Joel Rogers, "ALICE and Why Progressives Should Take Back Statehouses"

For nearly forty years, conservative-backed ALEC has secretively disseminated model laws to its network of more than 2,000 state legislators -- resulting in a weakened democracy and increased big-business dominance in American public life. Now, progressives are coming together to build the state and local political infrastructure necessary to support working families and the middle class, promote sustainability, and revitalize democracy. The American Legislative and Issue Campaign Exchange, or ALICE, is a small but vital piece of this infrastructure.

Joel Rogers is professor of law, political science, public affairs and sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of COWS, the national strategy center for high road development and governance. He has written widely on American politics and democratic theory (e.g., On Democracy, Right TurnAssociations and Democracy, Metro Futures, Works Councils, Working Capital, What Workers Want, The Forgotten Majority), advised many politicians and governments, and helped found and operate several progressive NGOs (e.g., Center for a New Democracy, New Party, Economic Analysis Research Network, Apollo Alliance, Emerald Cities Collaborative, and, most recently, ALICE). A MacArthur Foundation fellow, Newsweek identifies him as one of the 100 living Americans most likely to shape U.S. politics and culture in the 21st century.

ALICE is an online public library of progressive state and local legislation written by citizens, including law students and professors at schools around the country. It brings together both “exemplary” laws (those introduced or enacted somewhere and worthy of replication) as well as “model” laws (those with suggested general language, ready to be tailored to a particular jurisdiction). There’s also background research, talking points, and other aids for effective communication. ALICE founder and executive director Joel Rogers will speak on how students can help ALICE promote a progressive agenda for states and cities.

This talk was sponsored by the American Constitution Society and recorded on February 27, 2013.

Student organization presenters: 
American Constitution Society