Technology, Tools and Techniques to Reach Your Community

The Institute for Local Government (ILG) has worked hard over the years to help local agencies increase the level of public engagement in their communities. Authentic public engagement has the potential to help positively transform communities. Engaging the public early in the decision-making process can help agencies avoid costly pitfalls and mistakes. Constituents who have helped shape a proposed policy, project or program typically have a better understanding of the… Continue reading

Proposition 42 Passed, So Now What

Tuesday’s statewide primary election yielded some interesting results: perhaps record low voter turnout, a new influx of campaign cash in the form of independent expenditures for state legislative races, and some real nail-biter results, with a number of races around the state too close to call. Perhaps the least surprising news of the night: Proposition 42 passed handily. That’s the constitutional amendment to enshrine the provisions of the Open Meetings… Continue reading

A Look at the Supervisorial Elections Around the State

Yesterday marked another Election Day. And while a lot of California election pundits were focused on the new top-two system, it was business as usual in the 122 supervisorial races across our 58 counties. All it takes is 50 percent plus 1 vote and you’re the winner. Getting less than 50 percent of the vote means a runoff election in November– assuming you are in the top two.

Some… Continue reading

Meeting the Challenge: Mono County’s “Whole Person Wellness Approach”

There’s historically been a pioneer spirit in Mono County. That spirit is alive and well to this day; you see it as you travel along Highway 395. You hear it when you stop and talk to the residents of communities such as Bridgeport and Lee Vining. That pioneer spirit is also alive and well in the Mono County Behavioral Health Department, where the staff is urged to be creative and look for new ways to engage clients and provide services.

The result has been the creation of a “Whole Person Wellness Approach” that looks at the totality of the client – not just the mental health side. It started by asking a consumer on each visit if he or she wanted a blood pressure check; from there, staff began tracking weight and surveying consumers on their perceived wellness. Soon, staff was having conversations with clients in a manner they never had before. Both staff and clients began to see the bigger health picture. Continue reading

Meeting the Challenge: Nevada County’s System of Care Approach

“One barrier you need to take off the table is “well, we don’t have money to do it.” It doesn’t take any money to sit down at a table and talk with people. That’s a freebie, with a huge payoff.” With those words, Nevada County Health Director Michael Heggarty sums up their approach to providing a system of care for kids, teens, and their families. They have broken down silos, ignored the barriers and are working across several different organizations to provide a network of services that starts with mental health, but has grown into much, much more.

To be honest, it started with a cluster of teen suicides in Nevada County—tragedies that while not statistically out of the norm, hit very close together and very close to home. They made people realize they needed to do more to reach out to kids and their families. And so even as funding for collaboration dried up, they collaborated. There is a monthly meeting that includes the leaders of the County Health Department, the Superintendent of Schools, the Courts, Probation, Child Welfare and others agencies that have contact with kids and their families. That trickles down to weekly meetings among other staffers. Continue reading