There's one question that we all agree on - across town, across our country, worldwide. We want to rule ourselves. We don't want dictators. How do we do that? How do we as individuals influence government and bring about change? How do we take up our role as the "we" in "We, the People?" 

The answer is right there on your doorstep, in your own backyard - Local Government. It is the one part of the government to which we all have immediate and influential access. Fed up trying to get the attention of city hall? Is there a critical need that isn't being addressed? Are there situations in local government that don't pass the smell test? Are you overwhelmed or stymied trying to figure out how to get through to your local elected city and county officials? Are you a newly elected or appointed local agency representative wondering what the heck you do now? There is no job description! There is no playbook. You CAN Beat City Hall. You can BE city hall. We are the 'US' in the U.S. How do we take up our roles in our government 'OF the People, FOR the People, By the People' as WE the People, and BE the People? How do you figure it all out so you can make the difference you want to make?

Course curriculum

    1. Course Overview - Part 1

    2. Course Overview - Part 2

    1. Introduction to Module 1

    2. Lesson 1 - So, You Got Elected. Now What?

    3. Lesson 2 - The Job Description

    4. Lesson 3 - Who Do You Work For?

    5. Lesson 4 - Boardsmanship: This is Not Your Rotary Club

    6. Lesson 5 - The Sunshine Act

    1. Introduction to Module 2

    2. Lesson 1 - How Do You Get Things Done Around Here?

    3. Lesson 2 - Who Does the City Attorney Work For?

    4. Lesson 3 - Weasel Words

    5. Lesson 4 - Are You the Tail or the Dog?

    6. Lesson 5 - Accountability

    7. Lesson 6 - The Red Flag Roll

    1. Introduction to Module 3

    2. Lesson 1 - Local Government 101

    3. Lesson 2 - The Dais, The Podium, and The Lectern

    4. Lesson 3 - The First Amendment

    5. Lesson 4 - Having Your Say - Stage Presence

    1. Introduction to Module 4

    2. Lesson 1 - Meetings - Agenda & Notice

    3. Lesson 2 - Staff Reports

    4. Lesson 3 - Make it Defensible

    5. Lesson 4 - Public Records Requests

    6. Lesson 5 - Seek First to Understand

    1. Introduction to Module 5

    2. Lesson 1 - Sneaky Business

    3. Lesson 2 - Sneaky Business Cheat Sheet

    4. Lesson 3 - Twenty-Two Signs of Government Corruption

    5. Lesson 4 - How Do Criminals Operate?

    6. Lesson 5 - What Exactly IS Corruption?

    7. Lesson 6 - Situation + Opportunity = Trouble

About this course

  • $97.00
  • 44 lessons
  • 4.5 hours of video content

Practical idealists know that you can make a difference. When corruption clashes with integrity she knows what to do. This course comes to you in a way that only an insider can provide. Former mayor Debbie Peterson has worked with hundreds of people who have successfully changed the course of their communities. She has been effective on both sides of the dais - as a planning commissioner, council member, and mayor, and as a concerned citizen. She provides you with the background and information you need to test for corruption in your community, with the practical tips and unique insight of someone who has been behind the lines and in the front line of local government as both an official and an activist. Debbie provides solutions that you can quickly implement to reach local elected officials and the public. This course gives you a ringside seat to creative solutions and how to implement them, using real-life stories and explaining the vision and practice behind the government process.  You will come away with the context and the inspiration you need to put your own gifts and skills to work so you can fulfill your adventure and do your part in our government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

About Debbie Peterson

Debbie Peterson

The Honorable Debbie Peterson is a former mayor and council member, and author of The Happiest Corruption, Sleaze, Lies, & Suicide in a California Beach Town. Her playbook is written in clear terms that you can easily understand and implement, and with the dedication of someone whose first priority is equipping citizens to serve and represent their communities with transparency and integrity. She is the host of the new weekly podcast The Corruption Chronicles and the author of six books including : The Happiest Corruption: Sleaze Lies & Suicide in a California Beach Town; Local Government 101; How to Beat City Hall; and 365 Ways Everyday People Turned On the Lights @ City Hall (And How You Can Too). As a residential real estate broker for over two decades, she has negotiated over 500 win-win transactions. She founded several businesses including retail cafes, specialist bakeries, a trucking company, and distribution outlets in Scotland and London that grew to 95 employees and $7 million in annual sales in 1992. Her business success earned her the title of Young Career Woman of the Year, and Young Business Personality of Scotland. She studied journalism and radio-TV, and public relations at California State University, Fresno, and the University of Idaho.


“I didn’t think anyone still had integrity, self-worth, and honesty. Debbie Peterson is the poster person for all of these.”

Gwinn & Jim McCandlish, retired teachers

“Debbie Peterson is civic-minded and has pledged countless volunteer hours to work on city councils and other community service orgs. She is committed to positive change.”

Sharon Biddle, Publisher, The Real Estate Book

“Debbie Peterson’s unwavering work fighting political corruption makes her the best choice for voters. ”

Stew Jenkins, Former Harbor Commissioner, Attorney San Luis Obispo

“Debbie’s business was one of the outstanding success stories of the Glasgow University entrepreneurship program. She won national recognition and was sought after as a coach to start-up and as a speaker at conferences and business schools. She is a Star!”

Professor David Weir, Former Dean of The Scottish Business School

Whether you are serving your community as an elected representative or as a concerned citizen, this course will shortcut your learning curve by several years, making your service as a citizen participating in local government much more effective, from the first day you get started. You will get the back story of how things work and why they work the way they do so you can make effective public comments in government meetings the first time, every time. You will have a checklist of what to look out for, who to avoid, and who to involve if you suspect corruption. You will be up to speed on how government meetings are run so you can quickly jump in and get involved. Regardless of your skillset, age, or experience, you will have the tools to use your unique perspective and gifts to change local government for the best and shave many hours off the time it takes to do it effectively.

Register Now

This is the best tutorial you will find on how to get local government to work. In just six short hours of entertaining and practical information, you will sidestep a learning curve that takes several years for most people to navigate.