We Live Local – Resources for City Officials

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How to Talk About Home Rule

Home Rule is something to be proud of. It's something we fought hard for and have celebrated for 50 years. It is something that we must continue to respect and protect well into the future.

We are not going to let partisan politics turn Home Rule into a dirty word. 

3 steps

There's no democratic or Republican way to fix a pothole, pick up garbage, respond to a 911 call or build parks for our children. Home Rule is a constitutional power that ensures these services are provided locally, managed locally and decisions about their future made locally - right at home.

We will not abandon the concept or the term we've worked so hard to protect. But, we can change the way we talk about it. 

Define It. It is our job to explain Home Rule in a simple way. When people understand it, they’re all for it.


Tailor It. Make it matter to your audience. In a state as large as Florida, it is imperative we build partnerships so all Floridians benefit. We must understand our audience and use the language that resonates the most to ensure our message is heard. The following resources are designed to help you shift the way you talk about the work cities do as if cities are separate from us. We must stop referring to cities in the third person and start saying WE.

  • On Demand Learning (webinar): Speaking with Citizens About Home Rule

    Cities are under assault. State lawmakers want to tell us how to run our cities.  How can we best educate citizens on Home Rule, defending local solutions? Powered by a recent series of public opinion polls, we have found the best way to talk about and explain Home Rule to our citizens: Define it. Localize it. Tailor it. Join Florida pollster and communications expert Steve Vancore, as we explore what works and why. (Access Slides; Access Recording)

Make the Ask. As you are talking with local residents about the importance of local decision-making, encourage them to get involved. Direct them to sign-up at www.WeLiveLocalFL.com to learn more about Home Rule and access exclusive advocacy materials designed for citizen-centered action.