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GOP state legislatures are attacking local democracy, The Hightower Lowdown, May 1, 2017

May 25, 2017

Jim Hightower

Even in the reddest of states, many urban areas are governed by progressive-minded, pragmatic problem solvers. Not all local governments are progressive, of course, and not all progressive solutions pan out, but at least homegrown public officials live where they work, have a personal sense of their communities’ values and needs, and are usually more in touch with local voters than faraway state or national big shots. Among mayors, council members, commissioners, et al., there’s also greater pressure for bipartisanship (or nonpartisanship), because, unlike congress critters and state officials, local office holders are on the ground level of public service and can’t hide behind do-nothing, laissez-faire BS. Thus, as noted by Mark Pertschuk, director of the watchdog group Grassroots Change: “The last operating bastion of democracy is at the local level: counties, cities, school boards, other types of local agencies. That’s where innovations and progress have been made.”

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