September 2018

Surge in LGBTQ+ and Women of Color Candidates, Yet Obstacles Remain for LGBTQ+ Voters

September 25, 2018 // 0 Comments

By Melina Juárez Pérez | The diversity of political candidates across the states is becoming evident with each election cycle, particularly at the local level. More women of color and LGBTQ+ candidates are not only leading strong competitive campaigns, but also winning office with progressive platforms. In 2017, for example, nine openly transgender candidates won elections mostly at the local level: four in city councils and two in school boards. Minneapolis elected two transgender council members – Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham – making them the first out transgender black woman and first out transgender black man elected to public office in U.S. history. These victories also include Danica Roem’s, a former thrash metal musician and journalist, who defeated 13-term incumbent Bob Marshall in the Virginia House of Delegates. Marshall, a Republican, had a strong anti-LGBTQ and anti-woman track record in the state including filling a discriminatory transgender bathroom bill. Read More

Employer Responses to a City-Level Minimum Wage Mandate: Early Evidence from Seattle

September 14, 2018 // 0 Comments

Jennifer L. Romich | Since 2012, more than 30 cities or counties have raised local minimum wages above the federal standard of $7.25 per hour. New wage laws have taken effect in large urban centers such as Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago, and smaller cities such as Las Cruces, New Mexico and Tacoma, Washington. Advocates for minimum wage laws suggest that such measures will raise wages, reduce income inequality, and make low-wage workers better off; critics counter that higher wages may lead firms to reduce employment, ultimately making workers as a class worse off. Read More

State Government Preemption of Local Government Decisions Through the State Courts

September 5, 2018 // 0 Comments

Jeffrey Swanson and Charles Barrilleaux | Why do state governments preempt local government policies? Devolution is often embraced as a normatively desirable policy goal, as it expands local autonomy and allows for policies to be tailor-made to the needs of a sub-unit’s constituents. Although decentralization has been at the forefront of the states’ rights movement, there has been limited state-level support for decentralization to the local-level. States have granted local governments some autonomy through home rule and enabling legislation but doing so involves a trade-off between the efficiency of internal policy production and potential delegation costs. Disputes between local and state governments are likely to occur when local residents have ideological preferences that differ from those of state officials. This is because local governments are more likely to implement policies that contradict state interests, but the ability for local governments to engage in policy making depends on the level of local autonomy given by the state government. The preemption process is a way for state governments to limit local autonomy, either through statute or in state courts through legal challenges of local ordinances. Read More