About Common Good
Common Good is a nonpartisan reform coalition that offers Americans a new way to look at law and government.
We propose practical, bold ideas to restore common sense to all three branches of government––legislative, executive and judicial––based on the principles of individual freedom, responsibility and accountability.
Common Good’s philosophy is based on a simple but powerful idea: People, not rules, make things happen. This idea is fundamental to how we write laws and regulations, structure government agencies and resolve legal disputes. It affects all our lives, everyday.
Our mission is to overhaul governmental and legal systems to allow people to make sensible choices. We believe Americans need to be liberated to do their best.
Common Good offers new ways to simplify government that will cut budget deficits and create more jobs in our economy. Polls show that huge, bipartisan majorities of America's voters support these initiatives.
To advance our mission, Common Good provides thought leadership, issue research, advocacy support and policy implementation.
Common Good was founded in 2002 by Philip K. Howard. Our Advisory Board includes leaders from many areas of society, including former government officials Senators Howard Baker, Bill Bradley, George McGovern, and Alan Simpson, and Governors Jeb Bush and Tom Kean. We have offices in New York and Washington, D.C.
Click here for a full list of advisers and staff.
- Common Good is advising federal, state and local officials on government overhaul, regulatory reform and elimination of obsolete laws.
- Common Good is winning bipartisan national support for creation of health courts––a reform to streamline medical malpractice litigation, cut costs, end delays and protect patients.
- Common Good is sponsoring expert forums, conducting policy research and partnering with a variety of think tanks to spotlight critical issues.
- Common Good is influencing the national debate with thought leadership and new ideas that are regularly featured in major newspapers, websites and on network TV programs.
- Common Good has been working with media organizations, such as The Atlantic, to spotlight new ideas and serious policy issues.
Simplify Government: Cut Deficits, Create Jobs
Common Good offers six common sense solutions to fix America's broken governmental and legal systems:
- Give government a "spring cleaning" by cutting out obsolete laws and bloated bureaucracies. If we are serious about reducing budget deficits, the underlying structures of government need to be reformed.
- Simplify regulations––and base them on results, not rules. This will strengthen the economy and free America’s "can-do" spirit.
- Create special health courts. This reform will protect patients, lower healthcare costs and expedite malpractice cases by taking them out of the regular court system.
- Reasonably limit the time it takes to do environmental reviews. This is critical if we’re going to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure and protect the environment.
- Overhaul the civil service system. This will improve government efficiency and increase management flexibility .
- Free public schools from senseless bureaucracy and red tape. This will make it possible for teachers and principals to do, and give, their best.
About Philip K. Howard
Philip K. Howard is a leader of governmental and legal reform in America. His writings, advocacy initiatives, speeches and practical, big ideas have figured prominently in America’s national issue debate. He founded Common Good in 2002.
The son of a minister, Howard got his start working summers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for Nobel Prize-winner Eugene Wigner and has been active in public affairs his entire adult life. He has advised national political leaders on legal and regulatory reform since the 1990s, and wrote the introduction to Vice President Al Gore’s book Common Sense Government.
He is the author of The Death of Common Sense (Random House, 1995, with a new edition in 2011), The Collapse of the Common Good (Ballantine Books, 2002) and Life Without Lawyers (W. W. Norton & Company, 2009). He is a also a prominent civic leader in New York City, and chaired the committee that installed the Tribute in Light memorial for victims of September 11.
He is a partner in the law firm Covington & Burling, LLP.
Howard writes periodically for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Atlantic.com. He has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Oprah, Today, Good Morning America, Charlie Rose, the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, 20/20, Nightline and numerous other programs.
He is a graduate of Yale College and the University of Virginia Law School.