In 2009, Missouri State Sen. Jeff Smith lied to the federal government about seemingly minor campaign misconduct and found himself serving a year and a day in Kentucky’s Manchester Federal Correctional Institution.Mr. Smith Goes to Prison is the story of his time in federal prison—the people he met, the things he learned, and the perspective he gained on the nation's broken criminal justice system while on the inside of the prison-industrial complex. Smith offers concrete solutions to end the nation’s decades-long failed experiment with mass incarceration and to facilitate successful rehabilitation for the millions of Americans living behind bars.
Please join the Center for American Progress for a discussion of diversity on the bench and obstacles that judges of color face in judicial elections.
The panel will include discussion of a report from CAP's Legal Progress that examines the success rates of all incumbent justices running for reelection since 2000. White incumbents had a 90 percent reelection rate, compared to 80 percent for black justices. Latino justices had a mere 66 percent reelection rate. These disparities raise alarming questions about how judicial elections impact diversity on the bench. In many states, diverse justices were appointed to the bench, only to lose their seat in the next election. The report advocates reforms that could help foster diversity on the bench, such as public financing for judicial campaigns and programs that would expand the pipeline of diverse lawyers who could become judges.
"The Raising of America" series is a five-part documentary series that explores the questions: Why are so many children in America faring so poorly? What are the consequences for the nation’s future? How might we, as a nation, do better? The series investigates these questions through different lenses: What does science tell us about the enduring importance of early life experiences on the brain and body? What it is like to be a parent today? And what policies and structures help or hinder the raising of healthy, happy, and compassionate children?
Oil and gas operations are large sources of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and volatile organic compounds, which contribute to smog pollution that triggers asthma attacks and other respiratory diseases. In August, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, proposed the first-ever methane pollution standards that will require new and modified oil and gas facilities to use readily available technology to curb these harmful and wasteful leaks. This proposal is a critical part of the Obama administration’s plan to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by at least 40 percent to 45 percent by 2025 and marks another step toward achieving the goal of reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025.
Please join the Center for American Progress as we host a conversation with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to discuss how the proposed limits on methane pollution from the oil and gas sector can benefit the climate, human health, and worker safety.
On October 21, 2015, the Center for American Progress is hosting a half-day conference focused on broad economic trends, producing shared prosperity, and the role of business in doing so. In conversation with Secretary Jacob J. Lew, U.S. Department of the Treasury Panel Discussion 1: Economic Trends & Shared Prosperity In conversation with Lawrence H. […]
When Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died in the custody of Baltimore police officers on April 19, 2015, the incident brought to a head years of anger that residents felt toward the Baltimore Police Department. The protests that followed—often referred to as the Baltimore uprising—focused a national spotlight on the city. But for local residents, Gray’s death was only the latest grievance against a police department that had long been perceived as overly aggressive, out of touch with the community, and able to act with impunity.
Please join the Center for American Progress and the Campaign for Justice, Safety, and Jobs for a panel discussion on how policymakers can begin to build trust between the police in Baltimore and the communities they have sworn to serve.
The emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, has shaken the foundations of an already fragile Middle East. The potency of the ISIS threat has galvanized one of the largest global coalitions in warfare history. More than one year into the anti-ISIS campaign, the results have been mixed and ISIS has demonstrated surprising resilience. How do we understand ISIS as an organization, and what are its main strengths and weaknesses?
High-quality early childhood education has the potential to improve long-term life outcomes for all children. In order to learn, however, students actually have to be in the classroom. At the same time that the United States is expanding access to high-quality early learning opportunities, alarming statistics suggest that these environments can serve as a point of entry to the school-to-prison pipeline, which most acutely affects African American children. For example, African American children represent 18 percent of all preschoolers but make up 42 percent of those suspended and nearly half of those suspended multiple times. Given the profound consequences that suspension, expulsion, and other zero-tolerance policies can have on very young children, it is time to change the national approach to preschool discipline. The growing movement to resist the criminalization of African Americans underscores the need to prevent schools from serving as a point of entry to the criminal justice system. The Center for American Progress and the National Black Child Development Institute will release a new report with recommendations on how to bring an end to preschool suspensions and expulsions.
Largely seen as the one of the greatest achievements of the civil rights movement, the Voting Rights Act, or VRA, of 1965 enfranchised voters throughout America by outlawing measures taken by states to limit African American participation in the democratic process. The legislation was widely heralded as a colossal victory for communities of color and did more to empower African Americans than perhaps any law since the Fourteenth Amendment. Yet in 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court gutted a critical provision of the law and effectively rendered a significant portion of the act toothless. Now, just months after the 50th anniversary of the VRA, renewed conservative efforts to limit voting rights demonstrate that the nation needs new laws to guarantee all Americans access to the most fundamental pillar of U.S. democracy.
In his latest book, Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few
, former Secretary of Labor Robert B. Reich shows that the American economic system is unsustainable, offering explanations and solutions that bring into focus the close ties between economics and politics. The role of power and influence in economic policy has created a "new American oligarchy," which has led to the greatest income inequality and wealth disparity in 80 years. As made clear in his book, there has been a shift in the so-called American free market that focuses on the interests of those with the money to shape the market to their benefit.
Access to essential work-family supports such as paid family leave varies sharply by income level in the United States. Currently, the country’s highest earners are more than five times more likely than its lowest earners to have access to paid family and medical leave. This inequality of access both reinforces and reproduces inequalities of income, wealth, and life outcomes for successive generations. To level the playing field, families need policies that give everyone equal protection from the income shocks that too often are hand in hand with caregiving responsibilities. The nation needs policies that bring paid family leave to all.
Please join the Center for American Progress as we welcome Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, who will deliver remarks regarding exciting state and local paid leave initiatives. Sec. Perez's remarks will be followed by a panel discussion, moderated by CAP Senior Fellow Judith Warner, about how policies such as paid family leave can and must be used as a vital tool in fighting income inequality.
The Center for American Progress is pleased to host a panel of faith-based advocates and experts for a conversation about the papal visit and its implications for politics, policies, advocacy, and action. Following the panel, Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) will give remarks on the opportunity that the pope’s teachings provide for conversations about the challenges of climate change and finding ways for everyone to cooperate in the care of creation. Please join the Center for American Progress for this enlightening and lively conversation.
Copies of John Gehring’s book, The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope’s Challenge to the American Catholic Church, will be available for purchase at the event.
National service programs are a critical part of developing human capital, encouraging economic growth, and reducing inequality. National service programs can create an opportunity for people to overcome challenges and disadvantages and acquire critical workforce skills and experience. As Congress debates the budget, it’s important that cuts to national service programs are rejected. Instead, new investments should be made as part of a smart workforce development and economic growth strategy.
Progressives and conservatives can agree that one of the central challenges facing the United States is the need to increase economic mobility. The Center for American Progress will host Harvard University economist Richard B. Freeman and former U.S. Treasury Secretary, currently Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard, Lawrence H. Summers for a discussion on the role of unions in the economy and society.
From inner cities to rural farmlands, children are returning to school to learn and grow—but for thousands of hungry children nationwide, learning is difficult or impossible. When Congress returns from its August recess, the House and Senate will debate the reauthorization of many of the country's most critical programs that provide meals and nutritional support to children—including school breakfasts and lunches, summer meals, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC.