I started trying to write the 'Intersectionality' paper, and too many ideas all started trying to come out at once. The number of papers has increased to six; Environment, Housing, Transit, Fiscal, Jobs, and this one. Fiscal has to be last, because we can't make realistic budget plans without having a reasonable understanding of what it is we're trying to pay for.
The audience for the papers are candidates running for office: Two potential congresscritters, two hopeful City Councilors, a possible State Senator, and a candidate for County Commissioner. I'm formally on staff at one campaign and volunteering at the rest; I hope to become staff on the others as a result of submitting these papers. Of course, writing them first would be helpful in that.
The reason why I'm trying to do the Intersectionality paper first is because it's real easy to come up with lists of projects that would be worthwhile to pursue, but the underlying question to all of them is "Why?" Sure, creating a new MAX rail line along Powell and Barbur Boulevards would serve a lot of people who need it. Sad to say, the idea that government exists to serve people has fallen out of common assumptions, and one of the prime purposes of the intersectionality paper is to bring that idea back and put it front and center.
One of the points of discussion is that old libertarian saw about the government is best that governs least -- it's wrong. Running a bit on the lean side is an excellent idea; starvation is not. This also ties into the idea that trying to run government by aphorism is also a bad idea -- a government is a living entity, and has to act like one. It has certain functions that take resources to perform, and robbing it of those resources doesn't make it more efficient, it makes it sick.
Of, by, and for the people is another fundamental premise -- by modern standards, the American founding fathers were a lot more socialist than their conservative descendants would care to admit. So I've been doing a lot of fundamental thinking on what it takes "the people" to actually govern. This is why I've shifted away from working on Positive Proxy -- as a representational system it's better than anything I've seen discussed, but if the populace isn't ready and willing to do the work of governing themselves, having a system that would help them do so is like gifting a CDC router to a toddler -- they can't make any effective use of it, and can easily hurt themselves upon it.
We've been *pretending* to self-governance for five decades I can testify to, and ten more that I can find historical precedent and documentation for. I regard this as a societal equivialent of "fake it 'til you make it"; we've been practicing dreaming about where we want to go, and building a vision of what it would be like to be there. Great, we've got the vision, time to actually implement it. What does it take for "the people" to actually govern?
Of the six candidates I'm working for, four are "local" and two "federal". Both levels of governance are independent living entities. And I'll save that thought for later; time to go get busy.