Kolderie Interview Please take one minute to evaluate our website. Click here to take the survey.
Higher quality actions on community problems are more likely if decision makers avoid short cuts to action and give more attention to analysis, clarification, and optional solutions, according to Ted Kolderie.
Kolderie criticized leaders who, anxious to move quickly, dismiss more discussion as unnecessary. "Thinking is good," he said.
Among his other thoughts on producing better action:
For the complete interview summary see:Kolderie interview
Picking up on this and my recent email on the new study from the AEI/Brookings Working Group on Poverty and Opportunity, here's a wild idea for you.
Maybe the Civic Caucus could convene a public study effort, or perhaps a series of such efforts, that takes off from their recommendations. Consider inviting CAE and G&J to participate. In other words, challenge the leading Minnesota policy organizations of right and left to seek common ground. Consider inviting the Citizens League to convene a study group, if they still do that sort of thing, or at least do something to invite their presumably fairly broad membership into the discussion. Consider asking a foundation or foundations to fund the effort.
I freely admit I have put the cart before the horse here in the sense of not having reviewed the specifics of the study; e.g., some of it may apply only at the federal level. But I find that hard to believe. I do believe that you have access to people far more expert than I on the challenges dealt with by the report, and I encourage you to take a swing at doing something.
The legislators hide behind closed doors in their caucus groups. Much of the legislation is wrapped into a Omnibus bill that is negotiated in secret by a few ranking members and then voted on at the last minute after the legislators have had 15 minutes to review 500 pages. Real, nonbiased media coverage is nonexistent.
The legislators introduce legislation of interest, take testimony, make sure they have media coverage, [and] pass it on to another committee, but it dies in secrecy along with the other 98% of the bills. There isn't a legislative scorecard for the public to see.
At least at the national level, there are organizations that keep a scorecard on issues important to them and are published for their members.
We have a problem. Suggestion: Civic Caucus, select one of your policy papers and try to go through the legislative process.
Thank you Ted for your public policy insight.
I suggest that the Civic Caucus spend a day at the Capital and work on steps 1 and 2.
lack of it) and the changes that have occurred
in the media. Having just seen the movie "Spotlight" I really question
if any major newspaper now would have that quality of reporters that the
Boston Globe once had, and then take the time and effort to shed light
on the decades-long issue of priest abuse of children and larger
cover-up by the Catholic church leadership.
Robert J. Brown
Now just a few unorganized comments on Ted's discussion:
1. The fact is that the extremists have taken
over many of the caucuses in both political parties make it more
difficult to resolve policy issues.
3. Too many people are getting their ideas of
policy issues from narrowly focused media which allows many to make up
their minds without even attempting to see more that one side of an
issue. The so-called mainstream media are not much help since they have
fewer reporters, rarely do in-depth stories that would help people
understand issues, and the editorial pages have very little discussion
of local issues since they predominantly run columns by nationally
4. In many cases it appears that foundations
seem to focus on the topic of the day rather than look for long-term
goals and projects.
5. I couldn't agree more with Ted on the fact
the media emphasis is on winning and losing rather than the substance of
the policy issues. Even worse, the media focus on personalities (noisy
people like the Donald) so that many responsible, competent candidates
who can speak on substantive issues never get a chance to be heard.
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The Civic Caucus is a non-partisan,
tax-exempt educational organization. The Interview Group
includes persons of varying political persuasions,
S. Adams, David Broden, Audrey Clay, Janis Clay, Pat Davies, Bill
Frenzel, Paul Gilje (Executive Director), Randy Johnson, Sallie Kemper, Ted
© The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
2104 Girard Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405. firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Loritz, chair, 612-791-1919 ~  Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.