State and local governments are not taking full advantage of data and technology innovation that could help address key priorities such as delivery of local public services, management and design of the built environment, and fulfillment of climate goals. Supporting innovation across these domains is difficult for state and local governments due to limited technical staff, procurement challenges, and poor incentives and mechanisms to develop and scale creative solutions. Civic research is a collaborative process for addressing public priorities and improving communities by connecting technical experts to policymakers and civic partners, creating a platform for evidence-based, research-informed action. This process relies on partnerships among universities, state and local agencies, and community organizations, and has proven successful in communities nationwide. This paper recommends seven actions the next administration can take to advance civic research nationwide.