October 02, 2017

Editor’s Message

Greetings from your new Editor. I’ve been a Section member for over 20 years and a local government lawyer for over 30 years as an in-house, general counsel. State & Local Law News offers current developments in state and local government issues and an outlet for you to contribute to Section activity. We will keep you informed as to regular Section committee conference calls, open to anyone interested, and to webinars, calls for authors for books in development, and Section meetings.

In this issue: We have a recap of Section presentations at the ABA Annual Meeting in New York City in August, a draft program agenda for the Section-sponsored Land Use Institute in Detroit, Michigan, in the spring, and materials from the recent Western Planning Conference in Boise, Idaho, dealing with planning for wildfires. (For a background on that topic, see the article by Prof. Steven Miller in the Spring 2017 issue of The Urban Lawyer.)

There’s a new feature “Editor’s Choice,” with an introduction and links to short but thought-provoking articles readable online on contemporary issues.

Past Section Chair Ben Griffith has an article on the federal court challenges to redistricting in Texas.

Section member Jordan Lesser describes his and two other Section members’ experience aiding with enactment and enforcement of local laws in Namibia as to poaching of wild game.

This is your newsletter, an outlet for all members to discuss interesting issues in this area of law. The protocol is simple: Contact me by email with your suggestions, and we’ll discuss whether and when to publish in this newsletter or as part of a Section-sponsored book, monograph, or law review article. Once in our hands, the editing, formatting, layout, printing, and distribution is all done for you, with our compliments. The objective is to get those thoughts on paper and leave the rest for us. As Nathan Heller wrote in the July 24, 2017, issue of The New Yorker magazine, on interpreting what the writer means to say in a typical corporate email: “Writing, along with fire-making and the invention of the wheel, is widely held to be a milestone of human progress. This view will seem naïve to anybody who has read much human writing. In its feral form, prose is unhinged, mystifying, and repetitive. Writers feel moved to ‘get things down on paper,’ usually incoherently. . . . The true wellspring of civilization isn’t writing, it is editing.”

So, that being said, when you get the okay to submit something in writing for the Section to publish, in this newsletter or elsewhere, rest assured that the editors are at hand to make it civilized. Contact me at CityCounsel@comcast.net with your questions, suggestions, and comments.

Bill Scheiderich, Editor