This past year, Jackson has been the site of two separate yet related crises: a failed water system that has left approximately 150,000 residents without access to safe drinking water, and the takeover of the city's police and court functions by white officials in the state government. Assessed together, these two episodes offer lessons about the challenges of local self-governance in a country awash with material inequality and the importance of pursuing political equality across as well as within jurisdictions.
By studying American courts from a comparative perspective, an important truth emerges: our judiciary is not simply compositionally conservative, at particular moments in history, but structurally conservative, as an institution.
American cities’ reliance on municipal debt must be understood as part of a larger structural reliance on concentrated, mobile capital.
Fiscal structures and funding priorities that local public finance experts have long taken to be intractable are being challenged by a new generation. Although the scale of these actions certainly is new, community groups and local activists have long used tax and budget advocacy as a means for abolitionist organizing.