What We’re Reading

March 30, 2017

Every few weeks, GC picks out a selection of articles that are relevant to our work and to the civics education space as a whole. We at GC love to expand our learning in every aspect of what we do, and we hope you enjoy our selections!

 

Study: 60 Percent of Rural Millennials Lack Access to a Political Life, The Conversation.

A new CIRCLE study finds that 60 percent of rural millennials live in “civics deserts,” areas with a “dearth of opportunities for civic and political learning and engagement.” Living in a civic desert may contribute to a sense of distrust in aspects of civic life, which influences voter behavior.

 

Facebook’s ‘Town Hall’ is Probably the Best Thing the Social Network Has Ever Done, Mashable.

Facebook’s new ‘Town Hall’ feature lets users contact their elected officials via phone, email, or Facebook message, straight from the News Feed. This comes after Facebook successfully showed users voter registration links this fall, and the company’s more recent place in the debate about social media’s responsibility for the spread of misinformation.

 

Unspeakable Realities Block Universal Health Coverage In America, Forbes.

This thought-provoking piece challenges common conceptions of social welfare by discussing the “enormous social safety net” for the well-employed, which comes in the form of tax credits and deductions for things like retirement saving, health insurance, and mortgages, and how these dynamics can influence elections.

 

Red State America Acts on Climate Change – But Calls It Other Names, Scientific American.

This piece focuses on mayors in the Great Plains states who are taking the lead in tackling climate change in their communities. They avoid getting caught up in polarizing politics or national debates by framing their actions to fit within existing priorities and budget items, like conservation and resource management. As national politics grow more polarized, this shows that practical action based on local needs and values can be the best way to achieve progress.

 

What’s The Connection Between Civic Engagement And Civics Education? Georgia Public Radio.

This piece discusses different approaches to teaching civics, and mentions Generation Citizen’s place at the forefront of effective, engaging civics instruction.

 

Break up the Liberal City, New York Times.

This column argues that the United States could be stronger if power was less concentrated in big cities: “We should treat liberal cities the way liberals treat corporate monopolies — not as growth-enhancing assets, but as trusts that concentrate wealth and power and conspire against the public good.” In what he acknowledges may be ridiculous proposals, the author lays out a vision for an America that encourages regional diversification led by businesses, educational institutions, media outlets, and nonprofits.

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