Colin is policy council at Circulate San Diego, a nonprofit that advocates for public transit, active transit, and sustainable growth.
What is one important thing that we Americans can do together that we can’t do alone?
Building and operating public transit systems, so that people can get around easily.
What about your country, state, or community makes you proud? How do you think government interacts with that?
I am proud to be from California, where we are constantly reimagining what it means to be American. In California, we have the capacity and vision to be policy entrepreneurs for the rest of the country, and often for the rest of the world.
What do you think it means to be a good citizen?
Being a good citizen means paying attention, not just to vote, but to provide testimony and advocate for what you believe in. It also means looking out for your neighbor, in politics and policy and also in your neighborhood.
What one word describes our government as it is?
What one word do you wish described our government?
If you could run any government program or agency, real or imaginary, at any level of government, what would it be and what would you do there?
I would run the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. I would launch a long-term and comprehensive series of initiatives and experiments to determine how to build as much affordable housing with the best outcomes as possible for residents and communities.
What thing that government does do you think would surprise most Americans?
The scope by which government implements long-term planning for land use and transportation, and the really meaningful and sometimes unexpected effects for communities’ ultimate growth and development.
What is your first memory of an interaction with government?Sitting in a small East County government city hall where my dad was testifying for the local utility company where he still works. I was about 8 and I may or may not have been wearing my Boy Scout uniform at the time.
What was your most recent government interaction?
Taking the trolley to work this morning.
What is your favorite thing that government does?
The City gives ComicCon a permit in San Diego every year.
Who is your government hero who is not an elected official?
ImagineGov: If government could be anything, if government was what we want and aspire for it to be, what would it be or do?
Our government would be aggressive in its efforts to advance the public good, but also modest about when it should let forces external to government be the drivers of human activity.
Why is the work of Indivisible so important?
Indivisible is important because we need people both inside and outside of government to celebrate what the public sector and public interest can and should be. We need people, especially young people, to recognize that service in government can be a noble calling and a valuable way to spend one’s life and career.
Name someone whose answers to these questions you would like to read.
Recent San Diego resident Susan Riggs, now the interim director of the California Department Housing and Community Development in Sacramento. Howard Blackson, Circulate San Diego board member and former member of the San Diego Civic Innovation Lab.