Natalie previously covered immigrant communities and environmental justice as a bilingual reporter at CityLab and CityLab Latino. She hails from the Los Angeles area and graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in English literature. 

June 1, 2018

With Shootings on the Rise, Schools Turn to 'Active Shooter' Insurance

Gun violence costs lives -- and money. The financial burden can overwhelm governments, especially when they're small or struggling.
May 31, 2018

Welcome to Babcock Ranch: America’s First Solar-Powered Town

The Florida city bills itself as a utopia for the environmentally conscious. After decades of planning, people are finally starting to move in.
April 24, 2018

Washington Governor: 'We Got the Best Weed in the United States'

Appearing on "Real Time with Bill Maher," Jay Inslee gave one of the most glowing reviews from a governor of the marijuana industry.
April 19, 2018

Would Changing the Rules for Police Change the Outcomes?

In the wake of Stephon Clark's death, California is considering the strictest rules in the country about when deadly force can be used. But they may not impact criminal cases against cops.
April 10, 2018

A Major City's Solution to Teachers' Money Problems: Let Them Live at School

Miami is taking the trend of teacher housing one step further than other places. But do teachers want to live where they work -- even if it means cheaper rent?
April 3, 2018

Do Weak Labor Laws Actually Spur More Teacher Strikes?

The recent protests in conservative states point to a potentially counterintuitive reality.
March 30, 2018

Cambridge Analytica Fallout Spreads to State Legislatures

The firm used improperly obtained Facebook data to help the GOP take back the Colorado Senate. Most of the lawmakers who might have benefited are remaining silent as Democrats call on the state to investigate.
March 27, 2018

Are Massachusetts Gun Laws a Model for the Country?

The state has the lowest gun death rate in the country. Congress is considering a bill that would incentivize other states to copy its firearm policies.
March 22, 2018

Trump Wants to Execute Drug Dealers -- But Most States Won't

In the state the president previewed his new policy, a bipartisan bill to ban the death penalty just passed, representing a growing opposition to the practice.
March 20, 2018

With No Power to Pass Gun Laws, Florida Cities Prepare Plan B (and C)

Florida's failure to ban assault weapons has angered some local officials, but they have few options for recourse. Some are taking the issue to voters, while others are challenging a state law that bans cities from passing gun laws.
March 14, 2018

What DOJ’s California Lawsuit Means for Immigrant Sanctuaries Across the Country

The White House indicated that it may sue other states with policies similar to California's. Does it have a case anywhere else?
March 7, 2018

West Virginia Teachers Strike Inspires Talk of Protest in Other States

The success of the statewide walkout, which ended on Wednesday, could spur similar movements across the country at a time when the fate of unions is in the Supreme Court's hands.
March 1, 2018

Utah Lawmakers Are Not Good Rappers

Members of the state House released a parody video explaining how a bill becomes a law “with a surprise twist.”
February 28, 2018

Washington State Passes Nation's Toughest Net Neutrality Law

It's the first legislature to pass a law of this kind since the FCC repealed federal net neutrality regulations in December. Lawsuits are likely to follow.
February 26, 2018

The Fight for Environmental Justice and the Rise of Citizen Activism

(And the tenacity of a guy named mark! Lopez)
February 25, 2018

At Governors Meeting, Guns Absent From Agenda

The National Governors Association largely avoided the topic of guns at its meeting this weekend, suggesting that -- despite some Republicans' recent embrace of gun control -- there is still a lack of bipartisan agreement about how to make schools safer.
February 22, 2018

For Millennials and By Millennials: The Rise of the Future Caucus

Congress and almost half the states have a bipartisan caucus dedicated to working on issues that young people care about.
February 21, 2018

Post-Parkland, Some Unlikely States Embrace Gun Control

The mass shooting at a Florida high school may be turning the tide of gun politics as some Republicans, including President Trump, embrace the idea of gun control.
February 16, 2018

How the New Tax Law Could Slow Disaster Recovery in Small Towns

A lesser-known provision in the GOP tax overhaul ends the benefits for victims of small-scale disasters.
February 14, 2018

Does Rent Control Do More Harm Than Good?

A new study suggests that policies meant to keep rents down actually jack them up overall, reduce the rental stock and fuel gentrification.
February 13, 2018

56 AGs Join Forces Against Workplace Sexual Harassment

In a rare moment of bipartisanship, attorneys general from every U.S. state and territory signed a letter asking Congress to stop employers from forcing sexual harassment claims to be resolved out of court.
February 12, 2018

EPA to States and Cities: This Is Your Job Now

President Trump’s proposed budget would slash funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, leaving states and localities with an extra burden.
February 12, 2018

Facebook's Brewing Legal Battle With States and Cities

Last week, Seattle became the first city to crack down on the secrecy surrounding online political ads. Experts say it likely won't be the last.
February 1, 2018

Maggots With a Side of Dirt? What Privatization Does to Prison Food

The meals served to prisoners have been a catalyst for riots throughout history. Prison advocates and workers say outsourcing the kitchens to companies only makes them worse.
January 23, 2018

Some States Want to Save Net Neutrality, But Can They?

On Monday, Montana became the first to reinstate some of the rules the FCC repealed. The question of whether states have the right to do that, however, will likely end up in court.
January 18, 2018

It's Not Just Washington. At Least 3 Other States Share Drivers' Immigration Info With ICE.

After learning about this information exchange last week, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a vocal critic of Trump's immigration policies, quickly restricted it.
January 18, 2018

Coming Soon to Solitary Confinement Cells: Nature Videos

After a study showed that watching nature videos can have positive benefits for inmates, some prisons are adding them to their lineup.
January 8, 2018

Can Politicians Be Jailed for Supporting Sanctuary Policies?

In a Fox News interview last week, Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said he believes they should be charged with crimes. Legal experts say that's likely not possible.
December 28, 2017

How Artists Are Helping Governments Reach Everyday People

Step 1: Attract citizens with interactive art installations. Step 2: Talk to them about the community.
December 18, 2017

Months After Federal Warnings About Russian Software, Local Governments Respond

President Trump signed a bill last week that bans Kaspersky Lab software on federal computers. Local governments were initially hesitant to stop using it, but most are now following the feds' lead.
December 8, 2017

Net Neutrality Repeal Could Be Bad News for Cities, Mayors Warn

They say their economies could suffer if the FCC repeals net neutrality regulations.
December 1, 2017

Central Florida Already Struggled to Provide Health Care and Affordable Housing. Then Hurricane Refugees Poured In.

The region is coping with one of the biggest influxes of Puerto Ricans fleeing the hurricane-ravaged island.
November 17, 2017

This May Be the Key to Graduating At-Risk Students

It turns out that how long a mentor sticks around can have a huge impact. One organization is working with schools to follow kids from kindergarten to graduation, and it's expanding to more cities.
November 15, 2017

Is Trump's Presidency Actually Inspiring More Millennials to Run?

Many have predicted it would. But when younger candidates do launch campaigns, it's typically for state or local positions.
November 6, 2017

In Texas and Beyond, Loopholes Let Domestic Abusers Own Guns

Federal law prohibits convicted domestic abusers like the Sutherland Springs shooter from owning firearms. But enforcing the law requires proper reporting and the help of states, say gun control advocates.
November 3, 2017

Will Global Warming Make Air Conditioning a Legal Right?

Across the country, prisoners or their families are suing states for heat conditions they argue amount to cruel and unusual punishment.
October 6, 2017

Should Public Schools Teach Kids How to Interact With Police?

States are starting to require it. Ironically, police advocates and groups like Black Lives Matter agree that the new laws are problematic.
September 28, 2017

How Cities Can Protect Poor People and Minorities From Climate Change

They're the most vulnerable to disasters, but they don't have to be.
September 25, 2017

Why Trump's 'Sanctuary Cities' Policy Is Likely to Lose in Court

But even if courts block the Trump administration from defunding cities sympathetic to immigrants, Congress could still carry out the White House's wishes.
September 18, 2017

California Is Now an Official 'Sanctuary State.' Will Others Follow?

A couple of other states are considering similar bills. It was an uphill battle -- even in one of the most pro-immigrant states.
September 18, 2017

(In)Justice From the Inside: Tales From a Woman Embedded in America's Largest Court

"It clearly shows that something is going wrong in that system when a grandmother is raising her hands like she might be shot," says author and professor Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve.
September 15, 2017

Food Deserts and the Policy Power of Maps

It's hard to fix a problem you can't see. So Maryland made its lack of healthy food options very visible.
September 14, 2017

Drinking Water Isn't Safe for Millions of Americans. It's Up to States to Fix.

A new report documents what environmental advocates say has been happening for decades: The federal government fails to protect Americans from potentially cancer-causing chemicals. And they have little hope that will change anytime soon.
September 6, 2017

Harvey Has Made Houston More Immigrant-Friendly, But for How Long?

Although the disaster spurred federal, state and local authorities to put immigration enforcement on pause, many undocumented people are still fearful and likely to be left behind in the recovery.
August 28, 2017

Trump Reverses Obama's Ban on Military Gear Going to Police

President Trump signed an executive order on Monday, marking the administration's latest departure from its predecessor's policing policies.
August 25, 2017

Can States and Cities Stop ICE From Impersonating Police?

California recently outlawed the practice, but it's unlikely to change immigration officers' behavior. The legislation highlights the tactic's murky legality.
August 23, 2017

How Much Climate Change Will Cost Each U.S. County

It's not just an environmental issue, and for the first time, researchers have calculated global warming's potential economic impact on each county.
August 11, 2017

The Rise of the 'Night Mayor' in America

The concept caught fire in Europe and is gaining relevance in large and small cities across the Atlantic.
August 9, 2017

Is California's Housing Plan Missing the Mark?

The state's lawmakers are working on ways to address its affordable housing crisis, but advocates and academics say they're not going about it in the best way.
August 7, 2017

California Sterilized More People Than Any U.S. State But Has Yet to Compensate Victims

What's taking the progressive state so long to right its historical wrongs?
August 1, 2017

Black Lives Matter Activist-Turned-Politician Wants You to Rethink the South

khalid kamau wants to prove that you don't have to be wealthy, white or in California for progressive policies to work.
July 25, 2017

Why Are Local Governments Using a Russian Software the Feds Won't?

The reasons spotlight cities' funding and workforce struggles that cybersecurity experts have warned about for years.
July 21, 2017

Advocating for the Environment When Your Rural Town Won't

Environmental advocacy is difficult in the Trump era. In rural areas, it's even harder. “To be personally attacked for speaking up, to be silenced, it was devastating to me," says one resident who tried to fight fracking in her rural Pennsylvania county.
July 19, 2017

Sessions' New Order Lets Police Circumvent State Laws on Civil Asset Forfeiture

State politicians on both sides of the aisle have increasingly worked to curb the practice. Now, the attorney general may have made their efforts pointless.
July 17, 2017

How a Cashless Society Would Harm the Poor

Businesses and governments are going cashless. Anti-poverty advocates say the change is problematic for low-income people, but they disagree on how to solve it.
July 14, 2017

Meet the Mayor Who Used Millennials to Revive Her Small Town

Erwin, Tenn., was struggling. Then its mayor did something many public officials usually don't: She listened to young people.
June 29, 2017

With FCC Blocked, Will States Make Prison Calls Affordable?

They're too expensive for many low-income families, but courts recently ruled that the federal government can’t regulate their cost. States still can.
June 21, 2017

Can States and Cities Really Uphold the Paris Climate Deal?

They have pledged to carry out the landmark accord on behalf of America. We asked environmental experts for the most effective and politically practical ways they can help do that.
June 7, 2017

How an Eco-Friendly Rideshare Is Changing Life in a Tiny Rural Town

Residents of a California farm community have come up with a model solution for an all-too-common transportation problem.
June 6, 2017

Why Kids Should Be Part of Adult Education

A group of grad students has won national recognition for their solution to a problem that plagues lower-income people across America.
May 31, 2017

Don't Mess With Raul Reyes, Mayor of the Tiny Town That's Suing Texas

He was first elected as a 21-year-old. More than a decade later, he has put himself and his border community at the center of the national immigration debate over "sanctuary cities."
May 25, 2017

Civilian Oversight Appeals to Many, But Is It Always Effective?

The controversial passage of a new voter-approved law in Los Angeles illustrates the complexities of civilian review boards. Experts say there are better ways for civilians to keep cops accountable.
May 17, 2017

Tips for States and Cities Trying to Raise Workers' Wages

It's all about collective bargaining, according to a new report.
May 16, 2017

Can Rewards for Not Texting and Driving Break the Habit?

We'll soon find out as high school students in Georgia test a new award-winning app to reduce distracted driving.
May 12, 2017

Text Alert: St. Louis' Post-Ferguson Approach to Court Fines

The county's court system is still a confusing tangle of fees and court dates. The creators of a new online tool hope to change that.