What is an important thing that we Americans can do together that we can’t do alone?
Make choices that are the best for the most people, like making health care available to all Americans, and making sure everyone is well nourished with access to healthy foods.
What about your country, state, or community makes you proud? How do you think government interacts with that?
America is a leader in science and engineering. Our government provides funding for research, although sometimes it puts up barriers to research that I approve of, like stem cell research. I think we could better.
What do you think it means to be a good citizen?
Following the laws of your community, but it’s much more than that. It requires participation in government – more than just following the laws of the city and moving into real and tangible participation.
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? What would you want to accomplish there?
I would want to run a program that helps people find good jobs. We do a good job promoting traditional schooling in our country, but many people would prefer to participate in our society in other ways, like being horse trainers, plumbers, and woodworkers. Our society does not value those things as much as they should. I would like to run an agency that promotes non-traditional education.
What thing that government does do you think would surprise most Americans?
I know amazingly little about government. I wish I knew more.
What is your first memory of an interaction with government?
One time a friend of mine tricked me into dialing 911 with a fake number that had 911 as the area code. A police officer showed up. We were around 12 – and I was old enough to know better. I was so mortified.
What was your most recent government interaction?
I just registered my car in Vermont.
What is your favorite thing that government does?
Keeps order in our communities.
Who is your government hero who is not an elected official?
The head librarian of the city of Battleboro, Vermont. Libraries are incredibly important and people downgrade their importance in modern society.
ImagineGov: If government could be anything, what would it be?
Helping people stay healthy and safe. Government would have to pass laws that stop huge corporations and lobbies from taking advantage of us. That would be amazing if we could create a system that didn’t have money as the ultimate source of power.
Why is the work of Indivisible so important?
People should be more aware of and participate in government and community events. It would make the government better to have people more educated and engaged in the process at any and every level.
Name someone whose answers to these questions you would like to see.
Anne Frank. Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook. Sam Harris, author of Letter to a Christian Nation and head of Project Reason.
An Interview with Indivisible.