Nation: Strong Currents of Change

New blocs gain power in Houston, Miami, San Francisco

Crime, poverty, racial tension. The symptoms are so depressingly similar from one urban center to another that they are often lumped together in one catchall phrase: "the problem of the cities." Politically, however, the cities make up a complex and ever shifting mosaic, as local elections across the nation demonstrated last week. In general, the cities' voters remained loyal to incumbents, and still more so to the Democratic Party. But there were strong crosscurrents of change in some big cities. Most notable: the sudden rise...

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