8.15.17

USA Today Exclusive: Political divisions escalate between red states and blue cities

The USA Today featured #DefendLocal heavily in an article on the conflict between red states and blue cities.

The rise in preemption has led to the formation of organizations like the Campaign to Defend Local Solutions, which formed in January in an effort to inform the public about the impacts of the legislation. […]

Michael Alfano, campaign manager for the Campaign to Defend Local Solutions, said beyond being a political fight, preemption is a battle between the interests of corporations and individual citizens. […]

“Preemption affects people whether they know it or not,” said Franco Ripple, spokesman for the Campaign to Defend Local Solutions, citing the impact the practice has on everything from wages and equality to environmental protections.

Some cities have begun pushing back through lawsuits, said Alfano, who cited a handful of court challenges to preemption laws, including one in Cleveland that successfully fought a state law preventing the city from implementing a local-hire rule. The rule required that local people be hired for publicly funded construction projects.

Beyond potential legal challenges, Alfano said there also could be citizen ballot initiatives and proactive legislation to implement stronger protections for local governments.

“I think it’s going to take more and more cities doing that,” Alfano said.

Ripple cited the public pressure created by businesses and citizens in North Carolina in response to the state’s so-called “bathroom bill,” which preempted local governments, as evidence of another potential outcome.

Push back in Texas could kill a similar measure that has been trumpeted by Patrick, the lieutenant governor.

“When people understand these things, I think that they will stand up and demand a different type of representation that is in the interest of local communities and local values,” Ripple said.

Read the rest of this great article, here.