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Local Government

Engaging with Low-Income Latinx Communities in California: Best Practices in Response to Wildfires and COVID-19

This community-based research project focused on identifying effective strategies for nonprofits and government agencies to better serve low-income Latinx communities in California, especially during crisis situations such as wildfires and COVID-19. The research was conducted under two advisors: Professor Leonard Ortolano in Stanford’s department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; and Alma Bowen, director of the nonprofit Nuestra Comunidad which aims to increase emergency-preparedness within Sonoma County’s Latinx community.

Patterns of Local Protest against COVID-19 Restrictions across America

As restrictions, closures, and lockdowns ramped up in the spring of 2020, some Americans famously took to the streets to protest what they believed was government overreach. The risk of COVID-19 transmission as the weather cools makes the resurgence of such policies seem more likely. Will a second wave of these policies spark further civil unrest? This question, in turn, raises another: just how prevalent were protests in the spring of 2020?

Midpeninsula Cities Police Reform Presentation

This summer project on policing reform with six mid-peninsula cities was conducted through the Bill Lane Center at Stanford in collaboration with the Office of External Relations which is working to strengthen Stanford's engagement in the region. The areas of police reform covered were independent oversight of police departments, data collection and standards, and culture change in public safety.

Igniting a Culture of Change: Evaluating the Los Trancos Community Maintenance District Home Hardening and Defensible Space Incentive Program

The state of California has experienced an increase in catastrophic wildfires in recent years, impacting our homes, environment, and economy. Wildfires, like the Tubbs Fire that burned in Northern California in 2017, are difficult to prevent, but as community members, we can ensure our homes are equipped to reduce wildfire risk and minimize destruction of our communities.

The Challenge of Externally Generated Collaborative Governance: California’s Attempt at Regional Water Management

The lack of coordination in water management among cities, counties, private utilities and special districts can impede the formation and implementation of sound regional water policy. An integrated, consensus-oriented and deliberative approach to resource management – known as “collaborative governance” – can be helpful in carrying out public policy, but it still has its challenges. A new paper by Bruce Cain, Elisabeth Gerber, and Iris Hui examines these challenges, particularly the tensions involved in balancing a regional approach with local autonomy.


“Saving Lighthouse Point” – Pilot Podcast

Outside of the city’s famed Boardwalk, few places are as iconic in the coastal city of Santa Cruz as Lighthouse Point. Yet in 1970, the City Council approved a major construction project that sought to develop every square foot of Lighthouse Point and adjacent Lighthouse Field, turning one of the city’s last open parcels of coastal land into a bustling tourist and business hub. Bolstered by the creation of the Coastal Commission, the citizens of Santa Cruz organized to save Lighthouse Point, a battle that would come to stand as a watershed moment in the city’s history.

Reducing Local Capacity Bias in Government Grantsmanship

Local governments with more fiscal and administrative resources are at an advantage for obtaining numerous intergovernmental grants. Although many studies have examined the impact of this local capacity bias on grant getting, there has been minimal research on how grant programs could reduce it. We evaluate the effectiveness of two actions that federal and state grant programs have taken to decrease local capacity bias for economically disadvantaged communities, providing matching fund waivers and preferential scoring.

Financing Strategies for a Future Multi-Jurisdictional Mid-Peninsula Bike Corridor

The following memorandum presents five key potential financing strategies for a north-south bicycle/pedestrian path connecting the member cities of the Managers’ Mobility Partnership or MMP (Redwood City, Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Mountain View). The proposed path would span four cities and two counties, requiring non-traditional forms of financing to facilitate jurisdictional collaboration.


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