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Yahoo! News/Politico: Adams’ pledge of government efficiency remains out of reach

“It’s that baseline of service that really affects how people think about their government,” said Susan Lerner of Common Cause New York, a government reform group. “It’s not about speeches and the big issues; it’s about whether you’ve made a noise complaint and nobody gets back to you for a week.” For Lerner, head of Common Cause, the city’s recent budget cuts — coupled with a struggle to fill vacant positions and a hiring freeze — could hurt the Adams administration’s ability to maintain the nuts and bolts of city government. Frustrations over those basics became palpable for her last year when a fire hydrant on her block began leaking in the summer. Repeated calls to 311 eventually led to visits from the fire and building department personnel, but they failed to stop the flow. Despite repeated follow-up calls, the hydrant continued to leak for months. Eventually, her neighbors inundated local elected officials with calls complaining about the lack of city responsiveness. "And guess what,” Lerner said. “In two weeks it got fixed."

Providence Journal: Access to public records was a problem in the bridge shutdown. Will that help reforms pass?

"It's a perfect example of something that is in the public interest," John Marion Jr., executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, said Thursday about the Washington Bridge emails.

Albuquerque Journal (Op-Ed): NM needs a modern Legislature to cope with modern challenges

For the past four years, Common Cause New Mexico, and several community groups, have been exploring the possibility of upgrading New Mexico’s legislative branch to meet today’s challenges with adequate staff, longer sessions and salaries for our unpaid legislators.

Voting & Elections 02.5.2024

Syracuse Post-Standard: Republicans push Onondaga County to sue NY over change to election schedule

"Moving local elections to even years will boost turnout, reduce voter fatigue, and minimize stressors on the local boards of elections,'' said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York.

San Diego Union Tribune: In Chula Vista, when it comes to public records, not much is public

Sean McMorris of California Common Cause, a Los Angeles-area nonprofit that advocates for good government and open records, said there are many reasons cities should post responses to public-records requests. Activists, lawyers, business owners and everyday citizens can review the postings themselves without having to interrupt city employees by submitting a redundant request, he said. "It also creates a record for the city in terms of litigation," McMorris said. "It induces them to respond more thoroughly because the record is there." In cases of lawsuits, "the city could use it to defend itself and vice-versa." But too often, McMorris said, government agencies choose to direct people into new requests.

Yahoo! News/WCMH: Ohio GOP at odds over future of House Bill 6

“At the end of the day, this corrupt legislation means that we don’t have money we could be spending on other things,” Executive Director of Common Cause Ohio Catherine Turcer said. HB6, in part, gave two Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC) coal plants a consistent stream of revenue, from Ohioans. “To the tune of $153,000 per day,” Turcer said.

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