There are obvious limitations: you can`t choose an obscene name, you can`t use anything that`s trademarked, and you can`t exactly copy a celebrity`s name. You cannot change your name to avoid arrest or commit any kind of fraud. Otherwise, however, the choice is yours. If you want to change your name, make sure you understand the legal process and the steps to follow. It is very important to do it correctly so as not to neglect anything. For Latrice Harry of Vallejo, California, an unpaid ticket resulted in a $1,400 fine and a suspended driver`s license. Without the ability to drive, Latrice lost her job and her ability to easily visit her children. Stories like Latrice`s are even more common when local governments treat fines not only as enforcement tools, but also as revenue streams. For example, the U.S. Department of Justice released a report on police and judicial practices in Ferguson, Missouri, detailing many injustices. These included the city`s widespread practice of using fines to extract additional funds from its poorest residents, many of whom are black. Local governments and courts can make changes — such as reducing fines, creating payment plan options, or offering alternatives to fines such as community service — to ensure that fines for minor infractions don`t unfairly punish low-income residents.
What was the result? It is clear that many people have benefited from justified changes in bail and sentencing. An unintended consequence, however, may have been the increase in crime. In 2020, murders in Philadelphia totaled 499, 40 percent more than the year before and just below the peak of 500 in 1990, when the city`s population was virtually the same as it is today. And by July, Philadelphia is on track to break its record for murders. Although not a local law, the right of first refusal deserves a place on this list, as it increasingly influences whether and how local governments can pass the laws needed to protect public health and promote health equity. The right of first refusal is a legal doctrine that allows a higher level of government to limit or even eliminate the power of a lower level of government to deal with a particular problem. As with any other tool, the effectiveness of prevention depends on when and how it is used. People will ask questions. You will forget that you have changed your name. It may take more work than you think to contact friends, family, colleagues, supervisors, school administrators, and anyone else who needs to know. This can be a bit confusing, especially in the first few months after the change.
You`ve been thinking about changing your name for a while and you think it`s finally time to take the next step and make it official. Maybe you`ve never really liked your name and want something you like. Maybe you`re looking for a fresh start in your life and think the name change is an important step to put yourself in the right frame for positive growth. A prime example is an eight-hour altercation with police in 2019 involving Maurice Hill, who was accused of shooting six officers while trying to avoid arrest. Police records showed Hill had been arrested a dozen times since his 18th birthday in 2000 and convicted six times of illegal possession of weapons, drug trafficking and aggravated assault. Even Krasner said the alleged shooter “shouldn`t have been on the street” because of his criminal past. While such cases show that there has been systemic racism in Louisiana`s justice system and likely in other Southern jurisdictions, they have been used to justify dramatic legal changes in cities across the country run by liberal Democrats for generations. However, it is clear that the right of first refusal has quickly become the tool of choice for many state legislators to hinder the power of local governments to create laws that improve people`s lives. States have anticipated many important local laws to promote health and health equity. For example, Alabama moved ahead of the minimum wage increase in Birmingham; Wisconsin has moved ahead of Milwaukee`s paid sick leave law; and Texas anticipated both Travis County`s shelter status and Austin City law prohibiting landlords from discriminating based on a tenant`s source of income (e.g., federal housing assistance). Faced with pre-emption problems, cities can organize themselves to preserve and protect local democracy and its ability to adapt political solutions to their communities. Such efforts are essential to ensure that cities remain places of innovation, where local governments and the people they represent have the power to pass their own laws to bring about positive change.
Most laws are passed to ensure the health and safety of our communities. But even well-intentioned laws can backfire and lead to absurd or unfair results. Unintended consequences can occur even when laws seem reasonable and mundane. Such unintended outcomes do not occur only at the federal or state level; Local laws can also sometimes miss the mark. The good news is that local governments are closer and more responsive to communities, so equitable change at the local level is often easier to achieve. Recently, Joe Sullivan, retired police commander from Philadelphia, told me that while reforms to the criminal justice system are warranted, those that have been initiated go too far, such as reducing illegal gun ownership to a single offence. The changes created an environment where many community residents saw no benefit in working with police, he said. This is an official legal decision that you have to make, which means you will have to pay a fee. For example, you must file a petition to change your name, which must then be approved.
It must be notarized. If your name change is the result of a divorce or marriage, you may need additional documents. It`s not prohibitive – court fees can run into a few hundred dollars – but it costs money. It`s just something you want to do if you`re serious. One of Krasner`s signature changes was to reduce theft of juvenile property under $50,000 to offences. In January 2021 alone, there were 59 carjackings, up from 18 at the same time last year, according to the Philadelphia Police Department, more than three times as many. There were 404 car hijackings in 2020, compared to 225 in 2019 and 230 in 2018, according to the ministry. A similar dynamic occurred in Chicago. As Heather MacDonald reported in 2018, “car hijacking has nearly tripled since 2015, with a growing proportion of minors committed, thanks to a law that exempts young car hijackers from adult punishment.” Harassment ordinances are local laws designed to limit unwanted activities that pose a risk to public health or safety, such as excessive noise, hazardous waste or criminal activities.
Harassment laws are designed to keep communities safe and live, but sometimes they have the opposite effect. Typically, individuals or homeowners who receive harassing quotes stop the annoying activity (such as stopping throwing noisy parties) or face a fine, often in the form of a fine. But penalties can vary in severity and sometimes lead to undesirable and unfair results. For tenants, a harassment complaint can mean the loss of a unit that may not be easily replaceable. Harassment laws can also disproportionately impact community members with fewer resources, such as people of color, people with intellectual disabilities, or domestic violence. One of the factors contributing to this inequality is the unfair application of harassment laws for different types of people and different places. Rightly recognizing that our aging water infrastructure needs attention, some cities have turned to for-profit water companies to own or operate water utilities. While nearly 90% of the population gets their water from public services, water privatization remains a hot topic, especially in small rural communities. Putting a vital public service like water in the hands of the private sector has serious drawbacks.
Privatization risks include higher costs, limited public transparency and accountability, and poorer quality services, particularly in rural and low-income communities. Many municipalities require developers to construct a minimum of parking spaces for new buildings, both residential and commercial. This practice is increasingly criticized for subsidizing drivers at the expense of healthy, sustainable communities. Due to the growing local dependence on cars, the minimum number of parking spaces increases traffic and pollution, promotes urban sprawl and hinders accessibility. Minimum parking spaces also drive up housing costs: if new residential units are to be accompanied by parking spaces, this increases construction costs and reduces housing supply.