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Survey: Americans Buying In to the 'Golden Age of Local Innovation'

While Congress continues a spectacle of inertia and citizens grapple with a recovery fraught with inequity and conflict, local initiatives are taking control of the future direction of communities around the United States, according to a new survey.
March 18, 2015, 8am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Ronald Brownstein notes a trend in the most recent Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll: Americans of all political stripes "believe that progress on the biggest challenges facing the country is more likely to come from local rather than national institutions."

Brownstein summarizes the question asked by the survey thusly: "we asked Americans whether they believed 'new ideas and solutions' for responding to 'the biggest economic and social challenges facing America' were more likely to emerge from 'state and local institutions' like 'government, businesses, and volunteer or community organizations,' or from 'national institutions like the federal government, national businesses, and major nonprofit organizations.'"

Next, Brownstein summarizes the survey's findings: "Almost four-fifths of Republicans and nearly three-fourths of independents picked local institutions. Not surprisingly, with their party holding the White House, Democrats were somewhat more inclined to look to national institutions for answers; but, even so, a solid 56 percent of them expected local institutions to produce the best new thinking."

Brownstein goes on to describe the current era as "a golden age of local initiative" that is often overshadowed by dysfunction and stalemate at the national level. Brownstein also cites examples curated by the ongoing "Next Economy" series, produced jointly by The Atlantic and the National Journal

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Published on Saturday, March 14, 2015 in National Journal
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