Christopher Conte is a former correspondent for GOVERNING.

June 1, 2006

Fat City

Is there a way for a government to fight obesity? Chicago's new health commissioner is trying to figure that out.
February 1, 2006

Expert Exodus

As baby boomers retire, governments are trying to keep knowledge and experience from going out the door with them.
June 1, 2005

The Politics of Preschool

Most states are sold on the benefits of universal preschool, but limited funding may compromise its quality and availability.
August 1, 2004

Dealing with Demons

Seen as a public health problem, suicide is preventable--at least that's an approach several states are starting to take.
June 1, 2003

Deadly Strains

SARS, West Nile virus and bioterrorism are the big scares. But the greater threat is the gradual erosion of public health services.
December 1, 2002

The Boundaries of Choice

A growing number of school districts allow poor children to transfer out of failing public schools. But the most desirable schools rarely let them in.
May 1, 2002

Getting to Know You

Corporations have an insatiable appetite for personal data about the habits of consumers. Critics say they shouldn't compile it without asking permission.
January 1, 2002

Strangers on the Prairie

Iowa's immigrant-friendly policies aren't wildly popular among its residents. But the state has little choice. It needs people.
December 1, 2001

Security Costs Hit Home

State and local budgets are pressed to pay for more police, fire and public health personnel and for new safety equipment.
November 1, 2001

Sudden City

Deciding how to run a newly incorporated city inevitably ignites debate over the role and responsibilities of government.
November 1, 2001

Lois Weisberg: Culture and Whimsy

Promoting fun on city streets
September 1, 2001

James Mejia: Park Fixer

James Mejia owes a lot to his boss, Denver Mayor Wellington Webb. And now Webb is asking much in return: He wants Mejia to clean up the city's scandal-ridden parks and recreation department and, in the process, protect the mayor's own legacy.
May 1, 2001

Ruben Barrales: Beyond Cheerleading

Here's a challenge: Name a White House director of intergovernmental affairs who has ever been a major player in federal policy. If you are stumped, you are in good company. Nominally the liaison between the president and state and local governments, he or she has tended to serve as a glorified social secretary--an aide who leads cheers for the president's programs and handles the protocol when the chief executive gets together with the relevant officials outside Washington, D.C.
April 1, 2001

Boss Thy Neighbor

Homeowner associations are an increasingly prevalent--and troubled-- form of local government.
March 1, 2001

Gwendolyn Faison: Mother Camden

When Mayor Milton Milan was convicted in December on corruption charges, it seemed that the so-called "Curse of Camden" had dropped this dysfunctional New Jersey city to a new low. Milan was the third mayor in 20 years to plead guilty to felony charges, and his fall came as the state of New Jersey, which already supervises some of the city's finances, was pressing for legislation to assume complete control of city operations. But the Camden City Council earned at least a temporary reprieve by making an unorthodox choice as Milan's replacement.
May 1, 2000

The Boys of Sprawl

Free-market think tanks are working hard to convince Americans that Smart Growth is a stupid idea.