Anthony Foxx and Sarah Palin


Ben Smith passes on a column by the Charlotte Observer‘s Mary Newsom on Charlotte’s new Democratic mayor, Anthony Foxx:

Amid the bloviation-fest following Tuesday’s election, Charlotte’s mayoral election seems to have kept on flying under the national political radar. Odd.

Think about it: A young African-American Democrat, raised by a single mom and his grandparents, now a successful lawyer, aims for a seat that’s been Republicans for years. He mobilizes young and African-American voters and wins in a strong showing. Sound familiar?

[…]

Democrat Anthony Foxx’s win over Republican John Lassiter is not an insignificant anthill on the political landscape. The largest city in the nation’s 10th largest state elected its first Democratic mayor in 22 years, an African-American in a majority-white Southern city, a progressive mass transit supporter and an environmentalist.

Charlotte is America’s 18th-largest city, with a population of 687,456 in 2008. That means that Foxx now governs slightly more people than Sarah Palin, onetime candidate for vice president, did as governor of the state of Alaska. Charlotte has more people than Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont, the District of Columbia, and Wyoming. If you take the population of the entire Charlotte metropolitan area, the contrast is even more striking. With around 1.7 million people, the Charlotte metro area has a population larger than 11 states and the District of Columbia. Each of those 11 states has two Senators. The political structure of this country is truly bizarre.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.