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My view is that good community management is like having good municipal government: You should be able to have dissenting opinions and so on, freedom of speech, but your grandmother should also be able to walk down the street at night without having to worry about getting mugged.
My maternal grandmother - she was a compulsive reader. She had only been through five grades of elementary school, but she was a member of the municipal library, and she brought home two or three books a week for me. They could be dime novels or Balzac.
As it happens, Chicago is the nation's leader in municipal privatization efforts. That's right: The city that conservatives portray as the citadel of the power-grabbing, government-growing left has been selling itself off in pieces for years. It signed a 99-year lease for the Chicago Skyway, a toll road in the city's South Side, back in 2005.
Lebanon is restless, Syria got its walking papers, Egypt is scheduling elections with more than one candidate, and even Saudi Arabia, whose rulers are perhaps more terrified of women than rulers anywhere else in the world, allowed limited municipal elections.
In 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that minority set-aside programs in municipal contracts were unconstitutional. The court wondered if there were proof that people of color even want to receive municipal contracts.
In the United States, under 3 percent of municipal food waste - so that's the food scraps that goes into people's garbage cans - actually gets recycled. If you go to a place like South Korea, the exact reverse is the case. It's about 3 percent that doesn't get recycled.
No sane local official who has hung up an empty stocking over the municipal fireplace, is going to shoot Santa Claus just before a hard Christmas.
Municipal networks expand economic opportunities. We've got to open new doors, not slam them shut.
You know, if you look back in the 1930s, the money went to infrastructure. The bridges, the municipal buildings, the roads, those were all built with stimulus money spent on infrastructure. This stimulus bill has fundamentally gone, started out with a $500 rebate check, remember. That went to buy flat-screen TVs made in China.
Public borrowing is costly these days, true, but interest rates on municipal bonds are still considerably lower than those borne by corporate debt.
Whenever anything extraordinary is done in American municipal politics, whether for good or for evil, you can trace it almost invariably to one man. The people do not do it. Neither do the 'gangs,' 'combines,' or political parties.
I've always had a very positive relationship with the municipal labor unions - a respectful relationship.
Bill de Blasio
In Rio we built a Center of Operations, a situation room that gathers information from municipal departments and allows us to manage and help decision-making. I can check the weather, the traffic and the location of city's waste collection trucks. Each of 4,000 buses in the city has a camera connected to the situation room.
There are great municipal investments out there, but on a blanket basis you have to be really careful about knowing what cash flows are supporting your investments.
Norway is a small country, about half the size of Sweden, but it has a very good film climate because they have municipal cinemas, so even in the smallest towns you have a cinema that shows art house films from all over the world.
When I was brought up in Sweden, there was a great opportunity for young people to learn how to act in our municipal theaters with their small companies. You would be under contract for eight months and have the summer free to take other opportunities.
Max von Sydow
Municipal debt outstanding doubled in the past 10 years. And in the past 30 years, the U.S. has been in real economic nirvana.
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