Howard winant sociology ucsb 97 behind blue eyes

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Unformatted text preview: and the tried and true: cold, hard cash. Despite these barriers, grassroots organizing can be very effective at the smaller scale of local politics. At the local level, we have greater access to elected officials and officials have a greater reliance on their constituents for reelection. For example, getting 400 people to show up at city hall in just about any city in the U.S. is quite impressive. On the other hand, 400 people at the state house or the Congress would have a less significant impact. Add to that the fact that all 400 people at city hall are usually constituents, and the impact is even greater. Recent trends in government underscore the importance of local policy. Congress has enacted a series of measures devolving significant power to state and local government. Welfare, health care, and the regulation of food and drinking water safety are among the areas where states and localities now have greater rule. Devolution has some negative consequences to be sure. History has taught us that, for social services and civil rights in particular, the lack of clear federal standards and mechanisms for accountability lead to uneven enforcement and even discriminatory implementation of policies. Still, there are real opportunities for advancing progressive initiatives in this more localized environment. Greater local control can mean greater community power to shape and implement important social policies that were heretofore...
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