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The Davenport Institute Launches New Local Government Training Series

In December of 2021, the Davenport Institute was selected by the California Association of Realtors (CAR) to deliver a training series covering the ins and outs of local government in California. CAR’s stated purpose is “to serve its membership in developing and promoting programs and services that will enhance the members' freedom and ability to conduct their individual businesses successfully with integrity and competency.” While the Institute typically works with local government officials and other leaders in the public engagement sphere, developing new content for a prominent organization represents a unique opportunity and challenge. 

Following collaboration with CAR to identify high-priority topics, the Davenport Institute team has developed a six-session course. Assistant Director Pooja Bachani Di Giovanna is leading the curriculum development process along with Michael Huling, a former graduate research assistant for the Institute who has been hired on as a project manager for this series. The process has been strategically planned, as the duo works with each trainer to develop course objectives and key takeaways, as well as the research and content for each session.

The first two trainings will be led by Davenport Institute Executive Director Maureen Tobin and Grover Beach City Manager Matt Bronson, who also serves on our Advisory Council. Their first session covers local government basics, focusing on the policy levers in municipal government, while the second explores the revenue systems relied on by local governments.

The third training features Advisory Council Members Yvette Sennewald and Rick Bishop. Sennewald is transitioning from her role as Neighborhood Engagement Division Manager with the City of Riverside to the role of senior planner with the City of Camas. Bishop is the former Executive Director of the Western Riverside Council of Governments, though he remains very much involved in local government in Riverside and across the state. This session will cover city planning, with an emphasis on how land use decisions shape communities.

The fourth session will be taught by Rick Cole, who currently serves as the Executive Director of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Cole’s session covers “hot button” issues in local government, which includes complex topics ranging from homelessness to climate change.

The final two trainings will be led by Andrew Di Giovanna, Founder and CEO of Magna Carta Libertatum, a Southern-California-based consulting firm. Di Giovanna’s first session discusses where to begin if interested in running for public office, and the second reviews how to build and lead a successful campaign.

The Davenport Institute is thrilled to develop and present this series with a team of highly experienced trainers who are all respected experts in their fields. We are grateful to the California Association of Realtors for the opportunity and trust that its members will take full advantage of the chance to learn from several leaders in local government.