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A New 'Federalist Roadmap' to Let Cities Lead the Nation

Bruce Katz has an idea: "A year out from next year’s presidential election, let’s dispel the pervasive myth that the federal government runs the country."
November 5, 2015, 10am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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According to Bruce Katz, partisan gridlock are forcing state and local governments into new, more powerful roles in setting policy for the country. Katz cites infrastructure and education, two failing responsibilities, in many respects, that will likely be improved by political powers not located in Washington, D.C. As an example of local governments achieving innovative success in the area of infrastructure, Katz credits DenverSan Diego, and Dallas for "making economy-shaping investments in infrastructure and public space through innovative partnerships and funding mechanisms."

Katz notes other sectors—namely telecommunications, clean energy, and public health—where the federal role in funding and finance is also limited before laying out a new "federalist roadmap" that allows the cities a more prominent role in the governance of the country.

After positing three characteristics of the new federalist roadmap, Katz makes this concluding appeal:

"We are at a cross roads. Neither the mid-20th century model of 'made in Washington' nor the late 20th century model of 'get it out of Washington' serve the country well.  We need a reliable federal partner and a federalism that reflects how the country actually operates. Presidential candidates, are you listening? "

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Published on Thursday, November 5, 2015 in Brookings
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