Despite bitter partisanship and political paralysis in Washington, local democracy is alive in well in many towns and cities across the country.
That's the surprising finding in "Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America," by journalist James Fallows of The Atlantic magazine and his wife, writer and linguist Deborah Fallows.
In this episode, part two of our conversation with James, we look at the ways many local business owners, city planners, educators and citizens have worked in pragmatic and inventive ways to improve life in their communities.
We discuss public/private partnerships, the enormous value provided by community colleges in the changing jobs market, infrastructure projects, and innovative ways downtown districts have been revived.
“The good news is the solutions to our civic problems already exist,” said opinion writer David Brooks in a recent column, praising “Our Towns.” “We just need to take these civic programs and this governing philosophy and nationalize them. We need to transform these local stories into a coherent national story.”