The Power of Basic Information
“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
That quote from my former boss has been on my mind lately as we move into the next phase of development here at The Center for the Next Generation.
We live in times of frequent blurring of facts – often intentionally – making it hard for the public to understand what is true, what is spin and whom to believe.
Here at The Center for the Next Generation, we recognize the value of basic, research-driven information as vital to helping people make choices that are best for themselves and for the good of the country.
To help that along, we are making it part of our core mission to produce a steady stream of products and reports that provide clear, useful information on subjects that reflect our two major focus areas: children and family issues and the advanced energy economy.
Let me tell you about two of them.
We are launching a new online information service, AB32 Digest, a weekly newsletter that tracks media coverage of regulatory developments and legislative debates surrounding California’s landmark cap and trade law, known as AB32. It also offers commentary as we move toward the implementation of what is arguably the most important environmental law in the country. California has often proved to be a model for the nation when it comes to advanced energy and sustainability matters, and it will be important to track AB32’s developments carefully to see what is working and what is not.
Let me also draw your attention to The Weekender, a collection of important stories from the previous week that focus on major developments in our core issue areas. Access is free, and subscribers can choose to receive material on one issue or both.
I’d also encourage you to check out the blogs written by our staff experts – Ann O’Leary, Director of Children and Families Program; Kate Gordon, the new Director of our Advanced Energy and Sustainability Program; and Claire Tomkins, the Center’s first Fellow. Each is a recognized leader in her field, working to improve the country by improving the lives of its citizens.
In the months ahead we’ll add more to the mix, always with the aim of providing solid, clear-eyed facts that make for a more informed citizenry. We realize that making changes in these two important issue areas will take time – and as a small non-profit, we are very cognizant of how hard it is to have an impact. And since I started with a quote from one of my public policy mentors, Pat Moynihan, let me end with another to put our work into context
“If you don't have 30 years to devote to social policy, don't get involved.”
The Center for the Next Generation is just getting started, but we are in this for the long-haul.
As always, I welcome your thoughts, suggestions and comments.