The Cities on the Hill
How Urban Institutions Transformed National Politics
Oxford University Press 2018
Urban politics scholars have long studied what makes cities interesting. Rarely, however, have these unique qualities of cities been studied in the national context. How do representatives of cities advocate for urban interests in Washington? Do they work together for cities, as a whole, or individually, for district needs within each city?
Thomas Ogorzalek’s new book, The Cities on the Hill: How Urban Institutions Transformed National Politics (Oxford University Press, 2018) takes on these questions. Ogorzalek is assistant professor of political science and urban studies at Northwestern University.
Studying the “long” New Deal, Ogorzalek finds that on certain issues, especially the provision of public goods and redistribution, city representatives stick together. Members of Congress who represent districts based in cities vote as one, even controlling for other factors, such as partisanship, and diversity of ideology. Supporting this consensus are institutions working to advocate for cities, including local political parties and newly formed interest groups, such as the US Conference of Mayors.