10 Local Laws That May Be Doing More Harm Than Good

1. Nuisance Laws

Nuisance laws can backfire, resulting in less safety in communities when residents fear reporting violence to the police and perpetrators gain impunity.

2. Jaywalking Laws

3. Fines for Minor Infractions

4. Privatizing Water

5. Occupancy Standards for Rental Housing

Community-generated complaints can cause unfair outcomes when motivated by bias such as prejudice against renters or residents of low-income neighborhoods.

6. Criminalizing Food Sharing

7. Tobacco “PUP” Laws

8. School Discipline Policies

Children who are experiencing disciplinary or behavioral issues need support and corrective guidance rather than removal from the school environment.

9. Minimum Parking Requirements

10. Preemption

Preemption has rapidly become the tool of choice for many state legislatures to hinder local government’s power to create laws that improve people’s lives.



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Founded in 1996, we are a nonprofit organization working across the nation to advance equitable laws and policies that ensure healthy lives for all.