Creative measures build support for local libraries:

by Public Works on July 31, 2013 in Changemakers

Young student in a libraryHere’s an uplifting story about a man who fought to save his local public library in Troy, Michigan. This local activist sparked a fierce public outcry by co-opting the advertising from the opposition with signs saying “vote to close the public library” and describing the upcoming vote to end funding for the library as a public “book burning.” This clever campaign made the choice clear (i.e. the libraries will go away without this vote) and focused the public debate on the real consequences, not just an abstract fight over taxes On a related note, we appreciated this thoughtful blog post (link here) from the librarian community in which they are thinking creatively about what spaces (including research journals to which they subscribe) they can “occupy” in order to be a force for change.


Oregon Advocates effectively making the case for public solutions

by Public Works on July 31, 2012 in Changemakers

For several years now we’ve had the privilege of working with an array of committed and creative advocates and community leaders in Oregon. We’ve had a great host organization – Neighborhood Partnerships (NP) – and with them we’ve now run … Continue reading

Public Works in the Field

by Public Works on July 31, 2012 in In the Works

Over the Hill in Oregon: In June Patrick and Anika joined their great colleagues from Neighborhood Partnerships in Oregon for a trip from Portland over the mountains to Central Oregon where they held a full day workshop for an array … Continue reading

Breaking the illusion of separate private and public economies

by Public Works on July 31, 2012 in Economy

This informative piece explains the ways in which the public sector underpins and supports private sector economic activity. Too often the private and public sectors are depicted, falsely, as wholly separate. Moreover it is often implied that when one sector … Continue reading

Revenue crunch sparks creative and troubling measures

by Public Works on July 31, 2012 in July 2012 eNewsletter

Today, fully four years since the economy began downshifting, public entities are employing an array of strategies to cope with budget shortfalls. A few such stories struck us this month as being particularly illustrative of how government is being remade … Continue reading

Generation gap’s implications for support of government

by Public Works on July 31, 2012 in July 2012 eNewsletter

Hammered by the economic downturn, young voters say they want government to play a significant role in the economy. “We’ve got a generation of young people who are more socially liberal and more open to activist government,” says Andrew Kohut, … Continue reading

Trust in major institutions, including public ones, declining

by Public Works on July 31, 2012 in July 2012 eNewsletter

Since 1973 Gallup has been polling Americans on their trust in major institutions, public and private. Over that period, most major institutions such as organized religion, banks, and Congress have seen steady erosions in public confidence. Public schools were among … Continue reading