Madrid Has 57 Councilmembers. Seoul Has 110. Why Does L.A. Have 15?

More Mayoral Authority Won't Empower California Cities; Electing More of Your Neighbors to Local Posts Will

If you want to make your California city government stronger, don’t make your mayor more powerful. Instead, make your city council bigger.

This summer, two of our state’s most thoughtful mayors, Sam Liccardo of San Jose and Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento, have been seeking to make themselves “strong mayors.” The term refers to a system where mayors have executive authority, and can hire and fire department heads, sign budgets, or even veto council legislation.

“Strong mayors” are rare in California; only five of our 482 incorporated cities have them. More …

To Rein in California’s Cops, Reclaim City Hall | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

To Rein in California’s Cops, Reclaim City Hall

Escalating Salaries, Benefits, and Pensions for Police Are Crowding Out Other Services Our State Badly Needs

When you hear cops reporting widespread looting in California, you should believe them. Because they are true experts. Indeed, for many decades, the most successful looters in our state have …

Why California’s Weakest Local Governments Should Not Survive COVID-19 | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why California’s Weakest Local Governments Should Not Survive COVID-19

Instead of Mourning Their Collapse, We Should Consolidate Local Governments to Make Them More Powerful

California is finally getting the local government apocalypse it has long needed.

And, thankfully, it’s going to be even worse than I had hoped.

For the record, I love and revere local …

How California’s Open Meetings Law Became a Gag Rule

Local Government Has Changed So Much That the Historic Brown Act Is Silencing Us, Not Protecting Us

The Ralph M. Brown Act, first approved in 1953, is celebrated for its supposed guarantees that we citizens have a voice in the decisions of all our local governments.

But today, …