According to this review by Wisconsin's nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the state legislature in that state has enacted over 100 unfunded mandates and preemptions of local government authority since 2011.
We encourage you to read this document. It will give you a sense of the sweeping reorganization of government in Wisconsin and many other states, in which local, democratically enacted laws and policies designed to meet local economic, social, and ecological needs are being nullified at the request of lobbyists from the Chamber of Commerce and other corporate lobbies.
Recent media coverage and spiraling public outrage over the water crisis in Flint, Michigan has completely eclipsed the ongoing environmental justice struggles of the Navajo. Even worse, the media continues to frame the situation in Flint as some sort of isolated incident. It is not. Rather, it is symptomatic of a much wider and deeper problem of environmental racism in the United States.
On July 3, dozens of Michigan activists convened in Detroit to begin a march to demand water justice in the state. The six-day march covered 70 miles as organizers walked from Detroit to Flint and continued by bus to the state capitol in Lansing, stopping in five other Michigan cities along the way. The action was called by The Peoples' Water Board, a coalition of 30 community organizations including labor unions, racial justice organizations, religious congregations, human rights groups and environmental activists.
I apologize for "de-democratizes" in the title. I wrestled with "un-democratizes," "hurts every good cause," and "cuts a swath down the sail of American democracy like Errol Flynn," and none of them seemed to work. I decided to go with a word that represents curtailment, undermining, moving away from. American political and economic life certainly isn't democratic enough, but the Trans-Pacific Partnership makes it all less so, because it undermines an entire category of democratic policymaking.
The transformation taking place in the electricity system is enormous, but twofold. But most commentators – including the former FERC chair – miss half the opportunity when they fixate on the inevitable technological rather than the more fundamental economic transformation.
The Pope demanded justice for the weak and affirmed the rights of the environment on Friday in a forceful speech to the United Nations that admonished against “a selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity”.
Harvard’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation last week recognized New York’s participatory budgeting program with the Roy and Lila Ash Innovations Award for Public Engagement in Government. The nod comes with a $100,000 prize.
Worker cooperatives are a great way to bring democracy into the workplace. For retiring business owners and entrepreneurs, converting to a worker-owned co-op can also strengthen business and generate a return on investment.
The great 20th-century conservative economist Joseph Schumpeter thought the left had overlooked a major selling point in pressing the case for public — i.e., government — control over productive capital. “One of the most significant titles to superiority,” he suggested, was that public ownership produced profits, which means not having to depend on taxes to raise money.
St. Louis City Mayor Francis G. Slay signed the civilian oversight legislation into law today (Wednesday, May 6) in his office with Alderman Terry Kennedy (Ward 18), who fought for more than 10 years for the legislation. Slay vetoed Kennedy’s original legislation after it passed the Board of Aldermen in 2006, so Kennedy has waited almost a decade to shake the mayor’s hand at this bill-signing ceremony.
Freddie Gray’s neighborhood in Baltimore had the highest incarceration rate of anywhere in the city. More than 450 adults from Sandtown-Winchester are in state prison, and one in four juveniles were arrested from 2005 to 2009.
NEW YORK — Today, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and New York City Council Members kicked off the voting period for New York City’s 2014-2015 participatory budgeting cycle — now the largest such process in the nation. This year, 24 Council Districts will allocate nearly $30 million citywide for residents to collaboratively develop into local capital projects through a year-long process of neighborhood assemblies, delegate meetings, and project expositions.
Democracy movements arose in most regions of the globe during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Students of social change have studied many of these movements, but, remarkably, have so far failed to look at that of the United States.
A key activist in the early Sixties grassroots movement to overthrow American apartheid recently asked if the current Black Lives Matter campaign will be able to sustain itself. In the near term, the answer is almost certainly, yes. The momentum of the mobilization will be propelled forward by the dogged determination of a new generation of activists, building on the skills and experience of previously vetted organizers and the quickening, soul-wrenching drumbeat of police murder and repression.