Agency Diversity, Debate Proactively, Soda Tax and More

Posted on May 23, 2018

Public Agency Diversity Act: It is not unusual for officials in states and localities to find that particular government departments—often law enforcement agencies—lack diversity. The Public Agency Diversity Act requires a designated department, when advertising for or recruiting new employees, to include efforts that are targeted toward underrepresented communities.

Debate proactively! Over the past twenty years, conservatives have consistently trounced progressives at the game of message framing, in large part because we don’t try to proactively shape the terms of debate. Often, we even make the fundamental mistake of repeating the right wing’s language. For three rules to help you debate proactively, see the latest IdeaLog, our blog intended to raise eyebrows and engage minds.

Voicing Our Values—The Science of Persuasion: We’re trying something new! Some weeks, instead of a webinar, we will present a podcast that you can download and listen to at your convenience. The first segment is just 12 minutes long and explains why confirmation bias is such a barrier in persuading our fellow citizens. Later podcasts will explain how to navigate around confirmation bias. To listen to or download the podcast, click here.

Mapping Police Violence website: There were only 14 days throughout 2017 when police did not kill someone. Race matters. The jurisdiction matters. And unjust violence is not about crime: fewer than one in three black people killed by police in 2014 were suspected of a violent crime and allegedly armed. Take a look at this terrific website at

Soda tax revenues are exceeding expectations: There’s been a lot of talk about implementing a tax on sugary sodas to reduce obesity. Only a few jurisdictions have done it so far, but a recent brief story from Pew’s Stateline notes that Seattle’s tax is exceeding expectations.

2018 PLI Conference: Our State Strategy Forum will be held in Washington, D.C. on July 13-15. There are limited travel and hotel scholarships available for progressive state elected officials only. If you are interested, please contact