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This AEI Events Podcast features civic leaders and scholars discussing localism and the areas in which local decision-making can solve public problems.
Former Indianapolis Mayor and deputy mayor of New York City Stephen Goldsmith reflected on his experiences with the limits of centralized bureaucracy, highlighting the importance of knowing the people for whom policy is made. He also emphasized that there is still a place for state and federal governments, particularly in matters of commerce and equal protections.
A panel of experts then discussed their contributions to “Localism in America,” a new collection of essays from AEI and the Center for Opportunity for Urbanism. The Manhattan Institute’s Howard Husock highlighted research that showed spending per capita is lower in smaller municipalities, arguing that distributing rather than consolidating authority can improve services. Doug Ross of New Urban Learning argued that celebrating local decision-making balanced with constitutional protections can restore public confidence in democracy.
The Center for Opportunity Urbanism’s Anne Snyder emphasized the loss of faith in institutions, pointing to a broader “existential disconnection” among millennials, which can be alleviated by greater local involvement. Natalie Gochnour of the University of Utah explained how local solutions in Utah helped combat generational and childhood poverty through data-sharing efforts.
This event took place on February 22, 2018.
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