Cover Story

How Obama Changed the Relationship Between Washington, the States and the Cities

BY Daniel C. Vock

States haven’t been the willing political partners President Obama once hoped they would be. He’s found some ways to work around that.



LGBT Battle Underscores the Powerlessness of Being Governor in North Carolina

The real power lies with the state’s increasingly conservative legislature, which may be hurting Gov. Pat McCrory’s chances of re-election in November. BY

Who’s an Employee? The Uber-Important Question of Today’s Economy

Sharing economy companies like Uber and Lyft claim that the people who work for them are “independent contractors,” thus ineligible for most employee benefits. That argument may prove difficult to sustain. BY

Streetcars: If You Build It, Will They Come?

Slow to build and expensive to operate, streetcars could be the most maligned mode of transportation in America. Still, cities keep building them. BY

Sweat the Small Stuff

At Denver’s innovative Peak Academy management program, there’s a big focus on celebrating small-scale wins. BY



Why States’ Tax-Cut Fever Has Subsided

After watching tax-slashing states struggle financially, some governors and legislators have stopped calling for cuts. But that doesn’t mean they won’t start again. BY

Why Mixing Business With Politics Is Becoming More Popular

Taking a stance can not only benefit a cause but also a company. BY

A School Construction Mess Proves Money Doesn’t Solve Everything

Despite $1 billion worth of investment, San Diego’s school buildings are still in disrepair. BY

The Death Penalty’s New Skeptics

In states across the country, conservatives are starting to question the cost and legality of capital punishment. BY



Why Affordable Housing Is Hard to Build

There are lots of ideas out there. None of them are working very well. BY

Lobbyists Leave Capitol Hill for the States

Money that lobbyists once spent in Washington is being redeployed to fight battles in state capitals. BY

Uncontested Legislative Races Are Becoming More Common

Some say political parties are missing opportunities to boost their numbers. But others argue quality is more important than quantity. BY

How Jails Are Violating the Law

Most corrections facilities detain mentally ill people instead of providing them with timely care. BY

Simulating a World Without Climate Change

A new tool could help cities test whether (and how much) specific energy policies can slow global warming. BY

Immigration and Income Inequality

Are mayors' open-door policies for illegal immigrants hurting their efforts to raise wages? BY

The Urbanization of the 'Burbs

Regardless of where they live, urban amenities are no longer a bonus but a requirement for many millennials. BY



The Regional Job Credentials Gap

More and more employers are demanding college degrees -- but not all are created equal. BY

The Tricky Trend That’s Blurring Budget Transparency

Governments’ increasing reliance on special funds can put them in financial and legal trouble. BY
On Leadership

A Mayor's Real Job

Running a city is mostly about building community -- and that's never easy. BY

Dot-Govs Get a Much-Needed Facelift

Several big cities are decluttering and redesigning their government websites to make them easier to use. BY

3 Ways to Take P3s to the Next Level

"Blended" models have the potential to bridge some big gaps in infrastructure finance. BY

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