Episode

5/18 America’s Parking Lot Sickness; Clyburn’s Role In Gerrymandering w/ Henry Grabar & Marilyn Thompson

May 18, 2023

It’s an EmMajority Report Thursday! Emma makes her triumphant return from the West Coast. She speaks with Henry Grabar, staff writer at Slate, to discuss his recent book Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains The World. Then, she is joined by Marilyn Thompson, reporter at ProPublica, to discuss her recent reporting in South Carolina on Rep. James Clyburn. First, Emma runs through updates on the continuing attacks on Mifepristone, Illinois’ semi-auto ban, dwindling trust in the Supreme Court, DeSantis’ pending entrance into the Presidential race, Montana’s TikTok ban, and border patrol violence, also touching on the breaking news around Pelosi’s role in delaying Dianne Feinstein’s exit from the Senate, in the hopes of securing said seat for protégé Adam Schiff. Henry Grabar dives right into the absurdity of having a car-centric society, with land dominated by parking lots, where the constant question is “Why no parking?” He first tackles the base desire for free, convenient, and available parking, and the problems that each one of these elements creates, ultimately generating a lack of available parking in high-density areas and/or suburban sprawl, alongside the “if you build it [parking spots] they [more drivers needing to park] will come” nature of the issue. Next, Grabar walks Emma through the history of parking as a planning issue, beginning with the popularization of the Model-T at the start of the 20th Century, with the US ultimately settling on various requirements for the creation of parking alongside any new buildings, and how this, once again, created a misappropriation of land to parking, disincentivized the creation of myriad types of housing, from broader affordable housing to architectural models like rowhouses, and spurred NIMBYism. Wrapping up, they parse through the various environmental impacts of the parking issue, and how various levels of politics are tackling the issue. Marilyn Thompson then joins, as she explores her recent report on Rep. Clyburn’s work with the South Carolina GOP on planning their severely gerrymandered congressional map, tailoring the Sixth Congressional District to his liking. After working through Clyburn’s history with the district, Thompson establishes why this tactic is so backward and actively hurts Democratic and Black representation in South Carolina.

And in the Fun Half: Emma is joined by Brandon Sutton and Matt Binder as they touch on autonomous Teslas’ continued insistence on subtly breaking laws, talk with Ethan from Sports Twitter about Nancy Pelosi’s role in keeping Dianne Feinstein in office and the absurdity of painting this as “feminist” when it’s ultimately about keeping another woman out of office, and watch Ben Shapiro wax poetic about the bane of humanity (Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition). Marty from Houston discusses the financial impact of the culture war on Drag, RFK – the supposed progressive – claims that “it’s the politicians, not the capitalists” that are the issue, and Dylan from New Mexico reflects on the cultivated inhumanity around the homeless people in our society. They wrap up by watching Machaela Cavanaugh and Jermaine Johnson speak out against fascism on their respective statehouse floors, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Henry’s book here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/634461/paved-paradise-by-henry-grabar/

Check out Marilyn’s work at ProPublica here: https://www.propublica.org/people/marilyn-thompson

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