Hash-It-Out WebinarHow Personal Responsibility and "Self-Sufficiency" Rhetoric Undermines Support for Public Solutions and What We Can Do About It

In this first Hash-it-Out conversation we discuss how the concepts of personal responsibility and self-sufficiency get in the way of creating a better public understanding of both the economic barriers that families confront as well as the important ongoing role that government should play in creating an economy that works for all. More importantly, we share ideas, including yours, about what we can do to get this public debate back on track.

Special thanks to our guest presenters. Gavin Devore Leonard from One Ohio Now and Tazra Mitchell from the NC Justice Center did a stellar job of showing how this challenge presents itself in their state’s debates. And Julie Fisher-Rowe with the Opportunity Agenda walked us through some of the latest research that looks at some of the stereotypes and logic underlying this rhetoric and some ideas for getting past it to create a better understanding and support of the role of government.


Our “hash-it-out” webinar format is as much about talking through tough issues together as it is about sharing concrete recommendations or model language. But we realize that the next step is for you to integrate the ideas discussed into your day-to-day work. To that end please avail yourselves of the following resources that were mentioned:


As always, feel free to comment on our blog or reach out to us here at Public Works to talk through this some more or get help with your communications plans and materials more directly.



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Public Works is a non-profit dedicated to building public will for the common good by engaging more Americans in an active pursuit of a government that works for us all.

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