Simon Davis-Cohen


Simon Davis-Cohen is editor of the Ear to the Ground newsletter, an exclusive “civic intelligence” service that mines local newspapers and state legislatures from across the country.

Agricultural work


The Trump Administration’s far-right vision for immigration involves a domestic work program for people facing the threat of deportation and the expansion of an exploitative “guest worker” arrangement. Read more

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Ed Moss

The police keep a close eye on nonviolent protesters. Read more


How Florida has become a testing ground for law enforcement attacks on noncitizens. Read more


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Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon / NASA

Local residents now have standing in court to sue corporate polluters on behalf of the lake. The local effort has been vigorously opposed by a group linked to some of the largest corporations and lobbying groups on the planet. Read more

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Unite Here Local 11

In California, hotel employees have successfully organized for laws providing them with safer working conditions. It wasn't easy. Read more




How voters outside the halls of power are circumventing their local political establishments and pushing through new legislation that will directly improve their lives. Read more


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Dorothea Lange

Forty-five states have regressive tax codes. State and local policies could change that. Read more


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Michael Fleshman

Massive voter purges have been grabbing headlines while more mundane efforts are flying under the radar. Read more


Residents in Columbus and Toledo are being told they don’t have the authority to vote to protect their drinking water this November. Read more

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Kerstin Diehn

In the age of Donald Trump, some of the most significant political battles are taking place on the local level. Read more


A new report highlights how local LGBTQ rights measures are under threat—and the special lessons this offers about the dangers of state preemption. Read more


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Frackfree Mahoning

Pre-election maneuvering—requiring that ballot initiatives jump through hoops and meet certain standards—is undermining local residents' democratic rights. Read more


New findings show that a majority of voters are seeking to defend their local governments—and their own power. Read more




States are passing “super preemption” bills that go one step further to thwart local action on issues like guns and immigration. Read more

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Negative Space

The social media giant wants to uplift local news in its algorithms. But IRL, it’s complicated. Read more


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U.S. Air Force

Bolstered by powerful private interests, state governments are dangerously close to calling a Constitutional Convention. Read more

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Fibonacci Blue

In cities from Iowa to Oregon, local protections and civil rights are quashed by the states Read more