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The Great Texas Pension Fix

January 18, 2017 When Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner took office last year, he inherited a sweeping pension crisis. The city had an unfunded liability of $5.6 billion, a figure representing Houston’s obligations to its fire, police, and municipal pension systems. Then it got worse: After he took office and got a closer look...

A Florida Mayor Fights the Gun Lobby

January 6, 2017 In 2014, two gun-rights organizations, Florida Carry and the Second Amendment Foundation, sued the city of Tallahassee and various of its officials over a pair of laws, passed in 1957 and 1988, that prohibit residents from discharging firearms in public parks. Those local regulations retroactively violated a Florida state law,...

Julián Castro, Leveling the Playing Field

January 2, 2017 The Supreme Court’s 2015 decision on “disparate impact” in fair housing preserved a reading of the Fair Housing Act that has guided the country for the last half-century, however imperfectly. The 5-4 ruling affirmed that a housing policy that disproportionately negatively affects minorities counts as racial discrimination, even if that...

What's at Stake in Trump's Pick to Lead HUD

November 14, 2016 Rumors about the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are not burning down the house. The names for the person President-elect Donald Trump will tap to lead HUD are not swirling as fast as the speculation about his potential picks to lead up State, Treasury,...

The U.S. Is Making Its Border Stations More Welcoming

October 13, 2016 Contrary to Donald Trump’s claims, the U.S. government isn’t neglecting its borders. It’s just the opposite: The U.S. is investing in them heavily, replacing border stations that used to be little more than shacks with facilities that are modern, secure, and welcoming. Border-control facilities took home two of the 2016...

The Cities That Are Fighting Back Against State Intervention

October 4, 2016 Back in May, Ohio passed a new state law targeting an old Cleveland ordinance. The state law, HB 180, preempted a 12-year-old municipal law that requires contractors to hire locally. The state’s legislation prohibited Cleveland or any other city in Ohio from passing local-hire laws. Late in August, Cleveland struck...

Earnings Are Rising, Along With the Damned Rent

September 14, 2016 The news out of Tuesday’s U.S. Census data release is unambiguously good. There are three indicators of well-being in the annual Current Population Survey report on home economics. This year, for the first time since 1999, all three of those indicators are pointing in the right direction. Jason Furman, the...

Tim Kaine's Vision for the Future of Fair Housing

August 15, 2016 Democratic vice-presidential candidate Senator Tim Kaine drew a bright line on Friday between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on a subject important to pretty much every voter: housing. While Americans say that housing is as important an issue as other priorities, so far the subject hasn’t come up much during...

Why Public Pension Funds Are Slow to Divest From Gun Manufacturers

June 16, 2016 Gun sales in the U.S. are on track to reach a record high in 2016. After each new mass shooting comes a surge in share prices for gun manufacturers. With mass shootings now more reliable than the weather in the U.S., managers of mutual funds, hedge funds, and public pensions...

Boulder Will Host the First National 'YIMBY' Conference

May 6, 2016 Last November, voters in Boulder, Colorado, narrowly rejected a ballot measure that would have given neighborhoods the ultimate say over zoning changes. The measure would have essentially transferred the city’s zoning authority to 66 different neighborhood-level associations. It was a disaster in the making. Ballot issue #300 and #301—a separate...

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