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Future in Context

Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: A Tale of Two Revolutions

The printing press and social media democratized communication in their respective times. They both turned the order of things on its head — for good, for ill, and forever.

By Clay S. Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  February 19, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Why Cities Have More People but Less Clout

Cities have always gotten less than their share from states. As they've become wealthier and more Democratic, they've come increasingly under attack.

By Alan Greenblatt, Senior Staff Writer  |  February 19, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Government Has a Trust Problem. It Will Take Time to Restore

The route to trust in our institutions is through candor, competence and a clear sense of mission. Two examples, from Indiana and West Virginia, show how trust can be rebuilt one careful step at a time.

By Aaron Renn, Urban Analyst  |  February 19, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF Finance

Maryland’s Digital Ad Tax May Receive Legal Pushback

Maryland made history last week, becoming the first state in the country to codify a tax on digital ads. The move would have a significant financial impact on big tech, but the bill will probably face multiple legal challenges.

By Jed Pressgrove, Government Technology  |  February 19, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF Security

Despite Security Concerns, Online Voting Advances

In nine states, some jurisdictions have allowed voting via computer or app.

By Matt Vasilogambros and Lindsey Van Ness, Stateline  |  February 19, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

The Learning Agenda Every Public Agency Needs

It's an important tool for evidence-based decision-making and program management. Asking agency leaders one simple question can start the process of building it.

By Andrew Feldman of Grant Thornton and Jenni Owen of the North Carolina Office of Strategic Partnerships  |  February 18, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF Community Design

California’s Unplanned City in the Sonoran Desert

Slab City, a do-it-yourself, free-wheeling community, has been functioning to some degree for decades. Without any infrastructure or civic institutions, such as police or fire services, it exists by defying normalcy.

By David Kidd, Photojournalist and Storyteller  |  February 18, 2021
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The number of new EV school buses that the Montgomery County, Md., Public Schools Board of Education has ordered, the largest single order of EV buses by any school district in the nation. The new buses will be implemented across the next four years.

THE FUTURE OF Community Design

The Promise a Local Politician Can Keep: a Clean City

Every neighborhood should be free of litter, debris and property- and housing-code violations. There's plenty that government can do, including helping residents understand their own role.

By Jabari Simama, Government and Education Columnist  |  February 18, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

46,218 News Transcripts Show Ideologically Extreme Politicians Get More Airtime

When far-right and far-left politicians get most of the media attention, it hurts democracy.

By Joshua P. Darr, Louisiana State University ; Jeremy Padgett, University of Mobile, and Johanna Dunaway, Texas A&M University  |  February 17, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Evidence-Based Government Gets a Boost During COVID

As strains on public resources grow, a new center at the National Conference of State Legislatures shares lessons from evidence-based policymaking to help states make the most of programs and budgets.

By Carl Smith, Senior Staff Writer  |  February 16, 2021
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Tyler Technologies Buys NIC in Monumental Gov Tech Deal

The acquisition, probably the biggest gov tech deal ever, would bring together a giant of local government software with a giant of state software. Here's how the deal came together, and what it might mean for gov tech.

By Ben Miller, Government Technology  |  February 16, 2021
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Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: A Tale of Two Revolutions

The printing press and social media democratized communication in their respective times. They both turned the order of things on its head — for good, for ill, and forever.

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