How to argue at Thanksgiving, Model bills and More

The Public Leadership Institute is a nonprofit educational group that helps turn state and local elected officials, advocates and grassroots activists into progressive champions. To join, click here.

Building rehabilitation codes: Building codes were generally written with an eye toward new construction. As a result, it is often much harder to comply with building codes when rehabilitating older buildings—incentivizing the opposite of smart growth. This model for rehabilitation building codes is based on successful laws in California, Maryland, New Jersey and a host of cities.

How to argue over the Thanksgiving table: In the wake of the disastrous 2014 election, you might be dreading Thanksgiving a bit. Every year your loud-mouthed right-wing Uncle Mort insists on debating politics over the dinner table. This year he’ll be louder than ever. Want to know how to debate immigration, Obamacare and taxes/the 47 percent? Read IdeaLog, our blog intended to raise eyebrows and engage minds.

Fifty great policy models for 2015: Wednesday, December 3 @3:00pm Eastern, 2:00pm Central, 1:00pm Mountain, noon Pacific. We just published the 2015 edition of the Progressive Agenda for States and Localities. In our next webinar we’ll describe some of the great legislation that lawmakers should consider introducing in 2015. Register here to participate.

Twenty-two great election reform model bills: Our friends at FairVote have created a great resource, Policy Guide 2015, that provides policy briefs and model legislation on 22 different democracy topics.

Wonky but important request about subsidy standards: For the first time ever, the Government Accounting Standards Board has proposed that state and local governments disclose how much revenue they lose to economic development tax breaks. Progressives want elected officials to file positive Public Comments by January 30, 2015. Here is information about the standards. If you’d like help crafting a Public Comment, please contact Michael Weiss at

Progress in the States and Localities: What happened in the states, cities, counties and towns over the past eleven months? Our new Progress in the States and Localities is now online. If you have some victories or defeats to add, please send suggestions to Michael Weiss at