As Governing’s urban policy writer, Brian covers a broad array of issues affecting the nation’s cities. Before joining Governing, Brian was an opinion editor with The Hill newspaper, where he focused on publishing op-eds on criminal justice, race and education. He also written extensively on police reform and public health.  

March 16, 2018

California's Biggest (and Most Surprising) Marijuana Opponent

As an African-American Democrat, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas isn't like a lot of other anti-drug advocates.
March 15, 2018

Black Students Have Longer Commutes Under School Choice

Of the cities studied, only in New Orleans did white students travel farther than their black peers.
March 8, 2018

Daylight Saving Time? Some States Could Soon Ditch It.

Florida is closest to ending the clock-changing practice, but other states have flirted with the idea.
March 7, 2018

Connecticut Goes to War With NRA

The NRA has "in essence become a terrorist organization," said Gov. Dannel Malloy, who is considering cutting it out of the state's gun permitting process. It's not the only state, however, that directs funds toward the group.
March 7, 2018

With Some Homeownership Incentives Gone, Will More Americans Actually Rent?

Republicans eliminated some of the tax benefits for owning a home. But experts aren't sure how much that will matter.
March 6, 2018

3 Cities Lead Fight Against Human Trafficking

Atlanta, Chicago and Minneapolis have won funding to better identify and help victims.
March 6, 2018

So Many Tweets and Calls, So Little Time: How Governments Can Manage It All

Emails, voicemails, texts, Facebook and Twitter have made it easier for residents to reach out to governments -- and harder for governments to respond.
March 2, 2018

Mainland Mayors Partner With Puerto Rico Leaders to Help Rebuild

More than 40 city leaders have joined a new exchange to share disaster relief expertise with their local counterparts on the island.
February 27, 2018

Do School Vouchers Help Kids Get to College? Studies Offer Mixed Results.

New studies suggest that school vouchers have minimal impact on college enrollment and even less of an effect on college graduation rates.
February 26, 2018

Is Flint's Water Crisis Leading to Lower Test Scores?

Barely one in 10 students scored proficient on recent state reading exams.
February 21, 2018

This Anti-Violence Program Has Been Proven to Cut Crime. Can It Work in Baltimore?

The Roca program has helped keep hundreds of youths out of jail in Massachusetts. Now officials want to transplant that success to one of the toughest crime cities in the nation.
February 12, 2018

Trump Proposes Unprecedented Expansion of School Choice

The president's budget calls for a $1.1 billion investment in school choice.
February 7, 2018

In School Funding Fight, Connecticut Weighs Uncertain Next Steps

Everyone agrees the state's education system isn't working. But no one can agree on how to fix it.
January 31, 2018

Murder, Scandal and a State Intervention: What's Going on With Baltimore's Police Department?

Homicide rates are at an all-time high in the city, and its police department has been mired in turmoil. The state is stepping in.
January 19, 2018

Children May Suffer Worst Effects of Housing Crunch

The number of children packed into overcrowded homes remains high and comes at a tremendous social cost.
January 10, 2018

Cold-Weather Closures Expose Years of Underinvestment in Urban Schools

Thanks to a generation of underfunding, many big-city school districts now face deteriorating buildings and billions of dollars in maintenance needs.
January 9, 2018

GOP Tax Law Could Starve Cities of Revenue

Housing experts predict that the tax overhaul will spur home values and property tax revenues to drop, forcing cities to find new ways to raise money -- or to cut spending.
January 4, 2018

Cities May Be Facing a New Housing Crisis

As rents and demand for renting increase, millions of Americans are being evicted -- sometimes with only a few days' notice.
December 14, 2017

With Recount Over, Atlanta's Next Mayor Faces a Changing City

The recount on Thursday confirmed Keisha Lance Bottoms' lead, likely keeping the city's decades-long tradition of black mayors alive. But shifting demographics will change how people lead it.
November 21, 2017

To Reduce Recidivism, New York City Tries a Bold New Approach

The city is eliminating short-term jail sentences for low-level misdemeanors. Other cities will undoubtedly be watching the impact.
November 15, 2017

As Bill de Blasio Enters Second Term, Progressives Push for More

After four years in office, the New York mayor has a mixed reputation among liberals. But he seemingly has a chance to change that.
October 9, 2017

Columbus Day? In More Than 50 Cities, It's Indigenous Peoples Day.

What started as a fringe movement has gained steam in recent years.
October 2, 2017

Before Las Vegas Shooting, Nevadans Voted for Stricter Gun Control. Then the State Refused to Enforce It.

Nevada's recent politics suggest just how difficult it can be for states to enact gun control measures -- even when a majority of citizens favor them.
September 28, 2017

Justice Department Ends Era of Pushing Police Reform

The Trump administration's latest reversal of Obama policing strategies instead puts an emphasis on tough-on-crime policies. But the shift will undermine efforts to rebuild relations between communities and police, say many law enforcement officials and experts.
September 8, 2017

For Political Refugees, Hurricanes Pose a Special Threat

When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, it hit one of the country's biggest gateways for refugees -- a population that has already had to rebuild their lives and will now struggle to do it again.
September 1, 2017

Wilmington's Solution to the Opioid Crisis

A coastal North Carolina city ranks first in the nation in opioid abuse. Now it wants to become an innovation hub for battling the crisis.
August 29, 2017

Harvey Has Many Asking: How Hard Is It to Evacuate a Major City?

Houston is the nation's fourth largest city. While all urban areas present unique evacuation challenges, some are bigger than others.
August 29, 2017

A Plan to Combat Gun Violence That Doesn't Focus on Guns

New York City is taking an innovative approach that relies on street-level "violence interrupters" to curb crimes involving weapons. Chicago's been doing it for years.
August 17, 2017

Cities Nationwide Brace for More Alt-Right Protests This Weekend

Are they prepared?