Sarah Holder

Sarah Holder

Sarah Holder is a staff writer at CityLab covering local policy, housing, labor, and technology.

A rendering of a community room with a circle of chairs and people writing on a whiteboard.

America’s First Hub for Restorative Justice Will Open in Oakland

Restore Oakland provides a home for nonprofits that seek to resolve conflict, reduce incarceration, and empower low-income people.

Smoke from the fires hangs over Brazil.

Why the Amazon Is on Fire

The rash of wildfires now consuming the Amazon rainforest can be blamed on a host of human factors, from climate change to deforestation to Brazilian politics.

a map of London Uber driver James Farrar's trip data.

For Ride-Hailing Drivers, Data Is Power

Uber drivers in Europe and the U.S. are fighting for access to their personal data. Whoever wins the lawsuit could get to reframe the terms of the gig economy.

a photo of a person sleeping on the street in L.A.'s Skid Row.

Trans Teens, Trailed by Homelessness

In California and other states, transgender and non-binary people are more likely to be unsheltered than any other unhoused population.

Warren Logan

A City Planner Makes a Case for Rethinking Public Consultation

Warren Logan, a Bay Area transportation planner, has new ideas about how to truly engage diverse communities in city planning. Hint: It starts with listening.

Asylum-seekers sit in Matamoros, Mexico, waiting to enter the U.S.

How Rule Changes About Public Benefits Could Affect Immigrants

The Trump administration announced changes to the “public charge” rule that will prevent immigrants who access government services from staying in the U.S.

a photo of murals of George Washington's life and legacy inside San Francisco high school.

A Depression-Era Mural, Caught in a Very Contemporary Controversy

At a public viewing of a 1930s mural depicting the life and legacy of George Washington, San Franciscans argued about preservation, racism, and erasure.

A boy gets water from a cooler at his school in Flint, Michigan.

For Democratic Candidates, Infrastructure Isn't Just Highways

When she takes the debate stage tonight, Kirsten Gillibrand is likely to tout a new infrastructure bill. Other presidential hopefuls are talking up their own rebuilding priorities.

A mother seeking asylum holds her two sons.

What the Fear Campaign Against Immigrants Is Doing

Even “secure” households say they’re afraid of interacting with immigration enforcement, limiting their mobility and use of public space.

A photo of voters casting ballots from voting booths.

Coming Soon to Save (or Imperil) Democracy: Online Voting

Some voters in Provo and other Utah County cities will be able to cast ballots on a blockchain-powered mobile app in a pilot program for the August election.

The legs of a crash-test dummy.

A Clue to the Reason for Women’s Pervasive Car-Safety Problem

Crash-test dummies are typically models of an average man. Women are 73 percent more likely to be injured in a car accident. These things are probably connected.

A bank teller.

Has the Time Come for City-Run Public Banks?

A coalition of activists in 10 California cities is pushing for public banks as a bill to support this voter-run option works its way through the state legislature.

Are These the Last Vape Shops in San Francisco?

The city wants to stop the rise of teen vaping by banning the sale of Juul and other e-cigarettes. It could also mean the end of a particular kind of store.

A man stands next to an electric scooter

Why Electric Scooters Companies Are Getting Serious About Safety

Lime has joined rival Bird in establishing a safety advisory board tasked with helping the e-scooter industry shape local regulations—and shake its risky reputation.

A man protesting Uber driver wages holds up a sign.

How a California Bill Could Affect Gig Work, Uber, Lyft, and Drivers

Supporters and foes of California’s AB5 marched on the capitol this week over the bill that could transform the business model for Uber, Lyft, and drivers.

A photo of a self-storage unit.

The Airbnb for America's Extra Crap Is Here

A startup called Neighbor bills itself as an “Airbnb for storage,” allowing hosts to rent out their empty sheds, closets and basements for other people’s stuff.

A man works at a laptop inside a small booth within a large open office.

Can ‘Pods’ Bring Quiet to the Noisy Open Office?

Now that office walls have come down, workers are ducking into closet-sized “pods” for privacy and quiet. Is this a retreat from the open office or the next phase of it?

Police officers patrol NYC Pride.

Do Police Have a Place at Pride Parades?

Stonewall’s anniversary has cops and LGBTQ activists revisiting their fraught history—and debating if police belong at celebrations of gay and trans rights.

A photo of a monarch butterfly perched on a pink flower.

Pollinator Cities Really Could Save the Monarchs

The milkweed needed to stabilize the country’s monarch-butterfly population thrives in metropolitan areas—especially on residential land.