Agenda for America

Nonpartisan Policy Solutions to Serve the Public Good in 2021

A collection of resources to help federal, state, and local decision-makers set an achievable agenda for all Americans

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Nonpartisan Policy Solutions to Serve the Public Good in 2021

Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest.

In the coming months, President Joe Biden and the 117th Congress will tackle a number of environmental, health, public safety, and fiscal and economic issues—nearly all of them complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help solve specific, systemic problems in a nonpartisan fashion, Pew has compiled a series of briefings and recommendations based on our research, technical assistance, and advocacy work across America.

Agenda for America

Did You Know?

More than 2.8 million Americans contract antibiotic-resistant infections each year TWEET

A Healthier America

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed shortcomings in the nation’s public health system and worsened existing health care issues. Addressing these challenges will require greater access to safe, quality, cost-effective health care, especially for communities already disproportionately burdened by poor health outcomes. At the same time, we must address the threat of antibiotic resistance, expand access to treatment for opioid and other substance use disorders, effectively use electronic records to address public health data problems, and modernize regulation of a range of health care products under FDA oversight.

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Conservation for America’s Future

Healthy lands, rivers, and ocean provide communities with clean water and air, food, and other essential needs, showing how the vitality of ecosystems and economies is intertwined. But habitat loss and landscape fragmentation, among other threats, are degrading the supply and quality of these critical resources even as demand for them grows. By implementing new and safeguarding existing conservation policies, the president and Congress can ensure these American places remain healthy and productive—protecting wildlife and the natural resources that help our citizens thrive.

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Did You Know?

Flooding has cost the U.S. more than $900 billion in damages and losses since 2000  TWEET

Did You Know?

Almost 20% of federal student loan borrowers are in default TWEET

Securing America’s Family Finances

More than a million student loans go into default each year, carrying serious consequences for borrowers, including damage to credit scores and ineligibility for other aid programs. Americans also spend more than $30 billion annually to borrow small amounts of money from payday and other small-dollar lenders with terms that require unaffordable payments or are unreasonably expensive. The president and Congress can help ensure an affordable consumer financial marketplace by supporting reforms to the student loan repayment system that target at-risk borrowers, and developing policies that require affordable payments, reasonable time to repay, and fair prices, saving millions of Americans billions of dollars annually.

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Reforming America’s Justice Policies

Costly and poorly performing criminal and juvenile justice policies and practices create substantial burdens for governments and residents. Decades of research show a range of strategies for reforming these policies and practices, thus reduce reoffending, shrinking corrections systems, and saving taxpayer dollars. The president and Congress can support fiscally sound, evidence-based state and federal justice policies and practices that ensure public safety, provide accountability, and reduce correctional populations and costs.

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Did you know?

More than 30 states have used federal funds to support criminal justice reforms since 2007 TWEET
Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

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How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

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Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.