Representative Diana Urban, a well-known champion of Results-Based Accountability™ and avid children’s advocate, is currently running unopposed for her eighth term representing Connecticut’s 43rd district. Currently, she is Chair of the Committee on Children and Co-Chair of the Results-Based Accountability Sub-Committee of the Appropriations Committee. Most remarkably, Urban has run unopposed as both a Republican (prior to 2006) and now as a Democrat.
According to a recent article about her race in The Day, Urban is most commonly associated with the state-led investigation into Amistad America, but she has accomplished much more than this over the past two years, especially when it comes to issues affecting children. Urban has led a number of successful initiatives that address a diversity of issues—some of which include animal abuse, domestic violence, mental illness, sexual assault, and childhood obesity. Recently, Urban has been working on expanding the cross-reporting of animal abuse cases between the Agriculture Department and the Department of Children and Families, due to a strong link between animal abuse and domestic violence. A few of her other accomplishments include the streamlining of programs to help families deal with mental health issues in the wake of Sandy Hook, a bill requiring colleges to report sexual assault, and a law banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Of the 32 bills that Urban introduced in the last session, 12 were signed into law.
As a result of her influential work with children, Representative Urban has been named a Children’s Champion for four years by the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance. She has also been named Legislator of the Year by the Humane Society of the United States four times. Urban’s view on her popularity in Connecticut is simple but hits home: “The way I look at running unopposed is that I’m doing the job people want me to do” she said. With this comment Urban links her exemplary performance to her continued service, an idea which reflects her long-running effort to make accountability and performance transparency a priority throughout state government. As a part of the push towards government accountability, Representative Urban has led the fight for Results-Based Accountability in budgeting in the State of Connecticut. The wide-scale adoption of this results-based budgeting method would require agencies to use data to prove their programs are effective in order to receive funding. For her work in RBA, Governing Magazine recognized Urban as a National Leader in High Performance Government. In 2010, she was named Governing magazine’s Public Official of the Year for her work on accountability and budgets. Additionally, NCSL has recently awarded Connecticut the Con Hogan Award for its usage of RBA and Work on Innovation in Government.
On November 6th, Urban’s “Who is Driving the bus?” will be released for sale, which will provide an account of her efforts to get RBA adopted in Connecticut’s Legislature, as well as the development of the Connecticut’s Children’s Report Card—a law that requires every children’s program in the state to report whether its funding is yielding measurable results. Urban also intends for the book to be a guide for legislators interested in implementing RBA in their own governments. The book will be available for purchase at www.amazon.com for $14.95 and clearimpact.com for $13.95.