While in Austin for the Local Progress convening, Defend Local’s campaign manager spoke with the Texas Observer about the national preemption trend:
“These laws, which are corporate-backed state power grabs, are happening in places all over the country,” said Michael Alfano, campaign manager at the Campaign to Defend Local Control.
Pre-emption is a decades-old strategy, Alfano said, but state lawmakers have increasingly adopted it to push back against progressive local policies. Alfano and others at the conference said the approach has been manufactured by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a powerful organization that works with corporations to shop legislation to conservative state legislators.
“States became one-stop shops,” said Alfano. “They can come in at the state level and take power away from local officials.” And with the GOP increasingly in control of state legislatures, the path for pre-emption is clearer than ever.
“People don’t fully realize how much is at stake with pre-emption, and how much it affects their daily lives,” said Alfano, who noted the laws also affect environmental regulation, the predatory loan industry and broadband.