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Local Government Lessons for Washington Policymakers — ICYMI

Nick Mastronardi and Chris Adams, from the newly merged Polco and Balancing Act, describe how local government best practices in civic engagement and budgeting provide lessons for federal leaders.

It’s no secret that this country is politically polarized, and with this divisiveness comes a lack of trust in government — especially at the federal level.

Constituent trust in government grows, however, the closer that government gets to the people — with local government seen as more trustworthy. One reason for this might be the perception that constituent voices can be heard at the local level. But how reliable are traditional engagement methods?

Polco, a 2023 GovTech 100 company, set out to create a community engagement platform that allows local government to make more informed decisions, thus strengthening public trust. Earlier this year, it announced it was acquiring Balancing Act — another GovTech 100 company, and the maker of simulation-based public engagement tools for budgeting, housing, climate, planning and other issues.

Following the merger of these two companies with community engagement at their core, Nick Mastronardi and Chris Adams joined Dustin Haisler on “In Case You Missed It” to discuss what the combination brings to the gov tech sector, what needs to change regarding trust and transparency in government, why this is a watershed time and what policymakers in Washington, D.C., can learn from best practices in local government.



“In Case You Missed It” is Government Technology’s weekly news roundup and interview live show featuring e.Republic* Chief Innovation Officer Dustin Haisler and Deputy Chief Innovation Officer Joe Morris as they bring their analysis and insight to the week’s most important stories in state and local government.

Follow along live Fridays at 12 p.m. PST on LinkedIn and YouTube.

*e.Republic is Government Technology’s parent company.
Dustin Haisler is the president of Government Technology's parent company e.Republic. Previously the finance director and later CIO for Manor, Texas, a small city outside Austin, Haisler quickly built a track record and reputation as an early innovator in civic tech. As President, Haisler drives exponential growth, implements new ideas and promotes a corporate culture that rewards creativity. Read his full bio.