High School Choice: Busting Myths

Clara Hemphill, the staff of Insideschools, and other experts bust common highschoolchoice myths.


Look forward to panel representation from:

• The Department of Education

• Charter schools

• Special needs

• Immigrant issues

Tuesday Sept. 23, 2012, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Theresa Lang Community & Student Center

55 W. 13th St. (between 5th & 6th Aves), 2nd floor

Insideschools.org is a project of the Center for New York City Affairs at The NewSchoolwww.insideschools.org This event is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.


Coming to the Table: Immigrant Women and Food


Celebrate immigrant women and ethnic food traditions. Taste foods from Haiti, Bangladesh, Jordan, and other nations. Learn how immigrant women support their families, create community and maintain culture in a new country—through cooking, growing, selling, shopping for, and serving food.

A discussion with:

  • Grace Young, award-winning cookbook author (Stir Frying to the Sky’s Edge, The Breath of a Wok, The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen)
  • Nadege Fleurimond, chef and author, owner of Fleurimond Catering
  • Jessica Chakraborty, community & culinary manager, The League of Kitchens

… and others.

Moderated by:

  • Von Diaz, journalist and food writer

Follow us @fi2w, #foodin2worlds

Presented in partnership with the Center for New York City Affairs, The League of Kitchens, American Food Roots, and Fleurimond Catering.

Watch the Video Here! 

Big Dreams for New York's Youngest Children: The future of early care and education

Presented by the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School in collaboration with the Child Care and Early Education Fund

With the creation of EarlyLearnNYC in 2012, New York City reinvented its system for subsidized early care and education for children from low-income families. Officials sought to ensure high quality, developmentally smart care--but a string of financial and logistical hurdles posed difficulties for many of the nonprofit organizations that run these programs. Today, some thrive while others have lost their contracts or struggle to remain open. Now, as the city launches an expanded Pre-K network for 4-year-olds, what will happen to subsidized child care for younger kids? Can the reform vision of EarlyLearn be put fully into action, and sustained? A conversation with experts in the field, and the release of findings from a new Center for New York City Affairs report on early care and education.


  • Steve Barnett,director, National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University
  • Maria Benejan, associate commissioner, Division of Early Care and Education at New York City Administration for Children's Services
  • Takiema Bunche-Smith, education director, Brooklyn Kindergarten Society
  • Gregory Brender, policy analyst, United Neighborhood Houses 
  • Maria Contreras-Collier, executive director, Cypress Hills Child Care Corporation


  • Abigail Kramer, associate editor, Center for New York City Affairs

Click here for Participant Bios.

Access and download the Executive Summary, Findings and Recommendations.

[youtube width="630" height="350"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pX1QxHRi5U8[/youtube]

Surveillance City: The War on Drugs in Urban Neighborhoods

Presented by the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School

2014 Nathan Levin Lecture on Public Policy

The War on Drugs has created a powerful surveillance state in America’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. High-tech techniques criminalize entire blocks and transform informal community networks into liabilities for local residents as police use family relationships to demand information, pursue suspects and threaten incarceration. The presumption of criminality takes a relentless toll.

Our 2014 Nathan Levin Lecturer, sociologist Alice Goffman, spent six years living in one neighborhood in Philadelphia, documenting the complex web of warrants and surveillance. She describes the long-term damage done to working class and low-income families and communities.

  • Alice Goffman, assistant professor of sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison; author, On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City

Followed by a conversation with:

  • Jeff Smith, assistant professor of politics and advocacy, Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy, The New School
  • Jamelle Bouie, politics, policy, and race reporter, Slate

[youtube width="640" height="360"]http://youtu.be/LcsoXnVxkDU[/youtube]

The Nathan Levin Lecture on Public Policy was established in 1989 in honor of the late Nathan Levin, a trustee and acting president of The New School. Mr. Levin was one of a number of local civic leaders affiliated with The New School in the early 1960s who sought to promote the university’s involvement in reform politics and community service. Their vision led to the founding of the Center for New York City Affairs and the Milano School's program in urban policy analysis and management.

Grassroots politics, from Brooklyn to the White House

No, Bill de Blasio hasn't announced his candidacy for president...yet. But the same type of grassroots politics that gave Mayor de Blasio his start and propelled him to the mayoralty helped turn a little-known, freshman senator from Chicago's South Side into the President of the United States. Learn how from Mitch Stewart, who, as Obama's 2008 Iowa caucus director and 2012 battleground states director, helped oversee the campaign's field operations in its most critical contests. Stewart will be joined by leading New York City strategists who are managing local efforts to achieve universal pre-kindergarten and public campaign financing.

A conversation with:

  • Mitch Stewart, founding partner, 270 Strategies
  • Zakiyah Ansari, advocacy director, New York State Alliance for Quality Education
  • Michael Blake, principal, Atlas Strategy Group
  • Susan Lerner, executive director, Common Cause New York

Moderated by:

  • Jeff Smith, assistant professor of politics and advocacy, Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy, The New School

Admission is free but you must RSVP.

[youtube width="640" height="360"]http://youtu.be/Y0to6b1XCsI[/youtube]

The Center’s public policy forums are made possible thanks to the generous support of the Milano Foundation.

The City & The State: Conflict or Collaboration?

empire state

Is tension inevitable between Albany and NYC? Or is it just that there’s a new mayoral administration and an election-year governor, and press and politicos shining the spotlight in search of every conflict? As Mayor de Blasio seeks to fulfill campaign promises and pursue the agenda that got him elected, a popular Governor Cuomo has his own program to fulfill. Will the city and state collaborate? Or will diverging fiscal and political priorities cause more conflict, more publicly than in the past?


  • Michael Benjamin, political columnist, New York Post; former NYS Assemblyman (D-Bronx)
  • Bill Hammond, political columnist, New York Daily News
  • Thomas Kaplan, political reporter, The New York Times
  • Liz Krueger, New York State Senator (D-Manhattan)

Moderated by:

Admissions is free, but you must RSVP: thecityandthestate.eventbrite.com

[youtube width="640" height="360"]http://youtu.be/ff2tZsIFkUA[/youtube]

Public Advocate Campaign Roundtable

This year's tight and closely watched race for Public Advocate included a tough primary that necessitated a runoff. The result was the historic election of a female African American to city-wide office for the first time in New York’s history. Notwithstanding the competition and high stakes, key campaign strategists from the major campaigns lamented their difficulty attracting press coverage and public attention throughout the race, as voters and press alike were distracted by scandals and surprise candidacies in other city-wide races.

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Comptroller Campaign Roundtable

The last-minute surprise entry of former Governor Eliot Spitzer into the race for comptroller required rapid strategic restructuring for the other campaigns and led to an unexpectedly heated Democratic primary race. The discussion at the roundtable included reflections on the contrasts between and among three highly qualified candidates; the ups and downs of press coverage; the impact of name recognition and personal notoriety; the role of public campaign financing, and the impact of a well-executed earned-media strategy.

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Mayoral Campaign Roundtable

The 2013 race for mayor included over 10 major candidates, over 300 public forums, a few unexpected announcements that derailed candidacies, and resulted in the election of the first Democratic mayor in New York City in 24 years. The lively discussion included critiques of political journalism and New York City's Campaign Finance Board, strategic reflections about which advertisements were effective, the impact of independent expenditures, and much more.

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The 2013 Campaign Roundtable

Strategy, tactics, opportunity and chance: Join campaign leaders, pollsters, communications specialists, journalists and others for a debrief on the early plans, unforeseen twists and last minute sprints that led up to New York City’s 2013 primary and general elections. Every four years, we organize these sessions to hear the first-hand, behind-the-scenes stories direct from the campaign teams, observers and analysts.

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Choosing Leaders for a New Era: The NYC Post-Election Campaign Roundtables

Strategy, tactics, opportunity and chance: Join campaign leaders, pollsters, communications specialists, journalists and others for a debrief on the early plans, unforeseen twists and last minute sprints that led up to New York City’s 2013 primary and general elections.

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Food & Climate Change: Growing a Cultural Movement

Food has powerful cultural meaning, and has increasingly become part of the growing ideological and political discussions around the planet’s changing climate. Food can help communities develop, sustain, and increase their viability while helping mitigate negative impacts of climate change. This cross-disciplinary brainstorming and dialogue will examine how sustainable, locally designed and developed solutions can help communities respond to the challenges of climate change.

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The Future of Progressive States: Public Policies to Create Jobs and Expand Opportunity

Progressive state and local governments strive to build economies that create jobs, boost incomes, foster educational opportunity and strengthen government’s fiscal base. With continued congressional gridlock, the progressive agenda for these laboratories of democracy is more important than ever. Maryland Governor and former Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley discusses how states can secure the middle class and promote new and shared prosperity.

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Second Acts: Recovering from Scandal

Crisis management and scandal recovery have captured the moment, from big-league sports to New York City’s current political silly season. PR firms are rebranding themselves as crisis advisers. Ex-White House aides are peddling their bona fides. While the public sees scandal through a tabloid lens, at its heart are flawed human beings making mistakes, acting emotionally, and trying to preserve their reputations and careers.

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The Future of Public Housing: What Washington's new vision means for New York City

The New York City Housing Authority manages 178,000 apartments with more than 420,000 official residents, and by most accounts a budget that’s inadequate to the essential tasks of operation and upkeep. The federal government is moving steadily away from permanent housing supports to new models. What’s Washington’s vision, and how does it affect New York?

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Laying the Foundation for Greatness: A conversation with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio

How can city government overcome the divide that has made New York a Tale of Two Cities? Public Advocate Bill de Blasio discusses his vision for addressing the pervasive issues of social inequality and economic disparity, and proposes policy innovations in economic development for the future of New York City.

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Participatory Budgeting in NYC: Thinking Critically and Looking Forward

New York City is experiencing a new kind of democracy. Through participatory budgeting, residents of eight City Council districts deliberated and voted this year on how best to spend about $10 million of public money for capital projects in their districts. Can participatory budgeting help strengthen community infrastructure and residents’ own investment in their neighborhoods?

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The 2013 Nathan Levin Lecture: The Urban Agenda and the Second Obama Administration

How do cities fit into the current debate in Washington? Are the Obama policies on education, urban development, and social welfare leveraging meaningful improvements for New York and other cities? How will the administration's policies address the social justice issues that were central to the reelection campaign—particularly in terms of making opportunities available to economically and socially disadvantaged Americans?

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