Governing in the Era of Covid-19

By Mark Funkhouser

Local governments are going through a series of unprecedented crises. A once-in-a-century global pandemic has led to lockdowns and a massive economic crisis already more severe than the Great Recession. Double-digit unemployment and increased demands on government are creating bleak financial outlooks: more than $500 billion in revenue shortages across all cities and counties through 2021.

More recently, widespread protests and demonstrations brought on by the deaths of George Floyd and other African Americans at the hands of the police have put more pressure on local government leaders. Making decisions that actually create lasting change is always difficult at best for public officials. But in a climate of financial uncertainty, conflict and — in some places — outright distrust, meaningful change can feel unattainable.

While these events sadden us, it also reinforces our core belief that building trust through meaningful relationships is where real change starts.Good government isn’t an individual effort — it happens when we share ideas, take risks, and learn from others who have been there. But in an era of social distancing and remote interactions, making meaningful connections is harder than ever.

Funkhouser & Associates recently reorganized to directly address these challenges and help our local leaders find the solutions that will work for their communities. We hope it won’t be long before we can see you face-to-face. But until then, we hope to see you online with us as we build a better government one relationship at a time.