Current and Past Projects
Currently underway is a research project, Economic Role of N.C. Cities and Towns funded by the Foundation to document the direct and indirect economic impact of municipalities on North Carolina's economy. The results of this research will be an aid as cities and towns seek to strengthen their local economies and enhance the future for all municipal citizens.
NCLM Local Leadership Foundation's first research project, Citizen Performance: The Continuum of Citizen-Informed Performance Measurement, was funded by grant support of $100,000 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and $45,000 from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.
The Citizen Informed Performance Measurement project was designed to demonstrate how citizens can be included in the development of government performance measures and to identify the factors that make citizen involvement successful. The results of this study have been presented at the NCLM Annual Conference, NC City County Managers Association Winter Conference, and NC Local Government Budget Association conference. Next week the results will be presented at the National League of Cities Annual Conference in Orlando, FL.
The UNC School Government, NC Association of County Commissioners and the NC League of Municipalities have partnered together to create an educational program- Local Elected Leaders Academy (LELA) . LELA will strengthen the capacity of municipal and county elected officials to govern by enhancing officials capacity to lead and govern their boards, councils, and communities, equipping officials with the knowledge and skills to practice and preserve democracy and representative government and help prepare officials to assume future leadership responsibilities within their communities, associations and throughout the state. The Foundation has provided scholarships for elected officials to attend the Essentials of Municipal Government, a training program of the Local Elected Leaders Academy (LELA). This is a tiered program offering beginners, intermediate, and advanced, programming. In previous years, topics have ranged from a variety of issues our state is facing including water supply and management issues and energy efficiency.
The Foundation is supporting the Local Government Service Corps, a project recently established by the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government and Appalachian State University. The Local Government Service Corps creates a connection between newly graduated M.P.A. students to smaller towns to offer technical assistance and help train the next generation managers and administrators. This three-year program is receiving financial support from the Golden Leaf Foundation and the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center and will continue to develop and require additional funding.
The Foundation believes strongly in civic education for all ages especially programs aimed at young people. In 2005, NCLM hosted its' first Youth Summit with more than 100 attendees. Now, approximately 150 youth, grades 9 – 12 from throughout North Carolina attend this one day session. This annual event aims to educate, engage and energize today's students who are tomorrow's leaders. The Foundation has provided funding for this as well as a grant for Kids Voting of North Carolina. Kids Voting promotes voter participation by educating America's youth about the importance of being an informed citizen and the responsibilities of voting to sustain democracy.
In celebration of the League's centennial year, the NCLM and the NCLM Local Leadership Foundation published North Carolina League of Municipalities:100 Years of Serving and Celebrating Cities and Towns. This book celebrates NCLM member cities and towns. It is a series of snapshots of cities and towns, past and present, illustrating the rich diversity, fascinating histories and common ties of the League's 542 member cities and towns.