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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Voteria And Democratic Engagement Strategies, Antonio Gonzalez Feb 2016

Voteria And Democratic Engagement Strategies, Antonio Gonzalez

Local Government Reconsidered

"The Question: Improving Democratic Engagement: How Do You Create The Right Environment for Local Democracy? This panel will discuss ways local institutions (e.g., service clubs, business, family, religious communities, media and entertainment institutions) can strengthen civil society and foster democracy, especially in contexts where there is low voter turnout and disengagement with local government decision-making."


Kindness Initiative, Tom Tait Feb 2016

Kindness Initiative, Tom Tait

Local Government Reconsidered

"Five years ago, when Tom Tait began his first term as the Mayor of the Great City of Anaheim, he took the reins of a complex set of challenges.

To most of the world, Anaheim is known as the home of world-class sports teams, internationally renowned attractions, and of course - a very famous mouse. Yet in stark parallel, the city also faced some of the most challenging issues to confront a mayor; homelessness, drug abuse, gang violence and human trafficking.

However Tom had a plan. A single strategy to bring together the polar opposites; to empower law enforcement, community leaders ...


Los Angeles County: A Global Metropolis With A Rancho-Era Governing Body, Peter Hong Feb 2016

Los Angeles County: A Global Metropolis With A Rancho-Era Governing Body, Peter Hong

Local Government Reconsidered

"I open with this tale mainly to give context to a remarkable fact of Los Angeles County government: Ten million people, spread over 4,000 square miles, are governed today by a Board of Supervisors with five members, just as it was during the earliest years of statehood in the Wild West. We can now fly across the country faster than it would have taken Vasquez’s band to go from Monterey Park to San Fernando through the Arroyo Seco, yet we maintain a government structure configured in the horse and telegraph days."


Metropolitan Governance Reform, Myron Orfield, Baris Dawes Feb 2016

Metropolitan Governance Reform, Myron Orfield, Baris Dawes

Local Government Reconsidered

"The highly fragmented nature of the political systems that govern America’s metropolitan areas contributes mightily to all of these problems. The harms of political fragmentation are many and tightly interrelated. The excessive competition triggered by political fragmentation encourages local jurisdictions to pursue socially and economically undesirable policies. Cities steal malls and office parks from each other, fight tax incentive wars for auto malls, and zone out the poor for fiscal advantage in a process rife with haphazard planning and NIMBY biases. This disjointed status quo scatters new jobs like grapeshot at the furthest edge of development and in so ...


Next Stop City Hall: Towards A World League Of Participatory Cities And Regions, Bruno Kaufman Feb 2016

Next Stop City Hall: Towards A World League Of Participatory Cities And Regions, Bruno Kaufman

Local Government Reconsidered

"Fortunately, there is another side to the backlash against democracy at the national and transnational levels. That side is the subnational one. With urban settlements becoming the preferred place of living, acting and producing across the globe, cities and regions are now quickly evolving into our centers of democracy, the true beacons of people power"


Streetfilms As A Public Resource On Public Space, Clarence Eckerson Jr. Feb 2016

Streetfilms As A Public Resource On Public Space, Clarence Eckerson Jr.

Local Government Reconsidered

"As a livable streets filmmaker for the past twenty years, it’s been both my primary responsibility and passion to document cities around the world, and much of that has revolved around public spaces and the what goes on in them.

The bulk of my work has been done via the website Streetfilms, a non-profit resource promoting “transportation best practices” through short films, where I’ve been the Director for over ten years. In that time, I’ve produced, shot or edited over 700 shorts on the topics of transportation, walking, biking, public plazas, street interventions and open streets public ...


Vienna 2025 - Growing Through More Sustainability, More Open-Mindedness And Participation, Maria Vassilakou Feb 2016

Vienna 2025 - Growing Through More Sustainability, More Open-Mindedness And Participation, Maria Vassilakou

Local Government Reconsidered

"Heading towards the 2 million mark Vienna, a green and social city with a high quality of life, has embarked upon a joint venture between administration, politics and citizens. Numerous programmes, initiatives and projects are supporting this development, making Vienna more sustainable, open and participatory step by step."


Why Cities Need Strategic Plans By Former Portland, Oregon Mayor Sam Adams, Sam Adams Feb 2016

Why Cities Need Strategic Plans By Former Portland, Oregon Mayor Sam Adams, Sam Adams

Local Government Reconsidered

"Will a given public project help a city? Hurt it? Make no difference? What appears to be good for a city might actually be bad. A project that helps out some residents may gentrify out many others. It is often hard to tweeze out the costs, benefits and unintended consequences of the projects and policies that cities take on. Although we will never have a perfect algorithm that weighs the costs and benefits of a given project or policy, we can improve upon relying too much on good intentions and political expedience."


Civic Engagement: Contrasting Input And Participation, Rick Cole Feb 2016

Civic Engagement: Contrasting Input And Participation, Rick Cole

Local Government Reconsidered

"The difference between input and participation can be compared to ham and eggs. The chicken gives her input. The pig participates.

Practically every local government pays lip service to the right of citizens to be involved in decisions that affect them. Officials strive to go beyond the letter of the law, encouraging both ‘input’ and ‘participation.’ These words are often used interchangeably, but they signify radically different frameworks for local democracy and the concept of citizenship."


California's Local Elections, Joe Mathews Feb 2016

California's Local Elections, Joe Mathews

Local Government Reconsidered

"When it comes to understanding the problem of low turnout in California’s local elections, we are overlooking a fundamental cause: Californians are not nearly divided enough."


Connecting Community By Advocacy And Design, Mia Lehrer Feb 2016

Connecting Community By Advocacy And Design, Mia Lehrer

Local Government Reconsidered

"The way we plan our cities and communicate to the public can build a sense of connection to public places. The Trust for Public Land estimates Los Angeles has just nine acres of parkland for every 1,000 residents, and that 52% of Los Angeles residents live within a ½ mile of that parklandi. While this falls between Washington D.C.’s 13.5 park acres and New York’s 4.6, many of Los Angeles’ park acres lie in large regional parks such as Griffith Park and Runyon Canyon Park, leaving much of the city park-poor. Recent research points ...


Making Cities And Counties Work In The 21st Century, William Fulton Feb 2016

Making Cities And Counties Work In The 21st Century, William Fulton

Local Government Reconsidered

"Most American cities are either too big or too small to serve the people who live in them in a cost-effective manner. The system that created them has ossified over time, making change difficult if not impossible. But short of wholesale change, there are some ways cities large and small can become both more responsive and most cost-effective."


Rethinking The Systems Of Public Engagement, Matt Leighninger Feb 2016

Rethinking The Systems Of Public Engagement, Matt Leighninger

Local Government Reconsidered

"Over the last twenty years, local officials have pioneered many new engagement processes, tools, and techniques. Some of them are highly intensive, deliberative discussions with citizens. Others are fast, convenient, information-rich digital tools; still others are online networks that add technological dexterity to the power of face-to-face relationships.

Many of these innovations are not only satisfying citizens, they also demonstrate the potential of public engagement for helping officials make difficult decisions and solve formidable problems. But so far, these innovations have been pursued primarily on a temporary, ad hoc basis, and have not been incorporated into the way that governments ...


Democratic Innovations And Local Governance: An International Perspective, Daniel Schugurensky Feb 2016

Democratic Innovations And Local Governance: An International Perspective, Daniel Schugurensky

Local Government Reconsidered

"In the last two decades, two parallel developments could be observed in many countries around the world. One is a so-called ‘democratic deficit’; the other is the proliferation of participatory democracy experiments. The democratic deficit refers to a general dissatisfaction with the institutions of representative democracy. This is expressed in low voter turnouts, low confidence in government and politicians, low levels of political engagement, and a general weakening of the social contract between citizens and their representatives. For instance, in one of the largest polls on this topic, Gallup and BBC (2005) surveyed 50,000 people in 68 countries, and ...


People With Disabilities, Public Spaces, And Democracy, Art Blaser Feb 2016

People With Disabilities, Public Spaces, And Democracy, Art Blaser

Local Government Reconsidered

I explore accessible environments by examining the nexus between people with disabilities (PWDs), public spaces, and democracy. Understanding this nexus is essential in local governance.


Searching For Virtue In The City: Bell And Her Sisters, George Frederickson, Jack Meek Feb 2015

Searching For Virtue In The City: Bell And Her Sisters, George Frederickson, Jack Meek

Local Government Reconsidered

The burden of our claim here is that virtue in the city is to be found not so much in the abstractions and theorizing of higher philosophy but in “vulgar ethics,” Lewis C. Mainzer’s brilliant description of moral education in the classroom and street-level moral practices in the city’s departments and agencies (1991). The hope of virtue in the city is to be found not just in the individual propensity to be virtuous but more so in the development of political and organizational rules and procedures, in virtuous leadership, and in the development of virtuous public cultures.


Baby Bells, Teri Sforza Feb 2015

Baby Bells, Teri Sforza

Local Government Reconsidered

After Bell scandal broke, many officials asserted that these sorts of startling public payouts were tremendous aberrations, when in reality these scandals have occurred multiple times before. In this white paper Sforza brings attention to municipal corruption scandals throughout the state of California and the lack of attention they recieved when the scandals broke in comparison to Bell's.


City Of Bell - Audit Report: Administrative And Internal Accounting Controls, John Chiang Feb 2015

City Of Bell - Audit Report: Administrative And Internal Accounting Controls, John Chiang

Local Government Reconsidered

This is a report of the State Controller’s Office audit of the City of Bell’s administrative and internal accounting controls system. The audit was conducted at the request Interim City Administrator Pedro Carrillo for an assessment of the adequacy of the city’s controls to safeguard public assets and to ensure proper use of public funds.


City Of Bell – Reformed And Reborn, Doug Willmore Feb 2015

City Of Bell – Reformed And Reborn, Doug Willmore

Local Government Reconsidered

This article looks at the 2010 Bell scandal as the worst form of abuse of the public trust and treasury and how the people of Bell have started to rebuild their city. This paper focuses on the citizens of the Bell community reclaiming and reforming their government. Changes that have occurred since the scandal have included: implementing to enhance transparency and accountability, instituting better governance, and restoring the City’s fiscal health.


Rebuilding Bell, California: Review And Recommendations For Continued Improvement Of Accountability, Oversight And Transparency, Jennifer G. Rodgers, Jacob Watkins Feb 2015

Rebuilding Bell, California: Review And Recommendations For Continued Improvement Of Accountability, Oversight And Transparency, Jennifer G. Rodgers, Jacob Watkins

Local Government Reconsidered

Rodgers looks into the city of Bell, California and its corruption problems in 2010. Bell's city manager at the time, Robert Rizzo, had developed a plan to enrich himself at the city’s expense, and covered his tracks by involving numerous other city officials in his corrupt scheme, including the city councilmembers who were supposed to serve as a check on Rizzo’s power.


Bell: A Total Breakdown, Jeff Gottlieb Feb 2015

Bell: A Total Breakdown, Jeff Gottlieb

Local Government Reconsidered

In this white paper, Jeff Gottlieb writes about uncovering the Bell Scandal while writing an investigative article on possible malfeasance in the neighboring city of Maywood. This breakdown provides a closer look into the corruption of city officials in Bell, specifically focusing on former city administrator, Robert Rizzo.


Unity Through Crisis: How A Latino And Lebanese American Coalition Helped Save Democracy In The City Of Bell, Michael Moodian Feb 2015

Unity Through Crisis: How A Latino And Lebanese American Coalition Helped Save Democracy In The City Of Bell, Michael Moodian

Local Government Reconsidered

This white paper explores how a Latino and Lebanese American coalition helped save democracy in the City of Bell, CA, where an atrocious misappropriation of public funds was uncovered in 2010. The paper provides a brief history of Bell, followed by an explanation of its shifting demographic makeup to a majority Latino municipality. In the 1970s, a small group of immigrants from Yaroun, Lebanon, moved to Bell, establishing a Lebanese American community that currently numbers approximately 2,000. In the aftermath of news coverage of outrageously high municipal salaries in the city, the Bell Association to Stop the Abuse (BASTA ...


Predator State: Corruption In A Council-Manager System–The Case Of Bell, California, Dr. Tom Hogan-Esch Feb 2015

Predator State: Corruption In A Council-Manager System–The Case Of Bell, California, Dr. Tom Hogan-Esch

Local Government Reconsidered

This article seeks to explain recent patterns of corruption in the City of Bell, California. After reviewing the literature on municipal corruption, Progressive reform, and political participation in immigrant communities, the article examines the Bell case study. It argues that the council-manager form of government contributes to civic disengagement in California’s high-immigration cities. Insulated from civic accountability, Bell became effectively a ‘predator state’ as local officials exploited governmental power and resources for personal gain. Implications for political reform and local state- building in high immigration cities are discussed.


Building Basta, Cristina Garcia Feb 2015

Building Basta, Cristina Garcia

Local Government Reconsidered

Before the scandal broke there were plenty of Bell residents that felt something was really wrong with city government. The residents of Bell had no real proof. Getting information was nearly impossible, but there were signs that something was wrong. For example, how does a councilmember from a working class community, where the median income was $30,000 a year, afford to drive around in a $100,000 Mercedes Benz -- when his main source of income was a small corner market? Or, why did property taxes continue to increase, but services continued to decline? And, why did so many Latino ...


Bell And Sacramento, Joe Matthews Feb 2015

Bell And Sacramento, Joe Matthews

Local Government Reconsidered

In this white paper, Matthews explores corruption scandals prior to the Bell Scandal. He also presents two paradoxes to the Bell Scandal. One is that the Bell officials had the power to get into so much trouble in no small part because their power was so limited. Another paradox is that Bell was at once both a white- hot national scandal, singular in the attention it drew, and also just another small chapter in a long-running California scandal.


Corruption On Steroids - The Bell Scandal From The Legal Perspective, David J. Aleshire, Anthony R. Taylor Feb 2015

Corruption On Steroids - The Bell Scandal From The Legal Perspective, David J. Aleshire, Anthony R. Taylor

Local Government Reconsidered

This white paper focuses on the legal aspects of the 2010 Bell Scandal and the appointment of David Aleshire as the first permanent city attorney since the corruption scandal. This white paper provides a look at the current financial situation in the city of Bell and how the city has tried to move past the scandal.