The Council of State Governments champions excellence in state governments and for more than 85 years has convened state officials to consider how best to prepare for what’s next. If the states are laboratories of democracy, then CSG is the incubator for many of the ideas that move our states and nation forward.
As a regional office of The Council of State Governments located in New York City, our purpose is to facilitate the exchange of ideas among state policymakers, business leaders, and the academic community throughout our 18-member jurisdictions.
We foster discussions and collaboration among state officials to address the policy priorities unique to the Northeast, conduct leadership training programs, and advocate on the federal level for programs and policies beneficial to the region.
The Council of State Governments, the multi-branch organization of the states, U.S. territories, and commonwealths prepares states for tomorrow, today, by working with state leaders across the nation and through its regions to put the best ideas and solutions into practice.
To this end, CSG:
- Interprets changing national and international conditions to prepare states for the future;
- Advocates multi-state problem-solving and partnerships;
- Builds leadership skills to improve decision-making; and
- Promotes the sovereignty of the states and their role in the American federal system
CSG East provides staff support for regional committees, task forces, and boards made up of state elected and appointed officials, as well as legislative and agency staff, from our member jurisdictions.
These committees and boards are the principal vehicle for forging consensus on regional policies and priorities, and advocating for federal policies and programs beneficial to the region.
Colorado state Senator Henry Wolcott Toll created the American Legislators Association — the forerunner to The Council of State Governments — in 1925 to provide legislators with information and opportunities to connect. Toll believed interstate cooperation was imperative for states to maintain control over inherent state issues. Continuing his commitment to this belief, Senator Toll and a dozen colleagues formally established CSG in 1933 as a national organization serving all three branches of state government.
The council set up operations in Chicago and operated there until 1967, when CSG headquarters were relocated to Lexington, Kentucky.
CSG’s Eastern Regional office was established in 1937, and the organization opened an office in Washington, D.C., in 1938. The Midwestern office was established in 1945, and the Southern Legislative Conference and CSG West were both established in 1947. In 2006, the CSG Justice Center was formed, and in 2018, the organization established its Center of Innovation at the National Headquarters.
Pursue the priorities of its member states;
Be nonpartisan and inclusive;
Engage leaders from all three branches of state governments;
Have a regional focus, a national presence and a global reach;
Be a respected and trusted source for best practices and policy expertise;
Convene leader-to-leader interactions and foster leadership development;
Facilitate multi-state solutions;
Zealously advocate for the states in our federal system of government;
Adhere to the highest ethical standards;
Respect diversity and act with civility;
Partner and collaborate with others.
22 Cortlandt Street, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10007