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New Report Finds Substantial Common Ground in Americans’ Views on Renewing Democracy

July 20, 2021 | Comments Off on New Report Finds Substantial Common Ground in Americans’ Views on Renewing Democracy

Across the political spectrum, Americans think our democracy is in trouble, expect the government to guarantee both secure and accessible voting, and want “ordinary people” to have more of a voice in policy. Differences persist along partisan lines on racism’s impact on democracy and the need for systemic change to…

Intergenerational Conversations About a Sustainable Southeast Queens

July 8, 2021 | Comments Off on Intergenerational Conversations About a Sustainable Southeast Queens

Public Agenda and the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay, through Cycles of Resilience work funded by the New York Community Trust, have partnered with the Eastern Queens Alliance (EQA) and Blacque Resource Network to host a series of “Intergenerational Conversations About a Sustainable Southeast Queens.” 

Public Agenda Announces New President Andrew Seligsohn

June 28, 2021 | Comments Off on Public Agenda Announces New President Andrew Seligsohn

Seligsohn’s leadership in civic engagement, higher education to advance Public Agenda’s mission to strengthen democracy and expand opportunity for all Americans.

Q&A: Ruth Wooden Reflects on Her Legacy and Public Agenda’s History

June 22, 2021 | Comments Off on Q&A: Ruth Wooden Reflects on Her Legacy and Public Agenda’s History

Ruth Wooden, who served as President of Public Agenda from 2004-2010 and Board Member from 2010-2021, reflects on her legacy at Public Agenda and the organization’s history as a leader in public engagement, higher education, and research.

Social Movements Demanding Minipublics: A New Phenomenon?

May 25, 2021 | Comments Off on Social Movements Demanding Minipublics: A New Phenomenon?
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Citizens’ assemblies are one example of a minipublic, which typically brings people together to deliberate and facilitate progress on issues ranging from large to small and from local or national to international, as is the case with climate change. 

Health Affairs Blog Builds Case for Doctors to Trust Their Patients

April 29, 2021 | Comments Off on Health Affairs Blog Builds Case for Doctors to Trust Their Patients

Building off findings from A Two-Way Street: Building Trust Between People with Medicaid and Primary Care Doctors, Interim Co-President and Director of Research David Schleifer describes how doctors need to believe and respect patients in a Health Affairs blog post published April 29, 2021. The post, co-authored by Dr. Mary…

America’s Hidden Common Ground on Overcoming Divisiveness

April 27, 2021 | Comments Off on America’s Hidden Common Ground on Overcoming Divisiveness

This Public Agenda/USA TODAY Hidden Common Ground® survey, fielded in February 2021, finds a powerful consensus across political affiliations that the nation needs to move beyond the destructive divisiveness that plagues our politics. It also finds common ground on several approaches to overcoming divisiveness. Findings from this research update and…

Fulcrum Op-Ed Shows How We Need to Better Monitor Civic Health

April 27, 2021 | Comments Off on Fulcrum Op-Ed Shows How We Need to Better Monitor Civic Health

Public Agenda’s Associate Director for National Engagement Programs, Quixada Moore-Vissing, describes the importance of civic health in assessing and promoting a healthy democracy in her new op-ed in The Fulcrum published April 27, 2021. In the piece, Moore-Vissing outlines her research on how to better the civic health assessment process…

Global Learning on Democratic Innovation Webinar Series

April 6, 2021 | Comments Off on Global Learning on Democratic Innovation Webinar Series

The Global Learning on Democratic Innovation webinar series, presented by Public Agenda and Club de Madrid, brings together panelists and moderators from around the world to discuss global innovations in various areas of democratic life, with a focus on nourishing the renewal of shared societies in situations of political polarization, democratic deficit and racial tensions.

What Is Civic Infrastructure and Why Is It Important?

April 1, 2021 | Comments Off on What Is Civic Infrastructure and Why Is It Important?

Many of the groups supporting President Biden’s stimulus bill touted its capacity to build “civic infrastructure.”  The resulting American Rescue Plan does include elements—like support for broadband access, child care, and volunteerism—that would seem to help Americans participate in public life. Is this enough? What exactly is civic infrastructure anyway, and what more might we need to do to strengthen it?


Nashville works to diversify its city-appointed boards (Nashville Public Radio, June 7, 2021)

Finding Common Ground (WNYC – The Brian Lehrer Show, May 19, 2021)

#ListenFirst: New virtual event kicks off annual National Week of Conversation (USA TODAY, May 18, 2021)

America Talks: Toxic polarization threatens our nation’s future. Here’s how we can save it. (USA TODAY, May 18, 2021)

Why it's bad for America if President Biden gives up on bipartisanship (USA TODAY, May 17, 2021)

America Is Optimistic. Can Biden Make the Feeling Last? (The New York Times, May 3, 2021)

In Patients We Trust: Why Clinicians Need To Believe And Respect Patients (Health Affairs, April 29, 2021)

Strengthening democracy starts with better monitoring of our civic health (The Fulcrum, April 27, 2021)

We disagree on a lot but overwhelmingly agree that we need to find common ground. Let's start together, here (USA TODAY, April 27, 2021)

Hidden Common Ground: Why Americans aren't as divided on issues as we appear to be (USA TODAY, April 27, 2021)

Hidden Common Ground poll: Americans want compromise, but think political gridlock will worsen (USA TODAY, April 27, 2021)

Giving teachers more decision-making power would bring democracy to life at school (The Fulcrum, March 24, 2021)

Police trials as benchmarks for racial justice (The Christian Science Monitor, March 8, 2021)

Time to apply ample lessons from abroad to improve democracy here (The Fulcrum, February 24, 2021)

How Do Patients Feel About Social Risk Screening? (Healthcare Innovation, February 22, 2021)

Universal Child Care: A Bad Deal for Kids? (Institute for Family Studies, February 1, 2021)

McDonald's CEO: Chain will do 'just fine' with higher wages (Restaurant Dive, January 29, 2021)

Survey: Parents and Teachers Grapple with In-Person Learning (WOSU Public Media, January 28, 2021)

As support for $15 minimum wage gains momentum, Main Street fears it's not the right time (CNBC, January 25, 2021)

Democrats Hope Biz Tax Incentives Can Sell Wage Increase (Law360, November 17, 2020)

Bernie Sanders aceptaría integrarse a gabinete de Biden y apoya aumento de $15 dólares la hora a nivel nacional (El Diario, November 16, 2020)

Bernie Sanders claims majority of Americans support a ‘far-left agenda’ that includes raising minimum wage to $15 as he says he’d accept a position in President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet (Daily Mail, November 16, 2020)

Even a divided America agrees on raising the minimum wage (Brookings, November 13, 2020)

Irv Randolph: The growing demand for police reform (The Philadelphia Tribune, November 13, 2020)

As a deeply divided nation processes the election results, what DO we actually agree on? More than you’d think (MarketWatch, November 6, 2020)

Ways Republicans and Democrats have found common ground during contentious 2020 election (MSN, October 26, 2020)

Hidden Common Ground: We found that Americans are more united than it appears (USA TODAY, October 20, 2020)

Queens' 14 council districts may lose participatory budgeting for second year in a row (Queens Daily Eagle, October 19, 2020)

How Do Social Determinants of Health Affect Patient Wellness? (PatientEngagementHIT, October 9, 2020)

Poll: More Americans on both sides of the political spectrum want a higher minimum wage (WITF, September 30, 2020)

COVID-19 has narrowed the divide between GOP, Democratic voters on ways to support workers from pay to child care (USA TODAY, September 24, 2020)

David Bange: Turn climate anxiety into climate action (La Crosse Tribune, September 20, 2020)

Americans Share Common Ground, Misperceptions About Immigration, Poll Finds (KUNR Public Radio, August 14, 2020)

Americans’ confidence in police falls to historic low, Gallup poll shows (USA TODAY, August 12, 2020)

Poll shows growing disconnect over Trump's hard-line immigration policies (USA TODAY, August 12, 2020)

A 'huge moment' for police reform that could reshape Black communities for generations (USA TODAY, July 18, 2020)

There's Still More To Do But Black Lives Matter Protests Have Resulted In These Major Police Reforms (mitú, July 2, 2020)

USA TODAY poll: Americans want major police reform, more focus on serious crime (USA TODAY, June 29, 2020)

Broad Support for Most Police Reforms in New Survey (The Crime Report, June 29, 2020)

Breaking News - USA TODAY poll: Americans want major police reform, more focus on serious crime (US Latest News, June 29, 2020)

The Cost of Being a College Dropout (Coastline College Blog, June 20, 2020)

Will Americans follow social distancing measures? (Medium, June 5, 2020)

Think Americans Are Polarized Over Reopening, Face Masks? Survey Says Think Again (WOSU Public Media, May 29, 2020)

Health outweighs economy in poll (USA TODAY, May 29, 2020)

Monthly Civic Tech must-reads #6 (CitizenLab, April 27, 2020)

How to give back to your community during the pandemic (Rice University News and Media Relations, April 24, 2020)

New Vision Council Report Reveals Consumer Attitudes and Industry Insights About COVID-19 Crisis (Vision Monday, April 20, 2020)

Faced with a pandemic, good public health requires stronger democracy (The Hill, April 18, 2020)

Bloomington Health Foundation, CJAM receive $600,000 for Community Voices in Health project (Hoosier Times, April 15, 2020)

Colorado groups to receive health advocacy grant (Colorado Politics, April 15, 2020)

The coronavirus on Smart Talk Monday: End of life decisions and survey finds Americans on 'common ground' (WITF, April 13, 2020)

Like Jesus on Easter, we too will rise. After we beat the coronavirus. (USA TODAY Opinion, April 10, 2020)

Surveys on Coronavirus Impact Underscore Near-Term Challenges (SGB Media, April 7, 2020)

Bishops can do more to provide sacraments despite coronavirus fears, open letter claims (Catholic News Agency, April 7, 2020)

COVID-19 Bringing Communities Together (The 21st Show, April 6, 2020)

Survey: COVID-19 Brings U.S. Communities Together (Iowa Public Radio, April 6, 2020)

Poll: Americans choose saving lives over saving US economy (Rolla Daily News, April 4, 2020)

Coronavirus poll: Americans support drastic efforts to stop coronavirus, expect crisis to last for months in Public Agenda/USA TODAY/Ipsos poll (USA TODAY, April 3, 2020)

Despite Hardships, Americans See COVID-19 Bringing Communities Together, Survey Shows (Side Effects, April 3, 2020)

Poll: Halting Virus Is Bigger Priority Than Saving Economy (Newsmax, April 3, 2020)

Most believe stopping virus is larger priority than saving economy: poll (The Hill, April 3, 2020)

Poll: Americans Choose Saving Lives Over US Economy (Media Confidential, April 3, 2020)

Democratic, Republican voters actually agree on how to juice the economy. What's in the way? Politics. (USA TODAY, March 6, 2020)

science-based strategies to tame angry political debate and encourage tolerance (The Conversation, February 27, 2020)

How Social Determinants of Health Impact Pediatric No-Show Rates (Patient Engagement Hit, February 25, 2020)

Philanthropy's Role in Scaling Sounder Public Judgement (Medium, February 24, 2020)

Red and Blue America see eye-to-eye on one issue: the nation's health care system needs fixing (USA TODAY, February 7, 2020)

Americans Agree Health Care System Needs Fixing, New Survey Funds (WBUR, February 13, 2020)

Survey: Americans Agree Health Care System Needs Fixing (Side Effects, February 6, 2020)

Where Are All The Iowa Polls This Year? (FiveThirtyEight, January 31st, 2020)

Commentary: How to help New Yorkers compare health care options (New Canaan Advertiser, January 28th, 2020)

Republican and Democratic voters actually agree on many climate change fixes. So why no action? (USA TODAY, January 24, 2020)

Five myths about bipartisanship (The Washington Post, January 17, 2020)

Will Friedman: There is more common ground in America than you think (NewsRadio KTRH 740 AM, December 9, 2019)

Divided we fall? Americans see our angry political debate as 'a big problem' (USA TODAY, December 9, 2019)

Op-Ed: A Challenge to College Presidents (NJ Spotlight, November 19th, 2019)

Ethical College Admissions: Counseling vs. Coaching (Inside Higher Ed, November 11th, 2019)

USA TODAY NETWORK and Public Agenda to Explore the ‘Hidden Common Ground’ Among Citizens Leading to the 2020 Election (Yahoo!, November 11th, 2019)

Solving Higher Education’s Crisis Of Governance Means Changing How We Choose Governors (Forbes, November 15th, 2019)

Americans are ready for more meaningful democracy (Jefferson Center, August 26th, 2019)

The case for using polling data more regularly (The Grade, August 7th, 2019)

3 Provider Communication Strategies for Creating Patient Trust (Patient Engagement HIT, August 6th, 2019)

Patient Trust, Relationships Key in Pediatric SDOH Screenings (Patient Engagement HIT, August 5th, 2019)

Pediatric social determinants screening (Drivers of Health, August 5th, 2019)

Screening For Social Needs: What Do Parents Think? (Health Affairs, July 30th, 2019)

Residents Test Their Knowledge At Jamaica Bay Jeopardy (Canarsie Courier, July 30th, 2019)

Parents Talk About Social Needs Screening:Identify Trust as a Major Issue (Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, July 24th, 2019)

President Issues Executive Order Calling for Health Care Price Transparency (Society for Human Resource Management, June 26th, 2019)

Democrats' views on charters diverge by race as 2020 elections loom (Brookings, May 21st, 2019)

Quick Fix - Housing Affordability Panel (Politico, May 14th, 2019)

The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 13 (Gotham Gazette, May 13th, 2019)

Price transparency is key to a functional health-care market (The Hill, April 17th, 2019)

New Visions: Subconscious tech vs conscious engagement; benefit apps that talk back; Zuck's conversion; and more. (Civic Hall, March 7th, 2019)

A human rights approach to the health implications of food and nutrition insecurity (Thrive Global, January 22nd, 2019)

A human rights approach to the health implications of food and nutrition insecurity (Thrive Global, January 22nd, 2019)

Why are so many college students returning home? (GreatSchools.org, January 9th, 2019)

How providers, patients could benefit from CMS' newly instated price transparency rule (Fierce Healthcare, January 4th, 2019)

Friedman: Is polling good for democracy? (Statesman News Network, September 4, 2016)

New Report Finds Substantial Common Ground in Americans’ Views on Renewing Democracy

July 20, 2021 | Comments Off on New Report Finds Substantial Common Ground in Americans’ Views on Renewing Democracy

Across the political spectrum, Americans think our democracy is in trouble, expect the government to guarantee both secure and accessible voting, and want “ordinary people” to have more of a voice in policy. Differences persist along partisan lines on racism’s impact on democracy and the need for systemic change to…

Public Agenda Announces New President Andrew Seligsohn

June 28, 2021 | Comments Off on Public Agenda Announces New President Andrew Seligsohn

Seligsohn’s leadership in civic engagement, higher education to advance Public Agenda’s mission to strengthen democracy and expand opportunity for all Americans.

Violence at the U.S. Capitol, Distrust in Politics and the Mission of Public Agenda

January 15, 2021 | Comments Off on Violence at the U.S. Capitol, Distrust in Politics and the Mission of Public Agenda

The peaceful transfer of power is a cornerstone of our system of government. By any measure, the riot that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 was unacceptable. Using violence and intimidation to achieve political goals is abhorrent and illegal.  Through our votes, we choose the leaders whose…

New “Healthier Democracies” initiative will bring learning about democratic innovation to the U.S.

November 19, 2020 | Comments Off on New “Healthier Democracies” initiative will bring learning about democratic innovation to the U.S.

Public Agenda, a non-partisan research and public engagement organization based in New York City, has received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for “Healthier Democracies,” an initiative that will explore practical lessons from other countries that could help Americans improve their democratic systems and restore trust in government.…

Transition at Public Agenda

November 10, 2020 | Comments Off on Transition at Public Agenda

This January marks my tenth year as president of Public Agenda, an organization I’ve had the privilege of serving and growing with for a quarter of a century. Along that journey, Public Agenda has offered me countless opportunities, and I’m deeply grateful for them all. 

Reflections on Recent Events

June 3, 2020 | Comments Off on Reflections on Recent Events

Like so many Americans, recent events have battered the Public Agenda team with anger, sadness and anxiety and we are asking ourselves how to respond. We are thinking about a phrase we use to convey the spirit of our work: Let’s build a democracy that works for everyone. By this…

Americans Want More Constructive Politics, Believe Politicians And Social Media Benefit From Divisiveness While The Public Loses

December 4, 2019 | Comments Off on Americans Want More Constructive Politics, Believe Politicians And Social Media Benefit From Divisiveness While The Public Loses

New research from the inaugural Public Agenda/USA TODAY/Ipsos Hidden Common GroundTM survey reveals a significant number of Republicans and Democrats would consider crossing party lines for a more unifying candidate

Major Research, Journalism and Public Engagement Initiative to Focus on Common Ground Solutions During Election Season

November 13, 2019 | Comments Off on Major Research, Journalism and Public Engagement Initiative to Focus on Common Ground Solutions During Election Season

First phase of Public Agenda/USA Today’s Election-Year Hidden Common Ground Initiative™ to explore America’s collaborative divide and how it can be bridged   New York City – A self-defeating narrative is taking hold in America of a people who are so profoundly divided that we cannot possibly understand each other, let…

New York State Residents Call for Government to Monitor Quality of Doctors and Hospitals

November 7, 2019 | Comments Off on New York State Residents Call for Government to Monitor Quality of Doctors and Hospitals

New report finds New York State residents worry about health care quality, and want state government to hold providers accountable New York City – New York State residents think the state government should monitor doctors’ and hospitals’ quality; provide information about the quality of doctors’ and hospitals’ care; and hold…

Sounder Public Judgment Initiative Brings Fresh Thinking to a Fundamental Challenge Facing Democracy

October 22, 2019 | Comments Off on Sounder Public Judgment Initiative Brings Fresh Thinking to a Fundamental Challenge Facing Democracy

A new series of Working Papers from Public Agenda offers insights into how to help the public come to terms with tough issues in today’s world New York, NY — Public Agenda, the nonpartisan research and public engagement organization, is releasing a series of papers on the challenge of fostering…

Pushing the Boundaries of Engagement in Health

April 30, 2020 Comments Off on Pushing the Boundaries of Engagement in Health

At a conference earlier this year, a woman was trying to explain why she had decided not to serve on an influential state health policy panel. For years, she had been an outspoken health advocate; she and her two children are dealing with a rare genetic condition that has given…

Digital Tools for Engagement

March 31, 2020 Comments Off on Digital Tools for Engagement

Here at Public Agenda, we are receiving many requests right now from people who want to know about online tools for engaging the general public and specific stakeholders. Public Agenda has been a leader in the engagement field for the past 25 years, and for the past decade we have…

5 Tips For Handling Difficult Holiday Conversations

November 27, 2019 Comments Off on 5 Tips For Handling Difficult Holiday Conversations

The holiday season can be filled with lots of joy and laughter, but there are times when seeing some of your closest family and friends can be hard to handle — especially when there are differing opinions on touchy topics.

Survey Results on New Yorkers’ Views on Health Care Quality Information

November 18, 2019 Comments Off on Survey Results on New Yorkers’ Views on Health Care Quality Information

  By NYSHealth Achieving greater transparency in health care quality can ensure that New Yorkers have information that is public, accessible, and actionable. Better health care quality information can steer people toward higher-quality providers, improve health outcomes for patients, and reduce costs for consumers, providers, purchasers, and payers alike. Yet…

New Yorkers Call for Government to Monitor Quality of Doctors and Hospitals

November 12, 2019 Comments Off on New Yorkers Call for Government to Monitor Quality of Doctors and Hospitals

On Nov. 8, Public Agenda and NYSHealth held a panel to discuss findings from Public Agenda’s latest health care report We Can Do Better: New York State Residents Weigh In on Health Care Quality. Panelists included Anne-Marie J. Audet, M.D., M.Sc., S.M., senior medical officer for United Hospital Fund’s The…

A Day on the Bay: Creating Community Through Research

July 24, 2019 Comments Off on A Day on the Bay: Creating Community Through Research

Only 150 years ago, Jamaica Bay was a prime estuary, where freshwater and saltwater meet, making the lagoon a biodiverse location that provided an optimal environment for the organisms that live in and around the Bay. “There were a lot more wetlands and a really open and dynamic connection to…

Geo-Locating Protest: The Changing Role of Tech in Social Movements

April 16, 2019 Comments Off on Geo-Locating Protest: The Changing Role of Tech in Social Movements

A story from Rewiring Democracy New from Public Agenda, Rewiring Democracy: Subconscious Technologies, Conscious Engagement and the Future of Politics, explores how the latest technological trends may reshape our democracy, our politics, and our daily lives. In a series of blog posts, we are sharing some of the stories from the…

Can We Handle The Truth? Trying To Re-establish A Working Infrastructure For News (Part II)

April 3, 2019 Comments Off on Can We Handle The Truth? Trying To Re-establish A Working Infrastructure For News (Part II)

A story from Rewiring Democracy New from Public Agenda, Rewiring Democracy: Subconscious Technologies, Conscious Engagement and the Future of Politics , explores how the latest technological trends may reshape our democracy, our politics, and our daily lives. In a series of blog posts, we are sharing some of the stories from the…

Can We Handle The Truth? Trying To Re-Establish A Working Infrastructure For News (Part I)

March 20, 2019 Comments Off on Can We Handle The Truth? Trying To Re-Establish A Working Infrastructure For News (Part I)

In this first installment of the Rewiring Democracy series, we take a look at the challenges facing journalism, including decreasing trust in reporters as truth tellers, and the financial instability faced by media organizations.

AI, Blockchain, VR, And The Complicated Future Of Democracy

February 25, 2019 Comments Off on AI, Blockchain, VR, And The Complicated Future Of Democracy

All kinds of changes, many of them driven by technology, affect how we live, work, vote, interact, and get information. Too often, the people working to strengthen democracy have been caught flat-footed by the pace of new trends and innovations. All kinds of changes, many of them driven by technology,…

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Jemilah Magnusson
Interim Communications Director
jmagnusson@publicagenda.org

Our Experts

Matt Leighninger
Interim Co-President, Director of Public Engagement
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David Schleifer, Ph.D.
Interim Co-President, Director of Research
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Nicole Hewitt-Cabral
Associate Director for New York Engagement Programs
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Quixada Moore-Vissing, Ph.D.
Associate Director for National Engagement Programs
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Treston Codrington
Public Engagement Associate
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Will Friedman, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow