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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...

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

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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

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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...

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...

The Correspondent

Patrick Chalmers

10 June 2020

Kenya

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Communities around the world are increasing citizen participation in political decision-making in innovative ways. Participatory budgets allow locals to decide how cities spend money and in some Kenyan cities this has...

Montana Free Press

Emily Stifler Wolfe

2 June 2020

Bozeman, Montana, United States

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In Montana, a group of professionals were brought together to collaborate on the pandemic recovery effort underway in Bozeman, with the economic development director at the helm. Known as the Bozeman Economic Recovery...

Equal Times

Carmen Grau

25 May 2020

Matsudo, Japan

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Japan's model of prioritizing societal care for their elderly has helped the country achieve the highest life expectancy and be named the healthiest population in the world. Now amid the coronavirus pandemic, the coun...

Route Fifty

Emma Coleman

15 May 2020

United States

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To provide financial relief to restaurants during Covid-19 related closures, officials in several cities have capped the commission food delivery apps can take from restaurants. Some apps normally take as much as 40% ...

BBC

Laura Bicker

10 May 2020

South Korea

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Under 3 Minutes

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South Korea has effectively crushed the curve in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by using extensive tracking and tracing on its citizens. Using a combination of GPS tracking, monitoring CCTV footage, and even ...

LAist

Matt Tinoco

7 May 2020

Los Angeles, California, United States

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In Los Angeles, a government-sanctioned camp has been developed for individuals experiencing housing insecurity. The camp, with around-the-clock security, offers residents water, meals, health care, and electrical out...

Reasons to be Cheerful

Daniel J McGraw

4 May 2020

Cleveland, Ohio, United States

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Cleveland’s city jail has released close to 900 inmates in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in its overcrowded facilities. And the response isn’t unique – New York, LA, Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, and Housto...

Reasons to be Cheerful

David Byrne

27 April 2020

Georgetown, Texas, United States

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West Texas, traditionally known for its oil business, has become a thriving home for wind energy. Beyond political ideology, wind power as a form of renewable energy is thriving for economic reasons, as it can be more...

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