“People aren’t trying to create the next Budweiser. They are trying to create the next IPA that they can sell in the local bar and to drive a nice little employment world that is self-contained and capable of hiring and keeping people at work in their community.”

Morley Winograd, Co-author of Healing American Democracy: Going Local

One revolutionary change happening in the United States right now is largely overlooked by our Members of Congress, top business executives and other thought-leaders. It is the rise of localism, and the transcendence of something called “constitutional localism,” that is revitalizing local communities across the country while creating new and economically sustainable sources of commerce and meaningful work.

Helping us to understand this seismic change in our governance are Doug Ross and Morley Winograd. Together with Mike Hais they are the authors of the important new book Healing American Democracy: Going Local. In it, they explain how governing authority is shifting away from Washington to our localities. As a result, citizens are becoming engaged, new locally owned and operated businesses are thriving, and more of us are finding and doing meaningful work in the places where we want to live.

In this episode of The Tightrope with Dan Smolen podcast, Ross and Winograd:

  • Explain why so many Americans have lost faith in our current top-down form of American Democracy [starts at 3:45]
  • Define their concept of “constitutional localism” and describe how it would operate and provide benefit [starts at 5:58]
  • Illustrate how “turning scale upside down” to create and staff smaller numbers of new jobs—dozens versus thousands—would help local communities thrive [starts at 18:54] 
  • Identify how localism can become the linchpin for success in creating more meaningful work opportunities [starts at 22:41]

About our guests:

Doug Ross and Morley Winograd are nationally known and respected political practitioners who cross solid data and wishful thinking to paint a hopeful portrait of America based on the idea of constitutional localism.

Ross was a state senator from Michigan and a U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton. Winograd was a Michigan state political party chair and White House Senior Policy Advisor to Vice President Al Gore. Along with their co-author Mike Hais, they’ve written six books between them.

The authors have appeared as guests on CNN, The Today Show, PBS News Hour, and Univision. They have also been featured in stories in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, USA Today, and The Christian Science Monitor.

EPISODE DATE: November 2, 2018

Social media:

Healing America: Going Local – Website

Amazon.com Book Page

Photo credits: The Commons in Ithaca, New York, Stuart Katz; Portrait, Doug Ross; Portrait, Morley Winograd.