Daily Resource Highlight 7/19/2021

Posted by on July 19, 2021 at 2:50 PM

Below are the highlights and featured resources of this past week’s Daily* Resource.

7/13/2021 - These Award-Winning Cities Are Raising the Bar for Community Engagement

The United States is a large nation, in terms of both size and population. This has led to the creation of thousands of communities, providing countless opportunities for local leaders / residents to innovate and collaborate in exciting ways.

For over 70 years now, the National Civic League has recognized such efforts with the All-America City Awards. The AACs honor “communities that leverage civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation to successfully address local issues.” 

Over 500 communities -- representing nearly every state -- have received this prestigious honor, and one look at this year’s Winners shows what an honor it is. Whether it’s a community-driven, handicap accessible playground in Bellevue, WA, or a reinvented riverfront park in Fort Wayne, IN, it’s clear that receiving consideration for an AAC award requires a community-wide effort.

Naming individual projects, though, doesn’t do these communities justice. In every instance, these cities were / are working on several impressive programs simultaneously. You can read about them here, or if you want to see these local leaders brag about their work (which I highly recommend), check out the participant presentations here. You’ll be glad you did.

 

7/15/2021 - H.R. 1 Has Me Worried: The FlipSide and NFRPP Break it Down

The “For The People Act” has unfortunately become another partisan wedge that is dividing our country with an “us vs. them” mentality. If you’re against H.R. 1, then you oppose voting rights and democracy itself. And if you favor H.R. 1, then you support a partisan, federal takeover of our electoral systems.

But it’s rarely that simple when it comes to policy. Most major reform efforts have their pros and cons, and H.R. 1 is no exception. For instance, and as The FlipSide’s perspectives point out, H.R. 1 effectively guts voter ID requirements. Voter ID requirements are popular across the political spectrum, but H.R. 1 says that (1) it can’t be required for vote-by-mail and (2) an individual who lacks an ID can make a sworn statement instead.

To be very clear, we’re not saying that H.R. 1 is bad. We’re also not saying it’s good. What we’re saying is that we should be able to have a good faith debate about its provisions and we should not let any one piece of legislation -- regardless of how important or destructive it may be -- cause us to backslide into tribalism and dehumanization.

The Network for Responsible Public Policy (NFRPP) will be unpacking H.R. 1 on July 22nd at 7:30 PM ET. We do not know how they will cover the legislation or whether they’ll take a stance on it in either direction, but we encourage you to attend that event with an open mind and an open heart.

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