Public Agenda is a nonpartisan research and public engagement organization dedicated to strengthening democracy and expanding opportunity for all Americans.
New & Noteworthy
Shifting Priorities: Participatory Budgeting in New York City is Associated with Increased Investments in Schools, Street and Traffic Improvements, and Public Housing
Community Voices for Health: A New Initiative to Strengthen the Infrastructure for Engagement in Health
Lifts up the views and values of the public in today’s policy debates, including those of groups who have had too little voice in our public conversations.
Helps communities think through tough problems, build common ground on solutions, and work together to forge progress on such issues as: Education, Health Care, Economic Opportunity, Climate Change
Helps people redesign and revitalize democracy to make it more inclusive, participatory, and effective.
Programs & Publications
The Public’s Agenda. Public Agenda applies its expertise in nonpartisan research and public engagement to foster progress on the issues people care about most, including:
The Hidden Common Ground Initiative™ challenges the increasingly dominant narrative of a hopelessly divided America by identifying and elevating the areas where American’s agree on politically polarized issues, and by fostering productive dialogue on those areas where we truly disagree.
Hidden Common Ground 2020 is the latest, and most exciting iteration of our HCG initiative. Throughout the presidential election season it will involve public opinion research on major issues, innovative journalism and commentary, broad-based public engagement, “Strange Bedfellows” storytelling, and community-based dialogues and events. It is supported by a diverse group of foundations, including the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, as well as through the generosity of individual donors. In addition, the Kettering Foundation is a research partner of the initiative.
Divisiveness and Collaboration in America is the first research publication of our Hidden Common Ground 2020 partnership.
THE LATEST FROM HIDDEN COMMON GROUND:
This report explores the views and values of the American public on immigration, including how much change people think the immigration system needs, their goals and priorities for changing it, and their views on various proposals for doing so. Overall, this research finds areas of cross-partisan agreement on several aspects of immigration that could point the way towards workable policy solutions. Also striking is the prevalence of misperceptions about immigration, which tend to correspond with more restrictive views on immigration policy among respondents. It is our hope that this report, along with the other Hidden Common Ground activities that accompany it, can help to focus, frame, and stimulate an informed and productive conversation about improving our nation’s immigration system.
America's Hidden Common Ground on Race and Police Reform: Results from a Public Agenda/USA Today/Ipsos snapshot survey
Most Americans (58%) say racial bias against Black or African Americans committed by police and law enforcement is a serious problem in their community, including 75% of Democrats and 51% of Independents as well as 40% of Republicans. There is significant common ground across the political spectrum and across racial/ethnic groups on several measures to reduce police use of excessive force against Black Americans, including increasing transparency and data collection, de-escalation and anti-bias training, recruiting more Black officers, and community policing. Americans are split on how to change police departments’ budgets and whether to reduce departments’ responsibilities in the community.
America’s Hidden Common Ground on the Coronavirus Crisis: Results from a Public Agenda/USA Today/Ipsos survey of Americans’ views on reopening their communities
Regardless of political affiliation, Americans see the pandemic as more of a threat to their physical health than to their mental health and financial well-being. More Americans report that they have donated money, supplies or time to community members in need (37% in May and 28% in March). Americans are cautiously optimistic about the effects of the virus on their communities, and most (62%) think the government’s priority should be preventing the virus from spreading and keeping people from getting sick or dying – a drop of ten percentage points from March when 72% prioritized preventing the virus from spreading.
America's Hidden Common Ground on the Coronavirus: Results from a Public Agenda/USA TODAY/Ipsos Snapshot Poll
According to a new Public Agenda/USA Today/Ipsos Hidden Common Ground Survey, Americans are aligned on the large threat that COVID-19 poses to the United States, the stock market and the global economy, as well as the steps the government should take to help businesses and people affected. Though Americans see the virus as less of a threat to them or to their community, they are using this time to rally around local businesses, neighbors, and their friends and family.
Americans are frustrated with the state of our democracy. How do they want to change it? How do they want to be engaged?
The Yankelovich Stronger Democracy Program contributes research, ideas and tools that support sound public judgment and meaningful public participation.
The New York Metro Agenda is our program specifically serving our home city and region through nonpartisan research, cutting-edge public engagement and local events.
New York is our home base. It is also a hotbed of democratic innovation, and we are supporting this civic energy through actionable research, cutting-edge democratic practices, and thought-provoking events. Recent local projects have supported better health care services for low-income families; better small businesses/community relations; and collaboration between residents and scientists on environmental resilience in Jamaica Bay.
"The communities we serve are very, very different. With Public Agenda’s assistance through Community Conversations and Student-Faculty Dialogues, we have been able to understand our communities at a level that was previously not possible. We have used Public Agenda’s engagement work successfully to gain internal and external input for our new strategic plan."
- Thomas Baynum, president of Coastal Bend Community College
Help Us Build a Democracy that Works for Everyone
Democracy in America and around the world has come under severe stress. It is Public Agenda’s privilege to work as hard as we can to make our democracy a more just, effective and resilient problem-solving institution, so everyone has a voice. Please make a gift to us today, at this critical moment in American history.