I've got a couple of big things I've been working on that just aren't quite ready to be rolled out yet. So, in lieu of publishing something half-baked, I'd like to share three videos I've been saving.
The first is a PBS interview with Jonathan Haidt. I read and listened to Haidt a lot last year and quoted him extensively right after the election ("Affirmative Action for Conservatives"). I've highly recommended his book The Righteous Mind in a post I did a couple months ago ("Our Contentious Culture"). If you're hyper-partisan or dogmatic, you won't like this video, but if you're like me and appreciate people who can see value in different perspectives, Haidt is a master of identifying the best we have to offer. I like the way he thinks.
G.T. Bynum is the mayor of Tulsa, the city where we hosted our Summit, and I really like the way he thinks too. He's a #DotheMath kind of leader and when you follow that approach, the partisanship that is paralyzing our country can be overcome. Listen to the range of issues he discusses and then remember, as he points out at the end, that he is from a state where Barack Obama never carried a single county (that's pretty conservative).
Finally, here's a guy who looks like he lives on Key West, talks with a British accent and explains the land tax really well. Actually, I checked him out and he's a British comic but there is nothing really funny here. It's a great explanation of a tool that our cities need to have in their toolbox and why our current tax structure -- property, sales and income -- is regressive, distorting and counterproductive. If we want to deal with wealth inequality while making our cities financially stronger, we need to focus on a tax structure that helps our land use become more productive (i.e. builds wealth on our streets). This explanation is a lot better than the one I did years ago that is still getting passed around.
A final note: CNU 25 last week was a really great. Thank you to Project for Public Spaces for inviting me to co-host Beers and Engineers. Also, thank you to Nate Hood -- a Founding Member of Strong Towns -- for letting me crash in his room and also for taking John Reuter and I to a baseball game (where I got a foul ball). Finally, thank you to the judges, the debaters and everyone who showed up for Debate Night. I was able to partially stream it but the Mac we were using died halfway through (I've not listened to it but I can't imagine the sound was good -- the room was really echoing). The top image here is of Joe Minicozzi delivering a fantastic #dothemath speech which brought down the house, of course. He's awesome.