While the United States has advanced in remarkable ways over its turbulent history, deep-rooted challenges involving its communities of color still remain. Whether it is health care access, immigration, criminal justice, gender equality, economic opportunity, or education, the development and implementation of progressive public policy that affects communities of color has become vital to our national interest. The county’s rapidly increasing racial and ethnic diversity has only made these challenges all the more necessary to address.
Please join the Center for American Progress and its Leadership Institute as we discuss why diverse voices must lead efforts to legitimize and create sustainable public policy related to communities of color. Our keynote speakers, Sen. William “Mo” Cowan (D-MA) and Laura Murphy, Washington Legislative Office Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, will address how the nation’s leaders must understand the complexity of policymaking in a diverse nation. Additionally, a panel of the CAP Leadership Institute Fellows will address how they are preparing themselves to grapple with these critical issues while avoiding the past traps that marginalized the unique perspectives of people living in the communities that public policies affect.
On Election Day 2010, Oklahoma voters approved an amendment to the state’s constitution that banned the recognition of Islamic religious law and customs, known as Sharia, by state courts. After the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the amendment on the grounds that it was discriminatory, proponents pushing the proposal in other states removed references to Islam and refocused the legislation to ban foreign law. Over the last two years, lawmakers in 32 states have introduced and debated bills outlawing religious, foreign, or international law. Six states have passed such bans, and five more are poised to pass similar measures this and next year.
The Brennan Center for Justice and the Center for American Progress invite you to join a conversation examining the roots of this movement and the unintended consequences of foreign law bans. Experts will discuss how the current wave of foreign law bans upends the carefully calibrated methods that American courts use to decide whether to apply foreign law, as well as the legal uncertainties these bans could create for families, businesses, and people of all faiths.
In recent decades, corporations and special interests have invested millions of dollars in campaign cash to elect judges who then ruled against injured plaintiffs and for those same corporations. Big business is winning the political battle over laws that limit damages plaintiffs can get in personal injury lawsuits, which is playing out in particularly stark ways in state supreme courts. These courts are increasingly becoming an unfriendly place for injured consumers and workers to hold negligent corporations accountable.
On virtually every measure, student performance in the United States lags behind many other nations around the world. U.S. fourth graders' performance in math and science, on average, is below that of their peers in many countries such as Singapore and Japan. U.S. students have not caught up in international rankings in these subjects by the end of eighth grade, nor in high school. While fourth graders perform relatively well in reading, U.S. students still underperform compared to their peers in other industrialized nations through high school. Given these skill gaps, U.S. students are substantially disadvantaged in the competition for jobs in the global economy.
Childcare can be more expensive than college. And with the majority of working moms earning less than $30,000 a year, too many low and middle-income families struggle to afford this basic work expense or to find quality early learning environments to help their children thrive. This shortage of affordable, high-quality pre-K and childcare slots carries consequences for women and families’ economic security today and children’s economic opportunity tomorrow.
Join the Hudson Institute’s Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal and the Center for American Progress in welcoming the UK Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd. The Minister will offer remarks on the British experience with Social Impact Bonds, and engage in conversation with William Schambra and the audience.
In his most recent book, Mark Mazzetti argues that the most momentous change in American warfare over the past decade has taken place away from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq in the corners of the world where large armies can’t go. The Way of the Knife is the untold story of that shadow war—a campaign that has blurred the lines between soldiers and spies and lowered the bar for waging war across the globe. The United States has pursued its enemies with armed drones and special operations troops, trained local assets to set up clandestine spying networks, and relied on mercurial dictators, untrustworthy foreign intelligence services, and proxy armies.
Over the course of the past half-century, the American family has undergone cataclysmic change, due chiefly to the movement of women from the home to the paid workforce. And yet our society consistently fails to adapt to the heightened demands placed upon its families. Despite robust public support for work-family policies and legislative action in some states and cities, progress on national family policy has been remarkably limited.
The Center for American Progress’s forthcoming report, “Lessons Learned: Reflections on Four Decades of Fighting for Families,” examines this history and asks some important questions: Why is change so slow and paltry? Why is there such a gap between public opinion and political will? And why—on the other hand—has it been possible in some places to achieve positive change?
Please join us for a keynote address from Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) followed by a panel discussion moderated by the report’s author, Judith Warner. The discussion will explore how changing public policy to support America’s families is viable, doable, and already beginning to happen.
In the two years since the Egyptian revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood has become the most powerful political organization in the country’s transition. During this time, the U.S. government has sought to engage and support Egyptian efforts to rebuild their economy and develop an open, pluralistic, and democratic political system. The Brotherhood-led Egyptian government, however, has presided over growing political polarization, a deepening economic crisis, and a breakdown of governance across the country. Furthermore, the Brotherhood has recently pursued potentially worrisome policies on women’s rights, minority rights, and civil rights, such as freedom of expression and freedom of association. As Egypt moves forward in its political transformation, the United States must learn to navigate the difficult path of supporting the new, fragile government while standing firm on its own principles and values.
Trading on the California carbon market began on January 1, 2013, as part of the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act—the landmark bipartisan clean energy legislation that aims to cut greenhouse-gas pollution to 1990 levels by 2020. California’s carbon market, along with other programs designed to meet its greenhouse-gas reduction targets, are propelling the nation toward a cleaner energy future and have catalyzed billions of dollars in private-sector investment in clean energy in the state.
Meanwhile, the nine northeastern states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI—the first mandatory carbon cap-and-trade system in the United States—are enjoying environmental and economic benefits as the cap-and-trade program enters its sixth year. Member states are experiencing stronger clean energy economies and are saving hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs.
Internationally, Australia is planning to link with the EU emissions trading system in 2015 and conversations about linking with other markets are already underway.
This event will focus on the potential evolution of the U.S. economic and political relationship with the European Union, Australia, and Canada through the linking of carbon markets with markets in California and RGGI states. The event will feature a report from FORES, “Linking Emissions Trading Systems in EU and California,” by Lars Zetterberg, followed by a discussion about the advantages of linking carbon markets and the next steps for bilateral cooperation between the United States and the EU, Australia, and Canada.
Fifty million Americans, or one in six Americans, struggle to put food on the table. At the same time, more than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. The statistics are shocking enough, but even more alarming is when you consider that behind each of these numbers is a family struggling to make ends meet, a child who goes to school without receiving proper nutrition, a young person at risk for obesity-related health problems, and a senior who must choose between purchasing healthy food or medication.
Join this session to hear panelists discuss how hunger, obesity, and nutrition are interrelated, and how the government, nonprofit sector, and private industry are working together to improve food literacy in this country.
Please join us for a Twitter town hall to discuss the post-2015 development agenda. Podesta will answer questions about his work with the U.N. High Level Panel and will provide an opportunity for the public to engage on the issues that concern them most as the world moves into the next phase of global poverty eradication. Tweets should mention @johnpodesta with #PovertyQA.
The issue of finding strategic ways to get the best, most effective people to become teachers and principals is a relatively recent policy initiative that has picked up speed quickly and caused major changes in both policy and practice. In fact, in a matter of two decades or fewer, our entire U.S. education system has been challenged in this area—including in the ways that we recruit, select, place, develop, evaluate, pay, promote, and dismiss educators. Some of these changes have been initiated by federal grant-giving policy initiatives that reward states and districts for innovation; others have sprung up due to the plethora of research that marks human capital as the single-most important factor in impacting student learning.
Please join us for a discussion about the seven guiding principles that helped transform Union City, New Jersey’s educational system. Professor David Kirp will speak about his research on Union City’s school system and present findings from his new book, Improbable Scholars: The Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for America’s Schools
. Ralph Smith will discuss the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, an initiative to increase the number of children from low-income families reading proficiently by the end of third grade. Finally, our distinguished group of panelists will discuss current and future efforts to build high-quality public education for all children and to create a comprehensive and aligned pre-kindergarten to third-grade early-learning approach.
The infrastructure that American citizens and businesses rely on needs to be upgraded and revitalized, from the roads, bridges, and ports that bring goods to market to the many water systems that provide safe and sanitary drinking water to millions of homes. Pension funds offer a source of capital that can help rebuild these essential assets in exchange for predictable returns that will provide Americans with a safe retirement. Please join the Center for American Progress for introductory remarks by Ed Smith, chief executive officer of Ullico Investment Company, and a panel discussion on the challenges and benefits of infrastructure investments for pension funds.
As part of this event, the Center for American Progress will release findings from a report on the challenges that pension funds face when investing in infrastructure and the federal policies that can encourage additional investment, as well as an issue brief on the intersection of organized labor and infrastructure investment.