Defending Local Democracy. Democratic Perspective co-hosts, Steve Williamson and Mike Cosentino welcome Kim Haddow, director of the non-partisan Local Solutions Support Center. She recently spoke to AZ League of Cities and Towns about pre-emption – the act of state legislatures passing laws to overrule city governments. Haddow explains that pre-emption can be good in some instances, such as preventing discrimination. But that it’s bad when it comes to preventing cities from raising the minimum wage, from banning the use of plastic bags or from regulating short-term rentals.
Though studies show that Americans are most likely to trust local government, Haddow says many legislatures have undertaken a deliberate effort to consolidate power at the state level following two events in 2010: The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that pumped dark money into legislative races and widespread Republican electoral wins in 2010.
Haddow further explains that state interference has been enabled by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate-sponsored group that writes “model” legislation for corporate benefit and delivers it to Republican legislators to enact as law. Haddow notes these corporations are following the long-standing strategy of the tobacco and gun industries to negate any attempts by local governments to control their products or services.