Local, regional, and state governments have to contend with quite different issues.  First, they are beholden to their constituents and are therefore governed by and in-charge of governing the concerns of citizens. Governments are also struggling with their relationship to the business community. As stated in the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, local governments are charged with protecting the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens by way of the power delegated to the States.

Local governments are legally bound to respond to the issues and concerns raised by the public.  It is the public that has even been given the responsibility to enforce much of the environmental legislation through the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  Regional governments, the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO’s) have also been delegated authority for designing the implementation strategies and enforcement of California’s Assembly Bill (AB) 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

While government is focused on its mandated responsibilities, it can be a challenge to keep up with the progressive environmental rules and regulations here in California.  Local governments have continued to create innovative techniques and commitments to the tracking and improvement of their jurisdictions sustainability indicators.  Through effective public-private partnerships, the OCSC can also provide strategic insight into the manner and approach that nonprofits can take to support the direction that local government is moving, as well as guiding the academic scholarship towards value-added research and development.