American Mayors and Bottom-Up Environmental Planning
"My expectation that I might once again live in a sane, smart, progressive country (without becoming an expat myself) has less to do with promises made by the presidential contenders and more to do with what I've seen down the food chain. I've noticed that America's big-city mayors have emerged as a sort of government in exile, putting forth a remarkably progressive, and occasionally visionary, domestic agenda while the federal government has been AWOL."
"Clearly it's not just in the United States that mayors act with unusual determination and in ways that may be contrary to the policies of their national leaders. But because our social and technological progress has been retarded by the Bush administration's narrow focus on war-and its crippling of federal agencies through cronyism, incompetence, and underfunding-mayors like Richard M. Daley, in Chicago, and Michael Bloomberg, in New York, look exceptionally capable by comparison."
"So as this presidential election year unfolded, I began to think about America's mayors as a political resource. Just as monasteries preserved literacy through the Dark Ages, the mayors have harbored a tradition of progressive thought through the Bush years."