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Texas Tribune

Vianna Davila

Jeremy Schwartz

Kiah Collier

22 February 2021

Texas, United States

Multi-Media

Over 3000 Words

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After winter storms and freezing temperatures in 2011 and 2014 caused power plants in Texas to shut down, the state’s energy regulators failed to adapt the state’s electric grid for future extreme weather events. Expe...

Wall Street Journal

Katherine Blunt

Russell Gold

19 February 2021

Texas, United States

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A historic cold snap in Texas revealed cracks in the state’s free-market energy system, which left millions powerless during the storm. Critics of the state’s system say “the alphabet soup of Texas energy oversight bo...

Reasons to be Cheerful

Oliver Gordon

12 February 2021

Pembrokshire, Wales

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Wales’ One Planet Development Policy allows people to live a more sustainable lifestyle by using only the resources on the land they reside. For one family, they get their electricity from their own solar array, heat ...

Energy News Network

Tom Perkins

29 January 2021

Michigan, United States

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The Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice was created to advise Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on environmental justice issues related to pollution and energy access. In its first year, the 21-member council was i...

ProPublica

Tony Briscoe

Haru Coryne

30 December 2020

United States

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Various government policies and programs have been implemented in Black communities facing urban decline but not all of them have been completely successful. Initiatives included: Expanding public transportation, ref...

National Geographic

Bridget Huber

3 December 2020

Bavaria, Germany

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Environmental advocates got 1.75 million signatures to change Bavarian farming laws to protect biodiversity. The Save the Bees Campaign calls for using subsidies to nearly triple the amount of organic farming, creatin...

The Guardian

Peter Yeung

20 November 2020

Paris, France

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Cities across France are using citizens’ assemblies, where a diverse group of citizens study important issues and make policy recommendations. In Paris, 150 citizens spent nine months working on the climate convention...

Yes! Magazine

Isabela Dias

12 November 2020

Brazil

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Collective, or shared, candidacies, where groups of candidates to run for a single elected position in Brazil, has helped elevate women and other marginalized groups with progressive platforms to rise to power. From 2...

The Daily Tar Heel

Kathryn Goodwin

8 November 2020

United States

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MyVote organized over 300 student volunteers, mostly in high school, to research candidates and their policies so that voters could have a “one-stop-shop” platform to learn about policy platforms of candidates running...

Governing

Skip Descant

29 October 2020

Seattle, Washington, United States

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A pilot project in several American cities has provided a large amount of data on how residents use streets where vehicular traffic is restricted. The initiative tested out ways to calm traffic, provide space for fami...

Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Agnel Philip

Rob Perez

24 October 2020

Hawaii, United States

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A 100-year-old program provides virtually free land for Native Hawaiians to build their own home or buy one from a developer. Despite a $1/year land lease and low taxes, the program has failed to promptly provide affo...

The Philadelphia Citizen

Jessica Blatt Press

19 October 2020

United States

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Citizens' assemblies, where a randomly selected representative sample of people work together to make decisions and find policy solutions to social issues, is an effective approach to decision-making that bridges pola...

The Fresno Bee

Nadia Lopez

9 October 2020

Fresno, California, United States

Multi-Media

Over 15 Minutes

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Latinx politicians hold 48% of all elected positions in Fresno County, gains made possible by the California Voting Rights Act. The law calls for local governments to use district elections instead of citywide races i...

Vox

Jen Kirby

6 October 2020

Oregon, United States

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Over a dozen states have adopted some variation of automatic voter registration, which is common in many European democracies. Voters in Oregon are mailed a notification when they are enrolled, which they can send bac...

Sacramento Bee

Kim Bojórquez

5 October 2020

California, United States

Multi-Media

1500-3000 Words

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In California, two laws have helped to open opportunities for less experienced candidates to win state and local offices, which has increased representation among people of color. A 1990 law set term limits for the st...

Reasons to be Cheerful

Carl Miller

27 September 2020

Taiwan

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vTaiwan is a mixed-reality, scaled listening exercise used by the government as a new way to make decisions. The platform provides an online space for citizens to debate and for politicians to listen to. The governmen...

Next City

Zach Mortice

23 September 2020

Chicago, Illinois, United States

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Twenty high school students enrolled in Territory, an urban design nonprofit, produced a zine and their own quality of life report for West Austin, where many of the students live. The students conducted interviews, s...

Scientific American

Julia Hotz

18 September 2020

United Kingdom

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Citizen assemblies bring together residents for in-depth discussions about solutions to social issues. This alternative form of democracy led to policy changes in many countries, including legalizing abortion in Irela...

Reasons to be Cheerful

Bastian Berbner

1 September 2020

Ireland

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A political experiment to increase trust and build relationships effectively brought together 66 diverse citizens, 33 politicians, and one expert to discuss proposed constitutional amendments and make recommendations ...

Governing

Alan Greenblatt

27 August 2020

United States

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The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) protects states from having to fund federal laws. Prior to its passage, Congress passed bills without worrying about how to fund them, leaving states, cities, and counties to pa...

Boulder Weekly

Emma Athena

20 August 2020

Massachusetts, United States

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Almost half of U.S. states guarantee citizens’ rights to petition for ballot measures, but the coronavirus made gathering signatures in person infeasible. Massachusetts courts allowed electronic signatures, but other ...

High Country News

Nick Bowlin

6 August 2020

California, United States

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The Industrial Areas Foundation, the country’s oldest community organizing group, adapted to coronavirus restrictions by using technology to win relief for immigrants without legal documentation in California. Organiz...

Christian Science Monitor

Elaine Weiss

3 August 2020

Tennessee, United States

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Three generations of activists marched, protested, lobbied, and campaigned for more than seven decades to win the right to vote for American women. In 1920, national and local activists worked to convince Tennessee le...

Yes! Magazine

Julian Agyeman

31 July 2020

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

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Urban planning policies can lead to greater racial segregation, sometimes intentionally. While older policies could be explicitly racist, today policies such as zoning, which designates land for residential or industr...

The Economist

The Economist

23 July 2020

United States

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Universities are a source of innovative economic activity for neighboring towns and cities. The entrepreneurial activity spurred by academic programs and the effect a large student body has on a college town's main st...

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