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Showing posts from August, 2013

Finding the right solutions for the right time - Policy reflections on Civil Rights

The March on Washington happened 50 years ago today, and its anniversary has me thinking about the policy lessons from the struggle for civil rights. There are dozens of lessons from a struggle that goes back at least 150 years, yet one theme emerges: The strategy to accomplish a goal depends on time, context, resources and opportunity - there isn't a one-size-fits all solution or a single policy solution to solve major issues or meet major goals.

Dr. King starts off his speech by referencing the Emancipation Proclamation as the beginning of the march to freedom, and discusses the defaulted-upon "promissory note" that was promised by the Declaration of Independence. While the Emancipation Proclamation has great symbolic weight, eliminating slavery took more - it required a 13th constitutional amendment. (This story was compelling enough to be the focus of the recent Lincoln movie.)

Policies to meet the major national goal of equality for African Americans began with…