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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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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Brushes with the Law: Young New Yorkers, Neighborhoods and the Criminal Justice System

The city has overhauled its juvenile justice system to keep more young people out of confinement and in their communities. In the process, officials, organizers and providers also aim to strengthen families and neighborhoods. How can city government engage communities and tap into the strengths of local groups that work with teens and families?

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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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Can You Replicate the Obama Strategy? Technology, Social Science, and the Campaign Revolution

Political campaigns have revolutionized the way they target, contact and motivate supporters. Strategists are taking the insights of experimental social science and marrying them to the corporate world's Big Data marketing tools. The Obama Campaign won in large part by using statistical modeling techniques to identify persuadable voters and to fine-tune persuasive messages.

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Stronger Schools for NYC: A conversation with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn

How can New York sustain and build on positive changes in public education while fixing what isn’t working in our schools? Council Speaker Quinn discusses her views on building a 21st century school system, including innovations for educational improvement to make sure every child graduates high school ready for college and a good job.

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The Economy vs. Immigration: What will unlock the Latino vote in 2012?

Latino voters are expected to play a pivotal role in the presidential election, just as they did in 2008. This town hall event will explore the tensions in the complex relationship that has evolved between the Latino electorate and the presidential candidates. Will economic concerns such as unemployment and housing foreclosures guide at the voting booth? Will the candidates' immigration policies dominate?

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A Century of Social Justice: A Conversation with Peter Dreier

The American political and social landscape changed dramatically over the course of the 20th century. Social change did not happen as a natural course of history; countless individuals and groups labored to bring about the rights and privileges to which we’ve grown accustomed today. Some individuals stand above the rest and have become legends of social justice.

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Urban Policy in an Era of Fiscal Austerity - The 2012 Robert J. Milano Lecture

With the federal debt at $16 trillion, the fate of the nation's cities stands at a crossroads. While cities like New York appear to be doing better than ever, a rising tide of poverty and inequality threatens to undermine their progress. Meanwhile, a large group of second-tier cities, from Detroit and St. Louis to Stockton and San Bernardino, are besieged as never before.

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Respect and the City: Race, Class, and Development in Detroit... and NYC

Detroit and New York are both iconic American cities with long histories of tension at the intersections of race and class, labor and capital. In tough economic times, competition for resources and power can be fierce. How do groups demand respect and gain economic influence?

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Beyond Test Scores: Imagining New Ways to Measure NYC's High Schools

What matters most in high school? Graduation rates and Regents test scores? College-oriented academics, supportive teachers - or extra-curricular activities? All of these things matter to students, but inside information is hard to find. There is also intense debate about what makes for a "good" high school and how this can be measured.

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Creating College Ready Communities: Preparing NYC's Precarious New Generation of College Students

The good news is, New York City has seen dramatic increases in students graduating high school and applying to college. The bad news is, most will never get a college degree. This growing generation of college students is frequently stymied by poor academic preparation, financial aid issues or complicated personal lives. Observers say it is not enough to promote college.

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No Way to Pay Rent: What’s next for homeless families in NYC?

New York’s homeless population is near an all time high, with more than 40,000 New Yorkers living in shelters — including 16,500 children and their parents. Amid the continuing fiscal crunch, New York City and State recently ended a unique rent subsidy program that helped thousands move out of shelters and into apartments, and new federal rent subsidies are nowhere to be found.

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The Anatomy of Campaign Finance: Money's powerful influence on US politics and policy

The power of campaign donations to shape political decisions is front and center in the 2012 presidential election. Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that allowed corporations, mega- donors and unions to invest vast resources in candidates' campaigns, has been called an undemocratic giveaway to social and economic elites.

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Combating Youth Violence: Concrete Solutions for New York City

Youth violence has declined sharply over two decades--more than 70 percent in New York State, according to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention. Yet in some neighborhoods there are now increasing reports of gang activity and violence. Tensions and distrust remain high between law enforcement officials and community members - especially young people.

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The Detention Dilemma: Families, Security and Immigrant Rights

Recent reports draw attention to the continuing expansion and privatization of immigrant detention centers and the violation of immigrants’ rights throughout the process of detention and deportation. What are the effects of the current situation on individuals who spend months or years in detention, and on their families?

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Ties That Bind: Reimagining juvenile justice and child welfare for teens, families and communities

The Bloomberg administration is seeking major changes in how the city works with teens in juvenile justice, child protection and foster care. The city would create a complete juvenile justice system in the five boroughs, no longer sending teens to state-run correctional facilities. At the same time, nonprofits would create more intensive, family-centered and community-rooted services for teens in child welfare.

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Landlords & Tenants: Preserving Affordable Housing in New York

Affordable housing is a hot topic in these difficult economic times, yet by some accounts, housing conditions for low-income New Yorkers are in decline. Many affordable apartment buildings, some purchased and rehabilitated using government subsidies, are in poor condition, and as apartments deteriorate and collect code violations, tenants fend for themselves.

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