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Events Archive for January 2012

Keeping the American Economy Competitive in the 21st Century

Please join the Center for American Progress and Secretary of Commerce John Bryson on January 6 to unveil a major new report that will identify key structural challenges to U.S. economic competitiveness and serve as a blueprint for the economic policy debate in 2012 and years to come.

With high trade deficits and wages for the middle class continuing their decade of stagnation, Congress asked the secretary of commerce to conduct a detailed analysis of the structural problems with our nation’s engine of innovation, job creation, and growth. Referred to as “the COMPETES report,” this first-of-its kind analysis assesses the biggest challenges and opportunities our economy faces as we move forward into an increasingly competitive and innovation-driven 21st century global economy.

Secretary Bryson will present the key findings of the report, and a distinguished panel of experts will then discuss the findings in more detail. The panel discussion will be followed by “science fair” breakout sessions hosted by COMPETES report advisory board members.

January 6, 2012, 10:00am ET - 12:00pm ET

The Rise and Consequences of Inequality

On December 6 President Barack Obama said that the kind of inequality that we have in America today, higher than at any time since the Great Depression, "hurts us all." He went on to outline how growing inequality and a shrinking middle class are at the root of our economic problems. These trends mean less stable consumption, unsustainable debt, a concentration of power in the hands of the few, and the unraveling of the American Dream that portrays the United States as a land of opportunity for anyone who works hard and plays by the rules. In short, an economy that doesn't work for all of us, isn't working.

Join us for a conversation with Dr. Alan Krueger, chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, about how inequality threatens both the middle class and the economy at large.


January 12, 2012, 10:00am ET - 11:00am ET

Illustrating the Success of Health Care Reform

As the Affordable Care Act nears its second anniversary, millions of families, small business owners, and seniors have already benefited from its passage, with millions more standing to gain from increased access to coverage in the next few years. Amid an array of attacks on the law’s central provisions, it is more important than ever for Americans to understand how the law will affect them and their fellow citizens.

Jonathan Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who served as an advisor for both the Massachusetts and national health care reform bills, teamed up with an illustrator to explain the mechanics and importance of the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, in graphic novel form. Gruber’s book, Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, and How It Works, breaks down the significant but undoubtedly complex policy into fun, easily digestible comic strips through characters such as Betty on Medicare and unlucky Carlos, who must purchase his own insurance.

Please join us as the Center for American Progress celebrates the release of Gruber’s book and hosts a discussion with Gruber, other policy experts, and a physician on the ACA’s current successes. Together we’ll unpack the additional reform efforts critical to ensuring the promise of quality coverage for all.

January 17, 2012, 1:30pm ET - 3:00pm ET

Achieving Results Through Community School Partnerships

In a time of declining fiscal resources and greater demand for public services, districts with fewer resources to spread around are focusing on partnerships that leverage the strengths of multiple organizations to improve student outcomes. Such partnerships form the basis for community schools, which provide an integrated approach to academics, youth development, family support, health and social services, and community development. As important as partnerships may be, however, they are not always easy to build and sustain over time.

Join us for a conversation with community school, district, and union leaders to discuss their strategies for building and maintaining strong relationships with partners. We will launch the conversation with a paper by the Coalition for Community Schools that examines the coalition-building approaches undertaken by seven different community school initiatives around the country. We will continue and expand on the discussion with a panel of distinguished community school experts.

January 18, 2012, 9:30am ET - 11:00am ET

Why Black Gay and Transgender Americans Need More than Marriage Equality

Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, Americans continue to experience stark social, economic, and health disparities despite significant gains in securing basic rights for LGBT people over the last decade. According to recent data families headed by black same-sex couples are more likely to raise their children in poverty, black lesbians are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases, and black LGBT youth are more likely to end up homeless and living on the streets.

These statistics suggests that some of the high-profile gay policy priorities that have garnered the most attention and advocacy—such as marriage equality—underserve this population even though they are important for overall progress. This also applies to racial and economic justice priorities that overlook gay and transgender people within their constituencies. How can we make progress in bridging these gaps?

Please join us for the launch of CAP’s FIRE Initiative, which works to eliminate the social, health, and economic disparities faced by gay and transgender people of color, for an engaging conversation about our new report, “Jumping Beyond the Broom: Why Black Gay and Transgender Americans Need More than Marriage Equality,” which sheds light on these issues and discusses why progressives committed to equality for all Americans should be engaged in the various policy and advocacy solutions that can address them.

January 19, 2012, 12:00pm ET - 1:30pm ET

Citizens United Two Years Later

The Center for American Progress and the American Constitution Society are marking the second anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision by hosting a discussion on the role corporate money will play in the 2012 election season.

Two years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations may spend freely to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, easing decades-old limits on their participation in federal campaigns.

At the event, E.J. Dionne, a Washington Post columnist and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, will moderate a discussion with leading thinkers and advocates about the future of campaign finance reform as well as the latest developments on efforts to amend the Constitution to reverse the Supreme Court’s holding that corporations are people with free speech rights.

January 23, 2012, 10:00am ET - 11:30am ET

God and Politics: Examining Religion in the 2012 Election

Religion is a dynamic force in America, so it should be no surprise that every four years issues involving religion raise compelling questions for the media and public. How deeply should the religious beliefs of a candidate be tested? What press questions involving religion are suitable, and what are out of bounds, irrelevant, or trivial? What religious voting blocs will help shape the election? How influential will “culture war” issues be in the 2012 election? What religious beliefs undergird views toward the economy and budget cuts? And how do the growing number of nonreligious voters respond to God-talk on the campaign trail?

The Center for American Progress invites you to join our panel of experts for a lively and informative conversation.

January 24, 2012, 12:00pm ET - 1:30pm ET

President Obama and a 21st Century Military

After a costly decade of war and nation-building, the Obama Administration recently announced a shift towards a more agile and sustainable military posture for the 21st century. The cornerstones of this change: an increased reliance on naval and air superiority to project power around the globe, and a reduction in the size of the ground forces back to pre-9/11 levels.

Please join the Center for American Progress and Truman National Security Project for a discussion of the merits and risks of this strategy shift. This event will analyze the extent to which President Obama’s new strategy addresses the strategic and fiscal realities facing the Pentagon while setting up the U.S. military to maintain its superiority in the 21st century.

January 25, 2012, 12:00pm ET - 1:30pm ET

A Discussion on the Obama Administration’s National Security Policy

Please join the Center for American Progress for a discussion of the Obama administration's national security policy and the new challenges we face around the world with Benjamin Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications. Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress, will lead a session examining the first three years of the Obama administration's record on foreign policy and looking ahead to the emerging national security challenges in 2012.

January 30, 2012, 12:00pm ET - 1:00pm ET