Since our founding, COWS has emphasized that through efficient and democratic governance, society can achieve outcomes that lead to environmental sustainability and equity for all peoples. We believe that the public sector, including elected officials, utilities, and more, is an important component of achieving these goals.
Launched in 2020, ProGov21 is a collaborative effort between COWS and many of our partners. Covering policy areas from energy to election finance, ProGov21 brings resources and sample high road policies to non-federal and non-state public entities with power (counties, cities, villages, towns, commissions, authorities, and districts). We thank all of the contributors who have made this project possible, and we welcome new additions to our resource library.
Our policy roadmaps serve as an introduction and overview of the key components of important high road policies, ranging from civil rights to transportation.
Advanced Resource Search
Our advanced search helps local officials find a range of policy documents such as policy briefs, ordinances, fact sheets, executive orders, ballot measures, and more.
ProGov21 is maintained and administered by COWS, but its contents and library are user generated from a broad array of organizations.
We believe that cities are central and critical to getting on the high road. Check out our other city-focused areas of work:
Mayors Innovation Project
The Mayors Innovation Project is a learning network among mayors committed to high road policy and governance: shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, efficient democratic government.
Health in All Policies
COWS works with local governments to connect the dots between research and policy, using the health in all policies framework.
UniverCity Alliance improves places and lives through education, technical assistance, and research grounded in the priorities of local governments.
We bring our learnings from across our decades of experience working with local, state, and federal governments and agencies to identify how the public sphere can best serve constituents in an efficient, democratic, and equitable manner. Our writing covers a wide range of policy topics.
From Seed to Root
This brief focuses on how local leaders, community organizers, and developers can play a critical role in community wealth building. The report features case studies of Detroit, MI; Lafayette, LA; and Nashville, TN.
Setting the Agenda
This brief focuses on how mayors can make water a key part of their agenda, as aging water infrastructure systems, climate change, and the general rising cost of urban living exacerbate lack of access to clean and affordable water.