A while back I noted the powerful black party discipline that attended Obama. Rather than take the opportunity to talk about ideas, about what we would actually want from an Obama presidency, we talked more about getting him over that electoral hump. To the point of cutting off dissent in some limited cases.

What I’d like to do is begin a conversation about what comes next. And as a first step I’m going to do something I’ve never done before. Folks talk about the first 30 days of a presidency? I’m going to up the ante. My motto next year is “40 is the new 40.” So in that spirit I’m going to present 40 ideas for Obama. Some of these ideas are ones Obama is already promoting. Some of these ideas are technically not within the federal government’s purview. Some of them are unworkable.

So what.

We’ve got to stop believing that the one thing government does well is punish black and poor men and women.

In no particular order:

1. Free college tuition.

2. Low interest loans to businesses/homes for energy improvements.

3. Promote micro-loans.

4. Universal preschool.

5. Green public transit.

6. Fund vertical gardens.

7. Fund the Algebra Project.

8. Promote wellness.

9. Create green-collar jobs.

10. Explore Open Source Government.

11. Release non-violent offenders.

12. Rebuild New Orleans.

13. Rebuild New Orleans.

14. Support the Millenium Project.

15. Make Election Day a Federal Holiday.

16. Change how the census counts prisoners.

17. Restore their right to vote while you’re at it.

18. Bring back the Bicycle.

19. Build a bridge to somewhere.

20. Support parental leave.

21. End the War on Drugs.

22. End private financing of political campaigns. (pdf)

23. Increase funding for the arts.

24. Restore the Civil Rights division of the Justice Department.

25. Reduce government secrecy.

26. Put Greenhouses in every classroom.

27. Give working class families individual development accounts.

28. Expand Horizons.

29. Put first things first.

30. End the Media Monopoly.

31. Fix our bridges and roads.

32. Bring scientists back into government.

33. Promote a living wage.

34. Expand Americorps.

35. Stop trying youth as adults. (pdf)

36. Give 47 million Americans the ability to get sick.

37. Rebuild Detroit.

38. Promote zero-pollution cars.

39. End corporate welfare.

40. Rebuild New Orleans.

What did I miss?