Democracy’s Day

January 22, 2021

We can meet the moment by leading with inclusion.

The Roosevelt Rundown is an email series featuring the Roosevelt Institute’s top stories of the week.

There Is Always Light

“Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished.”

– Amanda Gorman

The traumas of the last month, the last year, the last 400 years, will not heal overnight. The wounds of white supremacy, environmental catastrophe, and COVID-19 won’t disappear in 100 days. The imagery of insurrection—a violent reminder of democracy’s fragility—will always be with us.

But today, there is hope. 

From the precipice of democratic collapse, facing multiple “once-in-a-lifetime” crises, Americans are ready for a True New Deal. For policies that both meet this moment and prevent this kind of suffering from ever happening again. For an approach to power that fulfills the promise of our nation. 

As Amanda Gorman, national youth poet laureate and the youngest poet to speak at an inauguration, said on Wednesday, “there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.”

To be that light is to lead with inclusion: to strengthen our multiracial democracy, to invest in Black and brown communities, and to restructure long-broken systems. To lead with inclusion is to reach our human and economic potential.

We’re ready.


Transforming the Workplace

Building power requires more equitable and democratic institutions—and that includes the workplace. 

In three reports published this week, the Roosevelt Institute, the Great Democracy Initiative, and the Southern Economic Advancement Project, respectively listed below, propose new policies and models for strengthening worker protections and voice.


What We’re Reading and Watching

What Reconstruction Teaches Us about White Nationalism Today – Vox

When Medicare Helped Kill Jim Crow [by Roosevelt’s Mike Konczal]The Nation

How the American Unemployment System FailedNew York Times

Worried about Long-Term Scarring to Economy: Joseph Stiglitz – Bloomberg

The Biden Recovery Plan and the Disarray of Economic Theory [feat. Stiglitz]The American Prospect

Amanda Gorman’s Inaugural Poem Is a Stunning Vision of DemocracyThe New Yorker