Welcome to Democracy & Progress.
We are living at the start of a new chapter in American history. Our politics has largely veered into hyper-polarized realms, and in doing so it fails to meet the needs of everyday Americans. At D&P we're going to leave behind the partisan nature of politics and instead dive into the nuts and bolts of public policy from a new direction. We'll discuss actionable solutions to America's woes and see how these changes can be implemented through our existing institutions. D&P focuses on realms of public policy that directly effect our democratic institutions —how we vote, how popular will is codified into public policy, and how we can work to make democracy better— and how we can progress and improve society to help people lead more prosperous lives.
Every policy discussion must establish its limits and set boundaries in order to be productive and useful. Here at D&P, policies will be focused around the issues facing the state of California and its ability to drive national politics. State-level issues are largely ignored in our modern national media environment and D&P aims to fill that gap. By focusing so much attention on the national scale we miss out on real possibility for change and reform. There is a lot of untapped potential at the state level, and we ignore that power at our peril. After all it is states, not the federal government, that hold the power to address everything from police reform to homelessness and from democracy reform to health care. States are the "laboratories of democracy" and ideas first tried in state legislatures are often adapted for national use.
Posts are largely categorized into three different groups: short-form essays, proposals, and explainers. Essays may be about a variety of topics and are far more likely to be topical or otherwise relate to the news of the moment. Essays might also be about topics related to our mission but that aren't directly applicable to public policies. Proposals are just that, long-form, actionable, legislative proposals that will usually include a white-paper and original research. Explainer posts are shorter dives into specific pieces of a given proposal.
Most things here are written and researched by Brian Schrader, a software developer and writer in San Diego, CA. Guest authors are welcome. If you'd like to submit a piece for consideration, please check out the submission guidelines.
D&P is directly supported by readers like you. If you like what you see, please consider donating or signing up for a membership. Your donations fuel this site and keep it free for all. The more supporters we have, the more essays and original research we can publish.
Here's to a better, more democratic future to come.