- By Brian Smith -
Many things evolved in 2020. From the COVID-19 pandemic, to national calls for police reform, the year was one of upheaval and change for local governments and their leaders.
At Polco, we witnessed firsthand the many issues local governments faced. In response to the needs of local leaders, Polco developed new and innovative solutions for local governments. These resources allow leaders to measure and respond to residents’ concerns and needs.
Later, as protests over police violence took over the nation, local leaders needed new resources for local governments to measure inclusion and diversity. Polco’s resources help numerous communities across the country determine how welcoming their cities really are and work toward implementing changes.
Throughout the pandemic, many local governments have had to adapt and change to meet the needs of residents. We applaud you for your resilience during this tough time. Join us in saying good riddance to 2020 and welcome 2021 with a selection of our top articles from the year.
From inspiring stories of communities making a difference, to exploring best practices in community engagement, these articles can help you move your community forward.
1) Resident feedback guides Bloomington to address COVID-19 budget impacts, saving $390,000
As the holiday season approached, local government leaders in Franklin, Tenn. faced a conundrum — whether or not to celebrate during the pandemic. Thankfully, those officials have something to rely on: survey research. Data from The National Community Survey (The NCS) show that Franklin residents prize their special holiday events. So, the City got creative. Read More.
2) National Survey Reveals Resident Perceptions of Community Equity and Inclusion
National Research Center (NRC) at Polco conducted a national study on how residents view inclusivity in their communities. While a majority of residents feel valued and safe, survey results show areas for improvement. Read more.
3) Top Ten Ways To Optimize the Local Government Budget with Resident Input
A city budget that reflects community values is crucial, especially as local governments plan for recovery from COVID-19. Best practices and the right tools can give you the timely, accurate, actionable data. This webinar is hosted by Polco Vice President of National Engagement Matt Fulton, who has thirty years experience in city management. Learn how to use community feedback now to guide and inform the city budget. Watch now.
4) Essential Input: How One Downtown Partnership Leveraged Residents Opinions on Reopening
Leaders from the retail sector in Boulder, Colo. knew they needed one particular source of guidance for a post-COVID reopening: resident voices. What should business owners expect when they reopen their doors? How should they resume daily operations? In a guest article, Terri Takata-Smith of Downtown Boulder Partnership shares the invaluable information leaders learned from more than a thousand survey responses. Read more.
5) How Eagan Goes Above and Beyond To Keep Residents Safe
Eagan, Minn. has emerged as a national leader in public safety through innovative community engagement and staffing models. See how this Voice of the People (VOP) Award winning community takes safety services to a whole new level. Read more.
6) Forward Together: Top Ten Messages Local Governments Need Most Right Now
Local government leaders from around the nation gathered at the Forward Together Virtual Conference in the spring to share ideas about coming out of the pandemic stronger. These presentations feature thought-leading experts in city management, budget and finance, innovation, community engagement, human resources, research, and more. Read more.
7) National Survey: Emotional Health Struggles Hit Most Households
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, a number of worries, fears and concerns abound. However, one facet of the pandemic stands out as the biggest concern for the nation’s residents according to a national survey — emotional health. Read more.
8) COVID-19: Biggest Challenges Facing Cities Around the Nation
What are the biggest concerns local government officials have in regards to the impacts of Coronavirus? More than 300 communities of all sizes overwhelmingly agreed on one issue, according to a Polco survey conducted in partnership with the National League of Cities. Read more.
9) Black Women, Racism and Power in City Hall
“One way to reduce institutional racism and sexism is to change the institutions themselves, and a good way to do that is to change who has formal positions of power within them," writes guest author Mark Funkhouser. Read more.
10) Top Eight Local Government Priorities and How COVID-19 is Affecting Them
The COVID-19 pandemic strikes at two of the most critical priorities for local governments. In this Keynote Webinar, learn about the eight priorities residents expect their governments to focus on, even during times of crisis, and how resources from Polco can help keep communities safe. Watch now.