A civic action hero of the finest degree, Carl is a loss to us all

In the realm of folks who volunteer their time to improve government and civic services, there are quite a few of us who have multiple careers, talents, aptitudes, and passions. Carl Lewis might have been…

Hello, CfA Brigade Network!

In the last few months, our community held elections for National Advisory Council (NAC). After the votes were tallied and the new NAC members were announced, the outgoing, ongoing, and incoming NAC members all got together in San Francisco in early April.

Laura (new NAC chair!), Nina and Ramy during our transition weekend

What’s coming up next

Summit is…here! If you’re…

This story was originally published in the Forecaster on October 1, 2018

This is about men.

Nearly every civic institution in Maine is dominated by men. The judges, lawyers, legislators, reporters, and commentators who shape our civic discourse do not reflect the demographics of our state.

Maine has had 10…

Civic Salt II was originally published in The Forecaster

I recently paid $60 worth of parking tickets to the great city of Portland. I returned to my car a few hours later to see a fresh one fluttering in the breeze. The city’s version of a middle finger. …

Let’s take a fresh approach to citizenship, community

Civic Salt I was originally published in the Forecaster on July 30, 2018

Bureaucracy is a terrible word. It invokes boxes. Taxes. Forms. White walls. Impersonality. Lines. Both of the waiting variety and the straight variety. Bureaucracy makes a human feel tiny.

Civics, on the other hand, is a wonderful…

The day after the Code for America summit I was on BART, holding onto the overhead rail with my forearm exposing a fading but legible temporary tattoo for the whole train to see: “Zoning Laws are Sexy.” There was something so timely about the fading text perfectly illustrating the fleeting…

Em Burnett

Digital strategist, writer & politico in Maine

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