Deliberative Democracy at Work

by Public Works on June 27, 2013 in June 2013 eNewsletter

spring at city hallThere are still pockets of New England where communities come together for long weekends to discuss and decide on town matters like school budgets and property taxes. This is the story of one such meeting held in Massachusetts last summer. This form of direct democracy is rare, but in communities where residents are committed to the process it gets results. Reading this article got us thinking about how other communities across America can work toward this kind of citizen engagement.

Public Structures Are Vital for Communities

by Public Works on June 27, 2013 in Changemakers

In this piece from the Huffington Post, Richard Kirsch, senior fellow with the Roosevelt Institute, offers us a great model for talking about the value of the public systems and structures, the benefits that businesses and their employees gain from … Continue reading

Falling Bridges and Cuts in Infrastructure Spending

by Public Works on June 27, 2013 in June 2013 eNewsletter

The Atlantic does a good job in this short piece of connecting the dots between the declining federal funding for public construction and infrastructure and America’s woefully poor bridges. Lack of federal funding certainly didn’t cause the recent bridge collapse … Continue reading

Meet Citizen Pete

by Public Works on June 27, 2013 in June 2013 eNewsletter

We’re sure you’ll enjoy this humorous video by “Citizen Pete.” From his public-access show, Pete walks us through ways we can improve our streets both by reaching out to city officials and by offering up a bit of our own … Continue reading

Majority Believes Federal Government Too Powerful

by Public Works on June 27, 2013 in June 2013 eNewsletter

A new poll from Gallup finds 54% of Americans believe the federal government has too much power. That’s up slightly from the prior year, which may not be surprising giving the recent attention to the Pentagon’s PRISM initiative involving Americans’ … Continue reading

The Continuing Pursuit of a More Perfect Union

by Elaine Mejia on June 27, 2013 in Feature

By Elaine Mejia and Patrick Bresette My country, ’tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing; Land where my fathers died, Land of the pilgrims’ pride, From ev’ry mountainside Let freedom ring! – Samuel Francis Smith With … Continue reading

We Are Citizens, Not Customers

by Public Works on June 27, 2013 in Changemakers

In a recent blog post titled “We are citizens not customers,” Rob Schofield with NC Policy Watch expressed concern that the debate about school vouchers has turned parents into “customers,” forcing schools to compete for their “business.” He worries about … Continue reading