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GovLove - A Podcast About Local Government
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GovLove - A Podcast About Local Government

Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL)

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GovLove is a podcast about the people, policies and profession of local government. From Mayors and City Managers to interns and everyone in between, we interview the people making a difference in their communities to learn about the great work being done at the local level. GovLove is brought to you by Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL).
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Jed Byrne, Editor at Oak City CRE, joined the podcast to discuss development finance. He shared the important role of developers, the lifecycle of a project, and shared examples of how projects are financed. Host: Rafael Baptista
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Helping communities weigh tradeoffs on their roadways. Conor Semler, Principal Planner for Kittelson & Associates, joined the podcast to talk about a new tool that will help communities make streets safer. He shared his recent research into roadway cross-section reallocation and how cities can use the tool to balance community priorities with roadw…
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Planning with natural charm. Tim Maslow, Community and Economic Development Director for the City of Groveland, Florida, joined the podcast to talk about planning and urbanism. He shared how Groveland is working to manage population growth, retain natural amenities, and create walkable places. Tim talked about creating the City's new form-based cod…
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Strategy and service. Melissa Cantarero Weiss, Deputy City Administrator for the City of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, joined the podcast to talk about building a customer service culture. She shared how they engaged employees in developing customer service values and integrating customer service into training, employee evaluations, and awards. Melissa als…
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Go get 'em, tiger. Gabe Reaume, the City Manager for the City of Saginaw, Texas joined the podcast to discuss his new book, Strangers and Angels. Gabe shared stories growing up in rural Michigan, his unique path to city management, and how a friendship with a woman old enough to be his grandmother impacted his life. Host: Rafael Baptista…
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The state of ELGL is strong. Maggie Jones is the Chair of the ELGL Board of Directors and Assistant Director of Community Development for Tarrant County, Texas. Maggie joined the podcast to provide listeners with an update on ELGL. She shared what makes the organization special, how members can maximize their membership, and a preview of ELGL 24. M…
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Choices for all. Spencer Gardner, the Planning Director for the City of Spokane, Washington joined the podcast to discuss their innovative Building Opportunity and Choices for All program. He discussed the use of an interim zoning ordinance, what things in the city code need to be addressed to achieve more equitable housing, and tax credit programs…
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The future is now. Two guests joined the podcast to talk about the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in local government. Parth Shah is the CEO and co-founder of Polimorphic and Scott Attaway is the City Manager for the City of Lowell, North Carolina. They shared the use case and benefits of AI, how AI can improve local government process…
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Condensing the process. Kyle Dombrowski, a Lieutenant with the City of South Bend, Indiana Police Department joined the podcast to talk about police officer recruitment and Prospect Days. He shared the department's old hiring process and how they streamlined the process from a six to nine month process to completing most of the process in one day. …
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Adventures in Stockton. Two guests joined the podcast to talk about their award-winning planning project in Stockton, Illinois. Both guests work for All Together, Marisa Schulz is the Principal and Abigail Rose is the Senior Planner and Designer. They shared what made the project special, lessons learned, and the importance of creative placemaking.…
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The civic infrastructure of the futrure. Two guests joined the podcast to talk about using technology to better engage residents and improve trust in local government. Dan Ault is the Assistant Town Manager and Chief Innovation Officer for the Town of Cary, North Carolina. Eyal Feder-Levy is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zencity, a community engagement…
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The case against required parking. Catie Gould, Climate and Transportation Researcher for the Sightline Institute, joined the podcast to talk about trends in parking reform. Catie shared the problem with minimum parking mandates and how abolishing them impacted the cities of Seattle and Buffalo. She also discussed how parking regulations impact hou…
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Great design for a great river. Carol Coletta, President and CEO of the Memphis River Parks Partnership, joined the podcast to talk about managing the City of Memphis Riverfront and the grand opening of Tom Lee Park. Carol shared the background about the redevelopment of Tom Lee Park, mitigating flood risk at the park, and ensuring equal access and…
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Getting the job done for the future. Laurel Paget-Seekins, author of People First a report from TransitCenter, joined the podcast to talk about how transit agencies need a more strategic human resources function to attract and retain talent. Laurel shared the workforce challenges transit agencies are experiencing, how staffing is impacting operatio…
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Committed to inclusive economic growth. Two guests joined the podcast to talk about a new inclusive recovery toolkit, Deirdre Shaw is an Inclusive Economic Growth Associate and Betsey Suchanic is an Inclusive Economic Development Advisor both with the New Growth Innovation Network. They shared what is in the toolkit, the target audience, outcomes f…
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Fresh urbanism takes with a side of dad. Barry Greene Jr., Transportation Justice Fellow for the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and author of Density Dad joined the podcast to talk about family-focused urbanism. He shared why he started writing about urbanism, how the built environment affects families, and shared adv…
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Governing for equity. Dr. Benoy Jacob, the Director of the Community Development Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Division of Extension, joined the podcast to talk about bridging the theory and practice of equity in local government. He shared his research into equity in public administration and the understanding of equity as a f…
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Outcomes and processes. Three guests joined the podcast to discuss equity and racial justice in the City of Chicago, IL. Nneka Onwuzurike is the Community Wealth Building Lead with the City of Chicago. Anton Seals, Jr. is the Lead Steward for Grow Greater Englewood. Candace Moore is the Chief Equity Officer for the City of Chicago They shared their…
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Encouraging excellence among public administrators of Asian heritage. Aishwarya Kumar, President of the International Network of Asian Public Administrators (I-NAPA) and Management Analyst at the City of Elk Grove, CA, joined the podcast to talk about her role with I-NAPA and her work in Elk Grove, CA. Aishwarya shared her work in performance manag…
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Science to promote justice. Max Markham, Vice President, Policy & Community Engagement for the Center for Policing Equity, joined the podcast to talk about building equity in police departments. He shared the work of rebuilding the St. Louis Police Department, the role of administrators and equity officers have in implementing change, and offered t…
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Activate ATL. Justin Cutler, Commissioner of Parks and Recreation for the City of Atlanta, Georgia, joined the podcast to talk about parks and recreation. Justin shared how he is building the culture with his staff and why he chose to move to the City of Atlanta. He also discussed tackling the challenge of providing equal access to parks and green …
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Action for the future. Three guests joined the podcast to discuss inclusionary retail. Julia Duranti-Martinez is the Senior Program Officer for Community Impact and Research at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Andres Sevtsuk is an Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mikeya Griffin is the Executive Director of…
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Listening to the Community. Craig Owens, City Manager for the City of Lawrence, Kansas, joined the podcast to talk about budgeting for equity and inclusion. He shared the city's budget process, measuring key performance indicators, and equity and inclusion progress indicators. This episode was recorded at the 2023 Social Equity Leadership Conferenc…
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Identifying, analyzing, and solving pain points in day-to-day work. Kayla Barber-Perrotta, Budget and Performance Manager for the City of Brighton, Colorado, joined the podcast to talk about performance and process improvement. Kayla shared an in-depth look into the City's five-week Performance and Leadership Academy highlighting building a culture…
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Action for the future. Three guests joined the podcast to discuss their involvement with Local Government 2030, a convening of local government practitioners working on the grand challenges facing public administration. Megan Caron is a Strategic Initiatives Analyst for the City of Nashua, New Hampshire. Elizabeth McDonald is a Senior Civil Enginee…
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Points for the planet. Two guests joined the podcast to talk about how the City of Lakewood, Colorado has used sustainable development standards to implement their Sustainability Plan. Caitlin Long, Senior Sustainability Planner, and Jonathan Wachtel, Sustainability Manager, discussed the City's enhanced development menu, greenhouse gas mitigation …
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Reimagining Discarded America. Michelle Wilde Anderson, author and Larry Kramer Professor of Law at Stanford School of Law, joined the podcast to talk about her book, The Fight to Save the Town. She highlighted and discussed the chapters related to Stockton, CA; Josephine County, OR; Lawrence, MA; and Detroit, MI. Host: Lauren Palmer…
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A New 911. Gabriela Solis, a Project Leader for the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab, joined the podcast to talk about alternative 911 responses. She shared the work of the Government Performance Lab, the current initiative surrounding alternative 911 responses, and some case studies involved with the initiative. Gabriela discussed…
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Balancing new ideas with institutional knowledge. Jackie Wehmeyer, Senior Director of Strategy and Intergovernmental Affairs for the City of Parkland, Florida, joined the podcast to talk about local government strategy and employees. She shared how employee needs by department differ, her work in strategy and intergovernmental affairs, and the impo…
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The s'more-iest season on record. Greg LeBlanc, Assistant Town Manager for the Town of Snowmass, Colorado, joined the podcast to talk about small town management and tourism. He discussed preparing for the role of Assistant Town Manager and the challenges unique to resort communities. He also shared how the work of the Town changes around the touri…
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Putting people first. Four guests joined the podcast to talk about human centered design in Chicago Public Schools. They discussed the CPS community toolkit, building strong design teams, and gaining leadership buy-in. They also shared how other local governments can implement human centered design. Adrian Segura is the Chief Officer for Family and…
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Stories of Public Servants. Brian Whittaker, Founder of Humans of Public Service and the Chief Innovation Officer for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, joined the podcast to talk about Humans of Public Service, which shares the stories of public servants that reflect the diversity in America in an effort to humanize public servants and cre…
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Texas Two Step. Onyinye Akujo, Chief Operating Officer for the Houston-Galveston Area Council, joined the podcast to talk about her work with the Houston-Galveston Council and being in a local government relationship with her partner, William Johnson, Assistant City Manager for the City of Fort Worth. Host: Lauren Palmer…
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Embrace the uncertainty. Santi Garces, Chief Information Officer for the City of Boston, Massachusetts, joined the podcast to talk about improving technology in local government. He shared insights on balancing technology projects, shrinking the digital divide, and data use as a platform and product. Host: Ben Kittelson…
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Building a sustainable and equitable city. Oliver Kroner, Director of Environment and Sustainability for the City of Cincinnati, Ohio, joined the podcast to talk about implementing the Green Cincinnati Plan. He shared the work of the Office of Environment and Sustainability, measuring environmental impacts, and community activation and equity aroun…
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Infrastructure feedback in real-time. Barkha Patel, Director of Infrastructure for the City of Jersey City, New Jersey, joined the podcast to talk about infrastructure and vision zero. She shared how the City implements tactical urbanism, the creation of the Department of Infrastructure, equity work in infrastructure, and the City's Vision Zero pla…
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Human-centered local government. Alex Lawrence, Chief People Officer for the City of Boston, Massachusetts, joined the podcast to talk about hiring a 21st-century workforce. She discussed new recruitment strategies, managing change, updating personnel policies, and innovative benefits. Host: Kirsten Wyatt…
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Grateful government. Ian Coyle, County Administrator for Livingston County, New York, joined the podcast to talk about mindfulness in local government. He discussed the mindfulness framework, what makes it unique to local government, and incorporating mindfulness tactics into your everyday work. Host: Lauren Palmer…
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Phila Dot Gov. Sara Hall, Director of Digital Services with the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, joined the podcast to talk about digital innovation. She discussed the work of the Digital Services team she leads, improving the City's website, and best practices for managing change. She also shared what skills are needed to work in digital servic…
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Urgently responding to the climate crisis. Grace Rink, Chief Climate Officer and Executive Director of the Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency with the City of Denver, Colorado, joined the podcast to talk about Denver's climate action work. She discussed the origins of the office, including how the community drove its creation …
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A better Tacoma for tomorrow. Jacques Colon, Chief Strategy Officer with the City of Tacoma, Washington, joined the podcast to talk about strategy and confronting complex challenges. He discussed the role of the new Office of Strategy, the City's Equity Index, and the City's Strategic Plan. He also discussed affordable housing and displacement stra…
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Transformative action in equity. Renae Jackson, Equity and Engagement Director with the City of Decatur, Georgia, joined the podcast to talk about her work in equity and engagement. She shared lessons learned in her previous role in communications, detailed her new role, and how the city is achieving organizational buy-in. Renae also highlighted th…
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Addressing climate change, now. Dr. Misty Stults, Sustainability and Innovations Director with the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan, joined the podcast to talk about climate action and sustainability. She shared details from the City's A2ZERO Climate Action Plan, including electrification and incorporating equity into the plan. She also discussed the Ci…
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Incorporating data into local government. Justin Elszasz, Chief Data Officer with the City of Baltimore, Maryland, joined the podcast to talk about integrating data into local government. He shared the role of the digital services team, how the team work with other departments, what projects they are working on, and how to prepare the next generati…
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Culture eats strategy. Hannes Zacharias, Professor of Practice at the University of Kansas School of Public Affairs and Administration, joined the podcast to talk about high performance organizations. He shared the traits of high performance of organizations, the importance of culture, and how to constantly improve an organization. Host: Lauren Pal…
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Ask simple questions. Marina Nitze, co-author of Hack Your Bureaucracy and Fellow at New America, joined the podcast to talk about the book and getting things done in government. She shared strategies people at any level of an organization can use to have an impact. She discussed her paperclip story, the importance of looking between silos, and the…
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Another year, another snake draft. The GovLove co-hosts teamed up to hand out awards and recap the seventh full year of a podcast about local government. Kirsten, Toney, Lauren, Dan, and Ben all selected three of their favorite episodes to honor with the most prestigious award in local government podcasting, a GovieLovie! They also shared their fav…
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Behind the scenes of public deliberation. Two guests joined the podcast to talk about their book, Facilitating Deliberation - A Practical Guide. Nicole Hunter, Co-Founder & Managing Director at MosaicLab, and Keith Greaves, Co-Founder & Director at MosaicLab, discussed core concepts, processes, and meeting formats for deliberation. They also provid…
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Practical data to reduce homelessness. Two guests joined the podcast to talk about how they are using data to prevent homelessness. John Littlemore, Head of Housing & Community Service at the Maidstone Borough Council, and Helen Sunderland, a Partner of Local Public Services at EY Consulting, discussed their data-driven preventative approach to hom…
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Planning for a safer and greener Charleston. Two guests joined the podcast to talk about how the City of Charleston, South Carolina has worked to make the city more resilient and sustainable. Dale Morris, Chief Resilience Officer, and Katie McKain, Director of Sustainability & Deputy Resilience Officer, discussed the differences between sustainabil…
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