No one could accuse Mee Moua of lacking political courage. This spring, just weeks after the Democrat won a special election to the Minnesota Senate, she jumped feet-first into an emotional debate over whether the state ought to mandate reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in schools.
An election year is a notoriously awkward time to push contentious legislation. Why irritate powerful special interests--let alone some portion of the electorate--when your colleagues want everything to be as calm as possible?
For someone who grew up in Philadelphia, Shirley Franklin has the
perfect Atlanta pedigree. That may explain why she managed a few weeks
ago to win the city's mayoralty without a runoff, and will take office
next month as Atlanta's first female chief executive.
Local economic development efforts operate according to two broad
assumptions. If you're going to have a separate development arm, the
thinking goes, it should be a public-private partnership. And if it's
going to compete successfully, it has to have a bundle of direct
incentives--especially tax write-offs--to throw at businesses.
Perhaps because their experience with online government is so new,
local governments remain unsure of how to make room for it within
their organizations. In many--probably in most--it remains the domain
of information technology staff. But this, says Byron West, Denver's
director of television and Internet services, "is like trying to steer
the ship from the engine room."
In 1979, Richard Howorth moved back to Oxford, Mississippi, to open a
bookstore. He had more than simple commerce in mind. Oxford was home
to the University of Mississippi and William Faulkner's native turf,
yet it remained a cultural backwater, remembered around the country,
if at all, as the site of anti-desegregation riots in the early 1960s.
Howorth, who'd grown up in Oxford, saw his store as a place of
culture, literacy and broad-mindedness that could help the town
nurture those values in itself.