ICMA’s Path To Building Diverse And Inclusive Communities And Profession

Explore this ICMA timeline of our path to building a diverse and inclusive profession, and professional association for professional local government managers, and how this profession impacts the communities we serve.

1938-01-01 00:00:00

Merit-Based Hiring Added to the ICMA Code of Ethics

An amendment to the ICMA Code of Ethics declared that personnel decisions should be exclusively merit-based and made without “political, religious, and racial considerations”.

1966-11-03 16:24:55

Model Cities Program launched

Model Cities was launched in the 1960s as part of Lyndon Johnson's “Great Society program” and functioned partly as a remedy to the shortcomings of urban renewal, which caused mass displacement and hurt many African American communities who had largely been excluded from post-war prosperity, leading to urban unrest.

1967-11-15 15:08:49

PM Magazine Announces ICMA launch of “goals review”

ICMA launches “goals review” and features several articles on the topic of social justice, racial equity, and civic unrest. Several of the articles refer to the changing urban landscape and requirements of being a city manager.

1967-12-15 15:08:49

PM Magazine issue focused on urban unrest in summer of 1967

This Issue focused on the summer of 1967 when there were numerous periods of urban unrest in communities across the country. These more than 159 instances of urban unrest sparked the establishment of the Kerner Commission by President Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the causes of the Long Hot Summer of 1967. The Commission determined that the causes were a combination of lack of economic opportunity, failed social service programs, police brutality, racism, and the white-oriented media.

1968-02-08 15:08:49

PM Magazine issue focused on the Model Cities Program

This entire issue of PM Magazine was focused on the Lyndon B. Johnson-era Model Cities program and how it was being used in various communities to develop new antipoverty programs and alternative forms of municipal government. This program presented a new framework for city government that highlighted social programs as well as physical renewal, and sought to intertwine the actions of various government agencies in a multifaceted approach to addressing the complex roots of urban poverty and ultimately succeeding in fostering a new generation of mostly black urban leaders.

1968-02-28 09:37:36

U.S. Riot Commission Report – Kerner Commission

The Kerner Commission Report is a seminal work of the period discussing the long period of civic unrest in American cities in the late 1960s. The report notes that local government failures are in part a significant cause of civil unrest in America’s cities.

1968-05-01 07:42:25

PM Magazine featured an article on the Kerner Commission

The May edition of PM Magazine featured another article on the Kerner Commission, with strong language for city managers to pay attention and learn. This issue was likely being published when Martin Luther King was assassinated, warranting an even greater need for fundamental change.

1968-07-01 16:24:55

PM Magazine featured articles by various senators and Otto Kerner

The July issue of PM Magazine features several guest articles by various senators as well as Otto Kerner, chairman of the U.S. Riot Commission Report, which had been released earlier in 1968.

1968-09-01 16:24:55

PM Magazine featured an article on U.S. Riot Commission Report

The September 1968 issue of PM Magazine features another article focusing on the details of the US Riot Commission Report.

1968-10-01 16:24:55

PM Magazine featured two articles about USAID in Vietnam

In this issue, ICMA featured two articles about former managers that went to work with USAID in Vietnam

1968-10-01 16:24:55

ICMA Executive Board launches a task force on race relations

1969-01-01 16:24:55

Urban Data Service – 1st report released “The American City and Civil Disorders”

ICMA started the Urban Data Service to bring data to bear on key challenges for local government managers. ICMA’s inaugural UDS report was on “The American City and Civil Disorders (January 1969, Vol. 1 No. 1)

1969-01-01 16:24:55

HUD Grant

ICMA was awarded a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant to spearhead an initiative to advise participating universities on the recruitment of minority group members.

1969-12-01 16:24:55

National Urban Fellowship Program

National Urban Fellows began as an experiment during a time when the country’s urban centers were in crisis. Urban America struggled to cope with pervasive violence and social unrest, representing the outcome of years of social injustice. This fellowship program was designed to develop programs to give emerging leaders the skills they need to succeed. ICMA consistently advertised this program in the newsletter.

1970-04-01 16:29:08

Howard University Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Established with an $800,000 grant from the Ford Foundation, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies was founded in 1970 to lend a hand to Black leaders as they traveled the uncharted road from civil rights activism to the political establishment. Its most prominent founders were Dr. Kenneth B. Clark, a renowned social psychologist, and Louis E. Martin, the legendary newspaper editor who had become a key presidential advisor on issues affecting Black America.

1970-04-01 16:29:08

ICMA Training Program on Race Relations and Social Change

Against the backdrop of social upheaval and change, ICMA established a Task Force on Race Relations that described a series of actions that the association should consider for the 1970s and beyond. ICMA hosted the race relations and social change program in April 1970 in Kansas City.

1970-12-01 16:24:55

Minorities in Management Program Launches

ICMA’s Minorities in Management program was started with a modest grant from HUD. The funding was part of HUD’s 701 Planning Grant program that was overseen by Assistant Secretary Samuel Jackson, a prominent African American in the Nixon Administration and former civil rights activist.

1971-04-01 14:12:25

COMPA – National Conference of Minority Public Administrators established

The Conference of Minority Public Administrators (COMPA) based in Washington D.C. was established in 1971. It is a section of the American Society for Public Administration, with a mission to serve and assist public administrators, students and other professionals involved in public service.

1972-04-01 06:58:36

PM Magazine issue devoted to minorities in management efforts by ICMA

The association’s efforts to promote diversity continues even to the present day, but the activist role described by ICMA President Graham W. Watt in PM’s 1972 edition devoted to “minorities in management” had reached a noon-tide moment by the early to mid-1980s. It features articles from James Johnson, Sy Murray, Gladstone Chandler, Elijah Rogers and others.

1973-01-01 06:58:36

ICMA Executive Board Task Force – Minority Development and Placement in the Profession

In 1973, ICMA established a task force to focus on fostering greater minority development and placement in the local government profession.

1973-05-01 06:51:36

PM Magazine features an article “Minorities, Women, and Young People in Local Government"

This edition of PM Magazine featured an article by James Malone on “Minorities, Women, and Young People in Local Government"

1973-08-01 06:51:36

Municipal Yearbook article “Minorities in Municipal Management”

As part of the 1973 MYB John Fischbach, former ICMA research director, wrote an article entitled “Minorities in Municipal Management,” which provided some data as well as highlights about ICMA’s first three years running a “minorities in management” program.

1974-03-01 09:56:42

Model Cities program becomes the Community Development Block Grant program

During the Nixon administration, the Model Cities program was rolled into the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, Public Law 93-383 (8/22/74). This program established the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to provide annual grants on a formula basis to states, cities, and counties to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons.

1974-10-01 07:10:13

First Task Force for Women in the Profession created

The ICMA Task Force on Women in the Profession was established by the ICMA Executive Board in October, 1974. The group was formally appointed the responsibility of examining the current status of women in local government management, making recommendations to the Board about how to open the profession to more women, and how to provide greater professional equality to those already in the profession.

1975-01-01 05:14:10

Severo Esquivel Named the First Latino ICMA Board Member

In 1975, Severo Esquivel became the first Latino ICMA board member. At the time there were few Hispanic city managers. ICMA had just changed the structure of the ICMA board to include two at-large Vice President positions for assistant city managers in hopes to diversify the board. Severo raised the issue of Hispanics being underrepresented on the ICMA board. He approached Mark Keane, the ICMA Executive Director and enlisted the assistance of the incoming ICMA President, Roy Pederson and Tucson City Manager, Joel Valdez for funding from ICMA to start a Hispanic Emphasis Program. In 1978, they received funding and Ruben Mendoza was hired by ICMA to administer the program.

1975-11-01 03:35:33

PM Magazine issue devoted to articles on ICMA’s programming

Like the edition in 1972, the November 1975 edition of PM Magazine showcased articles on ICMA’s programming as well as perspectives from African-American city managers, professors, and others.

1975-12-01 07:36:47

Board Decision on more minorities in the ICMA board

In the November 1975 issue of PM Magazine, Elijah Rogers makes plea for more minorities on ICMA board.

1977-09-01 11:50:49

PM Magazine features articles on the changing nature of the council-manager relationship

The September 1977 edition of PM Magazine features several articles on the changing nature of the council-manager relationship, alluding to the societal changes that were ongoing in the 1960s and early 1970s.

1978-10-01 13:59:35

PM Magazine issue features an article on award given by ICMA to DRCOG’s (Denver) minority placement program

This edition of PM Magazine features an article on the award given by ICMA to DRCOG’s (Denver) minority placement program. Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) endures today as one of the nation’s three oldest councils of governments.

1979-02-01 08:14:53

PM Magazine features an article discussing Elijah Rogers appointment as DC’s city manager

This edition of PM Magazine includes an article discussing Elijah Rogers appointment as DC’s city manager. Rogers was the first city manager of his kind in DC, spearheading the shift to a city manager form of local government.

1979-02-27 05:44:48

ICMA’s Minority Executive Placement Program was highlighted in the Congressional Record

ICMA’s Minority Executive Placement Program was highlighted in the Congressional Record.

1982-10-01 00:00:00

ICMA Declaration of Ideals Approved by the Board and Voted On by Membership

To fulfill the spirit of ICMA's commitment to the preservation of the values and integrity of representative local government and local democracy, ICMA works to maintain and enhance public trust and confidence in local government, to achieve equity and social justice, to affirm human dignity, and to improve the quality of life for the individual and the community. Members of ICMA dedicate themselves to the faithful stewardship of the public trust and embrace 11 ideals of management excellence.

1983-10-01 21:27:08

1983 Annual Conference Keynote Speech delivered by James Baldwin

James Baldwin, an American essayist, novelist, and playwright whose eloquence and passion on the subject of race in America made him an important voice, particularly in the late 1950s and early 1960s, in the United States and, later, through much of western Europe. Baldwin delivered a powerful Closing Keynote during the 1983 ICMA Annual Conference in Kansas City.

1983-10-17 21:28:49

Sy Murray elected as ICMA’s first African American ICMA president

Former city manager of Cincinnati, Sy Murray, was elected ICMA's first African-American President in 1983. Also elected to the board during this election was John P. Bond, one of the founders of NFBPA. Sy's election brought visibility to the burgeoning numbers of Black administrators entering the profession and the hundreds of Black students in public administration, setting a critical precedent.

1983-12-01 16:41:09

NFBPA Founded

In 1983, several alumni of ICMA’s minority placement programming helped to establish the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA), which continues to this day as the principal and most progressive organization dedicated to the advancement of African American leadership in state and local government.

1989-03-01 15:34:55

ICMA starts and runs the J.O.B newsletters

In partnership with NFBPA, the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), and the American Public Works Association (APWA), ICMA starts and runs the J.O.B. (Job Opportunities Bulletin) newsletters which was an opportunities bulletin for minorities and women in local government.

1989-08-01 08:47:25

Task Force on Workplace Diversity created

With the 1990's approaching, ICMA’s board once again authorized a task force on minority and women recruitment for local government management. A final report was requested for presentation no later than the September 1990 meeting of the executive board. At the request of the committee’s participants, the project was renamed the Task Force on Diversity.

1991-01-01 00:00:00

ICMA Signed Affiliate Agreement with the Local Government Hispanic Network

The purpose of the Local Government Hispanic Network is to encourage professional excellence among Hispanic/Latino local government administrators, to improve the management of local government, to provide unique resources to Hispanic local government executives and public managers, and to advance the goals of professional, effective and ethical local government administration. The Network works with other organization such as the International City Management Association which shares common goals.

1991-09-01 01:26:29

ICMA Membership Approved a Resolution on Diversity

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1991-11-01 16:21:18

ICMA Action Plan on Diversity

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2003-01-01 00:00:00

ICMA’s Next Generation Initiatives began

ICMA’s Next Generation Initiatives were created to attract a wide and diverse group of people into the local government management profession, including students, early and mid-career professionals, and individuals from other fields.

2008-01-01 09:07:04

ICMA 2008 Strategic Plan

The ICMA 2008 Strategic Plan states in its core beliefs that ICMA has a responsibility in “ensuring that local governments and the association reflect the diversity of the communities we serve,” and a focus on association leadership with an Executive Board policy “to recruit nominees who will provide a balanced board that represents the profession and those served by it.”

2012-09-01 00:00:00

Reestablishment of Task Force on Women in the Profession

ICMA President-elect Bonnie Svrcek established a Task Force on Women in the Profession to evaluate the barriers facing women in the local government profession and to develop strategies to remove the barriers for those female professionals seeking to move towards the chief administrative officer roles in local government. The task force was asked to review the status of women in the profession, to compare findings with those of the 1974-76 Task Force on Women in the Profession, and to create recommendations and strategies for increasing the presence of women in local government management as ICMA moves into its next 100 years.

2014-09-01 20:42:56

Task Force on Strengthening Inclusiveness in the Profession created

The Task Force on Strengthening Inclusiveness in the Profession is the culmination of 12 months of work that encapsulates the work of 30 ICMA members represented from each of ICMA’s 5 U.S. regions. The purpose of the Task Force is ground in the ICMA 2008 Strategic Plan that outlines the commitment to diversity as a Core Belief: “Ensuring that local governments and the association reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.”

2015-09-24 10:03:09

Report of the Task Force on Strengthening Inclusiveness in the Profession

Report Findings: Both the ICMA’s Diversity Strategic Plan and members recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion, however ICMA needs to provide specific guidance to ICMA members. Recommendations: The report proposed changes to the ICMA Code of Ethics, Tenets 9 and 11 to address diversity and inclusion.

2016-10-31 00:00:00

Marc Ott was selected as ICMA’s first African American executive director

Marc A. Ott, City Manager of Austin, Texas was selected as ICMA's executive director in 2016.

2017-02-01 23:35:13

The Strategic Plan, Envision ICMA, codified ICMA's commitment to equity and inclusion into current and future operations

ICMA has been guided by a strategic plan since 1985. The latest update to the plan was adopted in 2008, during a time of global financial crisis, and the newest adoption of the plan addresses various environmental forces, trends, and drivers to ensure that ICMA continues to meet the needs of members for years to come.

2017-09-01 06:14:05

ICMA Equity and Inclusion Team created

In accordance with the Strategic Plan, Envision ICMA, a new team was created in fall of 2017 to design metrics, monitor our progress, and implement programs to fulfill our strategic plan’s goals, including program design, partnerships, access to professional development, and engagement across the organization and the association’s membership.

2018-01-01 00:00:00

ICMA Adds Community Equity and Inclusion Awards to Local Government Excellence Awards

In 2017, ICMA’s Task Force on Inclusiveness recommended that ICMA find ways to highlight and recognize individuals and organizations for their efforts to promote diversity and inclusiveness. One suggested approach was to create an award. As a result, the first Local Government Excellence Community Diversity & Inclusion Awards were distributed in 2018.

2018-02-01 16:27:25

ICMA Board Subcommittee on diversity created

At its February 2018 meeting, the ICMA Executive Board created a board subcommittee on diversity to examine ICMA’s current efforts to increase membership diversity and to explore steps ICMA should take to advance diversity in the membership, profession, and on the board, as outlined in Envision ICMA.

ICMA’s Path To Building Diverse And Inclusive Communities And Profession

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