In the Works – April 2015

Airplane Travel with SuitcaseAnika had a busy April. She began the month by co-presenting with the Center for Social Inclusion at the annual South Asian Americans Leading Together summit. Shortly afterward she headed to the West Coast to participate in the Haas Institute’s Network for Transformative Change seminar, followed by the first national Belonging and Othering conference. She flew home to sleep in her bed and then was back at the airport the next day, headed to D.C. to attend the launch of the Putting Families First campaign and be a part of the Color of Wealth Summit as a member of the Experts of Color Network.

Elaine spent a few productive and fun days in Montgomery with the staff of Arise Citizens Policy Project and some of their allies talking about how to build support for adequate and fair tax revenues. It’s an interesting time in AL, fiscally speaking. On the one hand the governor recently proposed a significant tax increase package. On the other hand one state legislator actually suggested asking churches to adopt prisoners to offset the costs of incarceration.

The entire Public Works team also spent a day with staff of the Kirwan Institute discussing the role of government in addressing racial inequities and what our two organizations can from learn from one another about how to engage Americans in this conversation.

Public Works, along with Gerard Matthews of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, hosted a crowd-sourced webinar in which we presented the great work that came out of a workshop we facilitated at the KidsCount network conference in November.

Most of you probably know that we’re spending a good chunk of our time this year working closely with our research allies, The Topos Partnership. As with the previous research efforts we have commissioned, Public Works’ central purpose is to provide advocates, organizers, community leaders and average Americans with the tools they need to articulate the important role that public programs and services play in the quality of community life. We want to instill confidence in the defense of adequate revenues for key public systems and the ability to critique government constructively while building more public engagement and civic responsibility. Marcia Kinsey, the Director of Research and Engagement, oversees this effort from the Public Works end so give her a shout if you’d like to receive updates on this effort as it progresses. Exciting stuff!

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