Sarah Holder

Sarah Holder

Sarah Holder is a staff writer at CityLab.

Can Banning Privatization Keep Water Cheap, Safe, and Flowing?

Baltimore voters are deciding whether to ban privatization of the water utility. But without the infusion of private investment, can cities continue to afford providing safe, inexpensive water?

Jeff Bezos Talks Everything But HQ2

Amazon’s CEO wanted to talk about his new philanthropic initiatives at a high-profile dinner Thursday night. Attendees had other topics on their minds.

NIMBYs Really Hate Developers When They Turn a Profit

A new study unpacks the many motivations behind the "evil developer" narrative.

Cynthia Nixon is pictured.

Why Cynthia Nixon Can't Have the Bagel She Wants

The unspoken rules of local food are a recurring nightmare for politicians.

Is This Experiment in Digital Democracy Too Crazy to Work?

A startup called Voatz wants to build an unhackable way to vote over the internet. What could possibly go wrong?

The Women Candidates Shocking the Competition

Access to money is often the greatest hurdle for non-establishment candidates. But local female politicians say the excitement of a non-traditional candidate is not only motivating voters, but in some cases, opening pockets.

Third-grade teacher Cindy Cordts shares a laugh with her class at Oakwood Elementary School in Peoria, Arizona. The state's teachers won a pay raise in May after a six-day walkout.

Teacher Wages Are Lower Than Ever

It’s not just that paychecks are shrinking. It’s that the advantages teachers once had are reversing.

A Controversial Fix for Overdose Deaths: Safe Injection Sites

San Francisco opened a mock safe injection site last week, in an effort to showcase the public health benefits of the idea. But the Justice Department has vowed to crack down on any attempt to open a real one in the U.S.

Rahm Emanuel speaks from a podium.

Cities Take Aim at the Spiraling Costs of Local Elections

Big money is flooding into elections on the local level. Cities like Denver, Baltimore, and Portland, Oregon, are some of the ones pushing back.

Workers’ Rights, Silicon Valley-Style

In the technology industry, labor organizing can get tricky.

Inmates holding a fire line during a burn out operation in Big Sur, California, December 2013.

The Not-So-Invisible Labor Prisoners Do in Cities

In a nationwide prison strike, the U.S.’s incarcerated population is demanding better wages and an end to “slave labor.”

Now Entering Sleepopolis

How did America become a nation of mattress stores?

In Arkansas, ‘Digital Redlining’ Could Leave Thousands Without Health Care

One of America’s poorest and least connected states says Medicaid recipients must find work and an internet connection to keep receiving benefits.

Why D.C. Drowned Out the White Nationalists

The second Unite the Right rally saw an emaciated turnout. But residents of Washington, D.C., have something of a tradition of showing up to oppose white supremacists.

How Millennials Can Save the Postal Service

A new report suggests snail mail makes young adults feel special. USPS sees that as a chance to stage a turnaround.

Stopping White Supremacists From Taking Over an American City Again

A lot of change has happened since militia groups terrorized Charlottesville. And yet, another summer brings another rally in a different city.

Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson with his "Liberator," a 3-D printed pistol made of plastic.

Regulating the Guns of the Future

The debate over untraceable DIY guns has alarmed state and local leaders. How worried should we really be?

Animals Need Infrastructure Too

Highways are dangerous barriers for all sorts of wildlife. Around the world, bridges and tunnels just for animals make it easier for them to migrate, mate, eat, and survive.

Who Should Pay for a City’s Homelessness Crisis?

California cities are angling to charge big business for housing, after a notable failure in Seattle. They might have a better shot.

Flood waters rise to the doors of historic buildings in Baltimore.

Baltimore Is Suing Big Oil

With lawsuits against 26 companies, the city joins other U.S. cities and states that have gone to court for climate reparations.