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Public Policy

Guide to resources for government, public policy, and public administration.


  • Lexis-Nexis Academic
    Has archives of newspapers from every state.  A good sorce of local information, but requires some thoughtful searching.
  • American City Journals
    Contains business journals from 40 cities across the US.
  • Topix
    Website that tries to pull together local sources of information

Helpful Websites

General Information & Data Sources

State Politics & Policy Quarterly (including datasets)
This is the data archive website of State Politics & Policy Quarterly, an academic research journal devoted to the study of state-level questions.

The Urban Institute’s Assessing the New Federalism Project
The Urban Institute’s Assessing the New Federalism project is a multiyear endeavor that analyzes the devolution of responsibilities to the states, monitors program changes and fiscal developments, and provides nonpartisan information to the public. Also provides extensive survey data.     

United States Census - State & Country QuickFacts 
U.S. Bureau of the Census Web site that lists state rankings on population, per capita income, employment, poverty, and other social and economic indexes.
The site, created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), displays information about the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board's activities, as well as data related to the $840 billion stimulus bill and information about the distribution and spending of Hurricane Sandy funds

Statistical Abstracts of the United States 
This publication provides an authoratative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic conditions of the United States. 

State Information

National Conference of State Legislatures
This organization is devoted to providing information to legislators, lobbyists, and citizens about state legislatures, state issues, and state public policy. The following issue links are sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures and relate to prominent state issues:

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Founded in 1981, the center studies fiscal policy and public programs at the federal and state levels that affect low-income and moderate-income families and individuals. An excellent source of information on state budget issues.

National Association of State Budget Officers
National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) is the professional membership organization for state budget and finance officers. As the chief financial advisors to our nation’s governors, NASBO members can be influential decision makers in state government

State Blue Books 
This site provides a list of links to states with online Blue Books or government manuals.

National Atlas of the United States 
Provides maps of the U.S.  Allows for some customization of data that is displayed.

Federal Reserve Distict Banks 
Each district bank has a report on their regions economic outlook.  They often have separate reports on states and sometimes municipalities.

Census Maps 
List of Maps available from the census bureau

Judicial Information

American Judicature Society
The American Judicature Society is a nonpartisan organization with a national membership that works to maintain the independence and integrity of the courts and increase public understanding of the justice system.

Brennan Center for Justice
The Brennan Center for Justice is a nonpartisan center at New York University that conducts research and advocates on a range of judicial topics, including state court reform and campaign financing.

Bureau of Justice Statistics
The Bureau of Justice Statistics provides statistics and other information on a variety of justice system–related areas, including courts, sentencing, crimes, and victims.

County & Local Information

 International City/County Management Association
The mission of the  International City/County Management Association is to create excellence in local government by developing and fostering professional local government management worldwide.

National Association of Counties
The National Association of Counties is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States.

National Association of Towns and Townships
The National Association of Towns and Townships seeks to strengthen the effectiveness of town and township governments by exploring flexible and alternative approaches to federal policies to ensure that smaller communities can meet federal requirements.

National League of Cities
The National League of Cities is the oldest and largest national organization representing municipal governments in the United States.

U.S. Conference of Mayors
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of the 1,183 U.S. cities with populations of 30,000 or more.

Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations
The Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations is the national organization for MPOs. AMPO is mainly oriented toward transportation issues, but the site includes downloadable studies and publications on a range of issues facing metropolitan areas.

National Association of Regional Councils
The National Association of Regional Councils is an organization of metropolitan planning organizations that seeks to promote cooperation between governments; covers urban, suburban, and rural governments.