Incentive Awards

Public Works is providing $500 awards to organizations who write op-eds or other persuasive communications that make the case for a national response to the revenue crises in the states and utilize the organizing ideas (or themes) from Making the Case for Federal Support to the States. These awards are designed to encourage organizations to raise awareness about the need for federal aid to the states and, in particular, to spur the publication of op-eds and other communications on this topic.  

To apply for a $500 award, an organization must: 

  1. Draft an op-ed or other persuasive document(press releases, blog posts, sign-on letters to congressional reps, etc.) that argues for an active role for the federal government in economic recovery, highlights the importance of maintaining public structures and, more specifically, makes the case for more federal aid to the states.  
  2. Utilize at least one of the big organizing ideas from the Making the Case for Federal Support to the States
  3. Send it to  You can send either a draft version for comment or a final version.
  4. Agree to let us post it on, with some commentary about how effectively it used these big lessons.  We will share these with all the participating groups so that everyone can learn from one another’s efforts. 
  5. Fill out a form (which we will provide upon receipt of your op-ed), so that we can cut a check to your organization.

Awards will be granted on a first come, first served basis until the award fund is empty.

 Big Organizing Ideas 

Making the Case for Federal Support to the States offers ideas, strategies, and specific advice on how to effectively make the case for the importance of a federal funding in the states during these tough economic times.  It outlines five big organizing ideas: 
  • We create the economy we have through the policy choices we make. The Great Recession was not an accident.
  • States are experiencing revenue crises because the recession caused all their sources of income to plummet – just as the needs of families and communities grew. 
  • Protecting our quality of life and future prosperity depends on investments in public structures.
  • The Great Recession is a national problem; it requires a national response.
  • Our nation is strong and resilient enough to solve this.

Partners' Op-eds and other Persuasive Communications

Following are persuasive communications which have received awards.  

Keep us on the Road to Recovery. Jeff Shaw. North Carolina Justice Center.  Published in The Herald Sun. July 23, 2010.

A Foundation for Economic Recovery. Clifford Ginn. Opportunity Maine.  Published in The Journal Tribune. Sept. 25, 2010.  

Media Hooks

We recognize that at the current moment there are no real proposals on the table for federal aid to states that would offer a natural hook for op-eds or other opinion pieces.  This does not lessen the need to articulate the importance of public funding to an economic recovery and the unique role that the federal government must play as states continue to reel from the fiscal impacts of the Great Recession.  So, be creative.  We’ll accept pieces on a broad range of topics for our little op-ed contest.  Maybe there has been an update to state ARRA jobs numbers or the impact of federal funds on your state budget.  There will certainly be a discussion about federal funding as your state budget proposals become clearer. Maybe there have been political campaigns that have maligned federal recovery spending.  Look for timely hooks to write something using the ideas and approaches we have been working on together.