cutler & Peter Cosmiano #236 Local Reporting in San Antonio with iris Dimmick, The Rivard Report #206 The First Lady of Water Cathy Bailey, Greater Cincinnati Water Works #232 The Best of Nextdoor with Jenn Takahashi Javon #179 The Gatekeepers, Chiefs of Staff in Local Government #171 The City of Detroit's Chief Storyteller, Aaron Foley #238 PennDOT Connects with Secretary Leslie Richards & Brian Hare #217 Parkour & Parks with Colin MacDonald, Parkour Visions Alyssa #176 NBC Parks & Rec Memories with Jim O'Heir (Jerry Gergich) #228 Crisis Ready, Building an Invincible Brand with Melissa Agnes #213 University of Alabama Game Day in Tuscaloosa with Mayor Walt Maddox #219 Karen Pinkos, ICMA President & City Manager, El Cerrito, CA Kent #188 NFBPA & Diversity with Christine Edwards & James Gaston #210 Oregon's Most Wired Community - Independence #222 The Poisoned City - Flint's Water & the American Urban Tragedy with Anna Clark #185 Public Service in the NFL & City Management with Tom & Connor Barwin Ben #233 What Government Innovation Really Looks Like with Hana Schank #223 Changing the Local Government Workplace #225 Evaluation & Good Government in Washington, DC with Jenny Reed #193 The Color of Law with Richard Rothstein
Problem solving in government. Brian Platt the Business Administrator of Jersey City, New Jersey joined the podcast to talk about managing the day to day operations of the city, innovation in local government and being named a babe of Jersey City. Brian previously served as the Chief Innovation Officer and he shared the work of the city's i-Team and how they've approached problem solving.
Hungry for democracy. The national non-profit, Pizza to the Polls, tries to make waiting in line to vote a little better. They take reports of long lines from people around the country and then find local pizza places to deliver slices to voters. Scott Duncombe is one of the founders of Pizza to the Polls, he tells the story of how it started and how they delivered over 10,000 pizzas in the 2018 election.
Transportation & engagement. The Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation, Leslie Richards, and the PennDOT Planning Chief, Brian Hare, join the podcast to talk engagement and the future of transportation. They shared their PennDOT Connects initiative which works to engage Pennsylvania residents before they implement transportation projects. Secretary Richards and Brian also talked about their career paths and how the State works with local governments.
Economic development at the state level. Stefan Pryor, the Secretary of Commerce for the State of Rhode Island, joins the podcast to talk about his work attracting companies to the state. Stefan discussed the policies they've used to turn around Rhode Island's economy. He also shared his career path to the position, which included a stint as Deputy Mayor in Newark, NJ.
The City Hall beat. Iris Dimmick, Senior Reporter at The Rivard Report, talks covering local government in the City of San Antonio, Texas. She talked about the non-profit journalism that The Rivard Report conducts, her path to becoming a reporter and the future of local journalism. Then Iris discussed three propositions that were voted on by residents in November, each had a different impact on the City of San Antonio, including one that targeted the City Manager.
Applying technology to make things better. John Covey, Chief Information Office of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, joined the podcast to talk about software, local government IT and improving processes. John shared his career path to working at the Town of Shrewsbury, his definition of a technologist and what he sees as trends in the field. He also shared their experience working with ViewPoint Cloud to improve the permitting process.
Putting people first. Mike Sarasti, the Chief Innovation Officer and Director of Innovation & Technology for the City of Miami, Florida, joined the podcast to talk about his role driving innovation and scaling solutions throughout the organization. He discussed his path to becoming a CIO, how they put users first through process design and working with Code for Miami. He also talked about how adding IT to his portfolio has impacted the innovation work in Miami, from training his employees on these tools to using tech as an entry point for process improvement.
Getting the work done. Hana Schank, Public Interest Technology Fellow for New America, joined the podcast to talk about her recently published report on innovation in government. She interviewed problem solvers working across Federal, State and local governments to learn how they are trying to make government services better for residents. From what this field of innovation should be called, what teams across the country look like and common projects that teams are working on, Hana gave more info on what she found in her report. She also talked about the necessity of buy-in from top leadership and the importance of process over technology. Read the report: Getting the Work Done - What Government Innovation Really Looks Like
Quality neighborhood drama. Jenn Takahashi, the chief lurker and founder of the parody account Best of Nextdoor, joined the podcast to talk about sharing the entertaining drama that happens on Nextdoor. Jenn shares what caused her to start the account, what the Nextdoor CEO thinks of it and what it's been like to have the account get so popular.
Budgeting for Outcomes. In his new book Andrew Kleine, the former Budget Director for the City of Baltimore, MD, challenges how local governments budget. He writes about how he changed budgeting in Baltimore to focus on outcomes rather than line items. He joined the podcast to talk about how he learned about outcome budgeting, the process of writing a book, and his career path in government.
LouieStat and changing culture. Daro Mott, the Chief of Performance Improvement for the City of Louisville, Kentucky, joined the podcast to talk about their use of data and focus on process improvement. Daro described Louisville's particular focus on professional development and training employees to change culture. He also shared his path into local government and their work to earn the What Works Cities Certification.
Navigating the Supreme Court decision. Earlier this year the case of Janus v. AFSCME changed part of the relationship between local governments and unions. No longer can cities and counties collect union dues for non-union employees that benefit from union negotiations. Matthew DiCianni from the Chicago based law firm, Ancel Glink, joined the podcast to talk about the role of unions and the impact of the Janus decision.
Talking crisis management and communication. Melissa Agnes, the author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, joined the podcast to talk handling crises. Melissa shared her perspective on plans versus programs and the importance of communication.
A lot of preparation and work goes into hosting a Super Bowl. Two communications professionals from the City of Minneapolis, Minnesota shared their story of hosting Super Bowl 52 in their city. Greta Bergstrom is the Communications Director and Jordan Gilgenbach is the Digital Media Relations Coordinator for the City of Minneapolis. They talked about the working with dozens of partners to keep residents and guests informed, how they prepared for cold weather and all the rowdy fans, plus they also described the training and support they got from the Federal government in preparation for the game.
The President of the Greater Providence, Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce, Laurie White, joined the podcast to share how Providence works to attract businesses and entrepreneurs. She talks about how important it is to know your workforce, what businesses are looking for and how she works together with the State Secretary of Commerce.
Good government for the people. Jenny Reed the Director of the Office of Budget & Performance Management for the City of Washington, DC joined the podcast to talk about how they use evaluation and performance management. She shared the work of the Lab @ DC, how they want to make a more data driven budget process and their use of low cost evaluations. Jenny also shared the process of earning the What Works Cities Certification and how that process helped her office and the City improve.
College Football and Local Government. We continue our series on the relationship between local governments and universities. Tom Casady, Director of Public Safety, joined the podcast to talk about the game day atmosphere in Lincoln, the preparation it takes to get ready for the influx of fans and his favorite memories. On Saturdays enough people come to Lincoln to make it the third largest city in the state. Prior to being named Public Safety Director, Tom was the Lincoln Police Chief from 1994-2011.
A panel of local government staff, an elected official and a tech company staffer discussed the changing workplace. They shared their opinions on what they want to see from their employers, how government can better engage with residents and how local government needs to deal with diversity and inclusion. The group also took questions from the audience that hit on the urban-rural divide, the role of elected officials and white male privilege. The panel included: Lacey Beaty, City Council President at Beaverton, OR; Kylie Bayer, Human Resources Manager at McMinnville, OR; Jose Esparza, Community Engagement Specialist at Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District; Pat Rollens, Public Information Specialist at Corvallis, OR; and Casey Earp, Engagement Manager at Bang the Table. This episode was recorded live from 2018 League of Oregon Cities conference in Eugene, OR.
The author of a new book on the Flint water crisis joined the podcast to talk about what happened. Anna Clark, the author of "The Poisoned City: Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy," shared her perspective on the role of government in the crisis, the decline of local journalism and the importance of infrastructure. Anna also talked about instant replay, what a book tour is like and whether she still has trust in government.
Trust and accountability in local government. Kevin Knutson, the Vice President of Customer Success at Envisio, joined the podcast to talk about strategic planning, accountability and his view on the biggest challenges facing local governments. He also shared how Envisio, a software company, is helping organizations stick to and achieve their strategic plans.
Game day for one of college football's storied rivalries. Every year, the City of Jacksonville, Florida plays host to the Georgia-Florida Game (or Florida-Georgia, depending on the year) and welcomes two fanbases from rival schools for events, tailgating and more. Brent Fine, the Special Events Manager for the City of Jacksonville, and Rick Catlett, the President/CEO of Gator Bowl Sports, joined the podcast to talk about the planning it takes to pull off the annual event. They shared how they manage relationships with both universities, the unique history and tradition associated with the game, and the coordination on everything from parking enforcement to trash pickup.
Live from the 2018 ICMA Conference in Baltimore, MD. The new ICMA President, Karen Pinkos, joined the podcast to talk about her career path, leadership and her tips for young professionals. She answered questions from the audience and talked about her new role as ICMA's 4th female President. Karen was recently selected to serve as the next City Manager of El Cerrito, CA, where she has been the Assistant City Manager since 2001.
Transparency before it was cool. Three people from the City of Kansas City, Missouri joined the podcast to talk about how KCMO uses data to inform their decision making and how they hold themselves accountable to achieving their strategic plan. Kate Bender, Deputy Performance Officer, Bo McCall, Performance Analyst, and Chris Hernandez, Communications Director, shared the story of KC Stat, a monthly data and performance meeting. They also explained how the What Works Cities Certification helped them and what they learned from going through that process.
Parkour! Running, jumping and climbing through the urban landscape is catching on as a new form of play. Colin MacDonald the Design Director for Parkour Visions came on the podcast to talk about adding parkour elements to parks and teaching parkour. He explained how parkour can activate otherwise bland landscape and teaches people how to fall.
College Football and Local Government. GovLove is looking at how local governments across the country deal with game day. Glenn Bartolome, a System Impacts & Events Coordinator for King County Metro Transit, joined the podcast to discuss how they get thousands of fans to the University of Washington football stadium. The stadium is located in a dense urban neighborhood and both the University and the county encourage fans to take transit to the game, Glenn explains how they work together to provide that service, how it impacts operations and who pays to shuttle fans from across the city.
Getting outcomes from engagement. Kit Cole is a public engagement consultant and a board member of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2). She discusses the value and types of engagement, plus the importance of engagement in local government. Kit also compares the approaches to engagement in big, urban cities like Los Angeles versus small, rural communities like Brownsville, Oregon. Prior to becoming a consultant Kit worked for public utilities, Waste Management Inc. and the California state government.
Preserving quality of life in shrinking Iowa cities. A grant from the National Science Foundation is exploring how communities can protect quality of life and community infrastructure while they lose population. The Shrink Smart Project aims to develop data-driven tools to assist towns in actively planning for shrinkage. Three people from Iowa State University joined the podcast: Kimberly Zarecor is an Associate Professor of Architecture, Sara Hamideh is an Assistant Professor of Community & Regional Planning, and Eric Davis is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science. They discussed how they are using both data and qualitative research to figure out why some rural communities are maintaining their quality of life while they shrink and others don't.
College Football and Local Government. Fall is here and that means football season, and at GovLove we are taking a look at how local governments across the country deal with game day. Mayor Walt Maddox from the City of Tuscaloosa, Alabama talked about how they handle the influx of fans filling the University of Alabama stadium, which seats over 100,000 people. From trash pickup and security to planning and transportation Mayor Maddox gives a behind the scenes look at one of the most raucous game day atmospheres in the county and how local government makes it possible.
Playing matchmaker and reducing implicit bias. The CEO of Strategic Government Resources (SGR), Ron Holifield, joined GovLove to talk about how they are pushing local governments to change how they recruit. He shared his career path from time as a City Manager to leading a recruiting firm. Ron talked about his company's philosophy, the hierarchy of leadership and the SGRecruiter tool, which will match passive job seekers with organizations and help reduce implicit bias.
Using data and design to creatively solve problems. Tina Walha the Director of the Innovation & Performance team at the City of Seattle, Washington joined the podcast to talk about her team's work. She shared her path into local government, which started with a stint in Mayor Bloomberg's administration in New York City. Tina discussed the work of Seattle's i-Team, how they are building on the use of data and what Seattle did to earn a What Works Cities Certification.
A smart rural community. David Clyne the City Manager and Shawn Irvine the Economic Development Director join GovLove to talk about their work for the City of Independence, Oregon. This small city of about 9,000 people has used technology like municipal broadband to infuse a culture of technology into the work of the City and the culture of the community. They have worked on projects using a virtual situation room, agricultural technology and more.
Code for America recently hosted a National Day of Civic Hacking as a call to action bringing together civic leaders, local governments, and community organizations. Groups across the country got together to work on some of our toughest challenges. ELGL Executive Director, Kirsten Wyatt, was down in San Francisco, California at the Code for America headquarters and talked to three participants in the National Day of Civic Hacking. Alex Gaesser discussed working on bike transportation, Connor English talked about a project dealing with foster care and Matt Castillon lead a group working with building inspections data to deal with affordable housing.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Culture of Health Prize recognizes communities that have placed a priority on health and are creating powerful partnerships and deep commitments to provide everyone, especially those facing the greatest challenges, with a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. Katie Wehr from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Julie Willems Van Dijk from the University of Wisconsin's Institute of Public Health joined GovLove to talk about what a culture of health is, stories from communities that are doing it well and different approaches to public health.
The City Manager of Hillsboro, Oregon, Michael Brown, joined GovLove to talk about his approach to recruiting for department directors and other top level vacancies. Michael shared how when his Assistant City Manager announced their retirement he spent time rethinking the position and allowing the departments and staff that will report to the new person to have input on what to look for. He also shared his career path into local government and his passion for the band Tool.
The Director of the Greater Cincinnati Water Works Department, Cathy B. Bailey, joined GovLove to talk about her career path. Cathy started as a chemist in 1992 for the Cincinnati, OH water department and was named the director in 2015. She talked about how her department is removing lead lines by working with partners across the community, what her job is like day to day, and her perspective on diversity in local government.
In Governing and Living Cities' 2018 Equipt to Innovate survey the City of Fayetteville, North Carolina was chosen as the top overall performer. Rebecca Jackson, the Strategic Performance Analytics Director, joined the podcast to talk about her work and what it means to be chosen as the most innovative city in the nation. Rebecca shared Fayetteville's approach to strategic planning, how they include resident input and their process improvement work. This interview was recorded from the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association (NCLGBA) 2018 Summer Conference in Atlantic Beach, NC.
Why not Dodge? Melissa McCoy, Assistant City Manager/Public Affairs, joins GovLove to talk about the tourism industry and the old west. The City of Dodge City, Kansas turned around the old phrase "get the heck out of Dodge" into an effort to bring people to the queen of the cowtowns. In 1997 residents of Dodge City voted to approve a dedicated portion of the sales tax to fund projects to encourage tourism.