“Municipal elections have far lower voter turnout than national elections. The most likely explanation is that politically motivated parties have kept some elections off cycle to bolster their political power.”
“There are also important effects on turnout. Amir Fairdosi and Jon Rogowksi found that a black Democratic candidate on the ballot in a midterm boosts black turnout. (There is not an equivalent boost for a black Republican.) Lawrence Bobo and Franklin Gilliam found that in areas with high levels of black political empowerment, such as having a black mayor, black political participation is higher."
‘Old boys’ club’
"When citizens lack descriptive representation, as most blacks do, they do not trust their representatives. Some 44 percent of Americans surveyed said that “an old boys’ club” is the best description of our representatives, with only 7 percent saying they are “the best and brightest.” That means the next Ferguson is just around the corner: When a crisis happens, unrepresentative local governments will struggle to retain legitimacy. Even without crisis, vital needs of the community will remain unaddressed by a government that seems unresponsive and aloof."MORE AT: