Chris Fitzsimon of the Common Sense Foundation
Join Leadership for a Changing World on Friday, November 30th at 1 pm EST for a live interview with Chris Fitzsimon, Executive Director of the Common Sense Foundation in Raleigh, NC, and a 2001 Leadership for a Changing World Finalist.
Having worked as a television news reporter, and then as a policy advisor for the North Carolina House Speaker, Chris Fitzsimon learned that power in North Carolina was concentrated in a few hands. Recognizing that more voices needed to be heard in policy debates, he started the Common Sense Foundation in 1994. The Common Sense Foundation is an activist think-tank that works closely with grassroots groups in North Carolina to help make their voices heard. Through research, analysis, media training, technical assistance and networking, the Common Sense Foundation has helped organizations successfully enter public policy debates.
The Common Sense Foundation’s activities include:
- Published Research – The Foundation has conducted research and analysis on issues such as race and the death penalty, standardized testing in schools, living and working conditions in North Carolina, and the state’s mental health system.
- The Commission on Fair Testing – The Common Sense Foundation formed a fifteen-member commission that holds town hall discussions across North Carolina on the state’s ABC Testing Program, a standardized test that determines whether 5th-graders advance. After meeting with parents, teachers, community leaders, and PTA members about their concerns with high-stakes testing, the Commission will present policy recommendations to the Board of Education at the end of the year.
- Message Madness – An annual day-long training for grassroots activists, nonprofit staff and other community members who want to work more effectively with the media and state policy makers.
- Legislative Update – A weekly update of legislative activities when the North Carolina Legislature is in session.
For more information, visit common-sense.org.