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James P. Toscano


James P. Toscano is the president of Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust and former vice president for advancement at Tidewater Community College in Norfolk, Va. His advocacy for elevating the consumer voice in public decision-making took root as a student when he served on his university's board of trustees. He began his career as a legislative staffer in the Virginia General Assembly and has held various policy-board appointments under successive Virginia governors.

Toscano holds a doctorate in law and policy from Northeastern University, where his research focused on citizen participation through digital means, and a master's degree in public policy and management from the University of London.

Some governments are moving to give citizens more of a direct role in policymaking. It's a promising experiment.
In gathering public input, governments remain stuck in a world of public hearings and postal mail.