Why you should care

More than ever, you need to know your neighbors better.

PART OF A SPECIAL SERIES FROM OZY
Join OZY as we travel through all 50 states to uncover the challenges and meet the innovators reshaping a country that's more divided than ever.
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Inevitably, as a new president takes office, the leader of the free world carries with him the hopes and the fears of all Americans — and even the global community. That disparate reality carries even more weight after a historically divisive election in which voters felt a powerful, and sometimes conflicting, moral urgency behind their decisions, sometimes even pitting neighbor against neighbor, friend versus friend, partner contra partner.

But while the narrative was often “us” against “them,” whether you ultimately voted for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, the reality is that we do not live in two Americas. Time after time from the campaign trail, OZY’s reporters saw people as equally defined by their commonalities as their points of contention, in intriguing (if not, at times, downright confounding) ways, and that while these individuals sometimes disagreed on solutions, they were also united by hope in a country made better.

Which is why, today, we’re launching the States of the Nation project — to start a provocative and unfiltered conversation about the path forward and help all of us better understand this imperfect union, by covering national politics from the outside in. Although we will continue to report from the hallways of power, we will spend more time, effort and resources in the communities affected by the decisions made in Washington, D.C. Our reporters, led by Nick Fouriezos, will visit all 50 states this year to spotlight the political innovators and innovations in each one. In doing so, we hope to introduce you to the people and ideas that you need to know, faster, while drawing attention to a diverse array of voices and geographies.

Our first pit stop: West Virginia, a state of stunning beauty and equally stunning contradictions, marked by its deep ties to family and communities that seem to continually grapple with a complicated relationship to industry. Today, read about the county-by-county fight for the state’s soul, and what it means for the nation as other states struggle with dwindling rural populations. Then, meet West Virginia’s newly-sworn-in Gov. Jim Justice, the billionaire mogul who hunts with the Trumps — and who provides a valuable state-level glimpse of what to expect from the White House. From here we’ll journey to Kentucky then Tennessee, and stay tuned for updates in our Daily Dose, or follow us on Twitter and Instagram (and, soon, Snapchat) to get a peek at future installments.

What are the issues and ideas in your state that have caught your eye? Who are the people we should be watching? Please post in the comments below or email Nick Fouriezos at nick@ozy.com.

PART OF A SPECIAL SERIES FROM OZY
statesof thenation

OZYPolitics & Power

Welcome to a new era in politics around the world, from innovators at the local level to federal disrupters like the Trump administration in America's capital.