Our Mission

Common Good is a nonpartisan reform coalition with one basic goal—to restore the freedom of officials and citizens to use common sense.   

We propose practical, bold ideas to simplify bureaucratic structures so that Americans can roll up their sleeves and get things done.   

Common Good’s philosophy is based on a simple but powerful idea: People, not rules, make things happen.  By preventing us from using our judgment on the spot, modern bureaucracy causes failure and frustration.   

Individual responsibility, not mindless compliance, must be the foundation for government just as it is in all other aspects of social life. Overhauling government to liberate human responsibility will eliminate waste in government and unleash productive activity throughout society.  Just one Common Good reform—a three page statute to cut red tape in infrastructure permitting—could stimulate a million new jobs.  

Our first challenge is to build support for overhaul.  To do this, Common Good publishes white papers and hosts forums highlighting needless costs and paralysis, and organizes coalitions behind reform proposals. Polls show that huge, bipartisan majorities of America’s voters support this change in direction.  

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 Bill Bradley and Alan Simpson, and Governors Richard Thornburgh and Tom Kean. We work from New York and Washington, D.C.

Click here for a full list of staff and advisers.

Proud Member of the Bridge Alliance.