As the gears of federal government have ground to a halt, a new energy has been rocking the foundations of our urban centers. From Atlanta to Seattle and points in between, cities have begun seizing the initiative, transforming themselves into laboratories for progressive innovation. Income inequality, affordable housing, climate change, sustainable development, public health, participatory government—cities are tackling them all, bringing new urgency to some of the most vital questions of the day. Welcome to the age of big city progressivism! Cities Rising is The Nation’s contribution to the conversation.
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The Rise of the Progressive City: With liberal hopes dashed in Washington, political energy is gathering in cities, where social change is actually possible.
by Michelle Goldberg
Detroit Is Ground Zero in the New Fight for Water Rights: As many as 25,000 families are at risk of having their water shut off. These activists are fighting back.
by Laura Gottesdiener
Can a Progressive Mayor Govern New York City?: Bill de Blasio was elected to unite a divided city but some rifts are hard to mend.
by Sarah Jaffe
Bill de Blasio Is Just Getting Started: The former activist and New York Public Advocate Discusses His First Year as Mayor.
by Eric Alterman
Meet the Group of Feisty Urban Progressives Who Want to Transform the Country One City at a Time: At a Local Progress Gathering in New York City, “pothole progressives” shared strategies for a grassroots, social justice revival.
by Steve Early
What Does it Take For One Small City to Vanquish an Oil Giant?: Progressives in Richmond, California, trounced Chevron on Election Day, but the company remains a powerful local force.
by Harriet Blair Rowan and James Tobias
How One California City Began Bringing Its Murder Rate Down—Without Cops: While other cities have embraced heavy-handed policing tactics, Richmond, California, has offered mentoring and money to its most at-risk young men.
by Heather Tirado Gilligan
Mental Illness, Homelessness, Drug Addiction: Do These Sound Like Crimes?: Why are we letting these rampant social problems be handled by the criminal justice system?
by Mychal Denzel Smith
What Happens When A City Decides to Offer Addicts Services, Not Prison Sentences? Inspired by Seattle, Santa Fe adopts the LEAD program to divert people arrested for drug possession away from the criminal justice system and into treatment.
by Aaron Cantú