NYCHA & the Hurricane: Public housing learns from Sandy... What’s the plan for the next big storm?

The wrenching experience of thousands of New York’s public housing residents following Hurricane Sandy revealed vulnerabilities of physical structures and human services. Volunteers, tenant associations, social service providers and NYCHA technicians all stepped in to do what they could through the worst of the aftermath. What did we learn?

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The Painful Price of Medicaid

The fast-rising cost of Medicaid is one the most pressing issues facing the governments of New York City and State. One in four New Yorkers are served by the system of insurance, which now costs an average of $1 billion a week. Health care for the poor and long term care for the disabled and older people are more expensive than ever—and their recent growth exceeds the size the state budget gap. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s new Medicaid Redesign Team made recommendations that would create nearly $3 billion in savings.

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Foster Teens in Transition: Are they better off today?

For years, rates of homelessness among the city’s former foster youth have remained stubbornly high. The city is connecting more teens to families, keeping more of them out of foster care in the first place, and developing new programs for pregnant and parenting foster teens. But for those remaining in foster and group homes, resources are being cut.

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The "Just" City: Equality, Social Justice and the Growing City

Mayors and city governments want to promote economic growth to fill coffers, pay for services and raise incomes. But what about growth that corrects social injustices like persistent inequality, racial and ethnic segregation? Can growth instead be harnessed to support equality, diversity and a higher quality of life for everyone? Harvard Professor Susan Fainstein speaks about her new book, The Just City.

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Work Life, Home Life: Should Government Require Paid Leave?

About 1.3 million working people in New York City have no paid sick leave, and pressure is mounting on employers to provide it. Local chambers of commerce predict the cost would be in the billions; labor advocates argue it is simply a matter of fairness, and the City Council has begun to move on legislation. In the national context of often inflexible work options and limited public spending on child care, are there plausible ways to improve family policies in the workplace?

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Crime, Justice and the Economic Crisis

Like New York, most states face deepening budget gaps and are slashing education and human services. Nationwide, states pour $50 billion a year into incarceration. New York led the way in expanding its prison system more than 25 years ago; should it lead the way in the other direction today? Will the federal government take a new approach to criminal justice in an Obama administration?

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More Voices, More Choices: Expanding Community Participation and Employment Opportunities

Despite popular rhetoric and policy initiatives in support of consumer-friendly services and greater individual choice, many city residents with developmental disabilities still struggle with unemployment, segregation and services tailored to the broad-brush needs of the population, not to individual people. Will the latest state efforts to encourage person-centered planning open up valuable new alternatives?

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Medicaid: Can New York Control Spending?

With Medicaid expenses accounting for one-third of NYS's budget and still rising, there has been much debate about how to control costs while recognizing the vital importance of the Medicaid program. This explored the political feasibility of major reform of Medicaid, including the possibility of a State take-over of Medicaid spending, as well as long term care and other issues relevant to Medicaid-related spending.

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