Month: April 2014

Time to Re-write Outdated Traffic Ordinances?

In Heien v. North Carolina, a police officer pulled over a car because he thought North Carolina law required that motor vehicles have two working brake lights.  It turns out the officer was wrong.  The North Carolina Court of Appeals concluded that state law requires motor vehicles to only have one working brake light. So

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Developing a Shared Vision for Educational Alignment Beyond the Classroom

This post was written by Tonja Rucker, Principal Associate for Early Childhood at NLC. The post also appears on the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s blog. Historically, education and human service systems have developed independently from each other despite sharing a common purpose.  Insufficient communication and coordination among systems and programs for young children can make

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Anonymous Tip: No Corroboration? No problem!

Does an anonymous, unverified tip of dangerous driving justify a traffic stop? Yes, says a divided Supreme Court. In Prado Navarette v. California, an anonymous 911 caller reported that a vehicle had run her off the road.  The Court held 5-4 that a police stop complied with the Fourth Amendment because, under the totality of

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Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Ruling Likely to Affect Local Government

The Supreme Court’s recent affirmative action ruling should be viewed through the lens of public employment and contracts not just public universities. In Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action the Supreme Court held 6-2 that voters may by ballot prohibit affirmative action in public universities admission decisions.  While this case was limited to the

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Ride Sharing: The Big Opportunity for Cities

Uber, Lyft and Sidecar present cities with the opportunity to radically transform transportation in their communities. If cities make use of the lessons they are learning from work with car share firms like Zip Car and with bike share programs, they are likely to achieve remarkable success in the newest iteration of the sharing economy.

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3 Ways Cities are Leading in Energy Innovation

This is the second blog in a series on why the key to protecting our environment lies in city innovation. It’s no accident that “energy” is one of the main components of city sustainability plans. If we drilled down, much of these efforts likely focus on buildings. With buildings representing 39 percent of the nation’s

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WUF7: Final Thoughts on My Week in Medellin

This is the seventh post in a series of blogs on the World Urban Forum 7 in Medellin, Colombia. Had my trip to the World Urban Forum been limited to a tour of the city of Medellin, the trip would have been worth it. This is truly a city on the rise. Gone is the

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Earth Day Reflections from an Urbanophile

This is the first blog in a series on why the key to protecting our environment lies in city innovation.  I grew up feeling a lot of guilt on Earth Day. When April 22 of every year came around, I felt a huge pile of bricks dropped on my shoulders. How many more natural resources

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WUF7: City Resiliency — Facing the Reality of Natural and Man Made Disasters

This is the sixth post in a series of blogs on the World Urban Forum 7 in Medellin, Colombia. Throughout the week long meeting of the World Urban Forum in Medellin, Colombia, there was clear agreement: Our climate is changing, temperatures are increasing, sea levels are rising, droughts are worsening, storms are becoming more violent, fires are

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Answering the Call to “Save our Sons”

As teams from 11 cities across the nation gathered in Oakland last week to share ideas on how to improve life outcomes for young black men and boys, energy and commitment levels were high. Following President Obama’s launch of his My Brother’s Keeper initiative, the room buzzed with a palpable sense that the stars were

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