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  • Eric Darst

Cultural Action Thru Knowledge

Updated: May 17


If all you have is a hammer then everything is a nail”

The proposed Civil Impact Institute (C2IT) is an independent, publicly funded, community resourced organization with the purpose of providing to all an inclusive and factual measure of personal, cultural, economic, and ecosystem impacts influenced by legislative initiatives and policies.
 

Premise

Everything Congress does – everything – has a broad spectrum of impacts, most of which are directly affecting our overall wellbeing. A critical need of proposed legislative initiatives is truly measuring all the elements that those initiatives impact and make those measurements publicly available. Currently, the public must rely on scattered, undependable, non-factual sources, typically filtered through partisan agendas or purposeful misinformation.


Our current legislative initiatives are heavily dependent on just two factors:

  1. Fiscal policy – Government tax and spend

  2. Monetary policy – Fed money supply and price control

Both are centered on the nation’s economy. What’s missing? Civil Policy – a true measure of personal, cultural, and environmental value. We are so focused on what should simply be a medium of exchange that we relegate our overall wellbeing to second place.


Further, the public is provided little non-partisan assessment of legislative impacts outside of the economic sphere.


The work done by policymakers is a significant driver of cultural transactions and should be measured for a broad spectrum of value beyond economic impacts.


In addition to fiscal and monetary policy, what should we be measuring and delivering to the public when applicable?

  • Climate – energy, carbon embodiment, ecosystem impact, resource extraction

  • Civil and Cultural Value – such as UN Sustainable Development Goals

  • Capital Balance – capital transference and concentration

  • Resource Capacity – production, labor, natural resources, distribution

  • Acceptance – Individual and societal behavior

What does this do? It opens up legislation to public scrutiny and deliberation. It casts light on what in the past has been obfuscation and manipulation by lobbyists and self serving politicians. It puts policymakers in the position to respond to the facts.


Currently, there are 3 primary government resources for data gathering and analysis: 1) the Congressional Research Service, 2) Office of Management and Budget, and 3) the Congressional Budget Office. They directly service and only deliver reports to Congress and/or the President and often through a political lens. These entities provide information that is only requested of them which allows for filtering data to support a particular agenda.


C2IT is separate from the political sphere. Independent analysis and facts set a common basis for deliberation that all can draw from. Analysis crosses multiple disciplines and can be fine tuned and distilled for different types of audience such as class, ethnicity, location, and age.


Authentication

The most important element of this effort is trust. A belief that the analysis is sound, complete, and reflects current science and culture. This importance cannot be stressed enough. If the expectation is for policymakers to respond to this information, for media to utilize it for broadcast, and for all the public sectors to depend on it to form their thinking, then the sources must be authentic. There will be no editorializing or opinions given. There will be ample room for reasoned comment and notation. The models and methodologies will be continuously peer reviewed by independent recognized experts. This information will accompany any analysis.


Structure (This is conceptual and open to modification)

C2IT is a non-profit, publicly funded organization. It will draw resources from academia, other non-profits, and field experts. Contributors will be reasonably paid for their effort. Data will be drawn from public records and in some cases, FOIA.


The organization will be broken into subject pods to avoid overly burdensome hierarchy. There will be a central guidance board to maintain data integrity and establish primary measurement goals.


An outreach group will be very active disseminating information to traditional media, advocacy associations, political organizations, social media, website, email, etc.


Join the Civilution!

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