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CityLab Daily: A Wealthy Suburb’s Bid to Secede From Baton Rouge

Also today: What happened when a county declared an end to the pandemic, and a conflict between food and clean energy in China.

Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome sued to stop a well-off slice of the parish from splitting away.

Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome sued to stop a well-off slice of the parish from splitting away.

Photographer: Annie Flanagan for the Washington Post via Getty Images

Earlier this year, a judge halted the formation of a new city from unincorporated neighborhoods in the southeast corner of Louisiana’s East Baton Rouge Parish, ruling that it was “unreasonable.” Campaign organizers had argued cityhood would give their residents more control over the spending of their tax dollars. But the judge ruled that the proposed City of St. George — whose residents would have been disproportionately white and wealthy — would take away revenue from the parish and the city of Baton Rouge, forcing them to make serious budget cuts, including to the sheriff’s and fire departments.

The case against St. George stands to have implications beyond Louisiana, writes Brentin Mock: Like other municipal breakaway attempts, the campaign aims to transfer revenue from an under-resourced government to communities that are already flush. Today on CityLab: The Baton Rouge Secession Attempt That Could Defund the Police