"In the last month, the busy folks at the Pew Research Center have released two hefty analyses of political polarization in America, pretty much confirming what we’ve come to suspect as the cause of semi-permanent dysfunction in D.C., in state capitals and, increasingly, in local government."
Ben Brown delves deeply into the psychology that often surfaces during the city planning process, and concludes:
"The good news is that local communities, where the connections between government and constituents are strongest, are good places to start the reform movement. They’ve been the last to be infected by partisan gridlock and could be the first to recover.
"We can start by spending more time at the beginning of a community engagement process understanding predispositions that could turn toxic if we don’t keep the conversation at an altitude that encourages talk about what unites neighbors, neighborhoods and whole communities instead of what distinguishes them from one another."