This article examines public historic preservation agencies’ ability to support social inclusion aims within the context of the Certified Local Government (CLG) program. Though administered by the Texas Historical Commission, Texas’ State CLG program is federally-funded and makes available special access to technical assistance, grants, and loans to qualifying communities contingent on compliance. Program surveys the state staff administered to city and county historical commissions with the CLG designation indicate challenges around diversifying their leadership and identifying training opportunities. This article reviews those surveys to detect insights into how the state CLG program can create spaces in which local commissions can increase their “representativeness” through changes in assessment and training content. Specifically, I analyze two government assessment tools used to evaluate local CLGs’ ability to meet federal and state training and participation expectations. I compare these survey results to self-assessment activities and questionnaires collected during a pilot training on implicit bias, outreach, and cultural resource surveying I conducted with multiple CLGs in Gonzales, Texas. Findings suggest more creatively designed training and capacity building is necessary around inclusion, identifying structural barriers to participation, and foundational knowledge of historic preservation and planning practice, and ethics.
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