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Letter from Longview President

by Lawrence Wallack

Longview came into existence out of frustration and optimism. We were frustrated because things just kept getting worse and the promise of America was receding further and further into the distance. We were frustrated with world class research colleagues who felt it was up to others take up their ideas and apply them, and with activists who believed that just repeating the same old messages, perhaps just a bit louder, would make a difference. But we were optimistic that we could create an organization that could be part of progressive social change; an organization that could harness the power of rigorous research and help translate it for those in the policy arena. And we were optimistic that we could create new messages based on new ideas that are rooted in fundamental progressive values for activists. We were optimistic, quite simply, that we could make a vital contribution to a better world and this optimism continues to sustain us.

So we created and dedicated ourselves to the Longview Institute; a place that:

  1. Goes beyond finding new ways to talk about old issues and generates new ideas to provide new alternatives
  2. Can translate these ideas into public policies, get them on the media agenda and insure they are widely disseminated
  3. Can address the need for short-term results by working with grassroots organizations but not sacrifice progress toward longer term social change.

Our work now entails several projects including the Moral Economy, the Promise of America, and the Care Deficit. The moral thread that ties all our work together is a fundamental set of progressive values that emphasize our obligation to the collective good, a shared responsibility for addressing social issues, government that maintains the rungs on the ladder of opportunity, and the belief that basic benefits such as health care, education, living wage jobs, affordable housing, affordable, quality child care, and adequate nutrition need to be assured as a starting point in our society.

Take a look around the website. I know you will find some very interesting and provocative thinking.

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