TABLE of CONTENTS March 2012

Cover Story

Portland Struggles to Remain a Leader in Public Transit

BY Ryan Holeywell

Reduced revenue and federal funding, combined with unsustainable employee costs, are making it difficult for the Oregon city to stay on top.

FEATURES

Kris Kobach Tackles Illegal Immigration

Kansas’ secretary of state is redefining immigration laws not only in his state, but in Arizona and elsewhere. BY Alan Greenblatt

Struggling Cities Strike Deals to Solve Fiscal Problems

More cities are making private deals to save their finances. The results aren’t always good. Plus, a map of financially-distressed localities. BY Kirk Victor

Can Education Data Build the Perfect Teacher?

How student test scores are used to evaluate teachers is at the heart of the unresolved issues causing Chicago’s first strike in 25 years. BY Dylan Scott

New Orleans’ Latino Population Boom

After Hurricane Katrina, Latinos moved into the city in record numbers and have transformed the disaster-struck town. BY Zach Patton

POLITICS + POLICY

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Meet Occupy Wall Street's Favorite Banker

Activists hope to recreate the Bank of North Dakota's model for lending. BY Ryan Holeywell
Infrastructure & Environment

Subway Riders Sue New York City to Prevent Another Crisis

After being trapped on a train for eight hours with no food, water or heat in the middle of winter, passengers want to make sure it doesn’t happen again. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Local News

The Eerie Interior of Miami Marine Stadium

After 20 years of neglect, the waterfront venue has been completely transformed -- for the worse. One group wants to restore it to its former glory. BY Ryan Holeywell
Economic Development

Maryland’s Local Leaders Criticize Growth Plan

Gov. Martin O’Malley says his controversial plan will help manage the state’s growth while protecting rural areas and the Chesapeake Bay. But is he overreaching? BY Caroline Cournoyer
Dispatch

Occupy Wall Street: What Does Its Future Hold?

The movement’s founder says short, surprise occupations and targeted messaging could force officials to address income inequality. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Potomac Chronicle

Despite Corruption Concerns, D.C. Improves Services

Amid several ethics scandals, the city government has dramatically improved its delivery of services -- even as demand has increased. BY Caroline Cournoyer
FedWatch

CDBG Cuts Even Greater Than Expected in Some Places

Cities and counties knew they'd lose CDBG money in 2012. But a quirk in the formula is causing some to see even larger cuts. BY Ryan Holeywell
Courts & Corrections

Aging Inmates Squeeze Health-Care Budgets

As prisoners get older and develop expensive health problems, states are looking for ways to cut costs. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Economic Development

States Ease Farmers Markets Food-Safety Regulations

The number of farmers markets has exploded in recent years, and states want to make sure they stay in business. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Economic Engines

Redevelopment Financing Gets an Overhaul in California

The governor eliminated the state’s redevelopment agencies -- and the way it funds urban revitalization. Now the Golden State must find new money sources. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Urban Notebook

Better Zoning through Breaking Old Codes

Form-based codes have emerged as a powerful tool for city planners who want to stop the sprawl that’s resulted from bad zoning rules. BY Caroline Cournoyer

PROBLEM SOLVER

Technology

Electronic Warrants Raise Hawaii’s Revenue

Switching from paper to electronic traffic warrants has reduced backlogs and put more money from previously unpaid speeding tickets in Hawaii’s state coffers. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Smart Management

Is Government Consolidation Always Good?

In tight times, governments push for more centralization. But it doesn’t always produce the positive results that are hoped for. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Tech Talk

Technology Is Not a Cure-All Solution to Education’s Problems

Giving every student a laptop won’t close the achievement gap. Careful policymaking to make sure the tools are used to improve learning might. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Finance

State Tax Codes in Need of Repair

State tax codes are filled with a legion of special treatments that could very well lead to a state’s fiscal destruction. BY Caroline Cournoyer
Energy & Environment

David Bragdon: New York City’s Sustainability Man

David Bragdon is responsible for making sure the city meets more than 400 sustainability goals before next year. BY Caroline Cournoyer