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What’s the Most Pressing Issue in Local Government in 2021?

May 2021

In a year where businesses had to shut their doors, millions of Americans hunkered down at home, and many took to the streets in a variety of protests, we wanted to see how the priorities of local elected officials had been shaped by these events.

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American democracy at the start of the Biden presidency

February 2021

Bright Line Watch partnered with CivicPulse to survey 212 local government policymakers from across the country on election confidence to see whether local officials — who played a key role in the 2020 election — were more confident in the integrity of the electoral system than the general public.

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COVID-19 Relief Funding for Local Government

March 2021

What are the priorities for the new round of relief funding that local governments may receive in 2021? CivicPulse, in collaboration with Stanford University’s Bill Lane Center for the American West, surveyed 494 local government officials to ask about the status of existing COVID-19 relief funding and where future funds might be spent. With new funds on the horizon, local governments are still spending existing funds and see priorities shifting and broadening.

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CivicPulse COVID-19 Report Series

March 2020

In this report series, CivicPulse asked local officials about how they are handling the COVID-19 pandemic. Our first report looks at officials' response to the pandemic, how they are getting information, and what they wish state and federal governments knew. Our second report focuses on compliance with measures intended to fight COVID-19, and how local governments are promoting these measures.

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Democratic values and perceived performance

April 2019

Drawing on a variety of data sources, including from a CivicPulse survey conducted in March 2019, this report by Bright Line Watch assesses how local policymakers, political donors, and the American public think about the performance of democracy in the United States. You may be surprised to find out who is the most optimistic.

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Elite Attitudes to Global Governance

October 2019

The Legitimacy in Global Governance research program (LegGov) is a research program that offers systematic, comparative analysis of legitimacy in global governance. This report investigates how people around the world — including American state legislators and staffers who took part in a CivicPulse survey — think about international institutions like the United Nations and World Trade Organization.

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How Would Gun Laws Change If Local Governments Took Charge?

January 2020

This CivicPulse report investigates the possibility of gun control on a local level, analyzing local policymakers responses to questions about gun ownership. 

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IT Trends in Local Government: A National Survey of Local Decision Makers

September 2021

 In July 2021, CivicPulse surveyed a national sample of 584 local government officials to identify trends in IT in the wake of Covid-19 and to better understand their priorities looking ahead to 2022.  

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Latest Findings on The Gender Gap in Local Government

November 2020

While the gender gap among elected officials at the federal and state levels has been well documented, far less is known about gender representation in local government.

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Local Government Spending Priorities in the Wake of COVID-19

June 2020

How will COVID-19 affect local government budgets? CivicPulse asks local elected officials to  project how spending will change over the next year across twelve different program and functional areas. This CivicPulse Insights report was developed with Power Almanac.

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Local Governments Plan to Expand Broadband Access

April 2021

Millions of Americans are cut off from high-speed internet – and from crucial parts of society. How are local governments filling the gap?

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Local Priorities for Infrastructure: What Do Local Governments Want?

June 2021

What do local government policymakers want in a new infrastructure bill? CivicPulse surveyed over 400 local government officials to ask the infrastructure priorities for their local communities. The survey showed strong support for the inclusion of funding for roads, water, electricity, and broadband. In contrast, support for mass transit was limited to larger cities, and support for clean energy was highly divided by partisanship.

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Not 'What' but 'How': Understanding the Urban Innovation Cycle

March 2019

How do local government officials' approach urban innovation in their cities, and how are these processes different between municipalities?

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Patterns of Local Protest against COVID-19 Restrictions across America

October 2020

CivicPulse, in collaboration with Stanford University’s Bill Lane Center for the American West and Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, surveyed over 350 heads of local law enforcement agencies to find out where anti-lockdown protests were most common last spring. These findings could help predict where we might see them again this winter.

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Should We Open Up? Our National Survey of Local Government Officials Shows We May Not Have A Choice

May 2020

CivicPulse asks local officials about how compliance with measures combatting COVID-19 might change over time, and how their governments have been promoting these measures.

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The Local Government Perspective on COVID-19

March 2020

CivicPulse asks local officials about their response to the COVID-19 epidemic, how they are learning about the crisis, and what they wish the state and federal governments knew.

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The New Normal Survey: COVID’s Lasting Legacy on Local Government

May 2021

CivicPulse partnered with The Atlas, Engaging Local Government Leaders, CivicPlus, and RouteFifty to survey of local government officials about the lasting impacts of COVID-19 on their governments. Close to 600 survey respondents provided their views on how their government has responded to the pandemic, and what changes are likely to remain.

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The Role of Software in Local Government

August 2020

In this report, we investigate the role of new software in local government, bringing to bear original data and analysis from a national survey of ten different leadership positions in township, municipality, and county governments all over the United States, including top appointed executives, heads of IT, and heads of 8 different types of departments/functions.

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What Have Been the Challenges in Spending Coronavirus Relief Funding?

July 2021

Billions of dollars in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) are beginning to make their way to local governments around the country, but the money comes with strings attached. The administrative requirements mandated by ARPA have compelled some smaller governments to forego the funds entirely due to a lack of capacity.

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What do leaders in local government think about the budget?

July 2019

This CivicPulse report provides analysis on their March 2019 survey about the budgetary concerns facing local governments. Take a look to see who thinks that the budget is a pressing issue and what solutions might help.

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