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Michael Grass

Executive Editor

Michael Grass, who joined the Government Executive Media Group in June 2014, is the founding co-editor of DCist.com and worked as a copy editor at Roll Call, local and online editor at The Washington Post's Express newspaper, deputy managing editor at The New York Observer's Politicker.com, deputy managing editor at Washington City Paper and the D.C., Maryland and Virginia local editor for The Huffington Post. He also managed a non-profit network of state-based policy news sites in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and New Mexico.

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Trekking Up the ‘First Road’ in the Last Frontier

April 16, 2017 This is the first in a series of Route Fifty dispatches from Alaska. JUNEAU, Alaska — The Last Frontier’s seat of government is a fun one for those who enjoy state capital trivia. For starters, the City and Borough of Juneau is the nation’s second-largest municipality by land area, and...

Setting a High Renewable Energy Goal, Can Chicago Catch Up With Las Vegas?

April 11, 2017 Back in December, Las Vegas City Hall officials announced that 100 percent of the municipality’s 140 public facilities, streetlights and other civic infrastructure was now being powered by renewable energy thanks to the nearby Boulder Solar 1 array coming into service. About 1,300 miles to the east, the nation’s third-largest...

A Tough 4-Year Journey for the World’s Largest Tunnel Boring Machine

April 10, 2017 SEATTLE — It wasn’t supposed to take this long, but “Bertha,” which launched as the world’s largest tunnel-boring machine in July 2013, finally emerged last week in a concrete pit a few blocks from the Space Needle after its two-mile journey under the center of the Pacific Northwest’s largest city....

N.Y. Budget Deal Includes ‘Federal Financial Response Mechanism’ for Cuomo

April 9, 2017 State leaders in New York announced a long-awaited fiscal 2018 budget agreement on Friday, that among other things, funds Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s priority to provide free tuition for middle-class families to attend public universities in the state. But there’s an interesting feature of the budget deal: It includes a “federal...

The Local Government Preemption Debate in Texas Isn’t Just About Cities

April 5, 2017 The framers of the U.S. Constitution gave the states an incredible amount of latitude to organize local levels of government and define the boundaries of jurisdictional authority under their control. And while debates over the powers of local governments are nothing new, they’ve become especially pronounced in recent years in...

How the I-85 Collapse in Atlanta Could Be an Opportunity

April 3, 2017 If you complain about your commute, be thankful you aren’t in Atlanta. It's the first full work week without a heavily traveled section of Interstate 85 that collapsed Thursday evening following a fire that started underneath a viaduct about six miles north of downtown. This weekend, as Georgia Department of...

Major Fire in Atlanta Causes Interstate Highway Bridge to Collapse

March 30, 2017 Transportation agencies in Georgia are assessing the damage from a major fire that caused a bridge on a busy Atlanta interstate highway to collapse on Thursday evening. The damaged bridge section carries the northbound lanes of Interstate 85 near its interchange with Georgia State Route 400, an important expressway that...

A Data-Driven Governance Test for Seattle: Transforming Homeless Services

March 29, 2017 NEW YORK — There’s no way to sugarcoat the homelessness crisis impacting cities across the nation. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray knows this first hand. “We are suffering from a homelessness crisis that is growing exponentially,” Murray told a packed hotel ballroom near the World Trade Center on Tuesday, where 350...

What Works Cities Launches New Certification Program for Municipal Data Practices

March 28, 2017 NEW YORK — The Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a new certification program for municipal data-driven governance as part of its growing What Works Cities initiative on Tuesday. “The certification will help cities know where to look for good practices,” former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a gathering in lower...

If You Build It, They Will Come

March 28, 2017 The opening of a transit extension is always an exciting moment for local elected officials, agencies and other civic stakeholders. And that was certainly the case this past weekend in Fremont, California, with the ribbon-cutting for the Bay Area Rapid Transit system’s new 5.4-mile rail extension to the Warm Springs...