Infrastructure Returns to USA ….But Not Maintenance

Maintaining our infrastructure is expensive. ITDP estimates the cost to maintain the public’s built infrastructure at 1.4% of the cost to build the infrastructure. What this $1 Trillion infrastructure bill is intended to cover are the one time renovations required in our most essential infrastructure systems. The money will address the renovations needed for roads, bridges, electric and water systems, etc. for the decades of neglect. The money does NOT address the cost of maintaining our infrastructure. Read More

Rediscovering Capitalism

Whether we call large tech companies that regulate and shape the stream of private business models that might use them capitalist free enterprise corporations or utilities, it is clear that they have the unregulated, unreviewed power to make decisions, much like the early Robber Barons, that shape the business models that reward their interests and kill business models that do not. Nor are there any clear remedies for enabling public interests or private companies to engage in inquiry about policy decisions by these companies that shape the way our economy, as well as our society, functions.

In the spirit of “asset stewardship”, it is time, as President Biden said, to encourage “the right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies.” .

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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

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

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

Cow Poop Gets Monetized

The “Green New Deal” proposed by Congresswoman Andrea Ocasio-Cortez, included  methane gas expelled by cows as one of the potential contributors to climate change.  But capitalists have a plan for solving this. An energy utility company, Dominion Energy Inc., has entered into a $200 million agreement with a renewable energy producer,  Vanguard Renewables, of Wellesley,… 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

Russia Revitalizes Urban Spaces

from Charlemagne:  What a campaign to revive Russia’s urban spaces means for civil society,  Economist, 8-11-18 SOVIET SQUARE in Voronezh no longer looks especially Soviet. Children dart through a dancing fountain. BMX bikers barrel across new tiles. Grassy groves play home to picnicking teens. “It’s practically Spain,” gushes a pensioner. The newly reconstructed square is one… Read More

Oregon Mayor Speaks on Trump, Cities, Climate Change

(from article by Carey L. Biron) WASHINGTON — Donald Drumpf’s surprise victory in the U. S. presidential election this week scrambled domestic and international calculations, with particularly notable questions looming about the potential impact on global action around climate change. The news broke just as the international community is gathering to discuss global warming for the… Read More

Infrastructure: John Oliver Explains it All (HBO)

So you don’t think infrastructure can be fun? Watch comedian John Oliver explain its intricate, critically important, hilarious fascinations in this video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wpzvaqypav8 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Infrastructure (HBO) Infrastructure investment will save lives.   Also, from:  CEO FORUM GROUP: “Infrastructure refers to the large-scale public systems, services, and facilities of a country… Read More

Global City Challenge 2016 Registration

Initial teambuilding workshops for the next round of the Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) will take place November 12-13, 2015, at NIST’s Gaithersburg, Md., campus. Registration for the workshop is open. Please use this link to register:http://www.nist.gov/cps/global-cities-team-challenge-2015.cfm. An agenda and additional materials related to the November teambuilding workshop are forthcoming. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s… Read More

White House Announces $160MM “Smart Cities” Initiative

The Obama administration, in conjunction with the Smart Cities Council Annual Meeting, on Sept. 14, announced $160mm in federal research, grants and collaborations to help local communities manage major challenges using 21st century tools. As part of the initiative, the Administration is announcing: More than $35 million in new grants and over $10 million in proposed… Read More

Infrastructure Problem: One of Many Assets Needing Attention

In 2011 the USA rated a grade of D+ on Infrastructure from the American Society of Civil Engineers, citing a need for a $3.6 TRILLION investment by 2020.  Despite one of America’s favorite comedians,  John Oliver, using comedy to call attention to this infrastructure problem on national television, not much is changing.  Nor is the… Read More