Future in Context

The Very First Fourth of July

Thomas Jefferson was not the first choice to write the Declaration of Independence. He accepted the assignment reluctantly, but he brought genius to the project, including the 35 most important words in the English language.

By Clay Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  July 3, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

When the Disenfranchised Use Counter-Narratives for Justice

Allissa Richardson, a pioneer in mobile journalism, discusses the emergence of smartphones and social media as tools to fight back against the mistreatment of marginalized citizens by law enforcement.

By Carl Smith, Senior Staff Writer  |  July 2, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

The Care States Need to Take with Contact Tracing Apps

As COVID-19 cases surge, there could be growing interest in the technology. But states planning to roll them out need to vet them rigorously for privacy protections and cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

By Kathryn Waldron, R Street Institute  |  July 2, 2020
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Here Comes the Hard Part: States, Cities Face Grim Budget Picture

The fiscal year begins in most states and cities on July 1. Without further federal aid, many will have to re-examine just-passed budgets for cuts down the road.

By Alan Greenblatt, Senior Staff Writer  |  July 1, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Community Design

Why Local Governments Should Nurture the Growth of Proptech

It's transforming the worlds of real estate and development. Cities and counties can experiment with it for themselves, but their most important role is in sharing the data that drives it.

By Scott Beyer, Urban Issues Columnist  |  July 1, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Community Design

Cities Open Streets and Redefine Their Purpose and Focus

Tampa, Fla.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Los Angeles are repurposing streets for business and pedestrian use during the coronavirus pandemic. So far, the programs have been well received, and may even survive past the pandemic.

By Zoe Manzanetti, Staff Writer  |  June 30, 2020
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Cybersecurity and COVID Challenge Election Preparations

The week in cybersecurity includes news about proposed changes to California’s privacy law, federal aid to protect schools from cyberattacks and calls for the police to stop partnering with Amazon’s Ring surveillance service.

By Tod Newcombe, Managing Editor  |  June 30, 2020
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The estimated proportion of American workers who are now working remotely, according to a recent study by MIT economists. They concluded that 35.2 percent of workers switched to working remotely in response to the pandemic while 15 percent reported they were already working from home.

THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Mississippi’s Emblem of the Confederacy Will Fly No More

A moment captured by Governing’s David Kidd is about to become history. Over the weekend, the state Legislature passed by a large majority a bill to remove the Confederate symbol from the official flag.

By David Kidd, Photojournalist and Storyteller  |  June 29, 2020
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A Better Way to Connect People with the Benefits They Need

Designed around the user and not the bureaucracy, an innovative Philadelphia program uses data-matching so applicants won't have to fill out multiple forms for different assistance programs.

By Stephen Goldsmith and Betsy Gardner, Harvard Kennedy School  |  June 29, 2020
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Legislative Watch: Pandemic Spotlights Senior Care Problems

Residents of senior care facilities are particularly vulnerable to the most damaging effects of COVID-19. Recent legislation aims to prevent lack of resources or bad practices from making things worse.

By Carl Smith, Senior Staff Writer  |  June 26, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

The Route to a Safe, Accessible and Fair November Election

Governments need to move promptly to change rules and procedures to maximize eligible-voter participation while safeguarding health and protecting the election's integrity.

By Terry Gerton, President and CEO, National Academy of Public Administration, and Barry Van Lare, Former Deputy Executive Director, National Governors Association  |  June 26, 2020
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Reforming Corrections in Pennsylvania with Data, Creativity

John Wetzel uses decades of experience and an unyielding determination to serve Pennsylvania as the secretary of corrections. But he knows that the true value of leadership comes from data, creativity and good people.

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