The Introduction

Hi there, how do you do?

Yes, it’s another blog about public policy, but I’d like to think this one is a little different.

First, who am I? My name is Brendan Rigney, the author and site manager. I’m a Philly guy living in Chicago, a recent graduate with a master’s in public administration. I consider myself a problem solver and a curious person. If I could, I would spend every hour of the day looking into any topic thrown at me.

What do I do? I’m a policy writer and analyst with no particular focus, though I have experience with criminal justice reform, workforce development, public finance, and human services. I firmly believe that, to address a problem and solve it, you first need to know the problem inside and out. Observing and writing about public policy is one way I do this.

So, this blog… Yes, this blog, which is why you’re here. The 101 Policy Corner is something I’ve wanted to do for a few years. This is an exploratory, explanatory forum on issues and ideas meant to educate the mildly and intensely interested.

There are two pillars to this site: the topics I’ll cover due to personal interest and the ones requested by readers. I don’t want this site to be just my meanderings; its function relies heavily on readers like you reaching out and asking, “what do you know about x and what can you tell me and other readers?”

There is no shortage of policy questions out there (right now, as well as every year stretching back to the Sumerians and every year in the future). While I won’t have readily available answers for some requests, I will take the time to get us there.

Check out this blog over the foreseeable future and you’ll find posts and discussions on that infinite list of topics, like these:

  • Community Development
  • Infrastructure, in general
  • Transportation, specifically
  • Housing
  • Public Utilities
  • Policing and Criminal Justice
  • Equity in Taxing
  • Climate Change Policy
  • Access to Firearms
  • Education
  • Immigration
  • Workforce Development
  • Health Care
  • Organized Labor
  • Voting and Elections

This doesn’t factor in some cross-sectional concepts like race, economic status, levels of governments involved, and (of course) politics. Some posts will look at simply the policy puzzle, while others will consider the overarching concepts I just mentioned. Some will be timely, others might be evergreen. The main takeaway here: nothing is off the table.

To conclude, I can promise three things. First, I and any future authors will take great care in sharing findings and thoughts on topics, whether it be an in-house interest or a 101 request. We’ll keep the terms and mechanics of our topics light; the whole point of the site is to make these things accessible and easily understand, after all. Second, this site will be receptive to feedback and comments. Posts are meant to begin dialogue between authors and readers on the information we share and the way we present it. And third, this stuff will always be free for readers.

Over the next several months, I intend to make this site more than a blog. Expect pages for graphics, resources, larger research projects, and book reviews soon. But for now, thanks for taking a look around.

Brendan

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