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America At Its Best: The Show

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Americans are facing many challenges to their way of life. Despite some of the bad news that has come from this unprecedented time in history, there is much room for optimism. To that end, State Policy Network has produced a new show for our supporters and partners that tells powerful stories of good news and fast solutions from the Network of 64 state-based think tanks and over 90 national partners across the country who are out there saving lives and livelihoods.

One of SPN’s board members, Adam Meyerson, recently said: “America at its best emerges right now.  We see Americans taking charge as concerned citizens, such as neighbors helping neighbors, especially when expected government help is too slow to alleviate suffering. There are so many people in communities working together to find creative solutions. In crises of the past, Americans have risen to the challenge.”

This idea inspired the name of the show. We believe in the power of individuals working together to solve problems in their communities, and we are seeing examples of this throughout the Network every day.

Below are recordings of each episode. To learn more, please contact Victoria Bartolomeo at victoria@spn.org.

Upcoming Shows

How Courthouses and Statehouses Could Shape 2021
Featured Guest: Leonard Leo
Wednesday, December 16 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm ET
Register Now
*Note: If you have trouble registering, please contact Victoria Bartolomeo at victoria@spn.org.*

Please join us for our last episode of the year with special guest Leonard Leo, founder of CRC Advisors, former executive vice president of the Federalist Society, and an advisor to President Trump on judicial nominations, including the three most recent Supreme Court selections. Leo will discuss what the 2020 elections mean for the courts, the future of the Supreme Court, key issues that will drive the agenda in 2021, and the importance of the state-level legal battles in shaping the future of the country.

View Past Episodes


Episode One: Lifesaving Reforms in Michigan and Beyond

In this episode, we discussed how the window of opportunity has opened for governors to enact market-based healthcare solutions that are giving patients greater access to care, and doctors greater access to much-needed medical supplies. (Link to Video)

Speakers:

  • Joseph Lehman, Mackinac Center for Public Policy
  • Lindsay Killen, Mackinac Center for Public Policy
  • Tracie Sharp, State Policy Network
  • Rebecca Painter, State Policy Network
  • Russ Walker, State Policy Network

Episode Two: Helping Businesses During the Coronavirus Crisis

In this episode, we discussed how members of this Network are helping businesses navigate evolving policy changes and get people back to work safely. (Link to Video)

Speakers:

  • Rob Arnott, Research Affiliates
  • Charles Mitchell, Commonwealth Foundation
  • Randy Hicks, Georgia Center for Opportunity
  • Tracie Sharp, State Policy Network
  • Rebecca Painter, State Policy Network

Episode Three: Public Opinion and Storytelling on the Coronavirus

In this episode, we discussed how American attitudes have changed since the start of the pandemic, as well as effective storytelling to capture the impact of the crisis thus far. (Link to Video)

Speakers:

  • Erin Norman, Heart & Mind Strategies
  • Ryan Greene, Illinois Policy Institute
  • Carrie Conko, State Policy Network
  • Tracie Sharp, State Policy Network
  • Rebecca Painter, State Policy Network

Episode Four: How the Coronavirus Has Changed K-12 Education

In this episode, we assessed the current landscape in education and what this Network is doing to help parents navigate these uncharted waters. (Link to Video)

Speakers:

  • Jonathan Butcher, Heritage Foundation
  • Libby Sobic, Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty
  • Katherine Bathgate, State Policy Network
  • Tracie Sharp, State Policy Network
  • Rebecca Painter, State Policy Network

Episode Five: Revitalizing State Economies

In this episode, we discussed which policies this Network is pursuing to help state governments safely and effectively reopen while setting the stage for economic growth going forward. (Link to Video)

Speakers:

  • Taylor Dawson, Beacon Center of Tennessee
  • Rea Hederman, The Buckeye Institute
  • Tracie Sharp, State Policy Network
  • Rebecca Painter, State Policy Network

Episode Six: Leading in Crisis

In this episode, we heard from Network leaders who are showing what it means to lead in crisis. Their institutions are solving problems related to the coronavirus pandemic and paving the way for opportunities in the months ahead. (Link to Video)

Speakers:

  • Kevin Roberts, Texas Public Policy Foundation
  • Carol Platt Liebau, Yankee Institute
  • Tracie Sharp, State Policy Network
  • Rebecca Painter, State Policy Network

Episode Seven: How the Response to the Coronavirus Has Impacted Our Civil Liberties

In this episode, we discussed efforts to defend and shine light on the impact the pandemic and government response have had on American civil liberties. (Link to Video)

Speakers:

  • Nick Gillespie, Reason
  • Connor Boyack, Libertas Institute
  • Tracie Sharp, State Policy Network
  • Rebecca Painter, State Policy Network

Episode Eight: How to Accelerate Lifesaving Solutions

In this episode, we discussed how SPN’s Network partners are putting forth solutions to help accelerate lifesaving medical innovations. (Link to Video)

Speakers:

  • Naomi Lopez, Goldwater Institute
  • Daniel Rothschild, Mercatus Center at George Mason University
  • Tracie Sharp, State Policy Network
  • Rebecca Painter, State Policy Network

Episode Nine: Bringing State Voices to Federal Policy

In this episode, we discussed how the federal government is looking to state leaders for solutions that empower states to make the best decisions for their citizens. (Link to Video)

Speakers:

  • Jim Vokal, Platte Institute
  • Jennifer Butler, State Policy Network
  • Tracie Sharp, State Policy Network
  • Rebecca Painter, State Policy Network

Episode Ten: Protecting American Freedom Through Strategic Litigation

In this episode, we discussed how the courts are a resource for state leaders to promote and protect liberty. (Link to Video)


Episode Eleven: Sensible Police Reform

In this episode we discuss balancing public safety with comprehensive reform to protect liberty and ensure equality before the law. (Link to Video)


Episode Twelve: The Future of American Conservatism

In this episode, we discussed “conservative fusionism” and the changing dynamics of the conservative party over time, as well as ways for parties to come together towards common goals. (Link to Video)


Episode Thirteen: Engaging Young Americans on Ideas of Liberty

In this episode, we discussed how this Network is engaging young Americans today on ideas of liberty that will have an impact for future generations. (Link to Video)


Episode Fourteen: The Overton Window for Education Reform: How the Network is Helping Families Navigate Education’s Biggest Disruption

In this episode, we discussed how the Network has positioned itself to help families navigate disruption to education, and the related shifts in the Overton Window that allow for meaningful reform. (Link to Video)


Episode Fifteen: How the Pandemic Has Affected Higher Education

In this episode, we discuss the existential crisis facing higher education as well as areas where universities can innovate to provide higher quality, affordable options for students. (Link to Video)


Episode Sixteen: Preserving the Integrity of US Elections

In this episode, we discussed the importance of conducting fair, honest elections and what the current debate could mean for the future of our democracy. (Link to Video)


Episode Seventeen: SPN’s Bob Williams Award Winners

In this episode, we invited the winners of SPN’s coveted Bob Williams Awards to discuss their successful policy solutions that have made lives better in their states. We also discussed the 2020 Network Award dedicated to the biggest multi-state win of the year. (Link to Video)


Episode Eighteen: How the Network is Driving the Economic Recovery in the States

In this episode, we discussed solutions coming from this Network to revitalize state economies, help businesses reopen, shore up state budgets, and get Americans back to work. (Link to Video)


Episode Nineteen: Trends in the States Post-Election

In this episode, we discussed what the changes in the political landscape will mean for advancing freedom in the states, and ways in which this is truly the State Moment. (Link to Video)