Keeping current in local government often requires catching up on the latest hot topics for today’s communities, learning best practices from peers, taking advantage of available resources and picking the minds of thought-leaders in the field. These tasks may seem overwhelming in our data-saturated society, where time is limited and information is endless.
But there are diamonds of blogs sparkling through the sediment, so we mined a small handful of them to share with you. Each of these blogs delivers useful information on a regular basis with a wealth of free web articles. Even if you are not a member or client of these organizations, you may want to consider adding them to your email list. A good read through these will keep you ready to join in on any local government discussion.
So (in no particular order) here are ten blogs we think anyone interested in local government and leadership should follow:
Emerging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) uses engaging content to connect, communicate and educate. Their website consists of hundreds of blog posts to enlighten readers each morning, share job spots, enhance professional development and even entertain those who would get a joke involving a certain Leslie Knope. ELGL is also responsible for the #13Percent discussion to create awareness and boost the number of women in city management.
This umbrella blog supports and advances women in positions of leadership in local and state government. It encourages both women and men to follow the mission and contribute as guest authors. Content offers mentorship, career opportunities and must-read exclusives. League of Women in Government was recently featured by Governing in an article titled "Why We need More Women Running Our Local Governments."
Cities Speak is the National League of Cities (NLC) official blog. NLC contributors write about matters shaping the future: community, youth, city improvement, new technology and more. This blog is intended as a space to spark thoughtful discussions for the benefit of city innovation.
The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) dedicates its blog to “advancing the art, science, teaching and practice of public and non-profit administration.” The ASPA National Weblog is one of several publications by ASPA and posts writings by a diverse range of thought-leaders from across the country, who have been known write candidly on every subject from health-care to law enforcement.
GovGirl A.K.A. Kristy Dalton blogs for GovTech.com. She's also the CEO of Government Social Media, another blog full of free pro tips made just for those who manage their city's social media channels. Once a city web manager, Dalton now uses fun video blogs to help local government organizations to get better use out of new media and technology. She also covers conferences, so you won't miss a thing.
Besides offering a civic engagement web-platform, Peak Democracy furthers local government connection with their blog and e-newsletter. Blog articles discuss more than their product, touching on civic engagement best practices, survey use and advice to boost engagement online. Subscribers may find themselves saving Peak Democracy e-newsletters to re-read the Tip of the Month.
Money talks on the blog of the Center for Priority Based Budgeting (CPBB). Articles support the CPBB's mission to “lead communities to Fiscal Health and Wellness.” Posts will teach you the best ways to plan program budgets and share case studies of successful city budgeting.
The Civil Review is a culmination of blog articles from National Research Center, Inc.: revealing insights from decades of survey research, illuminating the successes of local governments and organizations similar to yours, providing professional/community development tips and discussing societal issues as they relate to years of nation-wide opinion data. If you are reading this article, then you likely already subscribe to The Civil Review. If not, click here to sign up and get our best stories in your inbox each month.