Clark, Susan Stuart

Susan Stuart Clark is founded and director of Common Knowledge, a nonpartisan organization committed to expanding civic engagement as a means to a more inclusive and vibrant democracy.

Re-imagining California: We the People Are Our Own Best Resource

By Susan Stuart Clark
Common Knowledge

A USC/L.A. Times poll last month generated the kind of reaction that digs California deeper into the stale status quo. After indicating that they were unwilling to cut services and unwilling to raise taxes, voters were once again berated—by news media and policy makers alike— for seeming contrary. The conclusion around Sacramento was that politicians would be on their own to make the tough choices on behalf of a petulant electorate. And since the people probably won’t agree to raise taxes, as the conventional wisdom goes, the state has a long, ugly, miserable road ahead. The elites advocating for change could see only one possible bright light at the end of the tunnel: that the extended trauma of this unyielding recession might eventually lead the rest of us to acknowledge the need for some governance reforms.