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Create a new language, create a new voice

Create a new language, create a new voice

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Create a new language, create a new voice

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  1. Michigan League FOR Human Services Create a new language, create a new voice Presented by Anika Fassia, L.L.M.S.W. Policy Analyst Michigan League for Human Services

  2. The Michigan League for Human Services is a state-level policy organization focused on the needs of Michigan’s low-income families and individuals.The League was founded in 1912 and is a private, nonprofit charitable organization. 1223 Turner St. Suite G-1, Lansing, MI 48906-4369  (517) 487-5436 Fax: (517) 371-4546  Web site: A United Way Agency

  3. This is the Michigan we know and love

  4. A new story for Michigan From the Motor City to the UP, we in Michigan value hard work, respect and community.  Our hands have built things that changed the world, reached out to our neighbors in need and formed an iron fist to fight for what was right--even when it was not easy. Michigan built the American middle class where people earned enough to buy what we made. Today, some say we can no longer afford to support strong public structures like quality schools, good roads, and safe neighborhoods, but we, Michiganders, know that our fate is linked. We must embrace the values of our past in order to build our future. We must invest in our people, places and public structures to make our state strong and our families secure. Strong schools, good paying jobs and a healthy environment are the foundation on which to create opportunities, build a strong middle-class, drive innovation and secure a better Michigan for generations to come.

  5. Building Will for the Common Good • Lead with something the positive • Define the issue in terms of systems and NOT individual • Limit negative imagery/language and blaming • Describe public structures as the foundation • Always include solutions and policy recommendations Public Works

  6. A Good Quality of Life • Strong Public Structures: • Economic Security • Healthy Families • Equitable Education

  7. Priorities

  8. Building Will for Investments in our Future • Before writing about taxes, lead with their purpose • Their purpose should invoke a common value • This is not about us versus them • Do not reinforce anti-tax frames • Always include solutions and policy recommendations Public Works

  9. Talking about the economy…. DOMINANT PERSPECTIVES A NEW ECONOMY The economy is man-made and intentional-policy matters Systems and structures affect outcomes Everyone’s interests are connected and interdependent Government’s role is fundamental and proactive As citizens, we all have the ability to shape the economy we need Public Works • The economy is “free” and “natural”—have to adapt • Individual character and luck determine outcomes • Everyone competes for their own interest • Government’s role is minimal and reactive • Individuals are consumers and workers

  10. Talking about the budget • Lead with Values • Explain how the budget impacts all of us • Lengthen the time horizon • Employ a practical tone • Social math • Don’t lead with money • Don’t invoke consumerist thinking • Avoid technical jargon • Don’t ignite crisis thinking Public Works

  11. Talking about Poverty & Inequality • Indicate the obstruction, not the person behind it • Describe communities by their situation, not by their class • Economic differences explained by inequitable access • Excessive inequality leads to economic instability • Not a zero-sum game • Providing context to economic security programs AnatShenker-Osorio

  12. Writing about race • Lead with Shared Values: Opportunity & The Common Good • Show that it’s about all of us • Over document barriers to equal opportunity – especially racial bias • Acknowledge the progress we’ve made • Present data on racial disparities through a contribution model instead of a deficit model Opportunity Agenda

  13. Writing About Race • Be thematic instead of episodic: Select stories that demonstrate institutional causes over stories that highlight individual action • Carefully select vehicles and audiences to tell the story of contemporary discrimination • Be rigorously solution-oriented • Link racial justice solutions with broader efforts to expand opportunity Opportunity Agenda

  14. Resources • Public Works • Center for Social Inclusion • The Opportunity Agenda • AnatShenker-Osorio

  15. “All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”- Martin Luther King Jr. 1115 South Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 202, Lansing, MI 48912-1658  (517) 487-5436 Fax: (517) 371-4546  Web site: A United Way Agency

  16. More information about us • • • Sign up for “First Tuesday” newsletter • Check out our blog • Join the League (or donate!)