Among U.S. cities with populations of over 30,000, only 20 percent of mayors are women. A 2015 report by the American Planning Association not only notes the lack of gender diversity in urban planning careers—the field is 42 percent female—but also the fact that women are more likely to be affected by urban affordability issues: Up to three-quarters of households living in public housing are solely headed by females.
Ohio has purged 2 million voters from 2011 to 2016, more than any other state, including 1.2 million for infrequent voting. At least 144,000 voters in Ohio’s three largest counties, home to Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, were purged since the 2012 election, with voters in Democratic-leaning neighborhoods twice as likely to be removed as those in Republican-leaning ones, according to a Reuters analysis.
Robots are...being used to attack the democratic features of the administrative state... the Federal Communications Commission put its proposed revocation of net neutrality up for public comment. In previous years such proceedings attracted millions of (human) commentators. This time, someone with an agenda but no actual public support unleashed robots who impersonated (via stolen identities) hundreds of thousands of people, flooding the system with fake comments against...net neutrality rules.
Campaign-finance reports filed by energy companies show that in 2012 they spent $455,000 on corporate political contributions in Colorado, mostly in a diffuse manner. From 2013 through 2016, they have poured an average of more than $20 million annually into financing Colorado political campaigns for politicians and ballot issues as well as a new, unprecedented public relations effort aimed at molding public opinion — a total in excess of $80 million.
Among the two dozen most populated states that determine the vast majority of Congress, there were nearly three times as many with Republican-tilted U.S. House districts. Traditional battlegrounds such as Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida and Virginia were among those with significant Republican advantages in their U.S. or state House races. All had districts drawn by Republicans after the last Census in 2010.
In 2016, the corporate PACs associated with Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Amazon broke ranks with the traditional allegiance of the broad tech sector to the Democratic Party. All four donated more money to Republican Congressional candidates than they did to their Democratic opponents ... $2.1 million went to Republicans, and $1.5 million went to Democrats. These PACs did not contribute to presidential candidates.
The newspaper industry has jettisoned hundreds of thousands of jobs, due to falling advertising revenues. Dailies have shrunk sections, pages and features; some have retreated from daily publication; hundreds have closed. Daily and weekly newspaper publishers employed about 455,000 reporters, clerks, salespeople, designers and the like in 1990... By January 2017, that workforce had more than halved to 173,900. Those losses were felt in almost every region of the country.
New quantitative approaches—measures of how biased a map is, and algorithms that can create millions of alternative maps—could help set a concrete standard for how much gerrymandering is too much ... some of these new approaches helped convince a United States district court to invalidate the Wisconsin state assembly district map—the first time in more than 30 years that any federal court has struck down a map for being unconstitutionally partisan.
Illinois legislators are considering a “right to know” bill that would let consumers find out what information about them is collected by companies like Google and Facebook, and what kinds of businesses they share it with. Such a right, which European consumers already have, has been a longtime goal of privacy advocates ... these rules could end up guiding the rights of consumers far beyond Illinois
All administrations set enforcement priorities. Should the Justice Department focus on white-collar criminals or old-school mobsters? Should the Securities and Exchange Commission go after penny-stock scammers or hedge fund billionaires? How aggressively should agencies pursue tax cheats, polluters or minimum-wage violators? Somewhat paradoxically, enforcement power is a particularly potent tool for a president such as Trump who wants the government to do less rather than more