The FCC has been holding a series of workshops in an effort to collect information that will be useful in the creation of a National BroadbandPlan. On September 1st, state and local telecommunications officialsparticipated in a workshop entitled State and Local Governments: Toolkits and Best Practices,at which the FCC aimed to learn from the experiences of state and localgovernments that have proactively addressed broadband deployment andadoption issues in their communities.
Perhaps the most impressive recent success story in expanding political
participation has been the dramatic turnaround in public agency voter
registrations in some states. With the prodding of Demos, Project Vote, and others under the umbrella of the NVRA Project,
several states have reinvigorated compliance with this federal law that
requires that certain state agencies offer voter registration to the
individuals they serve. The most well known agencies are motor vehicle
departments, but public assistance agencies are also included and it is
they that can have the greatest impact on bringing low-income and
marginalized citizens into the political process.
As with most states this year, the budget process and response to the
recession dominated Colorado's legislative session. Within that lens,
lawmakers are getting high marks from Colorado advocates like the Bell Policy Center and the Colorado Center on Law and Policy
for advancing key priorities like unemployment insurance, health care
coverage and budget reform while limiting the deficit's impact on the
state's most vulnerable residents. Notably, lawmakers extended health
care to 100,000 low-income and uninsured Coloradans. Still, advocates
note some disappointments and missed opportunities, like failing to
make qualified undocumented students eligible for in-state tuition
rates and neglecting to better regulate payday lenders.