TABLE of CONTENTS July 2014

The Hoover Dam
The Hoover Dam David Kidd/Governing
Cover Story

Drought-Plagued Regions Struggle to Conserve Water and Make Money

BY Tom Arrandale

The more water people save, the more money utilities lose. They're looking far afield for a solution.

FEATURES

How Millennials Can Make Their Mark on Unions

Younger workers can bring a new energy to organized labor. But if unions want to attract millennials, they’ll have to change some of their ways. BY Alan Greenblatt

How North Carolina Turned So Red So Fast

Until Republicans took control, the state had long been known as an outpost of Southern progressivism. This year’s elections may indicate whether the state’s shift to the hard right is in step with most voters. BY Chris Kardish

Governments Struggling to Get Social Media Right

Social media is the ultimate government transparency, which is why public officials need to not only get used to it but also get good at it. Here’s how. BY Jonathan Walters

Why Would You Have a Highway Run Through a City?

That’s what a growing number of cities are asking themselves -- Syracuse being the latest that may tear down its elevated urban expressway. BY Daniel C. Vock

POLITICS + POLICY

Headlines

Public-Sector Unions' Newest Members: College Athletes?

A recent court ruling has spurred some states to decide whether college athletes can organize. BY Liz Farmer
Election

America's Looming Crisis in Voting Technology

The nation’s voting equipment is quickly becoming obsolete. But even if local governments could afford upgrades, no new machines exist to buy. BY J.B. Wogan
Health & Human Services

Houston Passes What May Be the Nation’s First Anti-Hoarding Law

Echoing the format of reality TV shows, the city hopes to address not just safety hazards but the mental illnesses that drive people to hoard. BY Mike Maciag
Assessments

Are Suburbs All They’re Cracked Up to Be?

As suburban poverty rises, cities aren’t as enthusiastic about annexing the suburbs anymore. BY Alan Ehrenhalt
Potomac Chronicle

The Great Water Paradox

With far too little water in some places and far too much in others, U.S. governments can no longer ignore climate change. BY Peter A. Harkness
Politics

Can Governors Balance National Ambitions with Concerns Back Home?

Governors like Mitt Romney have typically lost popularity at home when they made a run for the presidency. Will the current governors being talked about as potential 2016 candidates suffer the same fate? BY Louis Jacobson
Health & Human Services

States Want Flexibility for Health Exchange Grants

Some say the federal government will grant states’ requests, while others say it now sees an upside to shifting more states to the federal exchange. BY Chris Kardish
Infrastructure & Environment

How Much Each State Has to Cut Carbon Emissions Under New EPA Regulations

The Environmental Protection Agency used a formula that considers where states are now and where they could be by 2030, leading to wide variation in emissions targets. BY Chris Kardish
Economic Engines

Do Cities Really Want Economic Development?

A poor economy and all the problems that come with it actually benefit some people, giving powerful players less incentive to improve the status quo for the rest. BY Aaron Renn
Urban Notebook

How to Keep Construction from Killing Businesses

Scaffolding, closed roads, hidden store signs, you name it. Public works projects annoy customers and hurt businesses. But there’s a lot cities can do to soften the blow. BY Scott Beyer

PROBLEM SOLVER

Politics

The Citizens Most Vocal in Local Government

Citizen participation in local government is abysmally low, but a national survey shows what types of people are most and least likely people to speak up. BY Mike Maciag
Smart Management

The Benefits of Sizing Your State Up to Others

Oregon’s workers’ compensation reform shows benchmarking (when done right) can lead to big gains in efficiency. BY Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene
Better Government

The Real Threat to Democracy: Money Problems

Prudent fiscal stewardship is essential to self-government. BY Mark Funkhouser
Tech Talk

A Quick Way to Build a Wireless Network

Local governments are using mesh networks to stay connected during outages, offer high-speed Wi-Fi and breach the digital divide. But it’s not perfect. BY Tod Newcombe
Public Money

Can Governments Give the People What They Want?

It’s not that governments don’t want to give the public the services they demand, it’s that they increasingly can’t afford to -- even by raising taxes. BY Frank Shafroth
Urban

Outdoor Art Takes Center Stage

Museums in several cities are hanging art on walls throughout the streets. BY David Kidd