On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 crew members and setting off the largest oil spill in American history. For almost three months, oil poured into the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, devastating the ecosystem and the surrounding communities. Five years later, the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon spill are still being felt.
Please join the Center for American Progress for a discussion between author David Madland and Washington Post
columnist and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow E.J. Dionne about Hollowed Out
and its implications for America’s economy, democracy, and the middle class.
Just four years after Congress lifted the ban on LGBT immigrants entering the country, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno officially recognized that people persecuted on account of their sexual orientation could qualify for asylum in the United States. Since then, the U.S. government has taken steps to improve access to the asylum system for LGBT people fleeing persecution and—in his Presidential Memorandum on International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons—President Barack Obama affirmed the U.S. asylum and refugee program’s role in protecting vulnerable LGBT people and called on the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security to enhance their efforts to ensure that LGBT people have equal access to protection.
Turkey’s June 7th general election is shaping up to be the closest in a decade. A few percentage points either way could determine if the governing Justice and Development Party, or AKP, will secure another majority in parliament or be forced to form a coalition for the first time in its 13 years of rule. The vote will also decide if the mostly Kurdish People’s Democratic Party will be represented in Ankara, which could shape the fate of the government’s peace negotiations with Kurdish rebels and, in the worst case scenario, risk renewed fighting within this key U.S. ally.
Over the next several weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide a series of cases that could have a lasting impact on our Constitution and country. Three major cases that remain undecided will likely define the legacy of Chief Justice John Roberts’ tenure in what has been called the U.S. Supreme Court “term of the century.” The first, King v. Burwell, could gut the protections of the Affordable Care Act and send the health insurance marketplace into a death-spiral. Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. could threaten the protections of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and make fighting discrimination in housing—and possibly all civil rights cases—far more challenging. Finally, in Obergefell v. Hodges, the justices could provide crucial protections for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, community by instituting marriage equality for all.
Please join the Center for American Progress for a panel discussion on what is at stake and what to expect in the final weeks of this critical Supreme Court term.
On June 3, 1965, Air Force Capt. Ed White became the first American to walk in space when he stepped out of his Gemini IV spacecraft. Fifty years later, America’s human spaceflight program sits on a fulcrum. The space shuttle has been retired, and the International Space Station has been occupied for almost 15 years. The United States and its international partners are developing capabilities that could take humans to Mars in the 2030s, while private companies are working on spacecraft to ferry astronauts to and from the ISS by 2017.
Jared Bernstein’s timely new book—The Reconnection Agenda—argues that while there are many uniquely positive attributes about the U.S. economy, something is fundamentally wrong: Economic growth can no longer be counted on to deliver broadly shared prosperity. The policy agenda put forth by those in power has either proven to be inadequate or has been blocked by gridlocked politics.
The United States is the world’s leader in incarceration, with 2.2 million people currently in the nation’s prisons or jails. Mass incarceration and overcriminalization have particularly affected communities of color, which make up more than 60 percent of the population behind bars. And nationally, 70 million and 100 million—or one in three Americans—now have a criminal record, which can serve as a barrier to many of the basic building blocks of economic security and mobility, such as employment and housing. These trends have become major drivers of poverty; if not for mass incarceration and the criminal records that can haunt people for decades thereafter, our nation's poverty rate would have dropped by one-fifth between 1980 and 2004. Recent events in cities across the nation have highlighted the lack of opportunity, inequities, and challenges confronting many of our communities, raised serious questions about police practices, and helped fuel the need for comprehensive criminal justice reform.
Please join the Center for American Progress and PICO National Network for a discussion of how we can begin to reverse the trend of overcriminalization of people of color and address its lasting consequences, including reforming policing practices and removing barriers to opportunity for people with criminal records.
Economic inequality. Work-family stress. Racism, sexism, and intolerance. Underserved or forgotten communities. How can faith and hope connect policies to people’s lives when situations seem bleak? What does using faith to work for justice and equality look like in 2015? What is the role of the faith community in pursuing concrete public policy solutions to respond to the everyday challenges facing families?
Please join a bipartisan group of D.C.'s leading national security scholars and members of Congress as they discuss necessary and overdue structural defense reforms, including military compensation, infrastructure reduction, and the size and makeup of the Pentagon's civilian workforce. This diverse and bipartisan group agrees on these common-sense fixes to long-term challenges at the U.S. Defense Department; problems that, if unresolved, will threaten U.S. national security.
Multiple generations of women play an active role in our society today. All age groups agree on the need for more female leadership—and yet for women of different cohorts, the word “leadership” can mean very different things. The differences in language, context, cultural references, and sense of history can impede collaboration across generations on gender-equity issues.
How do we speak differently about our goals and aspirations? What is the role that our different places in history plays in how we understand ourselves as women in the workplace and in society? To what extent does being women bring us together or push us apart? How can we better communicate and collaborate? What can the rising generation of aspiring female leaders learn from those further along in their career trajectories – and visa versa?
Please join the Center for American Progress and the National Education Association at noon on May 12 for a panel discussion that will explore these questions from a multi-generational perspective.
The military compensation system urgently needs reforms. Military personnel costs are more than one-third of the Pentagon’s total spending. Military retirement costs more than $100 billion each year, but more than four out of five enlisted service members will receive no retirement benefits at all. The military health care system needs modernization, while the current military compensation and career structure is too inflexible to meet the needs of the future force.
Resilience is a concept that has appeared with growing urgency in the lexicon of governments, industry, and the public as climate change has brought sea-level rise, extreme weather events, drought, and flooding to increasingly populated communities. Nationally, these hazards have wrought damage to the tune of $227 billion over the past four years. As these cities and towns seek to maintain their social, economic, and ecological integrity, the science of resilience continues to evolve with the progression of data and innovation.
So how can municipalities manage the unavoidable and avoid the unmanageable? Join the Center for American Progress and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for a discussion about how new data sources, innovation, and risk management combine to make communities stronger and healthier in the long term.
The Common Core State Standards were formed in a state-led effort to set consistent, rigorous standards across states so that all students have the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in college and careers. While the Common Core started as a local, collaborative effort, the standards have become a hot topic of debate in political circles. Through the politicization of the Common Core, the voices of those tasked with the work of implementing the standards—teachers—have been muffled.
The U.S.-Israel relationship has been a centerpiece of U.S. Middle East strategy and a main pillar of Israel’s national security strategy for decades. But political relations between the two countries during the past six years have seen some turbulence, even as security cooperation deepens and they continue to share common interests and values at a time of change and uncertainty in the Middle East.
On April 22, please join the Center for American Progress, the Center for a New American Security, and the Israel Institute to take stock of where we are at this crucial stage in U.S.-Israel relations, featuring two expert panels. The first panel will discuss the management of U.S.-Israel relations, and the second will focus on the main issues under discussion between the two states.