Connecting state and local government leaders
A letter from the senior editor of our new initiative.
Welcome to Government Executive State & Local, GovExec’s expansion into covering states, counties and cities.
Our coverage centers on innovation in government operations, and how it’s being applied to public services, infrastructure, health care, security and budgeting – to name just a few areas we’ll be following.
In just our first week, you’ll find reports on innovative efforts in technology, finance and transportation in states like Ohio, New Mexico and Colorado and local jurisdictions like King County in Washington state, Indianapolis and Tecumseh, Michigan.
Our focus is less on politics and campaigns and more on the core functions of state and local government. We want to be a place where best practices, ideas and common challenges are communicated across jurisdictional boundaries on multiple platforms. We seek to engage with practitioners, decision makers and others aiming to make a difference in how their jurisdictions overcome obstacles and serve the public.
As befits an innovation-centric publication, we’re a digital operation. We’re starting with a channel on GovExec.com, but we’ll quickly branch out with online assessment tools, apps, ebooks and other digital initiatives. We’re building a nationwide network of correspondents and contributors.
So, what’s my background and experience with local government?
Although I’ve matured professionally in Washington, D.C.’s media ecosystem, I’ve been lucky to have worked largely in the local arena, where stories have more direct impact on the day-to-day lives of Americans.
While my family has 150-year-old roots in the District of Columbia, I grew up in East Grand Rapids, Michigan. I graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and later moved to the nation’s capital, where I initially worked as a consultant at the Federal Transit Administration. There, I not only interacted with local transit agencies, but with a variety of state, county and local government officials.
I’ve worked as a copy editor and writer at Roll Call on Capitol Hill, co-founded DCist.com, and edited D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news for The Washington Post Express and The Huffington Post. I was deputy managing editor at The New York Observer’s Politicker.com, which had a team based in 17 states and the nation’s capital during the 2008 campaign cycle. I also helped manage a non-profit network of state-based politics and policy news sites, which exposed me to local issues in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and New Mexico.
We live in a nation with a vibrant mix of local governments, and I’d love to hear from you about your particular locality. Please email me your story ideas, tips, comments and suggestions.
— Michael Grass
Senior Editor, GovExec State & Local