In episode 008 we took a look at the way state legislatures work.
But when we only talk about the way institutions work today, it’s easy to accept that that’s how they were meant to be, or how they must be. Choices made in the past become caked on. They become indistinguishable from the institution itself. A look back can rid us of the assumption that history is a straight line, and that our institutions are always progressing.
While they look very different from one another today,...
Even with gerrymandering making some headlines, the states tend to get lost between local and national news cycles. And yet they are often pushing national policy conversations, and consistently influencing the daily lives of citizens. In the next three episodes, we attempt to give states their due.
We kick off by considering why states are so relevant to both national politics and our daily lives. That, plus a quick look at what they're actually doing up there in that dome.
Every week a city employee or contractor comes and whisks your trash away to some far off place. But it turns out 'away' isn't that far, and it's filling up fast. Hear about one city's plan to curb their waste and litter problem.
Hear from Bob Phillips, Executive Director of Common Cause, North Carolina, about gerrymandering in his state, and how it fits into the story that's playing out around the country.
Plus, a quick primer on redistricting: what it is, what's it's supposed to accomplish, and how it got so (literally) twisted.
Human judgment is imperfect. Because of that, local governments are developing or purchasing risk and needs assessment tools to support decision making at various points throughout the criminal justice system. Can stats and computers help us make better decisions about punishment and rehabilitation?
In this episode you'll hear from Dr. James Greiner, Professor at Harvard Law School and Faculty Director of Harvard's Access to Justice Lab. His work is devoted to advancing an evidence-based approach in US legal practice. We’ll talk about why law is decades behind medicine, and we’ll get into how that relates to the role of the District Attorney.
How do we boil down 90,000 local governments into some categories that make sense no matter where you live? And why does local government look so different from state to state and from place to place? In this episode, we start at the beginning, with a history and explainer of local government in America.