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Why Cities Can't Win in State Government

Big-city delegates have a tough time getting their way in state legislatures.
relates to Why Cities Can't Win in State Government
AP/Mike Groll

In 1969, Norman Mailer entered New York’s Democratic mayoral primary with a simple, if fanciful, campaign platform: “New York City: the 51st State.” Mailer’s New York, he promised, would be free from the control of those “upstate legislators who don’t care about the city."

Mailer’s frustrated platform reflects an age-old urbanist complaint: economically powerful cities held hostage by rurally dominated legislatures. These frustrations have largely been based on anecdote and example.