Massachusetts Gets Highest Rank for Children

by Public Works on July 31, 2014 in July 2014 eNewsletter

MassachusettsJust when we thought it wasn’t possible for us to admire Jann Jackson of the Annie E. Casey Foundation any more than we already did, we saw this interview in which she discusses the state of child well-being in Massachusetts. Though the commonwealth scored the highest rankings overall in the latest national Kids Count state benchmarks, Jann makes a compelling case in this video that the state can do more.

In this interview Jann gets everything right. Among other things, she is optimistic: “Massachusetts has a lot to celebrate.” Moreover, she gets at the idea of intentionality and the role of public systems and policies at every turn: “The fact that kids are doing well or poorly is not a random event. We know a lot about what kids need to thrive. …It’s a matter of public knowledge that we have but public will is what is needed to make sure that we do what works and that we make that available for all kids.” Jann, we want to be you when we grow up.

Social Math: Solving homelessness vs. buying broken planes

by Public Works on July 31, 2014 in July 2014 eNewsletter

Putting numbers into context by comparing them to things people are more familiar with in their daily lives is an important tool for building public understanding of complex policy issues.  This recent example from Think Progress uses this approach to … Continue reading

The Middle Class as America’s Job Creators

by Public Works on July 31, 2014 in July 2014 eNewsletter

West Coast venture capitalist Nick Hanauer is at it again. He is simply determined to offer Americans a new way of understanding what drives the economy. Not only was Nick’s conversation with Diane Rehm this month worth a listen but … Continue reading

Optimism: It does a body good

by Public Works on July 31, 2014 in July 2014 eNewsletter

File these two entries under “good news.” First, Walter Shapiro wrote this thoughtful piece for the Brennan Center for Justice in which he argues that optimism, not negativity, actually improves voter turnout: All of this suggests that we are mostly … Continue reading

A Great Example of How the Mind Works

by Public Works on July 31, 2014 in July 2014 eNewsletter

In our workshops and consultations around the country, we often spend time helping our partners to see that the way human minds process information is important to those of us who are trying to change attitudes about government and public … Continue reading

Americans Less Optimistic

by Public Works on July 31, 2014 in July 2014 eNewsletter

The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute recently released the findings of a new survey of Americans that found, contrary to how we like to think of ourselves, that Americans are becoming decidedly less optimistic. The poll is a jarring wake-up … Continue reading

Making waves: A Guide to Cultural Strategy

by Public Works on July 31, 2014 in July 2014 eNewsletter

The Culture Group’s new Guide to Cultural Strategy does a great job of explaining why the only real and lasting change comes through changing the culture at its core. It offers insightful definitions and timelines showing how American culture has … Continue reading