Top 20 ELGL Articles of 2020

Posted on December 28, 2020

Top 20 Articles

In 2020, ELGL published 861 articles on Here are the top 20 (based on Google Analytics page views).

#1: COVID-19 Local Government Resources

Not surprisingly, the top spot is the resource page that ELGL began when the country shut down in March to address the pandemic. This page includes the information and crowd sourced resources from our members in response to COVID-19:

COVID-19/Coronavirus Local Government Resources

#2, #3, #4: Making COVID… Fun?

The next three most popular articles showcase the ways that local government leaders tried to find the joy or brighter moments in 2020, including Zoom Pictionary instructions, Zoom backgrounds, and a pen pal program that we coordinate for our members’ children to make connections while socially distanced.

Zoom Pictionary Instructions

Parks & Recreation Zoom Backgrounds

Coronavirus Pen Pal Program

#5: COVID Staffing Memo Example

One of the most difficult challenges ELGL members faced in 2020 was the decision to furlough or layoff employees. This sample workforce impacts letter was an example of how an ELGL member shared their communications so others could learn from their experience with a reduction in force.

Sample COVID-19 Budget & Workforce Impacts Letter

#6: Libraries Are Essential

After this op-ed was published in Library Journal, ELGL member Stephanie Chase wrote a thoughtful response about the role that public libraries play in our communities. Her thoughtful response was the sixth most popular article of the year:

Libraries: the Choice to be Essential

#7: Share the Diversity Dashboard

ELGL’s work on the Diversity Dashboard continued in 2020 under the leadership of Brian Murphy and Emily Edmonds. They made the strategic decision to reach out at the state level to ELGL members to champion the Dashboard and engage our members to get more survey responses. This effort included information and marketing materials that could easily be shared via state-level newsletters, associations, and groups.

Diversity Dashboard: State Level Champions

#8: Revamping Public Meetings

The top Morning Buzz post was by Warren Kagarise about the importance of changing the ways local government conducts public hearings. A key quote from his Buzz: “If we truly want to include all voices in decision-making, we need to rethink the role of public meetings in civic life.”

End the Public Meeting as We Know It

#9: ELGL Now Hiring

In 2020, ELGL hired a new Program Director. (And we were lucky enough to find two amazing new staff members…). Our job advertisement was one of the most popular posts of the year and we were lucky to have 80 applicants for the position.

Now Hiring: ELGL Program Director

#10: #ELGLTraegers

A perennial favorite, the posts announcing #ELGLTraeger winners were joyful and popular. We released 10 new names every day for two weeks in December. In addition to recognition, winners also receive a custom 2020 #ELGLTraeger magnet for their fridge or office.

#11: #ELGL20 Attendance Memo

It was such a simpler time – posted in January, this popular post was the justification memo for members to use to attend #ELGL20 when it was scheduled for May in Portland, Oregon. The conference was subsequently moved to October, and then moved online as a virtual event.

#ELGL20 Agenda, Event Details, & Justification Memo

#12: Remembering Haley

Haley Fish was a longtime ELGL member, one of the first people to join the organization when it started in Oregon. Her work as a Finance Director in many Oregon cities was featured on a GovLove podcast with her friend Casey Camors. The post about her memorial scholarship received a lot of attention and we’re hopeful that this attention also helped her scholarship fund set up by the Oregon Government Finance Officers Association (OGFOA).

Haley Fish Memorial Scholarship

#13: Open Ears, Open Hearts, Open Shoulders

Former ELGL Board of Directors member Christian Williams penned this personal essay in response to the George Floyd murder in Minneapolis, MN. He begins the post by writing:

As an American, a black American, and a person who is often viewed as a second class citizen both personally and in professional environments, this past week has been tough. It was hard to watch the events that unfolded in Minnesota and across the country. It was hard to watch the myriad of social media posts and opinions concerning the event.

Open Ears, Open Hearts, Open Shoulders – ELGL’s Response to this Time of Upheaval

#14: PAFR Fellowship

ELGL began the popular PAFR (Popular Annual Financial Report) Fellowship program in 2020, matching 33 graduate students with 40 local governments to complete PAFR reports and learn about local government communications and financial reporting. The PAFR Fellowship page was popular in 2020.

PAFR Fellowship Program

#15: Lessons Learned From My Daughter

Dr. Sarah Martin, VP of Health Solutions at mySidewalk wrote the second-most popular Morning Buzz of the year. In it, she shares the top five lessons she has learned from her daughter.

A Letter to My Daughter on Her 14th birthday

#16: Addressing Implicit Bias

Jenine Jenkins with CPS-HR consulting returned to ELGL for a webinar about tools to address implicit bias in local government. This post includes her presentation and also the video of her presentation to ELGL.

Rewind: Tools to Address Implicit Bias in Local Government

#17: The Mandalorian & Local Gov Leadership

One thing we know to be true: if you combine local government leadership lessons with “Star Wars” concepts, it will be a must-read. Lynn Kelly-Lehner from RSG, Inc. wrote this popular Morning Buzz in late 2020 and it’s on the Top 20 list.

Nine Leadership Lessons from The Mandalorian

#18: COVID Communications

This post by Kimbra McCarthy, City Manager, and Chris Hsiung, (now Police Chief, then Deputy Police Chief/Strategic Communications Team Lead), City of Mountain View, California was about communications during COVID-19.

Building Your Strategic Communications Plan for COVID-19

#19: Self Care During COVID

Katie Nelson joins her Mountain View, CA colleague on the Top 20 list with this post advising self care during the challenging and sometimes traumatic work in local government.

Treat Yourself: Caring for You During COVID-19

#20: CARES Act Overview

The last article in the Top 20 was penned anonymously (which we are always happy to share given that everyone’s ability to write publicly is different) at the end of March and was the first glimpse at “what is this CARES Act and what does it mean for local government?”

CARES Act & Local Government

What did we miss? Which articles from 2020 made a difference in your world and work? Share with us on Twitter at @ELGL50.

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