Planning for Local Government, second edition, outlines
the strategic planning process in local government and helps local government
leaders anticipate and shape the future of their communities. It covers
practical ways of obtaining information, analyzing that information, and developing
a vision for the community that can be translated into programs and line
items in a budget. This e-book offers many excerpts from local government
plans and working documents that serve as examples you can build upon. These
models can be customized for your local government. Videos highlight the role
professional local government managers play in building communities we're
proud to call home.
An epic, riveting history of New York City on the edge of disaster—and an anatomy of the austerity politics that continue to shape the world today
When the news broke in 1975 that New York City was on the brink of fiscal collapse, few believed it was possible. How could the country’s largest metropolis fail? How could the capital of the financial world go bankrupt? Yet the city was indeed billions of dollars in the red, with no way to pay back its debts. Bankers and politicians alike seized upon the situation as evidence that social liberalism, which New York famously exemplified, was unworkable. The city had to slash services, freeze wages, and fire thousands of workers, they insisted, or financial apocalypse would ensue.
In this vivid account, historian Kim Phillips-Fein tells the remarkable story of the crisis that engulfed the city. With unions and ordinary citizens refusing to accept retrenchment, the budget crunch became a struggle over the soul of New York, pitting fundamentally opposing visions of the city against each other. Drawing on never-before-used archival sources and interviews with key players in the crisis, Fear City shows how the brush with bankruptcy permanently transformed New York—and reshaped ideas about government across America.
At once a sweeping history of some of the most tumultuous times in New York's past, a gripping narrative of last-minute machinations and backroom deals, and an origin story of the politics of austerity, Fear City is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the resurgent fiscal conservatism of today.
New edition of the classic story of the late Richard J. Daley, politician and self-promoter extraordinaire, from his inauspicious youth on Chicago’s South Side through his rapid climb to the seat of power as mayor and boss of the Democratic Party machine. A bare-all account of Daley’s cardinal sins as well as his milestone achievements, this scathing work by Chicago journalist Mike Royko brings to life the most powerful political figure of his time: his laissez-faire policy toward corruption, his unique brand of public relations, and the widespread influence that earned him the epithet of “king maker.” The politician, the machine, the city—Royko reveals all with witty insight and unwavering honesty, in this incredible portrait of the last of the backroom Caesars.
New edition includes an Introduction in which the author reflects on Daley’s death and the future of Chicago.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
A Prayer for the City is acclaimed journalist Buzz Bissinger's true epic of Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell, an utterly unique, unorthodox, and idiosyncratic leader willing to go to any length for the sake of his city: take unions head on, personally lobby President Clinton to save 10,000 defense jobs, or wrestle Smiley the Pig on Hot Dog Day—all the while bearing in mind the eternal fickleness of constituents whose favor may hinge on a missed garbage pick-up or an overzealous meter maid. It is also the story of citizens in crisis: a woman fighting ceaselessly to give her great-grandchildren a better life, a father of six who may lose his job at the Navy Shipyard, and a policy analyst whose experiences as a crime victim tempt her to abandon her job and ideals. "Fascinating, humane" (The New Yorker) and alive with detail and insight, A Prayer for the City describes the rare combination of political courage and optimism that may be the only hope for America's urban centers.
An election is a war and "to the victor belongs the spoils." That’s the real democratic process. After all, you'll never see a victorious politician tell his supporters, "I want to thank all of you who worked so hard for my election. However, in the interest of good government, I've decided to give all the jobs to those people who voted against me." This belief became Buddy Cianci’s mantra. Following his own rules, Cianci spent almost three decades as mayor of Providence, RI... before leaving for an enforced vacation in a federally funded gated community.
Providence was a dying industrial city when he first took office, but he helped turn it into one of the most desirable places to live in America. He did it by playing the game of hardball politics as well as it has ever been played, living up to his favorite Sinatra lyric "I did it my way"—because that's the only way a mayor can run a city.
If you want to know the truth about how politics is played, you picked the right book. This is the behind-the-locked-door story of how politics in America really works. Here is a man who has been called many things: "America's Most Innovative Mayor," a "colorful character," and a convicted felon. But no one has ever called him shy. Here, he serves it all up.
"Other social scientists have observed policemen on patrol, or have interviewed them systematically. Professor Muir has brought the two together, and, because of the philosophical depth he brings to his commentaries, he has lifted the sociology of the police on to a new level. He has both observed the men and talked with them at length about their personal lives, their conceptions of society and of the place of criminals within it. His ambition is to define the good policeman and to explain his development, but his achievement is to illuminate the philosophical and occupational maturation of patrol officers in 'Laconia' (a pseudonym) . . . . His discussions of [the policemen's] moral development are threaded through with analytically suggestive formulations that bespeak a wisdom very rarely encountered in reports of sociological research."—Michael Banton, Times Literary Supplement
Arguing that current explanations of voting behavior are ill suited for most local contests, Eric Oliver puts forward a new theory that highlights the crucial differences between local, state, and national democracies. Being small in size, limited in power, and largely unbiased in distributing their resources, local governments are "managerial democracies" with a distinct style of electoral politics. Instead of hinging on the partisanship, ideology, and group appeals that define national and state elections, local elections are based on the custodial performance of civic-oriented leaders and on their personal connections to voters with similarly deep community ties. Explaining not only the dynamics of local elections, Oliver's findings also upend many long-held assumptions about community power and local governance, including the importance of voter turnout and the possibilities for grassroots political change.
Policing Immigrants traces the transition of immigration enforcement from a traditionally federal power exercised primarily near the US borders to a patchwork system of local policing that extends throughout the country’s interior. Since federal authorities set local law enforcement to the task of bringing suspected illegal immigrants to the federal government’s attention, local responses have varied. While some localities have resisted the work, others have aggressively sought out unauthorized immigrants, often seeking to further their own objectives by putting their own stamp on immigration policing. Tellingly, how a community responds can best be predicted not by conditions like crime rates or the state of the local economy but rather by the level of conservatism among local voters. What has resulted, the authors argue, is a system that is neither just nor effective—one that threatens the core crime-fighting mission of policing by promoting racial profiling, creating fear in immigrant communities, and undermining the critical community-based function of local policing.
In their new book, The New Localism, urban experts Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak reveal where the real power to create change lies and how it can be used to address our most serious social, economic, and environmental challenges.
Power is shifting in the world: downward from national governments and states to cities and metropolitan communities; horizontally from the public sector to networks of public, private and civic actors; and globally along circuits of capital, trade, and innovation.
This new locus of power—this new localism—is emerging by necessity to solve the grand challenges characteristic of modern societies: economic competitiveness, social inclusion and opportunity; a renewed public life; the challenge of diversity; and the imperative of environmental sustainability. Where rising populism on the right and the left exploits the grievances of those left behind in the global economy, new localism has developed as a mechanism to address them head on.
New localism is not a replacement for the vital roles federal governments play; it is the ideal complement to an effective federal government, and, currently, an urgently needed remedy for national dysfunction.
In The New Localism, Katz and Nowak tell the stories of the cities that are on the vanguard of problem solving. Pittsburgh is catalyzing inclusive growth by inventing and deploying new industries and technologies. Indianapolis is governing its city and metropolis through a network of public, private and civic leaders. Copenhagen is using publicly owned assets like their waterfront to spur large scale redevelopment and finance infrastructure from land sales.
Out of these stories emerge new norms of growth, governance, and finance and a path toward a more prosperous, sustainable, and inclusive society. Katz and Nowak imagine a world in which urban institutions finance the future through smart investments in innovation, infrastructure and children and urban intermediaries take solutions created in one city and adapt and tailor them to other cities with speed and precision.
As Katz and Nowak show us in The New Localism, “Power now belongs to the problem solvers.”
A provocative assessment of the contemporary carceral state for American democracy, Arresting Citizenship argues that the broad reach of the criminal justice system has fundamentally recast the relation between citizen and state, resulting in a sizable—and growing—group of second-class citizens. From police stops to court cases and incarceration, at each stage of the criminal justice system individuals belonging to this disempowered group come to experience a state-within-a-state that reflects few of the country’s core democratic values. Through scores of interviews, along with analyses of survey data, Amy E. Lerman and Vesla M. Weaver show how this contact with police, courts, and prisons decreases faith in the capacity of American political institutions to respond to citizens’ concerns and diminishes the sense of full and equal citizenship—even for those who have not been found guilty of any crime. The effects of this increasingly frequent contact with the criminal justice system are wide-ranging—and pernicious—and Lerman and Weaver go on to offer concrete proposals for reforms to reincorporate this large group of citizens as active participants in American civic and political life.
Here, Harvard leadership and management guru Robert Behn analyzes the leadership behaviors at the core of PerformanceStat to identify how they work to produce results. He examines how the leaders of a variety of public organizations employ the strategy—the way the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services uses its DPSSTATS to promote economic independence, how the City of New Orleans uses its BlightStat to eradicate blight in city neighborhoods, and what the Federal Emergency Management Agency does with its FEMAStat to ensure that the lessons from each crisis response, recovery, and mitigation are applied in the future. How best to harness the strategy's full capacity? The PerformanceStat Potential explains all.
While not denying the hurdles that community revitalization still faces, the contributors ultimately put forth a strong case that a more hospitable local milieu can be created for making neighborhood policy. In examining the course of experiences from an earlier period of redevelopment to the present postindustrial city, this book opens a window on a complex process of political change and possibility for reform.
Based on historical records and revealing interviews with over one hundred residents and officials, Inside Newark traces Newark’s history from the 1950s, when the city was a thriving industrial center, to the era of Mayor Cory Booker. Along the way, Curvin covers the disturbances of July 1967, called a riot by the media and a rebellion by residents; the administration of Kenneth Gibson, the first black mayor of a large northeastern city; and the era of Sharpe James, who was found guilty of corruption. Curvin examines damaging housing and mortgage policies, the state takeover of the failing school system, the persistence of corruption and patronage, Newark’s shifting ethnic and racial composition, positive developments in housing and business complexes, and the reign of ambitious mayor Cory Booker.
Inside Newark reveals a central weakness that continues to plague Newark—that throughout this history, elected officials have not risen to the challenges they have faced. Curvin calls on those in positions of influence to work for the social and economic improvement of all groups and concludes with suggestions for change, focusing on education reform, civic participation, financial management, partnerships with agencies and business, improving Newark’s City Council, and limiting the term of the mayor. If Newark’s leadership can encompass these changes, Newark will have a chance at a true turnaround.
Watch a video with Robert Curvin:
Watch video now. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-d6zV2OQ8A).
For twenty years Daniel Paquette's murder in New Hampshire went unsolved. It remained a secret between two high school friends until Eric Windhurst's arrest in 2005. What was revealed was a crime born of adolescent passion between Eric and Daniel's stepdaughter, Melanie- redefining the meaning of loyalty, justice, and revenge.
Crucible of Fire describes how the practical knowledge gained from fighting nineteenth-century fires gave form and function to modern fire protection efforts. Changes in materials and building design resulted directly from tragedies such as fires in supposedly fireproof hotels. Thousands of buildings burned, millions of dollars were lost, the fire insurance industry faltered, and the nature of volunteerism changed radically before municipal authorities took the necessary actions. The great fires formed a crucible of learning for firefighters, engineers, architects, underwriters, and citizens.
Veteran firefighter Bruce Hensler shows how the modern American fire service today is a direct result of the lessons of history and a rethinking of the efficacy of volunteerism in fighting fires. Crucible of Fire is an eye-opening look at today's fire service and a thorough examination of what firefighters, civic leaders, and ordinary citizens can do to protect their homes and communities from the mistakes of the past.
At a time when trust is dropping precipitously and American government at the national level has fallen into a state of long-term, partisan-based gridlock, local government can still be effective—indeed more effective and even more responsive to the needs of its citizens. Based on decades of direct experience and years studying successful models around the world, the authors of this intriguing book propose a new operating system (O/S) for cities. Former mayor and Harvard professor Stephen Goldsmith and New York University professor Neil Kleiman suggest building on the giant leaps that have been made in technology, social engagement, and big data.
Calling their approach "distributed governance," Goldsmith and Kleiman offer a model that allows public officials to mobilize new resources, surface ideas from unconventional sources, and arm employees with the information they need to become pre-emptive problem solvers. This book highlights lessons from the many innovations taking place in today’s cities to show how a new O/S can create systemic transformation.
For students of government, A New City O/S: The Power of Distributed Governance presents a groundbreaking strategy for rethinking the governance of cities, marking an important evolution of the current bureaucratic authority-based model dating from the 1920s. More important, the book is designed for practitioners, starting with public-sector executives, managers, and frontline workers. By weaving real-life examples into a coherent model, the authors have created a step-by-step guide for all those who would put the needs of citizens front and center. Nothing will do more to restore trust in government than solutions that work. A New City O/S: The Power of Distributed Governance puts those solutions within reach of those public officials responsible for their delivery.
Mayor begins with Nutter's early days in politics and ultimate run for mayor, when he formed a coalition from a base of support that set the stage for a successful term. Transitioning from campaigning to governing, Nutter shares his vast store of examples to depict the skills that enable a city politician to lead effectively and illustrates how problem-solving pragmatism is essential for success. With a proven track record of making things work, Nutter asserts that mayoring promises more satisfaction and more potential achievements—for not only the mayor but also the governed—than our fractious political system would have us believe.
Detailing the important tasks that mayoral administrations do, Nutter tells the compelling story of a dedicated staff working together to affect positively the lives of the people of Philadelphia every day. His anecdotes, advice, and insights will excite and interest anyone with a desire to understand municipal government.
Based on years of intensive research, including unusually candid interviews with members of Puerto Rico's political elite, The Last Cacique offers the first in-depth study of local politics in Puerto Rico and one of the very few available for the Caribbean region.
In Who Cleans the Park? John Krinsky and Maud Simonet explain that the work of maintaining parks has intersected with broader trends in welfare reform, civic engagement, criminal justice, and the rise of public-private partnerships. Welfare-to-work trainees, volunteers, unionized city workers (sometimes working outside their official job descriptions), staff of nonprofit park “conservancies,” and people sentenced to community service are just a few of the groups who routinely maintain parks. With public services no longer being provided primarily by public workers, Krinsky and Simonet argue, the nature of public work must be reevaluated. Based on four years of fieldwork in New York City, Who Cleans the Park? looks at the transformation of public parks from the ground up. Beginning with studying changes in the workplace, progressing through the public-private partnerships that help maintain the parks, and culminating in an investigation of a park’s contribution to urban real-estate values, the book unearths a new urban order based on nonprofit partnerships and a rhetoric of responsible citizenship, which at the same time promotes unpaid work, reinforces workers’ domination at the workplace, and increases the value of park-side property. Who Cleans the Park? asks difficult questions about who benefits from public work, ultimately forcing us to think anew about the way we govern ourselves, with implications well beyond the five boroughs.
In November 2013, a little-known progressive stunned the elite of New York City by capturing the mayoralty by a landslide. Bill de Blasio’s promise to end the “Tale of Two Cities” had struck a chord among ordinary residents still struggling to recover from the Great Recession.
De Blasio’s election heralded the advent of the most progressive New York City government in generations. Not since the legendary Fiorello La Guardia in the 1930s had so many populist candidates captured government office at the same time. Gotham, in other words, had been suddenly reclaimed in the name of its people.
How did this happen? De Blasio’s victory, journalist legend Juan González argues, was not just a routine change of government but a popular rebellion against corporate-friendly policies that had dominated New York for decades. Reflecting that broader change, liberal Democrats Bill Peduto in Pittsburgh, Betsy Hodges in Minneapolis, and Martin Walsh of Boston also won mayoral elections that same year, as did insurgent Ras Baraka in Newark the following year. This new generation of municipal leaders offers valuable lessons for those seeking grassroots reform.
The so-called Great Portland Vice Scandal of 1956-57 spilled into national politics, with hearings before the Senate Rackets Committee. When the '70s rolled around, members of the police narcotics squad were caught red-handed perpetrating nefarious deeds. This Northwest city, known best today for its punk rock and hipster comedies like Portlandia, was once overrun with corruption and foul play.
Rose City Vice reveals a city where the cops are putting drugs back on the street, maybe even committing murder. The city council is high on coke, and the mayor is carrying on a clandestine sexual relationship with 13-year- old schoolgirl while under surveillance by the vice squad. It's 1970's Portland and blackmail is in the air.
Through a series of highly readable case studies, the authors employ both neopluralist and exchange perspectives to explore the lobbying activity that occurs in the later stages of the policymaking process which are typically less partisan, involve little conflict, and receive scant public attention. Lobbying and Policymaking: The Public Pursuit of Primvate Interests is an ideal way to expose students to cutting-edge research in an accessible, fascinating package.
For Trading Democracy for Justice, Traci Burch has drawn on data from neighborhoods with imprisonment rates up to fourteen times the national average to chart demographic features that include information about imprisonment, probation, and parole, as well as voter turnout and volunteerism. She presents powerful evidence that living in a high-imprisonment neighborhood significantly decreases political participation. Similarly, people living in these neighborhoods are less likely to engage with their communities through volunteer work. What results is the demobilization of entire neighborhoods and the creation of vast inequalities—even among those not directly affected by the criminal justice system.
The first book to demonstrate the ways in which the institutional effects of imprisonment undermine already disadvantaged communities, Trading Democracy for Justice speaks to issues at the heart of democracy.
Many currently available texts for this course suffer from a combination of defects that include a focus on federal and state budgeting, a lack of a theoretical governance framework, an omission of important topics, and typically a lack of exercises and datasets for student use. Budgeting for Local Governments and Communities solves all of these problems.
The book is exceptionally comprehensive and well written, and represents the efforts of veteran authors with both teaching and real-world experience.Key Features:Special Focus on Local Government Budgeting: focuses exclusively on budgeting at the local levels of American government, which are responsible for spending 40 percent of the taxes collected from citizens.Integration of Theory and Practice: teaching cases and chapters capture the "lessons learned" by professional practitioners who have extensive experience in making local public budgeting work on the ground.Polity Approach to Local Budgeting: presents an introduction to local budgeting as the central political activity that integrates the resources of the community into a unified whole. Budgeting is presented as governance work, rather than as a unique set of skills possessed by analysts and financial specialists.Legal, Historical, Economic and Moral Foundations of Local Government Budgeting: provides readers with an understanding of how the structures and processes of local budgeting systems are firmly tethered to the underlying core values, legal principles and historical development of the larger American federal, state and local political systems.Electronic Datasets and Budgeting Exercises: the text includes access to extensive electronic datasets and practice exercises that provide abundant opportunities for students to "learn through doing."Extensive Glossary and Bibliography: covers terms on the history and practice of local public budgeting.
for proposals (RFPs) are a necessary part of contracting out local government
services and functions when the vendor cannot be chosen on the basis of price
alone. This e-book looks at the steps in an RFP process, including areas of
uncertainty and risk, and offers recommendations for successful procurement:
getting the appropriate products and services while saving time and money and
avoiding legal problems. Bulletproof RFPs emphasizes that
RFPs should not be developed from scratch, but that local governments should
endeavor to learn from one another. Many examples of model RFP clauses and
language are included, as well as a list of resources.
In State-Local Governmental Interactions, Joseph F. Zimmerman builds on work conducted for the US Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations pertaining to local government discretionary authority, intergovernmental service agreements, state and federal mandates, and voluntary and state-mandated transfers of functional responsibility. He demonstrates that the degree of control states exercise over their political subdivisions varies greatly, from very tight control in Vermont to relatively little control in Maine. Particular emphasis is placed on the legal relationships between a state and its various types of political subdivisions. The volume concludes with recommendations for the establishment of a state-local governmental partnership.
After decades of being defined by crisis and limitations, cities are popular again—as destinations for people and businesses, and as subjects of scholarly study. Urban Citizenship and American Democracy contributes to this new scholarship by exploring the origins and dynamics of urban citizenship in the United States. Written by both urban and nonurban scholars using a variety of methodological approaches, the book examines urban citizenship within particular historical, social, and policy contexts, including issues of political participation, public school engagement, and crime policy development. Contributors focus on enduring questions about urban political power, local government, and civic engagement to offer fresh theoretical and empirical accounts of city politics and policy, federalism, and American democracy.
Commission government originated in Galveston, Texas, where business leaders conceived the plan as a temporary measure to speed recovery from the great hurricane of 1900. Other cities in Texas and across the nation soon followed; by 1920, about 500 municipalities had adopted the plan in which elected representatives serve as heads of city departments and, collectively, as a policy-making body.
Beginning with Galveston and Houston and Des Moines, Iowa, Bradley Robert Rice presents detailed case studies of the earliest commission cities and shows how the plan was developed and modified to suit each community’s needs. He goes on to chronicle the adoption of the commission plan by other cities across the country that strove for “businesslike efficiency” as a reaction against corruption and machine politics in urban government. Most commission charters included a wide-ranging package of municipal reforms, such as the short ballot, at-large representation, nonpartisanship, civil service, and direct legislation. Yet Rice shows that the commission plan generally offered little in the way of social reform to accompany its reorganization of municipal government.
Applying a model of innovation diffusion, the author analyzes how and why the new form of city government spread across Progressive Era America. He also thoroughly explores the relationship between the commission plan and other Progressive Era reforms and reports on the reasons for its decline from both a social and a practical perspective.
Progressive Cities is described by Professor Bruce M. Stave, editor of the Journal of Urban History, as “a sound piece of work which should make a useful and worthwhile contribution to the existing scholarship on urban reform and should appeal to an audience which cuts across disciplines: history, political science, urban studies and urban planning.”
Idaho is a state with many varied interests vying for political control. Whether it be in the politically liberal north, the staunchly conservative southeast or the rapidly changing southwest of the state, the social and political factors that determine who gains power in the Gem state often flies in the face of logic and makes for an interesting study in contrasts.
Director of Harbors and Marine Services was a position so mired in corruption that its previous four directors ended up in federal prison. Nelson inherited angry constituents, prying journalists, shell-shocked employees, and a tobacco-stained office still bearing a busted door that had been smashed in by the FBI. Undeterred, Nelson made it his personal mission to become a “pneumacrat,” a public servant who, for the common good, always follows the spirit—if not always the letter—of the law.
Dirty Waters is a wry, no-holds-barred memoir of Nelson’s time controlling some of the city’s most beautiful spots while facing some of its ugliest traditions. A guide like no other, Nelson takes us through Chicago’s beloved “blue spaces” and deep into the city’s political morass. He reveals the different moralities underlining three mayoral administrations, from Harold Washington to Richard M. Daley, and navigates us through the gritty mechanisms of the Chicago machine. He also deciphers the sometimes insular world of boaters and their fraught relationship with their land-based neighbors.
Ultimately, Dirty Waters is a tale of morality, of what it takes to be a force for good in the world and what struggles come from trying to stay ethically afloat in a sea of corruption.
Rogues and Redeemers tells the hidden story of Boston politics--the cold-blooded ward bosses, the smoke-filled rooms, the larger-than-life pols who became national figures: Honey Fitz, the crafty stage Irishman and grandfather to a president; the pugilistic Rascal King, Michael Curley; the hectored Kevin White who tried to hold the city together during the busing crisis; and Ray Flynn, the Southie charmer who was truly the last hurrah for Irish-American politics in the city.
For almost a century, the Irish dominated Boston politics with their own unique, clannish brand of coercion and shaped its future for good and ill. Former Boston Globe investigative reporter Gerard O'Neill takes the reader through the entire journey from the famine ships arriving in Massachusetts Bay to the wresting of power away from the Brahmins of Beacon Hill to the Title I wars of attrition over housing to the rending of the city over busing to the Boston of today--which somehow through it all became a modern, revitalized city, albeit with a growing divide between the haves and have-nots.
Sweeping in its history and intimate in its details, Rogues and Redeemers echoes all the great themes of The Power Broker and Common Ground and should take its place on that esteemed shelf as a classic, definitive epic of a city.
This book, the most comprehensive on the subject to date, focuses on the question of how beliefs, institutions, personalities, and power interact to shape Alaska politics and public policy. Drawing on these interactions, the contributors explain how and why certain issues get dealt with successfully and others unsuccessfully, and why some issues are taken up quickly while others are not addressed at all. This comprehensive guide to the political climate of Alaska will be essential to anyone studying the politics of America’s largest—and in some ways most unusual—state.
tensions between New York City’s public employee unions, their critics, and city
and state politicians.
Since 1980 Richard Steier has had a unique
vantage point to observe the gains, losses, and struggles of municipal labor
unions in New York City. He has covered those unions and city government as a
reporter and labor columnist for the New York Post and, since
1998, as editor and featured columnist of the Chief-Leader, a
century-old independent newspaper that covers city and state government in
greater detail than today’s mainstream news organizations. Drawing from his
column with the Chief-Leader, “Razzle Dazzle,” Enough Blame to Go
Around describes in vivid terms how the changed economy has drastically
altered the city’s labor landscape, and why it has been difficult for municipal
unions to adapt. There can be no doubt, he writes, that public employee unions
have contributed to the problems that confront them today, including corruption
and failed leadership. But at the same time and for all their flaws, he believes
unions represent the best chance for ordinary people to receive fair economic
“No one knows New York City’s working men and women better
than journalist Richard Steier. Whether he’s depicting the heroic exploits of
legendary union leaders or exposing the excesses of corrupt labor bosses or
recounting pivotal battles over labor contracts, Steier always provides fresh,
behind-the-scenes insight into the vast world of municipal workers, a group that
too often is unfairly maligned. And he does it all with a powerful bare-knuckle
style that will leave you wishing for more.” — Juan Gonzalez, staff columnist,
New York Daily News
“If you want to know about municipal unions
in New York City, you need to read Richard Steier. I sometimes disagree with
him, but for more than two decades he has been one of the most informative and
provocative chroniclers of the ins and outs of public sector labor.” — Joshua B.
Freeman, author of American Empire: The Rise of a Global Power, the
Democratic Revolution at Home, 1945–2000
“New York City’s labor
unions have been luckier than they deserved to have had reporter and editor
Richard Steier around to spotlight their occasional triumphs and their much more
frequent failures. Like Murray Kempton, another great New York columnist who
loved the men and women of labor but who never suffered the fools who sometimes
ran their unions, Steier’s columns are filled with news, insight, and always
compassion for those who ride (and drive) the early trains and buses to work.” —
Tom Robbins, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
“Steier presents an
impassioned case for public sector unions and the benefits they have won, along
with fascinating tales of the machinations inside several of the largest unions
in New York City—District Council 37, Transport Workers Union Local 100 and the
2005 strike that paralyzed the city, and the United Federation of Teachers.” —
Alair Townsend, former New York City Budget Director and Deputy Mayor
Scribner’s account unfolds on the metropolitan fringe, where rapid suburbanization overlapped with the consolidation of thousands of small rural schools. Rural residents initially clashed with their new neighbors, but by the 1960s the groups had rallied to resist government oversight. What began as residual opposition to school consolidation would transform into campaigns against race-based busing, unionized teachers, tax equalization, and secular curriculum. In case after case, suburban conservatives carved out new rights for local autonomy, stifling equal educational opportunity.
Yet Scribner also provides insight into why many conservatives have since abandoned localism for policies that stress school choice and federal accountability. In the 1970s, as new battles arose over unions, textbooks, and taxes, districts on the rural-suburban fringe became the first to assert individual choice in the form of school vouchers, religious exemptions, and a marketplace model of education. At the same time, they began to embrace tax limitation and standardized testing, policies that checked educational bureaucracy but bypassed local school boards. The effect, Scribner concludes, has been to reinforce inequalities between districts while weakening participatory government within them, keeping the worst aspects of local control in place while forfeiting its virtues.
Combining quantitative and qualitative methods, Grindle examines data based on a random sample of Mexican municipalities--and ventures into town halls to follow public officials as they seek to manage a variety of tasks amid conflicting pressures and new expectations. Decentralization, she discovers, is a double-edged sword. While it allows public leaders to make significant reforms quickly, institutional weaknesses undermine the durability of change, and legacies of the past continue to affect how public problems are addressed. Citizens participate, but they are more successful at extracting resources from government than in holding local officials and agencies accountable for their actions. The benefits of decentralization regularly predicted by economists, political scientists, and management specialists are not inevitable, she argues. Rather, they are strongly influenced by the quality of local leadership and politics.
Chicago’s mayoral history is one of corruption and reform, scandal and ambition. This well-researched volume, more relevant than ever twenty-five years after its first edition, presents an intriguing and informative glimpse into the fascinating lives and legacies of Chicago’s most influential leaders.
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The eighth edition provides a comprehensive review and analysis of urban policy under the Obama administration and brand new coverage of sustainable urban development. A new chapter on globalization and its impact on cities brings the history of urban development up to date, and a focus on the politics of local economic development underscores how questions of economic development have come to dominate the local arena.
The book traces the changing style of community participation, including the emergence of CDCs, BIDs, and other new-style service organizations. It analyzes the impacts of the New Regionalism, the New Urbanism, and much more at an approachable level.
The eighth edition is significantly shorter and more affordable than previous editions, and the entire text has been thoroughly rewritten to engage students. Boxed case studies of prominent recent and current urban development efforts provide material for class discussion, and concluding material demonstrates the tradeoff between more ideal and more pragmatic urban politics. Source material provides Internet addresses for further research.
This fourth edition of James A. Maxwell's classic and widely acclaimed book will help both layman and lawmaker understand the choices open to their governments. It provides a lucid, nontechnical analysis of state and local finance. It gives concise descriptions of the taxes, grants, debt issues, and user charges that finance state and local government and discusses their relative virtues and drawbacks. It traces the history of state and local finance and presents statistical data on expenditures, federal aid, revenue from taxes and user charges, debt, and pension funds. The new edition, in recognition of changes since the mid-1970s, also includes a separate chapter on financing education and broadened analyses of federal grant programs, employee retirement systems, and nonguaranteed municipal debt.
In Completing Our Streets, Barbara McCann, founder of the National Complete Streets Coalition, explains that the movement is not about street design. Instead, practitioners and activists have changed the way projects are built by focusing on three strategies: reframe the conversation; build a broad base of political support; and provide a clear path to a multi-modal process. McCann shares stories of practitioners in cities and towns from Charlotte, North Carolina to Colorado Springs, Colorado who have embraced these strategies to fundamentally change the way transportation projects are chosen, planned, and built.
The complete streets movement is based around a simple idea: streets should be safe for people of all ages and abilities, whether they are walking, driving, bicycling, or taking the bus. Completing Our Streets gives practitioners and activists the strategies, tools, and inspiration needed to translate this idea into real and lasting change in their communities.