This week, we continue our “Keeping Gov Local” Series by sharing some of the top stories from around the country highlighting citizen empowerment and why decisions are best made closest to home. To read last week’s post, click here.

FOR FUN: Cities Go Digital

The city of Boston has capitalized on the growing accessibility of mobile technology to allow citizens the opportunity to get more involved and have input into local public issues. Boston introduced a new app called “Citizens Connect” that allows local citizens to report public works problems and issues. The city even held a contest for the development of the app to get local citizens’ input in the process.

FOR INSPIRATION: Americans Say No to Federal Aid

Despite the rise in states’ dependence on federal funding, the American public is growing increasingly frustrated by an over-involved federal government. In a recent Pew Research/National Journal Poll, only 26 percent of respondents said they want the federal government to increase financial aid to the states. In a similar poll this week, Reason found that 65 percent of Americans reject the idea of a federal bailout of Detroit. Americans have recognized that more money from Washington often leads to more negative consequences than positive ones.

WHY IT MATTERS: Educating the Next Generation

A new white paper by the Pioneer Institute takes a look at how implementation of Common Core will “undermine state and local autonomy over K-12 education.” Iowa Senator Charles Grassley writes in the preface, “The Common Core State Standards Initiative was supposed to be a voluntary effort between states, but federal incentives have distorted the normal state decision-making process.” The paper explains how a “voluntary” set of standards for states to adopt now has become coercive as financial pressure from Washington increases. Further, it outlines how the federal government’s growing overreach into education is hindering involvement from parents and local decision makers.

As always, please keep us posted on what great examples of local decisions making that you are seeing in your area! You can share them with us via Facebook, Twitter or by sending us an email at


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