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News Posted on January 26, 2018

Professor Pruitt Comments on Rural-urban Disparities for High Country News

Professor Lisa R. Pruitt commented for High Country News on the discontent in rural Northern California that has prompted some to call for northern counties to secede from California and form a 51st state.

Professor Pruitt said that Northern California is “much more rural and frontier than any other region of the state,” and that lawmakers sometimes fail to account the disparate impacts that measures such as California’s gasoline tax can have on rural communities. One potential solution would be for the state to adopt some version of Australia’s “rural proofing” practice, which requires the government to assess the potential impacts of new laws on rural communities.

“It’s a way of acknowledging rural is different,” Pruitt said. “It would be good for the Legislature to have to confront that.”

Lisa R. Pruitt, Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor at UC Davis School of Law, is a scholar whose recent work explores the legal relevance of rural spatiality, including how it inflects dimensions of gender, race, and ethnicity. Pruitt's work also considers rural-urban difference in transnational and international contexts