We have recently covered state laws preempting local control, especially in North Carolina and Tennessee. State governments are supposed to be “laboratories of democracy” and municipalities are sub-parts of the state. Preemption is ostensibly to prevent problems, but instead these state laws limit local governments’ solutions for ensuring better connectivity.
At the same time, people trust their local government more than their state government to handle problems. That’s the latest finding from Gallup’s most recent Governance Poll, and that makes sense for all of us following community networks.
It's no surprise that trust starts with local community leaders. We have spoken to a number of public officials that acknowledge that when you know your elected official - perhaps live down the street from them or run into them at the grocery store - it's much easier to know that they share your hopes for the community.
Polls, Trends, and Republicans
Gallup’s September 7th-11th Governance Poll found that 71 percent trust their local government to handle problems, but only 62 percent say the same about their state government. This continues a fifteen-year trend of people putting their faith in local government more than in state government.
Seventy-five percent of Republicans stated that they have a "great deal/fair amount" of trust in local government. (Compare to only 71 percent of Independents and 66 percent of Democrats.) This corresponds with what we found in January 2015 while analyzing our data. Most citywide, residential, municipal networks are built in conservative cities. They trust local governments to solve connectivity problems when the big providers can't or won't deliver.