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Balancing Community Development Theory and Practice in the Classroom

Over the past few months, this column has explored community development through the theoretical lens of assets-based development. To illustrate this model, I have discussed a number of communities that…

Legal Neutrality and the Regulation of Marriage

Legal Neutrality and the Regulation of Marriage

What role should the law have in deciding who marries whom? On one level this question is about same-sex marriage, but it is also about the power of law to…

Strategic Execution of Change

Strategic Execution of Change

While public managers know that change is needed today due to budget cuts and sequestration, they also need to recognize that it will require leadership and the changing and aligning…

Short on Time or People? Ironically, You Could Try a ‘Sacrifice Session’

Short on Time or People? Ironically, You Could Try a ‘Sacrifice Session’

Of all the commodities we want or need in our organizations, the only one that is finite is time. You can get more money, more power, more impact, more love,…

On a Course of Auto-Destruction

Warning: if you are in a good mood, skip this post, because I’m finding it very hard not to be depressed by the constant reminders of American institutional dysfunction, and…

Best Practices Model for Transparency in Government

Best Practices Model for Transparency in Government

Transparency in government means an openness about government that fosters trust, honesty and collaboration. It allows citizens and taxpayers to get actively involved in government. Sunshine Review is a national…

Caregiving and Public Administrators: Looking in the Mirror, Redefining Support

In our January column we discussed the challenges of preparing our communities for a growing population of older adults who are using Web 2.0 technologies. Here we focus on the…

Building and Selling Community Identity

A recent article in Governing magazine examines the costs and benefits of municipal branding. The article highlights the work of a high-paid consultant that helps local governments develop slogans and…

The End of the Second Civil Rights Era

The End of the Second Civil Rights Era

By all indications, the second civil rights era in American history will end this June. That is when the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule in Shelby County v.…

A Matter of Perspective

A Matter of Perspective

If there is one observation increasingly endorsed by conservatives and liberals alike it is this: American government isn’t working. Not in Washington, and not in a growing number of states.…