California Local Government Websites – A 2018 Report Card

Among the 250 cities analyzed, ranging from Suisun City with just over 29,000 residents, to big Los Angeles, with over 4.0 million residents, only two got the top grade of A, Rancho Palos Verdes, located in Los Angeles County, and Poway, located in San Diego County. Grades of F, on the other hand, were handed to 19 cities. In all, only 26 percent of the cities analyzed got either A or B grades, whereas 38 percent got D or F grades.

There is inevitably an element of subjectivity that influences all these scores, despite the elaborate structure of this analysis. Human observers waded through over 300 city and county websites, for each of them checking off over 120 individual criterion. Maybe Rancho Palos Verdes would not be the top scorer, and maybe fewer cities would have ended up with F grades. But what distinguishes the best websites?

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