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Preserving Local Control

Across America, efforts to enact to enact local laws on a range of issues are the focus of a growing trend: they are being preempted by state legislation that undermines local democracy. 

 

This is happening all over the country, from North Carolina’s famous “bathroom bill,” which overturned Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance, to Tallahassee’s struggles to address gun violence in the face of state preemption, to Wisconsin’s preemption of paid sick days laws, to minimum wage laws in Minnesota cities.

 

While control over some policies has always resided at the state and federal level, the pace and scope of preemption has increased greatly in the last decade. Some see it as a concerted effort by conservative state lawmakers to punish more progressive cities. 


City Rights in an Era of Preemption: A State-by-State Analysis, National League of Cities, February 22nd, 2017. Read more.



Protecting Local Control: A Research and Messaging Toolkit, Kim Haddow, December 7th, 2015. Read more.



Best Practices: Tracking and Countering Preemption, Grassroots Change. Read more.



Campaign to Defend Local Solutions

 

Voices for Healthy Kids: Preemption

 

Grassroots Change: Preemption Watch

 

Further Reading:

 

Cities Are Fighting to Close the Pay Gap–But States Are Standing in the Way, Route Fifty, Christiana McFarland, April 4th, 2017. Read more.

 

 Trans Rights Weren’t the Only Target of North Carolina’s ‘Bathroom Bill’, The Nation, Jimmy Tobias, March 31st, 2017. Read more.

The NAACP sued Alabama over preemption of Birmingham’s minimum wage law.

 

Denton Texas has been trying to ban fracking for years. While currently preempted, this case offers lessons for other cities. 

POLICY CONTACT


Satya Rhodes-Conway
(608) 262.5387
satya@mayorsinnovation.org

View more materials from our workshops local control here and here.