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?

Read More

Public Pensions: What’s The Real Story?

Public pensions—and the employees who receive them—are being attacked by the press and politicians who blame them for whopping state and local budget deficits. Before the short-term budget cycle leads to long-term consequences for middle-class retirement, Common Cause and SCEPA are joining to host an open discussion with the stakeholders in the debate.

Read More

Work, Retirement Security & America's Future with Andy Stern

Low-wage jobs with few benefits are a fact of life in our intensely competitive economy. But today, millions of Americans in low-wage positions have little financial stability and even less hope of a secure retirement. What does this mean for society, for American politics, for our economic future? Is there any hope for policy solutions that spur collaboration between labor and business, Democrats and Republicans, to create more high-quality jobs and financial security for entire generations?

Read More

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.

Read More

A Static State: The Budget Crisis and Albany in Transition

There will be a new governor next year, but is Albany likely to change? New York State’s turbulent politics and bleak fiscal situation have made this year’s budget among the more difficult in recent history. Lieutenant Governor Ravitch attempted to mobilize long-term fiscal accountability, but the Paterson administration chose a different path to attempt fiscal control.

Read More

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?

Read More

The New Newark Part I: Maintaining Momentum for Renewal in a Slowing Economy

Foreclosures are rampant in Newark’s working-class neighborhoods as the credit crisis and economic slowdown threaten the city’s commercial recovery. What will it take to stabilize and invigorate a growth economy and new employment opportunities in a city that is New York’s largest urban neighbor?

Read More

The Long View: How Can New York Preserve Housing Affordability?

New York has long depended on subsidy programs to facilitate affordable housing development. But because most such incentives sunset over time, tens of thousands of units have reverted to market rate over the last decade, and 15,000 more may do so in the near future. What strategies and regulatory structures can be put in place to assure affordability not just for the present, but the future as well?

Read More

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.

Read More

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?

Read More