Charlie Bruner on Policies for America's Future

TYPING OUT LOUD: Downloadable Blogs and Deliberative Banters

Why typing out loud? Those who have participated in a seemingly harmless conversation or planning session with Charlie about some child policy hypothetical know that his shtick – whatever irrelevant mumblings he may have made during the meeting – is to draft up a memo or brief or other statement related to the topic that seeks to essay-fy something from that encounter, under some pithy (or not so pithy) headline. These can be of varying length and format, and a few might even become blogs. Some eventually are strung together into longer pieces. Charlie considers these good uses of his 30,000 foot/head in the clouds time and contends that typing is his way of thinking. Scroll way down to see some of Charlie's periodic efforts to "put it all together" around some particular topics over which he has stewed.

(September, 2016) All Roads Lead to the First 1000 Days.
Whatever the specific policy concern about child  well-being and future contributions to society, a part of the policy solution relates to the first years of life.

August, 2016) A Light at the End of the Party Conventions.
If there is a potential to address important policy issues during the 2016 elections, Presidential candidates  have at least opened a door. It is up to advocates to insist they walk through it.

(July, 2016) A Child Policy Manifesto.
When it comes to child policy investments, we know enough to act and it's largely about strengthening families in their vital role as their child's first teacher, nurse, safety officer, and guide to the world.

(June, 2016) Triumph and Tragedy
Two loving fathers (Paul Gionfriddo and Ron Suskind) provide powerful pictures of their unique sons and how they did, or couldn't help them thrive.

(May, 2016) Social Justice, Positive Psychology, and Young Children's Mental Health.
Healthy mental development for young children requires us to come to grips with issues of race, class, language, culture -- and above all equity and inclusion.

(Earlier) A Sixth Domain of School Readiness
In a society that prizes democratic processes, we need to expand our domains of school readiness to include "civic identity" and respect for difference, tolerance, and inclusion.

(November, 2017) The Color of Our Future.
With six charts, Charlie elaborates on the blox offering a frame on how child advocates can elevate issues of child equity to the attention they need.


Mixing prose and poetry, Charlie has compiled various thought pieces he has produced to try to make sense of the world of child policy -- including child health, early childhood, family economic security, child safety, and youth development. He calls the ensuring collection "Advotorials" as a cross between editorializing and advocating, believing this to be more saleable that "Datatorials," (and Charlie's penchant for using statistics to turn presentations that should be rousing calls to action into something dull and ponderous).

It's ToC outlines some of the range of Charlie's mutterings and musings on how society can "succeed with children and families current systems fail."

Part One. Contrarian Commentary: Radical as in at the Roots
Part Two. It's About the Babies, Stupid (The Front End of a Circle)
Part Three. The "P" World.
Part Four. Sound Mind and Body
Part Five. Toward an Inclusive Society
Part Six. Follow Your Heart...And the Money
Afterward. A Fruitful Life.

It's also available in limited edition hard copy, for those who, like Charlie, still haven't fully gotten with the times (or believe that 141 paragraphs, and not characters, are required to do justice to some topics).

Color of Our Future
All Roads
A Light
Child Policy Manifesto
T & T
Domain 6

[From Advotorials

The word "radical" is often attached to having an extreme political ideology, but its etymology and one of its common meanings is that of going to the roots (Latin -- radix) -- roots that affect the fundamental nature of things. As opposed to "incremental" change, "radical" change goes to something more fundamental and basic. At the roots of healthy child development are safe, stable, and nurturing home environments in communities that value and include children in all their diversity. Regardless of whether the specific issue is adolescent parenting, childhood obesity, foster care and child safety, idle and disconnected youth, or even child poverty, health, and school readiness and success -- policies need to recognize and address the  roots, if they are to be successful. At least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
-- Charlie Bruner


Periodically, Charlie has sought to move from random musings to more cohesive and collected thoughts on a subject (e.g. even longer essays than 141 paragraphs might allow), sometimes with the benefit of others' insights and contributions, as well.

The following are as close to "books" that Charlie has managed to get, volumes produced over the years that  speak to certain broad child policy themes. In several, Charlie also shows his penchant for David Foster Wallace footnoting and what knowledge his sometimes eclectic forways into topics has uncovered.

Village Building and School Readiness: Closing Opportunity Gaps in a Diverse Society

Wise Counsel: Exploring the Relationship Between Professionals, Community Workers, and Families in the Helping Process

Philanthropy, Vulnerable Children, and Child Advocacy: Three Essays on a New Era of Opportunity.

Social Service Systems Reform and Poor Neighborhoods: What We Know and What We Need to Find Out.

Wise Counsel
Philanthropy and Vulnerable Children
Systems Reform