Mission, Goal, Vision and Values


Publication: 2014-01-11



Name:Institute for Local Government


As a 501(c)(3) organization, the Institute operates according to its corporate bylaws and such other policies adopted by the Institute's board of directors.


  • ILG Parent OrganizationsThe Institute's effectiveness in promoting good government at the local level is greatly enhanced by its close working relationship with the associations that represent counties and cities: the California State Association of Counties and the League of California Cities. The Institute's relationship with CSAC and the League notwithstanding, the Institute invites all local officials to take advantage of the Institute's resources. The Institute also welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with other local agency associations in pursuit shared commitments to good government at the local level.

  • The League of California CitiesThe League of California Cities' mission is to restore and protect local control for cities through education and advocacy. To learn more about the League's activities in pursuit of this mission, please visit

  • California State Association of CountiesThe primary purpose of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) is to represent counties before the California Legislature, administrative agencies and the federal government. In addition, CSAC places a strong emphasis on educating state and federal decision-makers, as well as the public about the value and need for county programs and services. To learn more about CSAC, visit

  • ILG TeamA small but dedicated group of employees pursue the Institute's mission on a daily basis.

  • JoAnne SpeersExecutive Director and Ethics Program Director -- JoAnne has worked with local officials for over 20 years, through both her work with the Institute and by having served as chief legal advisor to the League of California Cities for over 17 years. In 1999, she was named "Public Lawyer of the Year" by the California State Bar's Public Law Section. Her educational background includes graduate degrees in law and public policy from UC Berkeley and a certificate from Stanford Business School's Executive Program for Nonprofit Leadership.

  • Yvonne HunterProgram Co-Director, Sustainable Communities -- Yvonne Hunter is Program Director of the Institute's climate change program. Before joining the Institute in January 2007, Yvonne worked for the League of California Cities for 29 years, the last fifteen years as a lobbyist emphasizing environmental and community services issues. She has worked on environmental and energy issues for over thirty years. Yvonne has a B.A. and M.A. from the University of California, Davis.

  • Steve SandersProgram Co-Director, Sustainable Communities -- Steve Sanders directs the Land Use and Environment and the Healthy Neighborhoods components of the Institute's Sustainable Communities program, which helps local officials identify and apply policies and best practices to achieve their economic, social and environmental goals. Prior to joining the Institute in 2007, Steve ran a consulting business working with foundations and non-profit organizations on issues related to sustainable development, fiscal policy and governance reform. He previously served as a senior staff member in the California legislature and as a practicing urban planner with state and local government

  • Terry AmslerProgram Manager, Public Engagement -- Terry Amsler is a Manager of the Institute for Local Government's Public Engagement program. Situated in a broader program to enhance public confidence in local government, the Public Engagement program supports effective and inclusive public engagement in local decision making and helps local officials in cities and counties throughout California successfully navigate among the array of community engagement options that bring resident voices to the table on important issues. Prior to joining the Institute, Terry was the Program Director for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation's Conflict Resolution program area. Terry has also served as the Director of U.S. Initiatives with Partners for Democratic Change, and as executive director of both the Oregon Dispute Resolution Commission and San Francisco's Community Board Program. With a B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York, and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of San Francisco, Terry has more than thirty years of experience in dispute resolution and public involvement in community, government, philanthropic, and academic settings.

  • Jennifer ArmerProgram Coordinator, Sustainable Communities -- Jennifer is a Certified Planner who has worked in and with local government for 8 years, primarily in the planning departments of the City of Palo Alto and the City of Rio Vista. She joined the Sustainability Communities Team at the Institute for Local Government in May 2012. In 2008, she became certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners. Her educational background includes a graduate degree in Regional and City Planning from UC Berkeley.

  • Karalee BrowneProgram Coordinator, Sustainable Communities -- Karalee is a program coordinator dedicated to creating and expanding partnerships that drive sustainable results for California communities. Prior to joining the Institute in May of 2012, Karalee worked at PG&E managing two solar-focused community relations initiatives. Karalee holds a Bachelor's Degree in Broadcast Journalism and a Master's degree in Public Administration.

  • Dalea FongProgram Coordinator, Public Service Ethics -- Dalea was hired as a program coordinator for the Institute's Public Service Ethics program in May of 2013. She graduated from UC Hastings College of the Law in 2012 with an academic concentration in Law and Health Sciences, and is an active member of the California State Bar. In Addition to her work with the Institute, she is a part-time attorney for the California Department of Managed Health Care Help Center. Prior to joining the Institute, she worked as an intern with the California State Assembly Committee on Judiciary and as a law clerk for a public health non-profit.

  • Kristy JensenOffice Support, Program Assistant -- Kristy Jensen currently serves as office support, executive assistant as well as supporting the accounting department. Before joining ILG in 2004, she was a bookkeeper for a winery and a construction company in the Napa Valley. Kristy is continuing her education toward a Math Science degree with a concentration in bookkeeping.

  • Christal Love LazardProgram Coordinator, Public Engagement -- Christal is the program coordinator for the Public Engagement program. Christal has worked with local government agencies on public engagement issues related to water, natural resource planning and citizen/local government partnerships for 8 years. Prior to joining the Institute in May 2011, Christal worked at the Center for Collaborative Policy and Environmental Science Associates. Her educational background includes an M.P.A from San Francisco State University and B.S. in Environmental Planning and Policy Analysis from UC Davis.

  • Randi Kay StephensProgram Coordinator, Local Government Basics and CCS Partnership -- Randi Kay is the Program Coordinator for the Local Government Basics program and also serves as staff resource to the Cities Counties Schools Partnership. Prior to joining the Institute, Randi Kay served as a staff member to an elected official with the city of Sacramento and as a volunteer coordinator for the Sacramento Public Library. She enjoyed working with a variety of neighborhood groups on community-building projects such as playground building and community garden development as well as her primary role of providing information and receiving input on city and library services. Randi Kay received her M.P.A. from the University of San Francisco in 2013.

  • Jessica Avina TongProgram Coordinator, Sustainable Communities -- Jessica is a program coordinator supporting the Institute's Sustainable Communities work. Prior to joining the Institute in June 2011, she completed a year of service through the Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership at Placer Land Trust. Jessica holds a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology and a Master's in Public Administration She has also help positions at the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10, and Seattle Public Utilities.

  • ILG Board of DirectorsThe Institute's Board of Directors meets quarterly...

  • Greg CoxBoard Chair -- First District Supervisor, County of San Diego; Past President, California State Association of Counties; Past President, League of California Cities

  • Henry L. GardnerBoard Vice Chair -- Former Executive Director, Association of Bay Area Governments

  • James KeeneBoard Member, Immediate Past Chair -- City Manager, City of Palo Alto

  • Michele Beal BagnerisBoard Member -- City Attorney and City Prosecutor City of Pasadena

  • Matthew CateBoard Member -- Executive Director, California State Association of Counties

  • Salud CarbajalBoard Member -- First District Supervisor, County of Santa Barbara

  • Brett ChanningBoard Member -- Assistant to the El Cajon City Manager; Immediate Past President, Municipal Management Association of Southern California

  • Hal ConklinBoard Member -- Former Mayor, Santa Barbara; Past President, League of California Cities; Former Officer, National League of Cities

  • Rosemary M. CorbinBoard Member -- Former Mayor, City of Richmond

  • Pablo EspinozaBoard Member -- Special Projects Media Consultant, Speaker of the Assembly's Office

  • Mark S. GaughanBoard Member -- Public Affairs

  • Rod GouldBoard Member and Governance Committee Chair -- City Manager, City of Santa Monica

  • Richard HaffeyBoard Member -- Nevada County Executive Officer, County Administrative Officers Association of California Liaison

  • Patricia JonesBoard Member -- Former Assistant Executive Director, Association of Bay Area Governments

  • J. Michael KasperzakBoard Member and Advancement Committee Chair -- Council Member, City of Mountain View; League of California Cities Board Liaison

  • Chris McKenzieBoard Member -- Executive Director, League of California Cities

  • Daniel T. MillerBoard Member -- Senior Vice President, The Irvine Company

  • Kathleen A. MillisonBoard Member -- City Manager, City of Santa Rosa; League of California City Manager's Department Liaison

  • Art TakaharaBoard Member and Finance Committee Chair -- President, De Anza Manufacturing Services, Inc.; Former Mayor, City of Mountain View

  • Hazel L. WetherfordBoard Member -- Economic Development Analyst, City of Dublin; Municipal Management Association of Northern California Liaison

  • Daniel K. WhitehurstBoard Member -- Former Mayor, City of Fresno

  • Don BenninghovenBoard Member Emeritus -- Former Executive Director, Cities Counties Schools Association

  • Jerry PattersonBoard Member Emeritus -- Member, Board of Trustees, Coast Community College District; Former Member, US House of Representatives; Former Mayor, Santa Ana