The research within Vanishing Beacons focuses on American municipalities, their revenue streams, expenditures decisions, governance processes and organizational structures. This research examines public policy on voting rights and its connection to the ability of the citizenry to elect officials from the traditional underclass. This entails the observation of the impact of federalism and/or intergovernmental fission on future voting rights policies, policy implementation and policy outcomes. The venture led to the creation of a database containing every municipality in the U.S. which elected mayors after the passage of the 1965 voting rights law and subsequent amendments.
By controlling for mayoral race/ethnicity, Dr. Sampson was able to focus on black governed municipalities and make comparisons of expenditure patterns to the group as a whole. Decennial census and census of government data collected since 1960 provide the source for more than 75 variables describe population composition, size, governance attributes, revenue sources and related variables and constructs