Report Reveals Uber Disrupts Local Democracies in the U.S.


The widely popular transportation company, Uber technologies, is being a accused of intentionally undermining local governments in cities across the U.S., according to a report published on Monday by citizens watchdog Public Citizen. 

The report entitled "Disrupting Democracy: How Uber Deploys Corporate Power to Overwhelm and Undermine Local Government" tells the stories of conflicts between Uber Technologies and local governments in eight U.S. cities. 

“When city officials try to enact laws or enforce regulations the company opposes, it fights back political-style campaign tactics and large-scale lobbying,” The Public Citizen report stated. 

In 2015, the ride-hailing company—whose estimated value stands at the US $61 billion—spent between U.S. $420,000 and U.S. $945,000 on pressuring state legislitive officials to endure bills that allow Uber to operate without the stringent regulations applied to traditional taxicabs. 

According to 2014 data compiled by the Washington Post, Uber has hired at least 161 people and multiple lobbying firms to influence legislation. 

“When cities pass laws that Uber opposes, the company commonly seeks to have them preempted with Uber-approved state law or repealed through voter referenda,” the Public Citizen report stated. 

The new research goes on to point out that the company utilizes grassroots campaigning strategies such as petitions, which can generate tens of thousands of signatures, help legitimize their lobbying campaigns. 

Uber’s successful lobbying efforts have defeated several regulations in various states and city across the country, allowing the company to operate largely unregulated or self-regulated.

“Living in a democracy means the people have the power to choose their destiny, and it means local governments must make decisions in the public’s best interest,” the report concluded. “No single company or interest should have the power to use deploy its wealth to overwhelm democracy’s deliberative and decision making processes, the authors of the paper argue.”

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by