2018

Making (Political) Magic in Anaheim

October 18, 2018 // 0 Comments

By Peter F. Burns Jr. and Matthew O. Thomas | For the past decade, the theme of Disney vs the neighborhoods has dominated Anaheim politics, and this conflict is central to the city’s 2018 elections.  When voters go to the polls in November, they will select a new mayor for the first time in eight years, elect three city council members as part of the city’s new district-election format, and decide on a local living wage referendum, which may or may not eventually apply to Disney. Read More

An Applied Economic Development Project for Urban Politics Classes

October 15, 2018 // 1 Comment

By Aaron Weinschenk | I have the pleasure of teaching an upper-level political science course called “Urban Politics & Policy.” In order to help my students connect what they are learning to real-life situations, I have them (in small groups) create economic development plans for actual U.S. cities. To make the project challenging, I usually pick 6 or 7 struggling U.S. cities and assign them to the groups. (This year’s cities are Detroit, Toledo, Buffalo, Tucson, Stockton, and Memphis). I want students to have to think seriously about issues like poverty and unemployment that are so common in many of today’s urban areas. The groups work on their plans over the course of the semester and at the end give 20-30 minute presentations to the class and turn in professional economic development reports, which are usually around 25-pages. Read More

Urban Governance in the Suburbs: Politics in In-Between Places

October 12, 2018 // 0 Comments

By Hannah Lebovits | Much of our understanding of urban politics and local governance is shaped by a focus on large central cities. Yet, many US residents don’t live in these urban spaces. In fact, a report from the Brookings Institute, notes that the distribution of population in many MSAs is significantly dispersed between the central city and suburbs. And while research on local elections and political behavior is growing, literature on politics in suburban cities remains underdeveloped. Read More

Progressive Local Voters in the U.S. South: Athens, Georgia in 2018

October 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

By Simon Williamson | In May 2018, Athens-Clark County, the home of the University of Georgia, local elections took place alongside gubernatorial and other statewide office primaries, in which  the mayor’s office and five seats on the 10-member unified county commission were up for their regular four-year terms, along with half the schoolboard and two judgeships. Although Athens-Clarke County is ideologically liberal, the 2014 elections for these offices saw moderate and right-leaning candidates win these non-partisan offices. Read More

Chicago’s 2019 Elections and The Legacy of Rahm Emanuel

October 1, 2018 // 0 Comments

By Thomas Ogorzalek and Jaime Domínguez | Incumbent Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel’s recent announcement that he will not seek re-election for a third term (the election is in February 2019, with a possible run-off in April) was an earthquake that shook the city’s political landscape. Despite fairly low approval ratings, Emanuel was still the front-runner in a field in which none of the dozen declared challengers had been elected to major office. Since the announcement, many prominent Chicago pols have explored their options, and the pool of candidates is almost certain to change before the November 26 filing deadline. Chicago’s politics sit at a crossroads, as a relatively progressive and prosperous metropolis in a region where urban crisis and creeping conservative drift have been more common lately. Read More

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 // 8 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

UAR Best Paper Award at APSA 2018

August 31, 2018 // 0 Comments

Urban Affairs Review is sponsoring a $250 award for the Best Paper in Urban or Regional Politics presented at the 2018 American Political Science Association conference. We encourage chairs of all Urban and Local Politics Section panels to nominate papers. We also welcome self-nominations. Papers presented on any panel associated with the conference are eligible for this award.

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Gendered Gentrification in Hong Kong: The Role of Women in Shaping One of the Most Unaffordable Urban Housing Markets

August 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

Minting Ye and Igor Vojnovic | In a recent Urban Affairs Review article we explore how women have been impacting the social and physical upgrading of neighborhoods in one of the most competitive property markets in the world. In 2016, the most expensive apartment in Asia sold in Hong Kong for US$117 million, breaking the old record that was set in that city a year earlier. At the other end of the market spectrum, purchasing an entry-level apartment is also costly, with units as small as 163 square feet selling for $500,000. Being one of the most expensive global real estate markets ensures that space is at a premium. Micro-apartments ranging between 28 square feet to 40 square feet—a fraction of the size of a parking spot—are available across the city. Read More