Poverty

Atlas Network partners in Uruguay and US on the list for 2022 Smart Bets

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2022 Smart Bets website header

First launched in 2019 as an initiative of Atlas Network’s Center for U.S. and Canada, the 2022 Smart Bets class represents 10 rising and established stars in our network who have all been selected to receive $35,000 in funding, with the opportunity to compete for an additional $50,000 in the Investors Summit for Liberty, held the day after Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner 2021 in Miami, Florida. The two organizations that took top honors in the 2019 Investors Summit—the Property and Environment Research Center and the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy—went on to become finalists for the prestigious Templeton Freedom Award in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

The 2022 Smart Bets encompass three U.S. states and seven countries representing five continents. Without further ado, here are this week’s featured 2022 Smart Bets:

Better Cities Project

Paradise, Nevada, United States

Local governments are the “last mile” of policy reform. Because of how much closer they are to individuals than the federal government is, they can also have a greater impact on day-to-day life. While national- and state-level reform is important and necessary, Better Cities Project (BCP) is working to make sure local governments aren’t forgotten when it comes to encouraging policy reform. Along with the smaller size of local governments comes fewer resources to conduct policy research, which is where Better Cities Project’s Freedom Should Be at Home Downtown project comes in.

Through Freedom Should Be at Home Downtown, BCP will work with a coalition of like-minded organizations to conduct research, develop model policies, and encourage the adoption of those policies by governments around the United States. BCP aims for these reform packages to be as easily accessible and ready-to-go as possible, minimizing the effort required by lawmakers and officials to adopt reform. Freedom Should Be at Home Downtown will focus on enabling the adoption of market-friendly reforms to allow city-dwelling individuals to reach their full potential, freed from overbearing government regulations.

Should they be chosen as the winner of a Smart Bets grant, Better Cities Project will use the additional funds to provide the staffing and outreach they need to make their campaign a huge success. Their plan to build and deploy a policy library will require dedicated professionals, as will communicating with other organizations and the governments they hope to impact. This organizational growth will directly expand their ability to drive this project forward, and it will also empower them to respond more nimbly to other opportunities as they arise.

Atlas Network has supported Better Cities Project through grants and other support.

Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo

Montevideo, Uruguay

Uruguay is at a critical political crossroads. After over a decade of illiberal leftist government, last year’s election of President Lacalle Pou presents an opportunity for a return to a liberal tradition and more freedom for Uruguay’s people. The country has had little economic freedom, but the government’s new makeup means that problem can be addressed through more international trade, deregulating the labor market, and increasing market competition. Atlas Network partner Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo is dedicated to seeing those reforms come to fruition.

Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo believes Uruguay can be Latin America’s first developed country, if its economic policy is reformed to allow greater human flourishing and prosperity. The organization plans to help make sure this happens by promoting the truth around economic freedom and a regulatory plan to make lawmakers’ jobs easier. They have already made significant strides toward freeing the labor market and improving Uruguay’s trade connections with other countries. Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo will develop a guidebook for policymakers outlining a specific roadmap for economic policy that will allow the country and its people to create a more prosperous future for themselves.

Grant funding through the Smart Bets competition will be used to drive Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo’s outreach and publicity efforts and to produce the policy guidebook. The organization plans to make a full court press to make sure Uruguay adopts real, substantive policy changes, not just freedom-friendly rhetoric. By reaching out to the media, the public, and lawmakers, they can make that happen.

Atlas Network has supported Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo through grant funding.