Is Something Rotten With the State of Presidencies?

Zócalo Heads to Mexico City to Understand Executive Power—And Why It Isn’t Always Best for Democracy

Last week, Zócalo Public Square held our first-ever event just steps from our organization’s namesake and inspiration, Mexico City’s Plaza de la Constitución, otherwise known as the Zócalo, one of the largest public squares in the world.

Together with Democracy International and Metropolitan Autonomous University for the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy 2023, Zócalo convened an audience of over 100 at the Casa de la Primera Imprenta de América (House of the First Print Shop in the Americas). We were there in the historic space, just across a narrow road …

California Doesn’t Need a New Abortion Measure | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

California Doesn’t Need a New Abortion Measure

Prop 1 Might Have Good Intentions, But It Puts Fundamental Rights at Risk

California’s leaders shouldn’t put fundamental rights up for a vote. But the legislature and governor have nonetheless chosen to add Proposition 1 to this November’s ballot.

At first glance, Prop 1 …

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of California’s Direct Democracy

Keep the Mail-In Ballots. Lose the Money and Special Interests. Give the People More Information

While majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents in California agree that the state’s system of direct democracy is a good thing, they also agree that it needs some fixing, especially …

How to End the Vicious Cycle of Dysfunctional California Governance

Real Change Means Integrating Our Direct Democracy Into the State's Entire System

California lawmakers and civic leaders are debating changes to our state’s direct democracy. But not one of the proposed changes is bold enough to reach the heart of what’s wrong …

People, Not Politicians, Should Reshape Direct Democracy

After Sitting on Four Commissions Over 30 Years, I’ve Discovered Why Legislator-Led Efforts Are Almost Always Bound to Fail

Lawmaking by voters through the ballot initiative process has been popular in California for more than a century.

So why is there near constant talk of altering or limiting California’s direct …

Goodbye to the Ideas Man for American Cities | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Goodbye to the Ideas Man for American Cities

Bill Barnes, Who Died Last Week, Strengthened and Deepened a 'Republic of Conversations'

When we think of ideas that change our lives, we often think of a great genius, a single discovery, a major technological breakthrough. But often the greater role is played …