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Events Archive for May 2012

Drug Policy Reform

Forty years after President Richard Nixon first declared that drug abuse was "public enemy number one," the Obama administration has announced an end to the so-called "war on drugs" approach to drug policy. Recognizing that America will never be able to arrest its way out of the drug problem, the administration's newly announced drug policy strategy shifts away from a law enforcement only approach to a drug policy recognizing that America's drug problem is a public health issue—not just a criminal one. It outlines significant reforms aimed at treating drug addiction as a chronic disease instead of a “moral” failure.

Even though overall drug use is down, and the U.S. prison population declined for the first time in 40 years, more than 7 million people remain under the supervision of the criminal justice system. Of these, more than 2 million are behind bars. Making matters worse, drug-induced deaths now claim more lives than gun violence, and prescription drug abuse has been declared an epidemic. Will these reforms really break the vicious cycle of drug use, crime, incarceration, and rearrest in America?

Please join the Center for American Progress for a discussion with Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, as he lays out the Obama administration's new national drug control strategy.

May 1, 2012, 10:00am ET - 11:00am ET

Fair Lending and Economic Fairness for All Americans

As the recent financial crisis revealed, financial products—particularly risky and predatory products—have the potential to wreak havoc on consumers and the wider economy. Communities of color have been among the hardest hit by the financial crisis.

During this administration's tenure, the U.S. Department of Justice created the Fair Lending Unit in the Civil Rights Division to address discrimination in lending. Congress also created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in response to the financial crisis, and it specifically created the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity to focus on ensuring fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory access to credit for both individuals and communities. The Department of Justice and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are both working to curb credit discrimination, to ensure fair access to credit for everybody, and to crack down on practices that hurt economic fairness.

Please join the Center for American Progress for a discussion with Tom Perez, assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice, and Patrice Ficklin, assistant director for the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, on credit discrimination and its impact on communities across America today and ways to create a fairer economic system for all Americans. Center for American Progress Action Fund President Tom Periello will moderate the discussion.

May 4, 2012, 10:00am ET - 11:30am ET

The Future of Military Compensation: Equity vs. Affordability

Military personnel costs have nearly doubled since fiscal year 2001 and now consume one-third of the Pentagon’s base budget—about $180 billion per year. If military personnel benefits are not reformed, the increasing costs will eat up a growing share of the defense budget, likely diverting funds from other critical national security initiatives like training and modernization.

In its fiscal year 2013 budget request, the Department of Defense has proposed a series of adjustments to military pay, health care, and retirement benefits which aim to place the programs on a more sustainable footing. These changes—analyzed in a new Center for American Progress report by Lawrence Korb, Alex Rothman, and Max Hoffman—would include reducing the rate of increase for military base pay, introducing new fees and co-pays for Tricare services, and the creation of a Military Retirement Modernization Commission to oversee the overhaul of the current system.

Please join our panel of experts for a discussion of the Pentagon’s proposed changes and the new CAP report, and a debate of the proper cost-sharing balance between military service members, retirees, veterans, and taxpayers.

May 7, 2012, 12:00pm ET - 1:30pm ET

Mind Wars: Brain Science and the Military in the 21st Century

The first book of its kind, Mind Wars covers the ethical dilemmas and bizarre history of cutting-edge technology and neuroscience developed for military applications. As the author, Jonathan Moreno, discusses the innovative Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the role of the intelligence community and countless university science departments in preparing the military and intelligence services for the 21st century, he also charts the future of national security.

Fully updated and revised, this edition features new material on deep-brain stimulation, neuro hormones, and enhanced interrogation. With in-depth discussions of "psyops" mind control experiments, drugs that erase both fear and the need to sleep, microchip brain implants and advanced prosthetics, and supersoldiers and robot armies, Mind Wars may read like science fiction or the latest conspiracy thriller, but its subjects are very real and are changing the course of modern warfare.

Copies of Mind Wars will be available for purchase at the event.

May 8, 2012, 12:00pm ET - 1:00pm ET

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on DHS Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will participate in a special conversation at the Center for American Progress with CAP President Neera Tanden as part of our Women’s Leadership Series. She will reflect on her career in law enforcement and public service, and what she sees as the challenges and opportunities facing our next generation of leadership in homeland security.

Her long career in law enforcement—as a U.S. attorney, state attorney general, governor, and now as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security—is reflected in the department’s wide-ranging responsibilities. Importantly, it is mirrored in current efforts to combat human trafficking. Every year men, women, and children are exploited in our country for commercial sex or forced labor. Homeland Security works with other federal agencies and law enforcement partners across the country and around the world to combat this crime and bring traffickers to justice.

May 9, 2012, 10:00am ET - 11:00am ET

Talking Back to Facebook: The Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age

Now, more than ever, parents need help in navigating their kids’ online, media-saturated lives. Jim Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media and the father of four children, knows that many parents and teachers—unlike their technology-savvy kids—may be tourists in the online world.

In this essential book, Steyer offers an engaging blend of straightforward advice and anecdotes that address the major pitfalls relating to kids’ use of media and technology: relationship issues, attention/addiction problems, and the lack of privacy.

Not just about Facebook, this comprehensive, no-nonsense guide to the online world, media, and mobile devices belongs in the hands of all parents and educators raising kids in today’s digital age.

Copies of Talking Back to Facebook will be available for purchase at the event.

May 11, 2012, 10:00am ET - 11:00am ET

2012 Progressive Party

The 2012 Progressive Party is the signature annual fundraiser for American Progress. An evening cocktail reception featuring food, beverages, and great entertainment, this event invites our supporters and allies to discuss pressing challenges facing our country with today's most respected and well-known policymakers and thought leaders. We will celebrate our shared accomplishments and re-dedicate ourselves to a promising, progressive agenda on behalf of all Americans. Please join us!

May 15, 2012, 7:00pm ET - 9:30pm ET

Obamacare at Work: Innovations to Deliver Better Care at Lower Cost

The Affordable Care Act was the most far-reaching effort to date to contain health care costs. The new law includes an array of reforms to the way health care is paid for and delivered. In fact, many insurers and health care providers have already started to change the way they pay for and practice care. The ACA also created an innovation center to develop and expand innovative payment models to improve the quality of care and reduce costs.

Which payment models show promise? How are private payers and health care providers changing? Is the recent slowdown in health care spending solely the result of the recession, or have payment and delivery system reforms also played a role? Are we on the cusp of a new era for our health care system? How can payment and delivery system reforms be accelerated and expanded?

Please join the Center for American Progress for a discussion of these questions and more.

May 22, 2012, 9:30am ET - 11:00am ET

Challenges and Opportunities for Renewable Energy in Alaska

Rural Alaska presents unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to energy. On the one hand, fuel is expensive and scarce, but on the other, Alaskan innovators are on the front lines of developing a truly sustainable energy strategy that has the potential to be exported across the world.

The need for immediate attention to the rural energy crisis in Alaska could not be clearer. High gas and oil prices, along with the effects of rapid climate change, are severely impacting rural native villages. The cost of living relative to income in village Alaska is growing. Dollars that would otherwise be used for growth in personal, business, and community-related spending are now being consumed largely by the growing costs of all forms of energy. The rural energy crisis is crippling for both individuals and communities. Something has to change.

May 24, 2012, 9:00am ET - 12:00pm ET

Role of Public-Private Partnerships in Education

The country has an economic, as well as a moral, stake in how well our schools are doing and how well our students are succeeding. Chief among stakeholders is the private sector that depends on highly skilled, productive young people for its future workforce and which can be an effective resource for our schools.

Please join the Center for American Progress to discuss corporate citizenship and the role of the public and private sectors in keeping our young people actively engaged in school and in supporting education innovation and reform. Our panelists will discuss the current challenges that the United States faces in public education; how to increase the number of students graduating college and being career-ready; and what can be done to ultimately build a strong workforce.

May 31, 2012, 10:00am ET - 11:00am ET