Month: September 2014

How Local Government Hiring Addresses Growing Wage Gap

Public sector employment has consequences for the quality of economic recovery since the majority of local government jobs are mid-wage. Getty Images It’s no secret that although national employment is on the upswing, the type of job growth we’re experiencing is troublesome. Low-wage jobs are growing more quickly than high-wage jobs, with mid-wage jobs trailing

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Cities Focus on Action, Not Politics, To Tackle Climate Change

For many communities across the country, climate change isn’t a partisan debate; it’s a threat to their way of life. Saint Paul, Minn. The United Nations put climate change on the top of its agenda this week, inviting leaders from 125 countries to a special summit focused on spurring international action. President Obama in a

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The Supreme Court and Simple Math

Its simple math. Really. But will the Supreme Court do it? The lower court refused. The question in Alabama Department of Revenue v. CSX Transportation is whether a state discriminates against rail carriers in violation of federal law even when rail carriers pay less in total state taxes than motor carriers? No, argues a State

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A 20-Year Shift in Neighborhood Investing

A new condo building stands in the the lower east side of Manhattan. Source: Getty Images. Where we live, the kind of homes we occupy and the quest for a place of our own remains closely tied to that goal on the horizon we call, The American Dream. Consequently, our nation’s leaders, including those at

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Transportation Funding Needed for National Park Service

The National Park Service manages nearly 10,000 miles of roadways — 1,100 miles of which are major parkways. George Washington Parkway 04 2012 1403 by Mariordo (Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz) – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons. If the mention of transportation for national parks leads you to conjure images of dirt roads and unpaved

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How Cities Balance Urban Development and Affordability

“The recovery of the housing market in many cities is the very definition of a double-edged sword.” Earlier this year, President Obama named a mayor to be the new Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It’s no surprise that former San Antonio Mayor, Julián Castro was appointed to this position – the

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Supreme Court and Local Governments: What Will the Court Accept Next?

While the Supreme Court’s next term officially begins on October 6, its “long conference” is September 29.  At this conference the Court will review a backlog of petitions that have been piling up over the summer. SCOTUSblog compiles a list of petitions that it thinks have a reasonable chance of being granted.  Eight of the petitions

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Using Data to Improve Accountability in Economic Development Programs

This post was written by Ellen Harpel, founder of Smart Incentives and president of Business Development Advisors LLC (BDA), an economic development and market intelligence consulting firm. Post originally appeared on the Smart Incentives blog. Data is one of the key elements of the Smart Incentives 4×4 framework that enables communities to make sound investment decisions. Unfortunately,

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Protecting Federalism: Still the Battle Cry of Cities

The year 1995 was a time of “reinventing government,” with both the Clinton Administration and the new Republican majority Congress pledging to streamline government, balance the federal budget, and shift policy responsibilities to states, local governments and the private sector. Fundamental questions about the roles and responsibilities of government took center stage in Washington. One

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