Over the last 40 years, the regulatory system has played an influential, if not well understood, role in contributing to the ongoing concentration of economic and political power, which is at the heart of so many of our social problems today.
We believe that the reverse can also be true – that a regulatory system rebuilt according to progressive principles can break up this monopoly on power in our society and redistribute it back to the people, particularly members of structurally marginalized communities. A key element of this reform agenda is making the regulatory system more responsive and inclusive by providing meaningful opportunities for public participation at every stage of the policy process.
In addition to pushing for innovative reforms to the existing notice-and-comment process, we are developing proposals to strengthen citizen engagement in agenda-setting, permit design, compliance monitoring, and enforcement. We are also working to ensure that agencies bring more equity to developing new policy-relevant information, a concept we refer to as “information justice.”
Public participation in the federal regulatory process is essential to our democracy, but too often, individuals and their experiences aren’t heard or included. Our experts demonstrate the challenge through a set of graphics and make recommendations for improvement.