Launching 10 Ideas 2021
June 17, 2021
By Katie Kirchner, Alyssa Beauchamp
We are honored to publish this year’s iteration of 10 Ideas. Written during a year of lockdowns, uncertainty, and mass movements, it feels fitting that it is now being published as hope and lightness begin to inch back into our day-to-day lives in the United States—these ideas, too, bring us hope. Included in 2021’s 10 Ideas are policy memos that exemplify the kind of bold leadership we want to see from policymakers across the globe—leadership rooted in love, justice, and a shared humanity.
As we emerge from an unrelenting last 15 months, we have only just begun to reckon with the profound consequences of multiple concurring crises. On top of the pain, isolation, and loss from COVID-19, emboldened white supremacy has escalated as a very real and constant threat. There is an urgent need for visionary new ideas to lead us out of this moment, yet our focus has been continuously pulled to react to the onslaught of threats. Just making it through the day or the week has sometimes felt like all that we can do, and too many of us know people who have not made it to feel the warmth of this summer’s sun.
Many times, we have wished we had more to offer in the way of solutions, or more answers about what we can do to confront the compounding crises we’re living through. But when we read the policies in this journal for the first time all together, they served as a reminder that any individual alone does not need to have all the answers; we, collectively, have the answers.
At its core, policy is a mechanism for realizing the dreams we have for our communities. The ideas in this journal dream of safety, of justice, of accountability. They respond to the last 18 months and push us beyond our current reality toward something better. Among this year’s 10 Ideas are policies that apply prison abolition theory to university campuses, close the digital divide in Seattle, and build the case for how system changes as simple as streamlined ID processes can revolutionize access to public programs for foster youth. They demonstrate the power and creativity of this network, one that we are deeply humbled and honored to lead (this year, in yoga pants and under the watchful eye of our pets who often introduce themselves to our members on Zoom calls).
We are grateful to every person who has helped make this journal possible, and who has continued to help us rewrite the rules.