What impact could 34 million poor nonvoters make if they started participating in elections?
What does a Pittsburgh race for district attorney have to do with the 2020 presidential election?
Two of the biggest shockers happened in Los Angeles and Orange counties, in races that have historically drawn the most conservative voters: sheriff and district attorney.
Our reporters analyze how a dozen key congressional races and ballot measures played out.
Gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa and state superintendent candidate Marshall Tuck are raking in donations from charter school supporters.
This week, in a run-up to the June 5 primary, we are re-highlighting our profiles of seven Republic congressional districts whose flipping would signal a fundamental groundswell against the Trump administration.
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 by the California Charter Schools Association Advocates. Rodriguez has co-created several charter schools and his backers, unsurprisingly, came from that community. Among the familiar local names of extreme wealth and influence were Eli Broad, Richard Riordan and William Bloomfield. Equally familiar to followers of school privatization were more distant funders such as Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Walmart heir Jim Walton, Laurene Powell Jobs, the Gap Inc.’s Fisher family members and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Rounding out Rodriguez’s cascade of thousand-dollar checks were names associated with high-powered investment firms,
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 constituencies, voter turnout was only 20 percent (22 percent among Democrats). The last time NYC voted for mayor without an incumbent on the ballot, in 2001, the Democratic primary turnout was 30 percent, despite a less competitive field. Los Angeles’ heavily contested March 2013 mayoral primary election—which, as in NYC, offered voters the chance to elect the city’s first female mayor— had only a 15 percent turnout. This rose only to 23 percent in the May runoff, when Eric Garcetti won the mayor’s race with fewer votes than any newly elected mayor since the 1930s.
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, Connecticut, in 2003. A neighborhood of aging single–family homes that had seen better days, Beaver Hills had been targeted by the city for a housing–rehabilitation program, and, with the zeal of new arrivals, Ruth, a manager at the local utility company, and Wingate, a custodian and union steward at nearby Yale University, sought to involve themselves in neighborhood–improvement ventures. That proved harder than they had anticipated. Although New Haven aldermanic districts are tiny, encompassing no more than 4,300 residents, Ruth and Wingate couldn’t find anyone who could identify,