Local Government


Boston's City Hall Wants New, Locally Sourced Hold Music

It's replacing boring elevator tunes with ... #BOStunes.


How Local Governments Hinder Our Response to Natural Disasters

Hurricane Sandy didn't respect jurisdictional boundaries, and it challenged us to coordinate disaster response on a regional scale.


Why Isn't There a More Robust 'Local Energy' Movement?

We claim to care about where our apples are grown, but few of us question the costs associated with relying on external energy to drive economic growth.

Associated Press

Maybe Start Practicing Saying 'New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio'

He's leading two new polls.


Does Having Lots of Local Governments Help or Hurt Economic Development?

The number of local governments per capita is negatively correlated with key measures of state economic performance.

Meet the Woman Tasked With Saving New York From the Next Sandy

Judith Rodin will help design a "climate-conscious overhaul" of New York's infrastructure before the next storm rolls in.


From Coffee Cups to Climate Change, Do Local Efforts Really Matter?

Plastic bag and Styrofoam bans may seem like small potatoes. But local legislation often inspires bigger fixes.


How Nonprofits Can End Up Becoming a Drain on City Budgets

Municipal governments can't sit idly by while tax-exempt organizations get services for free.


As Local Governments Shrink, Private Consultants Reap Rewards

Meet the high-paid experts who are pitching our cities and states on how to save money.


Why All Those New Fees Your City Is Charging Are Likely Permanent

Cash-strapped local governments overwhelmingly turned to fees instead of raising taxes in recent years. And they like them.

Orhan Cam / Shutterstock.com

Americans Still Trust Their Local Government, Even as Faith in Washington Crumbles

Blame the remoteness of D.C., or its partisan rancor.


Cities Facing Worst Fiscal Situation Since 1980

Property taxes and state aid are both down, creating major problems for local governments.

Pew Research Center

Americans Trust Local Government More Than Washington

61 percent of Americans have a favorable view of their local government.


A Budget By (and For) the People

More and more cities are experimenting with participatory budgeting. But who really gets to decide how the money is spent?

Rita Crundwell vs. Harriette Walters: Who Embezzled Better?

Walters stole nearly $50 million from the District of Columbia, but Crundwell allegedly ganked more than half that amount in a town with a budget of only $8 million.

Mark Byrnes

The Dawn of the Municipal Chief Innovation Officer

San Francisco and Philadelphia are the first major U.S. cities to install innovation officers. What exactly do these guys do, and will their stodgy government colleagues let them get away with it?


Chicago Asks Students to Help It Be More Transparent

A new Northwestern course starting in January tasks undergraduates with shining a light on city government

Flickr/Ed Yourdon

Why Chicago Couldn't End Homelessness

In 2003, Richard Daley promised to house every resident by 2012. Nine years later, the city's nowhere near meeting that goal