I’ve always thought that the best approach for local public policy is to reach for competitive national standards (where one truly tries, rather than simply insisting that local work is nationally competitive).
A focus on a national approach now matters for another reason: our current national environment is troubled, and by focusing on it reminds oneself of how much is at risk, and how important is the work of opposition.
1. National politics matter more than ever, and so one begins each day with an assessment of the risk to national standards and rights. That’s why each Daily Bread post includes recommendations for reading from prominent, worthy publications.
2. There are particular risks before this community:
(1) Harm inflicted intentionally against immigrants peacefully situated in their communities, (2) harm inflicted through overzealousness against other residents (often disadvantaged) but peacefully situated in their communities, (3) unacknowledged harm from sexual assaults against residents on campuses or nearby.
These local risks are greater, in this and other communities, because of the darker national scene.
3. The principal focus of opposition to the wrong course should be, on a national or local level, those officials and operatives who advance or acquiesce in these darker national policies. Concerning the national level, see Trump, His Inner Circle, Principal Surrogates, and Media Defenders.
4. Failure to reply to officials’ wrongs allows the worst policies to gain a permanent national and local footing. See Trumpism Down to the Local Level.
Aside from these, there are two other projects to undertake.
5. A medium-term project concerning education, thinking about what’s going well, and what’s needing change. Some schools are doing well (indeed, very well), one has a much-needed and welcome new approach (that will produce good results), but elsewhere one sees reason for concern. To be candid, some of these concerns weigh heavily, and when considered produce a genuine melancholy. Heartbreaking, nearly.
The medium-term amounts to several months, and there’s much to organize.
6. There’s a long-term project to complete, when these difficult national challenges are overcome, about That Which Paved the Way to our present circumstances. There’s much to ponder, and collect, for that project from the history of this small and beautiful city.
There are more things than these about which to write, of course, but it helps to organize and publish one’s principal focus.