Making an Affirmative Case for Government: The Best Defense is (still) a Good Offense

Making an Affirmative Case for Government: The Best Defense is (still) a Good Offense

December 10, 2010
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This guide includes strategies for defending public services and the revenues needed to support them. Produced during the anti-government, budget-slashing political climate of 2010-2011, this report advocates for affirming the role of public services, systems, and structures. It examines dominant narratives about public budget challenges, and offers lessons from success stories in several states. Ultimately, Americans must reconnect the dots between the shared goals and desires they have for their communities and the public tools and resources necessary to achieve them.

Top Facts:
Our advice for making an affirmative case for public services in the near-term is to:
  • Stay aspirational and keep focus on the future; 
  • Defend against budget cuts in ways that make the case for why public structures matter to "all of us", and, in particular, why they matter now; and
  • Recognize and reframe the dominant discourse about state budget crises.