In cities around the country, we're seeing the beginning of fundamental change in how governments discharge their regulatory responsibilities. In some cases, this is driven by technology as app-empowered consumers evolve from passive captives of regulated services into an active force for change. In other cases, the changes are originating from within governments as they look for more efficient ways to regulate health and safety.
In recent weeks, for example, Uber unleashed a digital consumer salvo, employing email, social media and TV ads attacking New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's proposed cap on the number of ride-sharing vehicles. It is one of those relatively rare times when consumers, rather than just protected industries, affect regulatory policy. Such an event could not have happened in a pre-social-networked world. Back in 1995, when as mayor of Indianapolis I took on the taxi cartel, only the Urban League, which wanted to enhance service in urban neighborhoods and improve opportunities for minority businesses, joined me in the battle. No consumers found a way to make their voices heard.