Model City Charter, 9th Edition Released

Following a year long revision process, the National Civic League has released the Ninth Edition of the Model City Charter. The revision process was led by a Steering Committee of 22 national representatives and experts. The newly released Ninth Edition includes a new emphasis on civic engagement and equity. For a limited time, the new edition of the Model City Charter is available for free.

Key Changes to the Model City Charter 

  • Equity: The Model will incorporate the need for social equity throughout the document, providing a guide for cities to use in their own revisions. There will also be a companion document on equity that will include provisions outside city charters, like equity audits and equity officers, along with suggestions for ways in which cities might adopt executive orders or ordinances to improve equity.
  • Public Engagement: The new edition will stress the importance of community engagement in local affairs. The article would lay out principles for meaningful participation/engagement emphasizing the agency of community members in local governance and how these principles can be reflected both in a city’s charter and in other operational structures.
  • Mayors: The document will emphasize the important facilitative roles of the mayor in helping the city council and manager to work together to set goals and work toward implementation and in communicating with the public and other stakeholders.
  • City Councils: The importance of the City Council’s relationship to the city manager is emphasized, to include hiring and regular evaluation.
  • Elections: The new edition encourages the direct election of mayors and discusses options for council elections for cities of different sizes and demographics. The Model also recommends local elections be in November of odd years, with discussion to allow for alternatives.

The new Model City Charter is available here!

Many thanks to the civic leaders and thinkers who contributed to the new edition.

Model City Charter Review Steering Committee 


  • Clarence Anthony, CEO, National League of Cities
  • Ronald Loveridge, Director, Center for Sustainable Suburban Development; former Mayor, City of Riverside, California
  • Marc Ott, Executive Director, International City/County Management Association
  • Kendra Stewart, Past President, American Society for Public Administration


  • Chris Balch, City Attorney, Brookhaven, Georgia
  • Heather Balas, Good Government Reform Policy Officer, Thornburg Foundation
  • Patti Garrett, Mayor, City of Decatur, Georgia
  • Teresa Gerton, President, National Academy of Public Administration
  • David Luna, Councilmember, Mesa, Arizona
  • Peggy Merriss, Interim City Manager, Pine Lake, GA; CEO, Merriss Management and Leadership Consulting
  • Sylvester Murray, Visiting Professor, Jackson State University
  • Tina Nabatchi, Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs, Syracuse University
  • John Nalbandian, Professor Emeritus, University of Kansas
  • Kimberly Nelson, Professor of Public Administration and Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Jerry Newfarmer, CEO, Management Partners
  • Robert O’Neill, former Executive Director, International City/County Management Association
  • Martha Perego, Director, Membership Services and Ethics, International City/County Management Association
  • James Svara, Senior Fellow, School of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Mark Washington, City Manager, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Chuck Thompson, Executive Director & General Counsel, International Municipal Lawyers Association

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