Our Common Purpose: Dramatically Expand Civic Infrastructure Capacity

This article is based on a report, OUR COMMON PURPOSE, produced in June, 2020, by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In his New Yorker article of 11/16/20, Evan Osnos likened the report to the civic equivalent of the 9/11 Commission Report. It offers bipartisan recommendations in the form of six Strategies, with between two and eight… Read More

Our Common Purpose: Ensure the Responsiveness of Political Institutions

This article is based on a report, OUR COMMON PURPOSE, produced in June, 2020, by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In his New Yorker article of 11/16/20, Evan Osnos likened the report to the civic equivalent of the 9/11 Commission Report. It offers bipartisan recommendations in the form of six Strategies, with between two and eight… Read More

Our Common Purpose: Empower Voters

This article is based on a report, OUR COMMON PURPOSE, produced in June, 2020, by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In his New Yorker article of 11/16/20, Evan Osnos likened the report to the civic equivalent of the 9/11 Commission Report. It offers bipartisan recommendations in the form of six Strategies, with between two and eight… Read More

Our Common Purpose: Achieve Equality of Voice and Representation

The debate over the electoral college, which in recent history, has resulted in three presidents taking office with a lower actual vote count than their competition, has raised the question of who gets to be heard in the selection of a president. The weakening, in 2013, of the protections in the national Voting Rights Act raises questions about voice and representation, as does the expanding range of methods to disenfranchise eligible voters. Read More

How Will Future Government Look?

Gather together about 130 citizens and 25 civil society and think tank representatives.  Invite them to review the present and speculate on how government will look in the future.  Review and synthesize the resulting discussions.  Out comes four different scenarios: DIY Democracy   (page 32) Private Algocracy   (page 38) Super Collaborative Government   (page 44) Over-Regulatocracy   … Read More

Performance Reporting – Who Cares?

y Jeff Tryens, former Deputy Director for Performance Mangement, New York City under Mayor Michael Bloomberg Call it what you will – performance management, managing for results, data-driven decision making – it‘s what good government managers aspire to these days. We true believers are convinced that reliable, timely data on inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes… Read More

Santa Ana Police and John Birch Society

In 2020, after the horrific killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, viewed around the world on public media, the question of police reform is again on the minds of legislators and policy makers at the local, state and federal levels.  A familiarity of the evolutionary history, tracing how a municipal department could,… Read More

Race and Governance: Some Protest Is Required

“Asset Stewardship” can refer to city building, transit, power grids, school buildings.  It can also refer to governance.  Like physical assets structured on behalf of the citizenry, good governance is an asset needing stewardship, as well. With nightly protests in Portland, Oregon now heading into the third month (July 2020), the Federal government has sent… Read More

IRS Can End Child Poverty

This year the US government will lose $207 BILLION because the government made a policy decision to allow rich people to pay significantly less taxes, dividends and long term capital gains are taxed a a lower level than regular income.  You have to be really rich to get taxed less.  That’s a lot of money… Read More

Bringing Police Back Under Municipal Control

The US is entering a new wave of police reform intended to shape a police department that is responsible to the community it serves.  But this in not the first time in America that municipal policing has undergone reform.  Understanding the reasons for prior reforms and what went wrong, may help the country to get… Read More

What to the Slave is the 4th of July?

In theory, one of the greatest assets of the United States of America is the freedom, under the rule of law, provided to its citizens.  But when asked to speak on the 4th of July, the celebration of our country’s Declaration of Independence”, famous orator, statesman and former slave Frederick Douglass delivered a speech, on… Read More

Re-Phrase the Declaration of Independence to Find Its Power for the 21st Century

Following the recommendation of a friend to read the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July, I struggled through the antiquated sentence structure, nouns and verbs to excavate the power of our forefathers’ anger, vision and intent in declaring their separation from a tyrant King who they claimed had usurped their basic rights as… Read More