Pages tagged "framing"


Job Piracy, Populist Platform, the Supreme Court and More


The Public Leadership Institute is a nonprofit educational group organized to raise public awareness on key issues and to develop public leaders who will improve the economic and social conditions of all Americans. To join, click here.

Job Piracy Cease Fire Act: Neighboring jurisdictions are continuously trying to steal jobs from one another by bribing employers to move. This is a horrible use of taxpayer funds and unfairly tilts the economic playing field to favor some companies over others. The Act prohibits a jurisdiction from offering subsidies to companies from jurisdictions that have enacted their own Job Piracy Cease Fire Act.

A Populist Platform for 2016: Want a policy platform to suggest to a lawmaker, candidate or advocacy organization? A simple one-page statement reflects American values and includes economic policies that are all wildly popular. Read about it on IdeaLog, our blog intended to raise eyebrows and engage minds.

How a new Supreme Court case impacts the abortion rights debate: Thursday, December 3 @3pm Eastern, 2pm Central, 1pm Mountain, Noon Pacific. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Texas’ strict anti-abortion law and that case will have a major impact on abortion legislation everywhere. It could also affect the 2016 presidential and congressional elections. David Brown, an attorney working on this case for the Center for Reproductive Rights, will explain the case, its timeline, messaging, and will take all your questions. Register for the webinar here.

Podcasts from SSN: The Scholars Strategy Network has just launched its podcast, No Jargon. You can find it on iTunesStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. For example, check out Episode 6: Planned Parenthood, Abortion, and Birth Control.

Party affiliation determines position on Syrian refugees: There is huge split between Democrats (63% yes) and Republicans (68% no) on the question of allowing Syrian refugees into the United States. PollingReport provides the topline on this and related questions.

Latest Compendium of State and Local Legislation in 2015: What’s happened so far in 2015? Read about it in our Compendium. If you have additions to suggest, please contact mweiss@publicleadershipinstitute.org.


A Populist Platform for 2016

Want a policy platform to suggest to a lawmaker, candidate or advocacy organization? Here is a one-page statement that reflects American values and includes economic policies that are all wildly popular:

A Populist Platform for 2016

For the past 30 years, our nation’s economic and political playing field has increasingly favored moneyed interests over the majority. As a result, the gap between the rich and the rest of America has never loomed so large. This is contrary to our fundamental American values.

We hold these truths to be self-evident:

  • Government policies should benefit all the people, not primarily the wealthy or the special interests.
  • Our economy should offer opportunity for all, and make the American dream accessible to every family.
  • America works best when everyone gets a fair chance, everyone gives their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.
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Our goal is not to change beliefs, it is to change behavior:

In almost every jurisdiction, in order to win political battles, we must persuade at least some non-aligned or “swing” voters. We call them “persuadable voters.”

These Americans aren’t like you and me. They don’t pay much attention to public policy. They are neither staunch conservatives nor avowed liberals. They don’t often read the political news. They don’t even like to watch it on TV. In general, they’re the citizens who are least interested in politics. After all, if they paid attention, they would already have taken a side.

To political activists’ ears that may sound like an insult; it is not. The persuadables are normal people. Instead of focusing on the next Democratic presidential nominee, they are thinking about what to fix for dinner tonight, chores that need to be done next weekend, and how to pay for the kid’s braces next year. Just by reading this blog (or by writing it), we’re singling ourselves out as oddballs.

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Public Services, Standardized Testing, Message Framing and More


The Public Leadership Institute is a nonprofit educational group organized to raise public awareness on key issues and to develop public leaders who will improve the economic and social conditions of all Americans. To join, click here.

Access to Public Services for Non-English Speakers Act: Millions of residents can’t easily interact with government agencies because they a have limited ability speak or read in English. The Access to Public Services for Non-English Speakers Act would require a city, county or state to take reasonable steps to provide access for many non-speakers of English.

Did Arne Duncan Just Surrender on Standardized Testing? Days ago, the U.S. Department of Education announced a major policy shift, claiming they would now help states and school districts to decrease standardized testing in public schools. One of the DOE’s proposals, to limit testing to 2% of yearly school hours, is meaningless. But there are other provisions. Read about them on IdeaLog, our blog intended to raise eyebrows and engage minds.

Message Framing 101: Tuesday, November 3 @3pm Eastern, 2pm Central, 1pm Mountain, Noon Pacific. This is an explanation of the fundamentals of message framing which we provide every year or so. We will explain the behavioral science behind why it is so hard to persuade people, offer three rules that help you structure persuasive arguments on any topic, and provide examples of how those rules apply to a wide variety of controversial political issues. Register for the webinar here.

Seattle plan would allow collective bargaining for Uber drivers: A landmark bill was unanimously approved by a legislative committee in Seattle to classify all for-hire drivers as employees instead of independent contractors.

End of Life Options: California Governor Jerry Brown just signed the End of Life Option Act, authorizing medical aid in dying. This Compassion & Choices webpage lists what is happening on the issue in many states all over the country.

Latest Compendium of State and Local Legislation in 2015: What’s happened so far in 2015? Read about it in our Compendium. If you have additions to suggest, please contact mweiss@publicleadershipinstitute.org.


Body Cameras, Conservative Message, Rent Control 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.

Police Body-Worn Camera Act: The indictment for murder last week of a University of Cincinnati police officer once again proves the need for police body cameras. The prosecuting attorney admitted that the officer would have gotten away with his alibi except that the body camera disproved it. The Police Body-Worn Camera Act is a strengthened version of South Carolina’s SB 47, the first law to require body cameras statewide.

Why is the generic conservative message so popular? About 40 percent of voters call themselves “conservative” and even most Democrats hold some conservative beliefs. Why is that and how should we respond? Read about it on IdeaLog, our blog intended to raise eyebrows and engage minds.

How to answer ten tough policy questions: Wednesday, August 12 @3pm Eastern, 2pm Central, 1pm Mountain, Noon Pacific. Let’s talk about some of the toughest questions in any political debate, like the death penalty, gun control, abortion and climate change. Bring your best answers and let’s have a real interactive discussion. Register here.

Cities now considering an old idea—rent control: An article in Stateline outlines a renewed interest in governments holding down the skyrocketing cost of rent.

In most states you don’t need a high school diploma to home school your child: Thirty-seven states have no requirement that home school instructors have at least a high school diploma, according to a study by the Education Commission of the States.

If you’re pro-choice and want to participate in a new PLI project, please contact us: The Public Leadership Institute is starting a new effort to win proactive pro-choice policies in both states and cities. If you’re interested in participating, please email mweiss@publicleadershipinstitute.org.  


Why is the generic conservative philosophy so popular?

First, let’s be clear: Americans like the concept of “conservative.” Nearly 40 percent of Americans—including nearly 20 percent of Democrats—identify themselves as conservative. And 62 percent of Americans—including 47 percent of Democrats—have a positive view of the word “conservative.”

Americans are also quite favorable to a generic description of “conservative.” A nationwide poll by Lake Research tested this description, based on a speech by Newt Gingrich:

We need to limit government and create space where private institutions, individual responsibility, and religious faith can flourish. That means less economic regulation and lower taxes, but it also means a return to traditional moral values, support for families, and protecting the sanctity of human life.

On a scale where ten means extremely convincing and zero means it is not convincing at all, Americans gave this statement a rating just below eight, with 39 percent rating this description a “ten.”

Even the Democratic base likes this conservative message—nearly 40 percent of them rank it a ten and only nine percent of Democrats give it a negative score.

A simpler way to describe the generic conservative philosophy is that is stands for “less government, lower taxes, free markets, strong military and family values.” Stated that way, hardly any persuadable voters oppose it.

Do you wonder why that message is so popular? There’s nothing wrong with it! Who wants a bigger or more expensive government than we need? Who opposes “free” markets (when understood as most Americans do)? Who can oppose a strong, effective national defense? Who is against morality?

It is not so surprising that these ideas are popular. What’s astonishing is that self-described "progressives" refuse to acknowledge it.


Neo-Cons are wrong about “freedom” and “security”

Some war hawks have defended the invasion and occupation of Iraq as a necessity of national “security” while others promoted the war as a defense of “freedom.” Poppycock, in both cases.

“Values” have real meanings, and when our ideological opponents misuse powerful language, we have to call them on it or lose the debate. (Sadly, since 9/11, we have usually lost this particular debate.)

First, the Iraq war had nothing to do with American “freedom.” Our freedoms as citizens of the United States—to say what we want, practice our religion of choice, associate with anyone, enjoy privacy and due process rights, and have access to protections if accused of a crime—were never jeopardized by Saddam Hussein or al-Qaeda.

Sure, the freedoms of individual Iraqis were affected by the war, not necessarily in a positive way. But, as we know perfectly well, the proponents of the war did not care a whit about the rights of Iraqis. The invasion had nothing to do with “freedom” and when we let neo-cons misuse the word that way, we hand them a powerful weapon and walk away.

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Three reasons why voters are ignorant of policy facts

No doubt you have heard that the Governor of Texas has promised to monitor a U.S. military training exercise called “Jade Helm 15” because Tea Party websites have whipped millions of Americans into a state of hysteria.

“Jade Helm military exercise is not martial law” reads the headline of a newspaper Fact Check column.

“John McCain calls Jade Helm 15 hysteria ‘bizarre,’” says another headline, this one in the Dallas Morning News.

According to a nationwide Rasmussen poll, 45 percent of American voters “are concerned that the government will use U.S. military training operations to impose greater control over some states,” with 19 percent "very concerned." Apparently, among Tea Party voters, 82 percent are "concerned that the federal government has greater control in mind.”

What in the world is going on?

Nothing unusual. We all know that average Americans are tremendously uninformed about a wide variety of issues, from Obamacare “death panels” to supposedly widespread “voter fraud.” Most Americans think crime is going up, immigrants are overrunning the country, and the U.S. spends huge sums on foreign aid.

There are three reasons why Americans are often painfully ignorant.

 

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Fast Track, Language Access, Direct Mail 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.

Language Access for Non-English Speakers Act: Thousands of residents cannot access public services because of their limited ability to speak or read English. SB 758, approved by the Maryland Senate, requires government agencies to make important resources available in other languages. This simple model bill accomplishes the same thing.

Three Reasons Americans are Ignorant of Basic Facts: Polling shows that average voters are ignorant of basic political facts—like who controls the U.S. House and Senate! Why are so many voters so ill informed, and what can progressives do? Read about it on IdeaLog, our blog intended to raise eyebrows and engage minds.

Top Ten Rules of Direct Mail: Wednesday, May 20 @3:00pm Eastern, 2:00pm Central, 1pm Mountain, Noon Pacific. For most state and local policy campaigns, direct mail is the only affordable way to broadcast messages. Join this webinar to discuss: the mechanics of direct mail, the messages conveyed through direct mail, and design of the most effective direct mail.

Sign-On Against Fast Track Authority for the TPP: As Senator Elizabeth Warren explains here, the Trans-Pacific Partnership includes an “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” (ISDS) provision that would allow foreign companies to challenge U.S. law—including state and local laws—in special tribunals that are not part of the U.S. system of courts.

Toolkit addressing the use of force by police: Our friends at Center for Popular Democracy and PolicyLink have created a very useful report to help you reform the policies and practices of state and local law enforcement agencies. Click here to download Building Momentum from the Ground Up: A Toolkit for Promoting Justice in Policing.

Lots of horrible legislation at the state level, much better in cities: What’s happened so far in 2015? Read about it in our Compendium. If you have additions to suggest, please contact Michael Weiss at leadership@publicleadershipinstitute.org.


A Golden Opportunity to Strengthen the “Progressive” Brand

“Progressive” is our nation’s most popular political term, but at the same time, most Americans don’t really know what it means. If we play our cards right, the Democratic presidential primary season can help us define our ideology. This is an exercise in branding.

While we wish that voters considered their electoral choices with a spirit of idealism and a dedication to the common good, that’s not a realistic expectation. Partisan politics requires some elements of marketing. We need swing voters to have a positive general impression about progressives because they will never really understand the details behind progressive policy.

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