Farley Peters

Manager and Vice-President, The Citistates Group

farley_peters.jpg Organizer, strategist, connector and implementor, Farley Peters is the sparkplug for the individual and collaborative efforts of the Citistates Group’s Principals and Associates.After graduating from the University of Illinois (1974), Peters shifted her focus from street politics to state politics. She worked as an organizer in multiple political campaigns and later became a state political candidate herself. But politics was just half the equation — changing policy occupied the other. She served as a advocate and lobbyist for women and for legal services clients and conducted workshops on how to influence state government.

Peters left Illinois — but not her interests in states — when she was recruited to be the first field director for the D.C. based Conference on Alternative State and Local Policies (now the Center for Policy Alternatives). She remained with the Center, working with state legislators across the U.S. and then assuming increased management roles, for a decade.

Branching out on her own in the 1990s as a free-lance publicist and policy analyst, she assisted Neal Peirce and then Curtis Johnson with exposure for their Citistates book, and then as a speaking agent. With the new activity, she was gradually transformed from a unabashed state policy junkie to regional realist. Other clients included the Neighborhood Re-investment Corporation, the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. and the Prudential Foundation.

Recognizing not only growing interest but also growing opportunity in the regional arena, she encouraged Peirce and Johnson to join with her and form a business venture to leverage their talents and increase their influence on regional issues. They agreed, and the Citistates Group, LLC was formally launched in 1996.

Over 10 years later, she juggles a crew of close to 50 Citistates Associates from across the country. Her role in the signature Citistates Reports for newspapers has broadened; in addition to project management, she is now tapped for her insights and strategic mind on story themes and content editing. She is also applying her creativity and talent for linkages to devise new Citistates initiatives to meet the changing times, including Citiscope, the Group’s new international journalism project focused on cities worldwide.

Last updated January 20, 2011