Ernesto Cortes Jr.

Ernesto Cortes Jr. is a national co-director of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF).

Recent Articles

Power Precedes Programs

While people who care about the future of America must be technologically literate and capable, they must also relearn the art of politics, which is connected to the local institutions that Alexis de Tocqueville believed would enable our nation to thrive. De Tocqueville was impressed that while people took a strong interest in national political elections, the politics that really mattered were not those of the nation but of the state, the township, and the school board. What he saw in these local politics was people’s capacity to engage in direct deliberations around all the issues important to the neighborhood and the community. Through these various associations, people with differences would come together to bargain, negotiate, and even engage in reciprocal activities such as raising barns and homes and building schools and roads. Local politics can be translated into action at the state level, which can then generate change nationally. The Affordable Care Act, imperfect though it...