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New Report Crowdsourced from Advocates Lays Out Progressive Vision for Just and Equitable Regulatory System

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NEWS RELEASE: September 25, 2019

Contact: Brian Gumm

(202) 747-0698 x4



New Report Crowdsourced from Advocates Lays Out Progressive Vision for Just and Equitable Regulatory System

In a new report released today, the Center for Progressive Reform lays out a bold new vision for the U.S. regulatory system, one that will help promote social justice and equity in our society. The report synthesizes the views and recommendations from more than 60 grassroots and national advocates from across the country, whom CPR gathered at a June 5 conference in Washington, D.C.

"The advocates at our conference made many things crystal clear," said James Goodwin, CPR Senior Policy Analyst and author of Regulation as Social Justice: A Crowdsourced Blueprint for Building a Progressive Regulatory System. "Chief among them: Meeting our country's greatest challenges – climate change, economic inequality, systemic racism, access to quality health care – will require effective implementation of current and future laws and policies, and that, in turn, will require a more robust, modernized, and inclusive regulatory system."

As advocates noted, the current federal regulatory system is broken, but not for the reasons the conservative messaging machine has been churning out for the past 50 years. Rather, weak and outdated laws, unnecessary implementation barriers that agencies face, excessive industry influence, and obstacles to meaningful public participation have caused the regulatory process to primarily benefit corporate special interests instead of protecting the public interest.

To address these problems, the Crowdsourced Blueprint outlines a series of reforms directed at Congress, federal regulatory agencies, the federal courts, and state governments. These reforms seek to change the regulatory system in two key ways.

  • First, they move to reestablish the public as the focus of policymaking, particularly with regard to the working poor, people of color, and other marginalized members of society.

  • Second, many of the reforms are designed to empower the public to shape how regulations are developed, implemented, and enforced. These reforms would not only provide new opportunities for meaningful public participation in the regulatory system; they would also curb or eliminate government institutions that are rigged to favor industry at the expense of our families and communities.

"By protecting us all against a variety of health, safety, environmental, and consumer hazards, a progressive regulatory system would avert the kinds of harms that can amplify institutionalized injustice," said Goodwin. "And by providing greater and more meaningful public participation opportunities, these progressive regulatory reforms would help restore the principles of government 'by the people' that are essential to the healthy functioning of our democracy."

The report is available online at

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The Center for Progressive Reform is a network of more than 60 Member Scholars with a shared vision of thriving communities and a resilient planet. We drive policy reform with rigorous and accessible legal analysis designed for changemakers.

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