Two New Issues of High Road Policy

4 July 2020

Crises require people and organizations to break from normal routines — to redirect energy and capacity toward response and recovery.

Almost immediately after launching High Road Policy (HRP) in early March 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic thrust the world [deeper] into crisis. As the pandemic was unfolding (and continues to unfold), George Floyd’s murder by on-duty police officers in Minneapolis sparked widespread protests and demonstrations in support of Black Lives Matter. More so than any time in the recent past, national attention is fixated on the intersections of systemic racism, public health, social and economic injustice, global climate change, and countless other unjust outcomes and the unfair policies and systems that give rise to them. Heightened attention to these issues is increasing the national appetite for far-reaching systems-change. In short, the demand for High Road Policy is stronger than ever.

In response to that demand, the June 2020 issue of HRP includes two editions. The first, in keeping with the Journal’s Aims and Scope, is a regular edition memorandum that outlines prospective solutions to problems that arise from the existing, inequitable and wasteful system of public economic development subsidies in the United States. The memo introduces and unpacks two legislative proposals for, first, reforming economic development incentive policies in New York State; and, second, phasing out targeted economic development subsidies across the nation through a legally binding interstate compact. Both legislative proposals were introduced to the lower chamber of the New York State Legislature in the 2019-20 session, and both have broad bipartisan support — a rare circumstance in today’s polarized political landscape. The memo concludes by exploring how additional federal responses to COVID-19 could advance High Road economic development practices while providing state and local governments with much-needed pandemic relief funds. Click here to download and read the June 2020 regular Edition memo.

The second part of the June HRP release is a Special Extra Edition that lays out a vision for a High Road society. It aims to provide the growing population of people who are against the status quo with something to stand — and fight — for. In doing so, it poses and offers tentative answers to three key questions: (1) What is the High Road? (2) What is High Road Policy? and (3) Through what means can High Road Policy be achieved? That is, the Special Extra Edition not only offers a vision for a High Road society. It also puts forward a theory of change and set of strategies for implementing that vision. Click here to download and read the Special June 2020 Edition of HRP.

Finally, the Special Edition of HRP builds on a related initiative: defining the criteria that make policies High Road Policies in the 21st Century. At the project site for that initiative, readers will find a short manifesto (“A High Road for the 21st Century”) along with an evolving set of tools and resources for evaluating policy proposals against a concrete set of criteria.