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State Houses to the Rescue: David J. Toscano

David J. Toscano served 14 years (2006-20) in the Virginia House of Delegates representing the 57th District. He’s the author of Fighting Political Gridlock: How States Shape Our Nation And Our Lives. We discuss strengthening our democracy at the State level through legislation, meaningful cooperation, and civic engagement in State politics.

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Country First, Community First: Emily Cherniack

Emily Cherniack is the founder of New Politics. She believes that politics has the power to change systems. Her organization works with military veterans and alumni of civilian service programs like Americorps with a goal of encouraging more people with civil and military service experience to run for office, all the way from school boards to Congress.

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Equal Rights Amendment: Carol Jenkins

Carol Jenkins is the President and CEO of the ERA Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality, sister organizations dedicated to the adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment. We discuss the current state of the ERA and why this constitutional amendment will address the problems of equality, misogyny, and discrimination. 

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Secretaries of State: Secretary Jocelyn Benson

Jocelyn Benson is the Secretary of State of Michigan and the author of State Secretaries of State: Guardians of the Democratic Process. We discuss what’s at stake this year, why it’s vital to pay attention to this November’s elections and the primaries this spring, and the role everyday people can play in protecting democracy.

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Ranked Choice Voting: Nathan Lockwood

Nathan Lockwood is the Executive Director of Rank the Vote, an organization with a vision that the national adoption of ranked choice voting (RCV) could create a political and social culture with elections based on a competition of the best ideas. We discuss how RCV works, the spoiler problem, and the benefits for our democracy. 

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Citizen to Candidate: Art Chang

Art Chang was a mayoral candidate in New York City in 2021. We discuss his campaign and the big issues facing the City of New York. He shed light on the eviction crisis, the hurdles to adopting technology in government, and the power of joining and belonging.  

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Delivering Good Governance: Danielle Allen

Danielle Allen is a MacArthur Fellow and the James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University. She’s published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought, and is widely known for her work on justice and citizenship. Her most recent book is Democracy in the Time of Coronavirus. We discuss the promise of good governance, common purpose, and our moral compass in action. 

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History of Black Thought: Chris Lebron

Chris Lebron is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University. His latest book is The Making of Black Lives Matter: A Brief History of An Idea. We discuss the nature of racial disadvantage, the opportunity for love to deliver equality and fairness, and the risks of racial marginalization to the future of American democracy.

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Freedom and Racism: Neil Roberts

Neil Roberts is Professor of Africana Studies and Faculty Affiliate in Political Science and Religion at Williams College. He’s working on a new book titled How To Live Free in an Age of Pessimism. We discuss the legacy of Charles Mills’ scholarship on the racial contract, freedom, and transforming society from the bottom up.

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Winning Messages: Anat Shenker-Osorio

Anat Shenker-Osorio is a renowned communications researcher and campaign advisor, the host of Words to Win By, and the Principal of ASO Communications. We discuss how to empower voters, the impact of repetition, and the importance of being clear on what you stand for.

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