In 1928, while running for office for the first time, former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil (D-Mass.) uttered the now iconic line, “All politics is local.” Almost 90 years later the phrase still rings true — not just for politicians, but for civilian government employees as well.
State and local government workers are on the ground floor. They work directly beside and hear candidly from constituents regularly. When the Environmental Protection Agency unveils new air quality controls, comments from those affected stream onto message boards. When city waste removal workers change the trash pickup schedule, they see the reaction firsthand at their office. Non-federal government workers have a much different relationship with the citizens they serve: It’s personal.
The good part? These personal connections and this feedback can lead directly to innovations — innovations that could take the federal government years, if not decades, to implement. But state and local municipalities are often smaller, more nimble and more able to be agile, enabling them to innovate in ways that improve citizen services.
In GovLoop’s new guide, Top Challenges & Top Solutions from State & Local Governments, we share 16 stories about challenges that officials at the state and local levels have faced — and the practical, inventive and innovative solutions they came up with to deal with those issues.
We have broken the innovations into eight categories:
- Open Data Pioneers
- Workforce Reimagined
- Partnerships — Federal, Civic and Beyond
- Infrastructure Improvements
- Health Care Unmasked
- Cybersecurity Unleashed
- Customer Service Pioneers
- Outside-the-Box Ideas
So settle in, read on and find out how these 16 cities, states and municipalities took on problems common for most folks at the state and local level. We hope their examples will inspire, inform and invigorate you, too.