Reform at the State and Local Levels

The United States was established as an experiment in government with the states as the “laboratories of democracy.” Over 200 years later, that has never been more true. In an era with political polarization and money in politics, the response to major issues in our democratic process has come from the states themselves. With fifty states, the US now has fifty different solutions to these modern problems. In addition to the national level, the Political Reform program is also beginning to explore state-level change that will work for the circumstances of that particular state or community. Now more than ever, only paying attention to the national level will miss a key part of American political action. To look more closely, we are examining the different approaches states are taking to important issues like voting policy, climate change, and electoral reform to track changes and find new ideas. By working with civic organizations and academics, we’re learning from their state-level work and helping develop strategies for those seeking common ground.