The Localist Papers

Can cities protect our local elections from foreign interference?

A decade after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United substantially altered how money...

Will Austin Join Cities Leading Efforts To Improve Democracy?

Much has changed in Texas's Implementation of democracy since September 5, 1836 when Sam...

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How Texas progressives’ blue dreams for their red state again became a hunt for the white whale of U.S. politics

Once again, in the aftermath of the 2020 election, dreams of a Blue Texas remain just that – dreams. And thus, a Blue Texas...

Republicans like Sen. Ted Cruz once stood up to Donald Trump — they need to do so again for our democracy

The 2016 Republican Party Iowa Caucus results gave us a preview of how Donald Trump responds to an election loss. In the afterglow of what...

‘Caste,’ an election and the resonance of racism below the surface of liberal, progressive America

Review: Caste– The Origins of Our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson, 2020, 475 pp., Random House As the razor-edged finale to a presidential election riven by ambiguity reaches...

When That Day Comes

We’re waiting for the day when we can say, it’s over, foreverWe’re tired of all the lies, and all the guys who’ve gone to...

How Texas rebuffed billions in ACA aid to insure the poor, and how Austin and other cities could fix it

The Affordable Care Act, or ACA, the signature policy of President Barack Obama’s administration, was the culmination of nearly a century of contentious policy...

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The radical remaking of Austin’s ...

For a glimpse of the future of water in fast-growing Austin and Central Texas, don’t look to the past of reengineered rivers, multi-dam reservoirs and centralized treatment...

On cities, primary colors and the meaning of ‘geo-urbanism’

“Urbānitūs – the magazine of geo-urbanism” is frankly not a journal for the faint-hearted. At 6,000 words plus, our adjacent opening day monograph on the urban...

On cities’ ‘OK boomer’ face-off with state and national governments

Let’s call it the infantilization of cities. It’s more than a little ironic: as cities are handed ever more responsibility, and grow ever more assertive in...

Gentrification is not a byproduct of planned urban growth, it is the plan

Among those living in Austin since the turn of the century, one is constantly confronted by the bracing reality of gentrification. It is, so the consensus...

Dogs to roads to human rights — Austin’s direct democracy decades

In early November, Austin voters nixed a proposal to rethink the Austin Convention Center and skirmishes at the ballot box are surely brewing for...