Welcome to Federalism in Action’s Top 3 Local weekly blog post. Are you new here? Every Friday, we find the 3 top stories highlighting local people making local decisions across the nation. We find the best examples of “Federalism in Action,” so you won’t miss a thing!

You’ll find this week’s Top 3 Local stories below, and you can click here to read last week’s highlights. Do you have a story to include in the next edition? Email us at!

FOR FUN: Going Local Celebrity Style

On the TV show Who Do You Think You Are?, celebrities explore their genealogy, and during a recent episode, viewers also got an historic example of federalism in action. Singer Kelly Clarkson learned about her great-great-great grandfather, Isaiah Rose, who served in both the Civil War and the Ohio State Senate. While investigating his legislative record, she discovered that Sen. Rose was a fan of keeping decision-making local. He was a part of the temperance movement and introduced a “local option” bill that would allow counties to decide how to regulate saloons. The bill became law, and viewers were reminded that keeping decisions local is certainly not a new idea and that it has worked throughout our country’s history. You can view that episode here.

FOR INSPIRATION: Constitution Day Reflections

September 17 marked the 226th birthday of the U.S. Constitution, an important day in American history and the concept of federalism. Former Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner wrote an op-ed reflecting on the importance of local decision-making in our founding: “Federalism protects local flexibility and autonomy, ensures that power is exercised at the closest and most accountable level possible, and creates competitions by allowing states to take different approaches to policy problems.”

FOR MOTIVATION: Millions in Potential for Western Lands

As we’ve written, America’s Rocky Mountain Region is rich in natural energy resources, but federal ownership prevents these Western states from utilizing them fully.  A new study by the University of Wyoming found that transferring these lands back to the states could lead to $26.5 billion in annual gross regional product and the potential of 208,000 jobs. Federal ownership of lands is paralyzing these states. To learn more about the fight for Western lands, visit the Center for Self-Government in the West, a new project of the Sutherland Institute dedicated to promoting federalism.

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