Lunchtime Study Group: Co-Creating Local Government Session 2: Lifting up the Hood on Local Government


Wednesday, September 28, 2022, 12:00pm to 1:00pm


WexG02 Seminar Room, Harvard Kennedy School

Join us for the second session of the fall semester student study group, Co-Creating Local Government. This session will delve into how to make local government more transparent and accessible including the examples from ResiStat, regular meetings with community members to share data and updates about the workings of the City, and SomerStat, internal meetings with key staff to manage the performance of City departments.

Guest speaker: Stephanie Hirsch, first SomerStat Director and City Manager for Eau Claire, WI.

Register here

Required Reading for This Session

  1. Mayor Curtatone’s Culture of Curiosity: Building Data Capabilites at Somerville City Hall. Lisa C. Cox and Jorrit de Jong. September 20, 2021.
  2. City Leader Guide on Organizational Culture Change. Neil Kleiman and Alexander Shermansong. March 2022.

About the Study Group 

What does good democracy look like in action at the local level? How do you create trust and credibility and build engagement in a community in an era of lack of trust in government? This fall Joe Curtatone, who was Mayor of Somerville for 18 years, and Kristen Stelljes, former Somervile SomerStat Director and COVID Incident Commander, will lead a five session study group that will seek to answer these questions. Drawing on their experiences in Somerville, Joe and Kristen will encourage lively debate and discussion about the role of local governments and residents. From the perspective of an elected official and a public servant, they will also share stories and examples of how the ideals of good government and public participation can be put into action. To foster active engagement, participation will be capped at 20. Sessions will be held on Wednesdays from 12:00-1:00pm from September 21 to October 19. 

In order to help foster a stronger sense of community amongst study group attendees, we ask that students commit to participating in most if not all of the scheduled study group sessions.

Please note that this-in person study group is open to Harvard ID holders only.

Lunch will be provided. 

Register for Future Sessions