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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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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Marching In Place: The Great Recession, Low-Income Working Women and Economic Inequality

For the first time in history, women account for half of America's workforce, according to the recent Shriver Report. As the recession reshapes America’s workforce, women are less likely to lose their jobs than men. Is this progress? Women earn only 77¢ for every dollar earned by men, up a mere 13¢ from 1963. In New York City, important workforce strategies focus on single mothers, yet many working women are struggling with poverty.

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School Food Matters: Hunger, Obesity and Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act

According to advocates, families of at least 1 in 5 New York City children still rely on soup kitchens and food pantries, despite free school breakfast and subsidized school lunches. President Obama pledged to end child hunger in the US by 2015, and the reauthorization of the federal Child Nutrition Act is expected by September.

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Banking Under the Mattress: Financial Literacy and Unbanked New Yorkers

A new FDIC study finds that seven of every 20 New York households is “underbanked.” In most cases, these are low-income, minority and single-parent households that either have no bank accounts or rely heavily on alternative financial services such as payday lenders and pawn shops. Such families can pay exorbitant fees and interest, are at greater risk of robbery, and often can’t borrow because they have no credit history.

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The Obama Agenda: Overcoming Poverty in New York and the Nation

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Obama administration’s 2010 budget plan include resources and tools for large-scale job creation, increased benefits for low-income and unemployed people, refundable tax credits, and the prospect of new flexible funds for child and family services. What is Washington offering the states, and how will New York respond?

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Class Struggles: Strengthening Schools by Strengthening Families

New York City’s public schools are held accountable for their students’ educational progress. But what happens when problems at home hold students back, or when young children aren’t coming to school? Could the city create a school-based safety net in the lowest-income neighborhoods?

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A Roof Over Our Heads: How Will New York Save Its Public Housing?

The New York City Housing Authority is in dire financial straits. Although the state recently increased its rent subsidy, it will barely make a dent in the $225 million annual shortfall and renewed federal investment is nowhere on the horizon. A roundtable discussion with key stakeholders to determine what can be done to rescue public housing—the city’s primary source of affordable housing, and home to more than 400,000 New Yorkers.

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Same News Different Views, Bridging the Gap Between Ethnic and Mainstream Media

The federal immigration policy debate may soon reach its climactic moment, changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. Meanwhile, our city’s immigrant communities face unique—and not so unique—local challenges related to schools, poverty, housing and more. If you read or listen to the mainstream English-language press, what are you missing?

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Promises I Can Keep: Poor Women, Motherhood and Marriage

The stereotypes and statistics of single motherhood in low-income urban neighborhoods are familiar enough. But what is the reality of these young women's lives, and why do so many postpone marriage – or avoid it altogether – but not childbearing? Kathryn Edin, co-author of Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage, joins us to discuss her book.

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Workforce for Hire - Day Labor in New York City

Every morning, hundreds of recent immigrants converge on street corners throughout the city in search of work. The jobs can be dangerous, but the pay is not bad, and most laborers earn enough to support families back home. Who are New York's day laborers? What are their working conditions? Is New York unique?

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