Sarah Holder

Sarah Holder

Sarah Holder is a staff writer at CityLab.

A photo illustration shows a homeless encampment in Seattle.

The Tech That’s Changing How Cities Help the Homeless

From mapping apps to the blockchain, new tools are intended to give cities the information they need to address this growing challenge.

What Did Cities Actually Offer Amazon?

Activists are on a quest to find out.

Is Washington Big Enough for Two Tech Giants?

Apple and Amazon could be neighbors.

Arizona teachers gather at the state capitol. Their six-day walkout ended on Thursday.

What Arizona Teachers Are Still Fighting For

The six-day walkout of the state’s public school teachers wasn’t just about paychecks, says one Glendale teacher.

Will Seattle's Plan for a Progressive Tax Scare Amazon Away?

Seattle wants big businesses to fund affordable housing and reduce homelessness. Amazon isn’t happy.

Where Commuting Is Out of Control

Lack of affordable housing and sub-par mass transit are boosting the ranks of “super commuters” in some regions outside of pricey metros.

A California resident protesting law enforcement actions against medical marijuana outside the federal courthouse in Sacramento, California in 2011.

Before They Were Anti-Sanctuary, They Were Anti-Cannabis

To understand legal battles over California’s sanctuary state policies, look to the historical struggle over cannabis legislation.

The Escalating City-State Battle Over Guns

A bill to ban bump stocks in Columbia, South Carolina, has inspired more state pushback. It’s part of a nationwide struggle over gun control in cities.

Oklahoma teachers (and their dogs) protest over school funding on April 9.

Mapping the Great American Teacher Pay Gap

While the public employee walkouts started with West Virginia, many other U.S. states pay teachers far less than other college-educated professionals—often much less.

California's Lessons for the Amazon HQ2 Bidding War

As cities offer massive incentives to win business, economists at UC Riverside offer up a cautionary tale—and examples of how to negotiate benefits for workers and the community.

Florida Cities' New Tactic in the Fight for Gun Reform

After the Parkland shooting, cities wanted to control gun use in their communities, only to be stalled by harsh preemption laws. Now, they're suing the state.  

As California Protects Immigrants, Cities Revolt

The Department of Justice is already suing California over its refusal to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. Now, some small California cities are mounting an attack from within.

The Real Cost of Luring Big Companies to Town

A new economic analysis suggests that when cities and states offer tax deals for large companies, public education suffers and incomes eventually fall.

Small Towns Try to Tame the Bitcoin Boom

As cryptocurrency miners suck up cheap energy in parts of Washington and New York states, local leaders are scrambling to regulate the industry.

The Fight for Nuclear Deterrence Goes Local

Some cities and states are taking their own initiative to protect the world from a U.S. trigger finger. And they’re mostly led by women.

'Don't Make Us Go West Virginia On You'

After West Virginia public employees staged a nine-day walkout, workers in other states are preparing to follow the same playbook.

Council Members, Kochs, and Socialists Unite Against Amazon

Petitions and protests urge cities to stop offering tax incentives to Amazon HQ2. But who’s listening?

A young refugee from Kosovo stands in front of a map of Hungary with her teacher.

Who Maps the World?

Too often, men. And money. But a team of OpenStreetMap users is working to draw new cartographic lines, making maps that more accurately—and equitably—reflect our space.

For Low-Income Renters, the Affordable Housing Gap Persists

While supply varies by state, not one has enough housing for low-income renters.

The new cable-stayed bridge being built to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge across the Hudson River connecting New York State's Westchester and Rockland counties.

Mayors Are Demanding a Better Infrastructure Deal

Members of the National League of Cities are meeting in D.C. this week to make their case for more federal funding.