Most of us ignore the electoral process except when we’re voting. We stand in line and punch the card, carefully sweeping off the chads before we put it in the box. And leave the polls believing in the validity of our vote.
It’s become an unsettling fact of political life that as election turnouts dwindle, campaign spending skyrockets. Los Angeles’ recently concluded school board races, which drew a paltry 7.6 percent of potential voters, underscored this point. Ref Rodriguez, who unseated the District 5 incumbent, received most of the $2.2 million contributed by political action committees (PACs) controlled […]
A troubling trend has spread throughout the United States: people have stopped voting in local elections. This has even occurred in hotly contested races with candidates generating national media coverage, as in New York City’s September primary that included Elliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner. Despite their presence and strong mayoral candidates from the city’s leading […]
How a union of Yale employees aligned itself with community activists and won control of a beleaguered city. This article and illustration originally appeared in The American Prospect. Major Ruth became a civic leader because he made a promise to his neighbor, Brian Wingate. Both had moved to the Beaver Hills section of New Haven, […]