Archive for Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Equality coalition backs three city candidates

February 20, 2007

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A group lobbying for the city to pass a domestic partnership registry program, which would provide some legal recognition to gay partnerships, has endorsed three City Commission candidates.

The Lawrence-Douglas County Chapter of the Kansas Equality Coalition endorsed Commissioners Boog Highberger and David Schauner and candidate Carey Maynard-Moody.

"All three of these candidates have been clear about their support for the proposed domestic partnership ordinance," said Maggie Childs, chairwoman of the local group.

The proposed domestic partnership registry would allow couples who are not married to register on a city-maintained list of domestic partners. The registry would make it easier for private employers to extend benefits to domestic partners, if they so choose. It would not mandate that any benefits be given to domestic partners.

City commissioners are awaiting a legal opinion from the Kansas Attorney General's Office on whether the registry violates a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

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JohnBrown 8 years, 2 months ago

From the book URBAN FORTUNES: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF PLACE by JR Logan and HL Molotch):

ORGANIZATION OF THE GROWTH COALITION "The people who use their time and money to participate in local affairs are the ones who - in vast disproportion to their representation in the population - have the most to gain or lose in land-use decisions. Local business people are the major participants in urban politics, particularly business people in property investing, development, and real estate financing. Peterson (1981:132), who applauds growth boosterism, acknowledges that 'such policies are often promulgated through a highly centralized decision-making process involving prestigious businessmen and professionals. Conflict within the city tends to be minimal, decision-making processes tend to be closed.' Elected officials, says Stone (1984:292), find themselves confronted by ' business community that is well-organized, amply supplied with a number of deployable resources, and inclined to act on behalf of tangible and ambitious plans that are mutually beneficial to its own members.' Business people's continuous interaction with public officials (including supporting them through substantial campaign contributions) gives them systemic power. Once organized, they stay organized. They are "mobilized interests". Rentiers (those who collect rents) need local government in their daily money-making routines, especially when structural speculations are involved. They are assisted by lawyers, syndicators, and property brokers, who prosper as long as they can win decisions favoring their clients. Finally, there are monopolistic business enterprises (such as the local newspaper) whose futures are tied to the growth of the metropolis as a whole, although they are not directly involved in land use. When the local market is saturated with their product, they have few ways to increase profits, beyond expansion of their surrounding area. As in the proverbial Springdale, site of the classic Vidich and Bensman (1960:216) ethnography of a generation ago, there is a strong tendency in most cities for "the professionals (doctors, teachers, dentists, etc.), the industrial workers, the shack people and the lower middle class [to be] for all intents and purposes disenfranchised except in terms of temporary issues."

"Because so much of the growth mobilization effort involves government, local growth elites play a major role in electing local politicians, 'watch dogging' their activities, and scrutinizing resources, keeping peace on the home front, or using the city mayor as an 'ambassador to industry', local government is primarily concerned with increasing growth. Again, it is not the only function of local government, but it is the key one."

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