Category: Business

What Really Makes Cities Smart: Understanding the Citizen Experience

This is a guest post by Heidi Lorenzen, vice president of marketing for Accela. Cities are laboratories for democracy where residents can directly access their local elected leaders to make their concerns known. While federal regulation and legislation moves at a seemingly glacial pace, cities have to act nimbly and continuously evolve to maintain a

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Employee-Owned Businesses a Tool for Equitable Growth

Income and wealth inequality, exploitative working conditions and displacement are critical issues faced by communities across the country. These challenges require strategies that create both stable employment and access to opportunities for building assets. Local governments have traditionally invested in the dual pathways of entrepreneurship and workforce development to address these issues. Employee ownership of

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5 Ways Cities Can Use Data to Become More Efficient and Effective

“Data and technology” was identified as one of the top 10 issues mayors were prioritizing in their 2018 state of the city speeches. It’s easy to see why: data can help cities become more efficient and better able to deliver services and solve problems. Cities large and small are leveraging data and facts to solve

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Balancing Policy and Technology in Kansas City

There is nothing new in the world. In ancient times, when the invading hoard is approaching the city, the wise leader sends an emissary through the front gate to parley. In today’s economy, these same tactics can be employed by cities seeking to quickly gain an understanding of what a startup is proposing, how that proposal

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Sacramento, Clear Channel, Polaris Partner to Fight Human Trafficking

This is a guest post by Wendy Weatherford, vice president of corporate communications and marketing for Clear Channel Outdoor Americas. Modern slavery is a billion-dollar industry that exploits 40.3 million victims around the globe. Whether you live in a bustling city, quiet suburb, or rural community, chances are human trafficking is happening right in your

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Sacramento – Urban Region, Rural Economic Driver

This blog post summarizes a case study from NLC’s Bridging the Urban-Rural Economic Divide report. This post is part of a series about reducing the divide between urban and rural communities. California, the state with the highest urban population density, has a capital city that is largely rural. Eighty five percent of Sacramento’s land area is rural

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Pensions, Retiree Health Benefits, and Your City’s Bond Rating

This is a guest post by Les Richmond, Vice President and Actuary of Build America Mutual (BAM). Credit ratings are the most visible (and sometimes only) independent assessment of the fiscal status of a city’s government – they have a direct impact on borrowing costs and the affordability of infrastructure investments, and they can also

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States and Local Governments Win Landmark Online Sales Tax Case

On Thursday, in South Dakota v. Wayfair, the Supreme Court ruled that states and local governments can require vendors with no physical presence in the state to collect sales tax. According to the court, which ruled in a 5-4 decision, “economic and virtual contacts” are enough to create a “substantial nexus” with the state allowing

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America’s Homeowners are Financially Unprepared for an Emergency

When researchers ask the average American whether they could handle the cost of an unexpected home repair project, the answer is simple: no. That lack of financial preparedness is compounded by the fact that many homeowners do not understand what their homeowner’s insurance actually covers. This leaves many American homeowners in a tough spot when

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