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State Snapshots

This brief provides an overview of civic engagement and key issues affecting each state. State snapshot include policy resources such as think tank contacts. Circles covering state-specific topics are encouraged to contact these resources to gather information and research to share/discuss at their circle discussions.

Stitching the Fabric of Neighborhoods

Strong neighborhoods and communities have long been central components of American life. How have technologies and social trends changed neighborhoods over time? The local business owners on Main Street, the members on the city council, and the residents living in the suburbs all play an important role in the future of neighborhoods. What do people today want in their communities?

Part of the Conversation Series: The Community Series

Strategic Giving and Civic Engagement

We are known and remembered for how we give our time, talent, and treasures. This brief allows you to reflect on how you give, better define your values and goals, and boost your understanding of the opportunities and challenges in philanthropy. The brief highlights the role strategic giving plays in civic engagement and rejuvenating civic life in America.

Part of the Conversation Series: Personal Finance Series The Active Citizenship Series


To fund the services it provides, the United States government derives revenue from individuals and businesses by taxing income, purchases, and property, in addition to a variety of taxes paid on specific goods or on various activities. However, some think the current tax code undermines fairness, economic growth, and transparency. Do the recent changes to the tax code go far enough to better serve these goals? What else should be done?

State Specific Information: Illinois Wisconsin
Part of the Conversation Series: Personal Finance Series The Business Series

Terror Groups and Rogue States

Terror groups and rogue states all represent distinct threats to U.S. national security and the safety of our allies. Read on for a deep dive into prominent terror groups and rogue states, their impacts locally and globally, and responses from the U.S.

Part of the Conversation Series: The World View Series

Texas: Civic Engagement, Political Engagement and the State of the State

The Active Voter Guide

Your voice and your vote matter. Our elections depend upon participation by the electorate, including you. There are many ways to educate yourself and others and engage in the political process. This resource guide walks you through the components of being an active voter or volunteer: how to register, research a candidate, develop an assessment scorecard, and get involved by becoming a volunteer.

Part of the Conversation Series: The Active Citizenship Series

The Affordable Care Act

This deep dive focuses on the Affordable Care Act, its impact on healthcare, and what's next. It can be used along with our Healthcare Reform Brief or as stand-alone reading material.

Part of the Conversation Series: Personal Finance Series The 2023 Series

The Creative Economy

Throughout history, the arts have been indicative of beauty, human connectedness, prosperity, creativity, and freedom of expression. By stimulating the senses, emotions, and thoughts, arts can incorporate beauty into an environment, give communities a stronger sense of identity, and challenge the status quo. Given all these options, the creativity and collaboration of the arts can also be woven into the free market economy to create work and wealth. In this so-called creative economy, how do creators, public and private support networks, distributors, and buyers interact? What roles do individuals, private actors and institutions, and government play?

Part of the Conversation Series: The Business Series

The Decennial Census

Have you ever considered where funding for emergency response services come from? Or how hospital locations are determined? Data from the decennial census can play a part in both. Why does the nation need to make this count every ten years? What other information does the Census tell us? How does it affect individuals, communities, businesses, and government?

Part of the Conversation Series: The Active Citizenship Series

The Electoral College

The U.S. Constitution clearly specifies that the President by elected by the Electoral College. How exactly does this system work? Why was it originally put in place, and why in recent years has it been at the center of debates on election reform?

Part of the Conversation Series: The Active Citizenship Series

The Executive Branch

The executive branch of the U.S. carries out and enforces laws. Some roles, namely the President and Vice President, are well known. Most Americans are less familiar with the responsibilities of other entities, from the Cabinet’s fifteen executive department heads to the expansive number of federal agencies known by an alphabet soup of acronyms. This brief is designed to explain the structure, roles, and responsibilities of the executive branch.

Part of the Conversation Series: The Active Citizenship Series The Foundational Series