SYMPOSIUM: HOME RULE IN AN ERA OF MUNICIPAL INNOVATION: ARTICLE: THE EVOLUTION OF THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION AND THE INNOVATIONS OF LOCAL GOVERNANCE IN CALIFORNIA TO PRESERVE HOME RULE AND LOCAL CONTROL Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2017 Fordham Urban Law Journal
Fordham Urban Law Journal

SYMPOSIUM: HOME RULE IN AN ERA OF MUNICIPAL INNOVATION: ARTICLE: THE EVOLUTION OF THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION AND THE INNOVATIONS OF LOCAL GOVERNANCE IN CALIFORNIA TO PRESERVE HOME RULE AND LOCAL CONTROL

April, 2017

Fordham Urban Law Journal

44 Fordham Urb. L.J. 217

Author

Frank Vram Zerunyan, J.D. *

Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

The U.S. Constitution is the fundamental law of the United States of America. Drafted at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1787, it is the world's oldest and still valid written constitution. 1 While it is common knowledge that the words "local government" and "home rule" do not appear in the text of the Constitution, it is incorrect to conclude that the drafters of the Constitution did not value decentralization or local governance. To this day, real American daily life at the local level is alive and well. After all, we live, work and die in cities or towns across these United States. Cities are the most networked and interconnected of our political organizations. They govern through collaboration and pragmatism to solve real public-administration problems at the local level. 2 This article reviews the evolution of municipal corporations and the innovations that make them special in the art and science of local governance.

The concept of decentralized governance finds its roots in the Articles of Confederation, which, of course, predates the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. 3 Article II of the Articles of Confederation declares that "each state retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled." 4 Similarly, the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution states that "[t]he powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it ...
 
 
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