A free bi-monthly webinar series covering issues affecting local governments in Michigan.

The Current Issues Affecting Michigan Local Governments Webinar Series was designed for elected and appointed officials at all levels of local government and their staffs, as well as any Michigan resident interested in learning about the biggest issues public officials are dealing with. The webinar series is organized by MSU Extension public policy specialist Eric Walcott in partnership with the Michigan Association of Counties and Michigan Townships Association and the MSU Extension Center for Local Government Finance and Policy

Upcoming Webinars 

The next scheduled webinar in the series is Democracy and Local Civic Engagement, on May 18 at 2pm. Colleagues from the University of Michigan Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) will present results of work they've done as part of their research examining the functioning of democracy at the local level. Check back soon for registration information.

Recent Webinars 

Redistricting and Communities of Interest - Recording

This year, the new Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) is tasked with drawing new district maps for legislative and congressional districts in Michigan. Among the criteria for the new district maps, "Communities of Interest" is one of the top priorities. However, communities of interest are not clearly defined and could be composed of a wide range of groups, including affiliations and interests such as demographics, religion, business and industry, education, and more. 

This webinar provides participants with an overview of the redistricting process including work done by the University of Michigan Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy on defining communities of interest. Participants hear from three organizations that are deeply involved in this process about the work they are doing throughout the state to identify communities of interest that exist. This webinar is a great opportunity for local government officials and staff to learn how their unit of government might work with residents in their community to encourage their participation in the redistricting process, and understand how best to advocate for communities of interest they may be part of. 

Local Government Codes of Conduct: Going Beyond the Minimum

Codes of Conduct can be a useful tool for members of elected and appointed boards. They help underscore a person's role, expected behavior, and set clear expectations for how members will conduct themselves. This webinar uses the planning commission as an example of how a code of conduct can be a valuable tool, and discusses how other bodies can use them as well.  

Other previous webinars are recorded and available by clicking on the Resources tab. 

Potential Future Topics

Topics are always subject to change based on interest and emerging issues. 

  • Assessing and Addressing Local Service Needs
  • Road and Transportation Funding
  • Tourism and short-term rentals
  • Public Engagement on “Wicked” Issues
  • Strategic Planning in Local Government
  • Fiscal Sustainability
  • Engaging the Public in the Budget Process 


Eric WalcottMSU Extension, walcott3@msu.edu; 517-353-9106



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Current Issues Affecting Michigan Local Governments: Chronic Wasting Disease - A Statewide Issue With Local Solutions

April 22, 2020 10:00AM - 11:00AM

This webinar is part of MSU Extension’s webinar series focused on current issues affecting local governments in Michigan.