The Participation Blog

Death and Consequence of Public Trust

Past issues of this newsletter have had lots of pieces on the decline of public trust and the critical need for the public sector to (re)build credibility with the people that it’s supposed to serve. I don’t think there’s a more obvious and glaring example of the consequence of distrust than the growing measles outbreak in the U.S. Now over 700 cases nationally, according to the CDC, the most in 25 years. And my state of Arizona is a ground zero example because of its policy that allows parents a “personal belief exemption” that lets them opt out of vaccinating their kids which, of course, puts all the other kids at risk. Maybe it’s in part because they buy the BS of celebs promoting themselves as autism gurus, but the fact is that gullible moms and dads are making uninformed and downright dangerous decisions about the health of everyone’s children – against the best medical advice and reams of evidence. We expect government to provide for our safety, which in turn means that government needs to inoculate itself from feeding the anti-government mentality – it has to learn to communicate better.

The research clearly shows that people just don’t trust institutions anymore, but there are exceptions to every rule and here are a few. Here are some people and organizations that we DO trust – see any patterns?