Part 4a: Decentralized into Chaos: The Three Causes of Civic Fractionation (#1)

Part 4a  – An Introductory Essay Series (Click here to start at the beginning!)

ffThe current fractured state of American public affairs does not come have its origins in governmental incompetence or maliciousness.

A lot of the service delivery chaos and public confusion we experience in the public sector can be attributed to these guys:


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Say Yes to Education: Story of a Confused Voter

kids-girl-pencil-drawing-159823An older friend and I were talking about her job. She works at a small college in Western New York. Her job there is to teach music in the college’s small performing arts department. For a number of years, the college has been a step on the ladder of opportunity for first generation college students. She let me know that she was troubled by the fact that she had been getting lots more students in the last year who lacked some very fundamental educational skills. She would often spend the music lesson providing basic guidance related to reading or math, or organizational skills. She was unable to get to music theory or sight-reading when she had such trouble with these fundamental educational skills. Basic tasks were increasingly problematic for her students. She encountered increasing difficulty with scheduling lessons. She had students fail to show up for what were credit-bearing music lessons.

“Hmm. I am sorry to hear that. It must be frustrating. What do you think is going on?” I said.

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Part 2: What is civic fractionation?

Part 2 – An Introductory Essay Series (Click here to start at the beginning!)

Through my work, I come across some stark statistics about community needs in Northwest Ohio. I am most troubled, not necessarily by the facts I have collected over the years related to these community needs (though they are extremely troubling), such as arid-soil-2366911__480the staggering number of homeless youth in Lucas County (2000), or the exceedingly high infant mortality rate among African American babies in Toledo (16 per 1000 births), but by the information I have accumulated about just who lacks critical pieces of information about the institutions, organizations and funding in our community, and just how it all works.


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Part 1: The Problem of Civic Fractionation

Part 1 – An Introductory Essay Series

Thank you for visiting! I have decided to launch my blog with an introductory series of posts. Taken together, they form a longer essay that forms the basis for much of what is to come. While I have done my best to write these posts in a way that makes sense on their own, I suggest you start with Part 1 and read them in order.

I started my career as a civil legal aid attorney in Toledo, Ohio. My work was supported by a fellowship through Equal Justice Works, a D.C.-based organization that helps to place young attorneys in public interest law firms all around the country. As a part of this program, I had an opportunity to take a break from my work in Northwest Ohio, travel to South Dakota, to learn about the issues facing low-income communities there.


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