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 government. In most of the world, it’s the most democratic, participatory, and effective level of government, and it deserves to be the most powerful and best-funded.

But in California, local governments are too weak and too small to be of much use. Why? There are simply too many of them. And so, for the past decade—in columns, speeches, and a book …

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, …