Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Let's Get Local

Sometimes, you or your client need to make contacts with state and local governments, perhaps out of state. There are a number of different strategies to achieve your informational needs:

You can use Google or Yahoo! or another search engine. Be aware, however, that you might hit the commercial, rather than governmental site for the entity. The ending .com will generally be the tipoff, but not always.

You can access state web pages by using the formula http://www.state.xx.us/, where xx stands for the two-letter postal code of the state. (Need the postal code? Check with the U.S. Postal Service.) This methodology can be helpful when you want to look at several aspects of a state's governance. These sites also tend to have links to the localities within their respective states.

You can go to a portal of state and local government sites, regularly updated, such as the one here.

FirstGov.gov, "the U.S. Government's Official Web Portal," not only has alphabetical and thematic lists of federal agencies, but portals to state, local and tribal governments.

Many federal departments and agencies have portals for their state equivalents. For instance, here's the one for LABOR.

Try a few of these methods and discover what works best for you.

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