Google+

Introducing SMART ALEC, and the Rebirth of a Nation’s Democracy

 

Introducing SMART ALEC, and the Rebirth of a Nation’s Democracy

 

unnamed

After years of exposing the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)—the nation’s largest, secretive corporate spin machine and right-wing policy incubator–Matthew Charles Cardinale, the Editor of Atlanta Progressive News, became so fed up, he decided to form a progressive, grassroots, transparent alternative: SMART ALEC.

 

http://www.smartalec.org

 

Since 1973, ALEC’s elite task forces of right-wing lawmakers and corporate lobbyists have existed to carefully craft model bills to impose a one-size-fits-all agenda on the states.

Their long-term goals: downsizing government, removing regulations on corporations, and making it harder to hold the economically and politically powerful accountable. Ever wonder where the surge to privatize education, break unions, deregulate major industries, pass voter ID laws, and more comes from?  ALEC is the culprit: it has extended its tentacles to everything from education to housing to health policy.  Their corporate board and billionaire benefactors (including Tea Party funders Charles and David Koch) are comprised of dozens of corporations who invest millions of dollars a year to write business-friendly legislation to be made into law in statehouses coast to coast, with absolutely no regard for the public interest.

 

Now headquartered in Portland, Oregon, SMART ALEC offers a completely different agenda – a transparent, grassroots approach to public policy; and it will refocus attention on the battle to loosen the grip of corporate America and renew democracy at the state and local levels.  

 

SMART ALEC stands for State and Municipal Action for Results Today / Agenda for Legislative Empowerment and Collaboration.

 

SMART ALEC’s first model ordinance is Affordable Housing Impact Statements.  This model ordinance was drafted by Cardinale, one of SMART ALEC’s founding members, in 2014, as a law school paper for Gonzaga University.  

 

The Model Ordinance for Affordable Housing Impact Statements offers a unique method for cities and counties to keep track of the impact of lawmakers’ public policy decisions on the affordable housing stock in their jurisdiction.  It provides a Scorecard to track estimated changes in terms of numbers of units added and/or subtracted across various income brackets, and comes with a model administrative implementation memo.

 

SMART ALEC’s policy focus is on affordable housing and environmental policy, and, particularly, on empowering low-income, homeless, and marginalized people to make a meaningful difference in shaping, and advocating for, policy solutions.

 

Affordable Housing Impact Statements were adopted by the City of Atlanta in November 2015, and are currently under consideration in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Albany, New York.  

 

https://www2.municode.com/library/ga/atlanta/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICOORENOR_CH54CODE_ARTIINGE#

 

http://www.citylab.com/housing/2016/01/the-growing-trend-of-affordable-housing-impact-statements/423333/

 

New Orleans, Louisiana

 

http://theadvocate.com/news/neworleans/neworleansnews/15714147-184/city-council-looking-at-ideas-to-promote-more-affordable-housing-in-new-orleans

 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

 

http://wesa.fm/post/affordable-housing-initiatives-move-forward-city-council

 

SMART ALEC is working with elected officials and stakeholders across the country as they consider adopted Affordable Housing Impact Statements.  They are developing equitable policy solutions for local replication, and empowering marginalized communities to make a meaningful difference in the democratic process.

           

http://atlantaprogressivenews.com/2016/05/10/apn-editor-co-launches-smart-alec-a-progressive-policy-think-tank/

 

SMART ALEC hopes to supplement the work of the State Information Exchange (SIX), which primarily focuses on promoting progressive labor-related legislation at the state level.  SMART ALEC will focus on affordable housing and the environment, and uniquely focus on municipal and county government.

 

Currently, SMART ALEC has a Go Fund Me page to raise $100,000 to support the organization’s initial goal, which is to help get Affordable Housing Impact Statements adopted in ten U.S. cities and counties by 2018.

 

https://www.gofundme.com/SMART_ALEC/

 

Website:

http://www.smartalec.org

 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/state.municipal.action/

 

Go Fund Me:

https://www.gofundme.com/SMART_ALEC/

 

 

Entertainment

A-List Cast Expertly Executes Cat-and-Mouse Crime Thriller

  Triple 9 DVD Review by Kam Williams A-List Cast Expertly Executes Cat-and-Mouse Crime Thriller     Irina Vlaslov (Kate Winslet) assumed the reins of an Atlanta-based crime syndicate after her husband Vasili (Igor Komar) was sent up the river. Despite the jailing of the ruthless mobster, the gang's operations have continued to flourish with the help of corrupt police officers and ex-Marines. One crooked cop, Marcus Belmont (Anthony … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

From #Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation

  From #Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor Haymarket Books Paperback, $17.95 286 pages ISBN: 978-1-60846-562-0 Book Review by Kam Williams “The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against Black people and punctured the illusion of … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

More Than a Score

  ACRONYM TO FOLLOW by Peter Brav   Finally Our Day has come There’s a Day for everything For doughnuts, siblings, eight track tapes Grilled cheese, daughters and sons to work Encouragement, Alzheimer’s Coffee, math, chewing gum Blasphemy, yo-yos And now finally One for us Truly a Day to celebrate National Don’t Shoot An Unarmed Brother Doctor King Not Seeing Progress George Orwell Laughing It Is So About the … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Introducing SMART ALEC, and the Rebirth of a Nation’s Democracy

  Introducing SMART ALEC, and the Rebirth of a Nation’s Democracy   After years of exposing the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)—the nation’s largest, secretive corporate spin machine and right-wing policy incubator--Matthew Charles Cardinale, the Editor of Atlanta Progressive News, became so fed up, he decided to form a progressive, grassroots, transparent alternative: SMART … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Catching and Cleaning Tasty Sea Bass

  Catching and Cleaning Tasty Sea Bass From Southern New England to Florida, These Bottom Dwellers Are Easy to Catch for Old and Young Alike   When it comes to bottom species, anglers have closely-held beliefs about which ones are the most challenging, the most fun and the best table fare. But one thing we can all agree on is that black sea bass are abundant, easy to catch and an epicurean delight. The species is widely … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Saying Goodbye to “The Greatest”

  Saying Goodbye to “The Greatest” by Amy Lignor   Tributes came pouring in from all around the world these past few days, as the United States hung their heads to say so long to Muhammed Ali, a man who was most assuredly, “The Greatest.”   Name one. From leaders all over the free world to a wealth of athletes – some who were lucky enough to be in Ali’s circle of friends while he was alive; others who looked up to him … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Budweiser Replaces its Logo with America Through Election Day

  Budweiser Replaces its Logo with America Through Election Day By Burt Carey In a nod toward patriotism seldom seen in corporate circles these days, Budweiser has refashioned its 12-ounce cans and bottles with an iconic name, America. The country’s biggest-selling brew has replaced its name for the summer season and will continue the promotion through Election Day in November. The company, which has a long tradition of using … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Travel to Remote Summer Locations & Enjoy the Luxury

  Travel to Remote Summer Locations & Enjoy the Luxury by Amy Lignor   Weather’s warm, skies are sunny, and school is basically all sewn up for the year. It is summertime and time to travel. But, for many, they are still looking for that summer getaway located far, far away from children who want to scream and yell on those fun amusement park rides out there, and from those families who look more exhausted after they … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Watching a Long-Time U.S. Paradise Become a Trash Heap

  Watching a Long-Time U.S. Paradise Become a Trash Heap by Amy Lignor   When someone thinks of the word “Hawaii,” the last thing one envisions in their mind is a place of ruin. Hawaii has always been looked upon as a vacation paradise; a place you choose to travel when you need to head away from the job and the winter weather to enjoy fun in the sun. But Hawaii has gotten into some serious trouble as of late. No longer does … [Read More its Good for You...]