THE ROOSEVELT REVIEW OF THE ROOSEVELT INSTITUTE AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
TABLE OF CONTENTS Democratic Access
8 New York’s Democratic Stain: The Unconstitutionality of Parolee Disenfranchisement By Zachary Kimmel 10 Protecting Voting Rights in Texas: Expanding Accessibility for Minority Language Speakers By Ricardo Jaramillo Esteves 12 Ballots Behind Bars: Reenfranchising Former Felons In Florida By Michael Pusic 14 Increasing Female Representation Through Transitioning to Multi-Member Districts in State Legislatures By Emma Cloyd 16 A Federal Time Off to Vote Policy That Works for All Workers By Emma Warner 18 Low Voter Turnout: A Corporate Solution to a Public Crisis By Lindsay Meyerson
Economic Development 22 24 26 28
For Want of A Trail: Using Outdoor Recreation to Revitalize Rural Economies By Eric Scheuch Modern Mobility for All: A Universal Ticket for New York City’s Subway By Hannah Healy and Leopold Aschenbrenner Real Tax Reform to Counter the Misguided Republican Tax Cuts By Brendan Moore Harms of Corporate Consolidation: Expanding Anti-Trust Legislation to Combat Predatory Pricing By Stephanie Grove
Education 32 34 36 38 40 42 44
Funding Women’s Education: A Step Towards Peace and Security By Lindsay Meyerson Responding to Distant Disaster: Funding the Education of Child Refugees in Cash-Strapped Connecticut School Districts By Maeve Flaherty Leveling the Playing Field: How Columbia Can Stop Hurting Its Low-Income Students By Troy Brown Requiring Civics Education in New York City Schools By Rosie Moss Health for All: Instituting Mandatory Health Education at Columbia University By Carolyn Kelly Implementing Individualized Professional Development for Teachers to Improve Student Outcomes in New York City By Nicole Felmus “Where Do Tomatoes Come From?” The Need for Agricultural Education in New York City By Lexie Lehmann
Energy and the Environment 48 50 52 54
Taking Steps Towards a Smaller Carbon Footprint: Helping Students Achieve Carbon Neutrality By Meredith Harris and Arianna Menzelos Urban Vertical Farming: Bringing Sustainability to Agriculture By Adekunle Balogun Tampa’s Vulnerability: The Need for Immediate Flood Policy Implementation By Marion Gibson Environmental Justice in New York: Increasing Air Quality in Low-Income Neighborhoods By Adekunle Balogun
Foreign Policy 58 60 62 64
Rethinking Military Aid: Against Funding the Abuse of Children in Foreign Detention Centers By Meher Malik Breaking the Ice: Modernizing America’s Icebreaker Fleet By Justin Holliman Accounting for the Uncounted: The National Security Imperative for Recording and Compensating Civilian Casualties in Iraq and Syria By Clara Harter Successfully Maneuvering The United States Into the Age of Private Spaceflight Companies By Ben Kaplan
Healthcare 68 70 72 74
Closing the Primary Care Gap: Expanding Californian Scope-Of-Practice Regulations for Nurse Practitioners to Meet Patient Demand By Sinead Hunt Lowering Barriers to Public Access of Epinephrine Auto-Injectors By Cassidy Gabriel Tackling Columbia’s Mental Health Crisis: Increasing Peer to Peer Communication and Disclosure By Sarah Lubin Addressing the Opioid Crisis on Staten Island: Combating Stigma to Provide Better Treatment Options By Sinead Hunt
Human Rights 78 80 82 84
Do More than #CloseRikers - End Solitary Confinement in New York, Close the State’s Isolated Confinement Supermaxes By Ali Fraerman New York’s Homeless and Barriers to IDs: Rethinking Documentation Requirements for IDNYC By Emma Bellows Land of the Free, But Only For the Few: An Examination of the Constitutionality of North Carolina’s Farm Act By Emma Gomez Housing First: Bringing About an End to Homelessness in the Next Decade By Michael Pusic
Smart City U: Urban Universities as Test Beds for Smart City Ventures By Lexie Lehmann
Letter from the Editor Dear reader, This is the tenth annual Roosevelt Review published by the Columbia University chapter of the Roosevelt Institute. We are proud to present thirty two proposals written by undergraduate students from Columbia University. These authors come from every undergraduate college and class year. They are students of political science and economics but also engineering, environmental science, and biology. The Roosevelt Institute fills a somewhat unique role in the political sphere at Columbia. As a nonpartisan but progressive policy think tank, the Institute prioritizes the search for practical solutions to social problems rather than discussions of party or ideology. At our weekly discussion meetings, center directors lead conversations about how to use public policy to tackle our worldâ€™s problems, from privacy concerns in the technology age to the efficacy of prison as a tool for rehabilitation. The focus is always on workable solutions. Roosevelt also run policy projects in each of its seven centers. Initiative organizers work with general body members to inact real progressive policy change at the campus, city, and state levels. This year our Energy and the Environment center successfully passed a ballot initiative through the Columbia College Student Council, allowing the student body to vote on a measure asking Columbia to develop a plan for carbon neutrality. The Economic Development center presented a proposal to the Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing asking for increased transparency in the endowmentâ€™s investments. More information on the efforts of each center initiative is given in the introduction to the centerâ€™s section of the journal. I am honored to have served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Roosevelt Review in the 2017-2018 academic year. In this publication, our authors address the most pressing and complex problems of our time. Their solutions are innovative in their conception and elegant in their presentation. I hope that you will find them both informative and thought provoking. To our writers, center directors, and executive board members, thank you for your hard work. It has culminated in another successful issue of the Roosevelt Review. Sincerely, Rachel Knowles Editor-in-Chief of the Roosevelt Review
MASTHEAD The Executive Board President - Nicole Felmus Vice President - Danielle Deiseroth Journal Editor - Rachel Knowles Outreach Director - Ben Kaplan Treasurer - Emma Cloyd Secretary - Justin Holliman
Center Directors Democratic Access - Michael Pusic Economic Development - Stephanie Grove Education - Lexie Lehmann Energy and the Environment - Charles Harper Foreign Policy - Meher Malik Healthcare - Sarah Lubin Human Rights - Alison Fraerman
Initiative Organizers Democratic Access - Emma Warner Economic Development - Brendan Moore Education - Lindsay Meyerson Energy and the Environment - Ade Balogun Foreign Policy - Clara Harter Healthcare - Megan Hickey Human Rights - Emma Gomez
Democratic Access At the Democratic Access center of the Columbia Roosevelt Institute, we seek to analyze and promote policies which clear the channels of political change. Our writers examine issues at the municipal, state, and federal level â€” ranging from improving translation services at voting sites in Texas to federally instituting multi-member districts in state legislatures to improve female representation in government. We believe that improving ordinary Americansâ€™ access to their government has the potential to create a society that is more just, equitable, and inherently representative. In the pages that follow, our members contribute a number of thoroughly researched proposals towards that end. -Michael Pusic, Center Director
New York’s Democratic Stain: The Unconstitutionality of Parolee Disenfranchisement By Zachary Kimmel Introduction When Thomas Jefferson asserted that “governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” he centered the American people as the only legitimate foundation for decision-making in the new nation. As a result, access to the ballot box is the essential lifeblood of the American idea. Yet, despite the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, and the overall centrality of voting to the ideals of American representative democracy, various states have repeatedly adopted voting regulations intended to preclude certain groups, such as ex-felons, from voting. Even in New York State, a well-known stronghold of Democratic and progressive politics, people convicted of felonies are a target of restrictive voting policies. In New York State, approximately 44,000 individuals who have been released from prison are disenfranchised because of their parole status. Background Any legislation that precludes people from voting based on prison or parole status is fundamentally incompatible with both the U.S. Constitution and with the basic principles of representative democracy. Since 1868, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment has worked to establish a constitutional grounding for the principle of “one person, 8
one vote” by ensuring equal protection before the law for all citizens. For example, the clause has frequently been used to limit the ways in which congressional districts can be drawn so as to limit the voting power or political influence of certain groups or of certain areas. In the same spirit, the denial of suffrage to 44,000 New Yorkers who have been released on parole appears in violation to the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, as the political opinions of these parolees who otherwise live, work, and pay taxes in their communities are considered less valuable than the political opinions of others who live in those same communities who are not on parole. Equal protection of the laws is most certainly not applied in New York’s current voting legislation. Furthermore, the 1870 ratification of the 15th Amendment also establishes the unconstitutionality of New York’s denial of the right to vote for people on parole. The Amendment states that the right to vote shall not be denied by federal or state governments “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude”. While the phrase “previous condition of servitude” referred to the condition of being formerly enslaved at the time of ratification, this same language, when understood through a more modern interpretation, deems New York’s denial of suffrage to parolees constitutionally illegitimate. When
a prisoner is released on parole, they have demonstrated enough behavioral and psychological stability to pass the inspection of a parole board so as to justify their release from prison prior to the full completion of their original sentence. In other words, to be released on parole is to have had one’s “service” to society deemed sufficiently completed. With this logic, the denial of the right to vote to a person on parole is a restriction of an individual’s civil right to suffrage on direct account of their previous condition of servitude, with servitude in this instance being understood as service to the state or to society more generally, rather than to an individual master as it was in 1870. Therefore, New York’s disenfranchisement legislation appears in direct conflict with Section 1 of the 15th Amendment. When one has paid their debts to society and is released from prison early on parole, any legislation that continues to deny that person’s right to vote becomes unconstitutional. Finally, the discriminatory effects of New York’s ban on voting while on parole render it incompatible with the Voting Rights Act. In 1982, Congress reversed the landmark Mobile v. Bolden decision such that legislation need only be demonstrated to have a racially-discriminatory effect in voting, rather than a discriminatory intent, for to be in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. In other words, the revised Act established
Roosevelt Review that voting regulations are to be judged as discriminatory in accordance with their impact, rather than their stated purpose. New York’s disenfranchisement of people on parole is a violation of the Voting Rights Act for this exact reason. In New York State’s criminal justice system, the depth of racial inequity is staggering. In 2014, African Americans made up roughly 14% of the state’s population but accounted for 48.9% of the state’s inmates. Latinos, just 18% of the population, make up another 24.2% of prisoners, placing New York at number eight nationally in terms of the percentage of Latino inmates in state prisons. As expected, a prison population that is disproportionately comprised of African Americans and Latinos leads to parole population that is overwhelmingly comprised of people of color. Of the 44,000 disenfranchised New Yorkers on parole, African Americans and Latinos account for roughly three-quarters of that population, or 33,000 otherwise eligible voters. Because people of color are drastically overrepresented in New York’s parole population, denying suffrage to parolees is racially-discriminatory in its effect. Recommended Action New York State’s current voting law that precludes people on parole from casting a ballot is racially discriminatory, unconstitutional, and incompatible with American democracy. To rectify the current injustice, New York’s state assembly should immediately enact new legislation that would restore the right to vote to all citizens immediately upon release from prison. In fact, in June 2016, such a bill was approved by two committees in the New York State Assembly. However, the full
Assembly has never had a general vote on the legislation, and the bill has since stalled. Conclusion To deny people on parole the right to vote is to fall short of the rehabilitative intention of the criminal justice system and of the democratic ideals of the nation. By all accounts, voting is an essential pro-social activity that can facilitate the effective reintegration of formerly-incarcerated people into society. Once released, people on parole are expected to be productive and accountable members of their communities and of society at large. As a result, they must be guaranteed access to the ballot box in order to have a say in the political direction of their communities. To deny this access is to condemn thousands of people to second-class citizenship. Furthermore, denial of the right to vote is incompatible with our national values. As a nation predicated on the ideals of democracy, representative government, and equal protection under the law, any instance in which the right to vote is not recognized, is restricted, or is suppressed is a subversion of the American ideal. We distort who we are and what we stand for as a nation. References 1. Akosah, Kwame. “New Promise for Restoring Voting Rights in New York.” Brennan Center for Justice. Last modified June 20, 2016. Accessed January 25, 2018. 2. Brennan Center for Justice. “Voting Rights Restoration Efforts in New York.” New York University School of Law. Last modified October 6, 2016. Accessed January 24, 2018. https://www.brennancenter.
org/analysis/voting-rights-restoration-efforts-new-york. 3. City of Mobile v. Bolden, No. 77-1844 (Apr. 22, 1980). Accessed January 25, 2018. https://www.oyez. org/cases/1978/77-1844. 4. Handelsman, Lauren. “Giving the Barking Dog a Bite: Challenging Felon Disenfranchisement under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.” Fordham Law Review 73, no. 4 (2005). 5. Jefferson, Thomas. “Declaration of Independence.” National Archives. Last modified July 4, 1776. Accessed January 26, 2018. https:// www.archives.gov/founding-docs/ declaration-transcript. 6. Nellis, Ashley. “The Color of Justice: Racial and Ethnic Disparity in State Prisons.” The Sentencing Project. Last modified June 14, 2016. Accessed January 25, 2018. http:// www.sentencingproject.org/publications/color-of-justice-racial-andethnic-disparity-in-state-prisons/. 7. S. 2023A, 2015 Leg. (N.Y.). Accessed January 25, 2018. https:// www.nysenate.gov/legislation/ bills/2015/S2023/amendment/A. 8. U.S. Const. amend. XIV § 1. Accessed January 25, 2018. https:// www.senate.gov/civics/constitution_item/constitution.htm#amdt_14_(1868). 9. U.S. Const. amend. XV § 1. Accessed January 25, 2018. https:// www.senate.gov/civics/constitution_item/constitution.htm#amdt_15_(1870). 10. Kwame Akosah, “New Promise for Restoring Voting Rights in New York,” Brennan Center for Justice, last modified June 20, 2016, accessed January 25, 2018, https:// www.brennancenter.org/blog/newpromise-restoring-voting-rightsnew-york.
Protecting Voting Rights in Texas: Expanding Accessibility for Minority Language Speakers By Ricardo Jaramillo
Introduction The state of Texas is no stranger to legal and political battles regarding voting rights. Indeed, long-standing legal battles about voter identification laws and gerrymandering are expected to continue in 2018. While those two areas are very important, one area is of particular concern for voting rights: language accessibility in the ballot box. Specifically, the right to have an interpreter in the voting booth to help you cast your ballot as well as the right to have a ballot in your language. While there are some provisions in the Texas state election code that allow for interpreters, there are others that place restrictions on who interpreters can be. Moreover, though most electoral materials are available in English and Spanish, Texas is not obligated to provide electoral materials in any other languages. As such, a strong policy proposal that brings legal clarity to the status of interpreters and requires the state of Texas to provide electoral materials in more languages is needed. Background In August of 2017, a federal appellate court ruled that Texas’ interpreter law was in violation of the Voting Rights Act and recently the Texas Attorney General’s office appears to have conceded the case by not submitting an appeal to the Supreme Court. At stake was a 10
law that required any interpreter to be registered to vote in the same county as the person that they are helping. The federal court held that the law arbitrarily discriminated against non-English speakers in Texas which is prohibited by the Voting Rights Act. While the law seems to be on-hold indefinitely, it demonstrates the lack of inclusive voting policies in Texas elections. The lawsuit centered on a case by a U.S. citizen who was born in India named Das who has very limited English proficiency, so she brought her son with her to the voting booth. The poll workers determined that Das’ son could not go into the voting booth with her because he was not registered in the same county as his mother. Bizarrely, however, the same law allowed for ‘assisters’ to help non-English speakers vote and they do not have to be registered in the same county. In other words, if Das’ son had said that he was ‘assisting’ his mother, he could have gone in with her. Clearly, this law has discriminatory implications that have serious repercussions: according to census estimates, roughly 26 percent of Texas households that originate from Asia or Pacific Islands are considered non-English proficient. This number totals around 260,000 people - a significant amount given the low turnout in Texas elections at all levels.
Recommended Action Given the important ways in which the ability to vote is dependent upon the ability to understand how to vote, there are two main reforms that can be undertaken by the state of Texas in order to ensure that no one is left unable to vote due to lack of English proficiency. First, Texas must provide election materials in more languages. Currently, election materials are available in both English and Spanish. However, around 650,000 people in Texas speak a language besides Spanish. Voting centers should be required to have election materials in as many languages as possible, particularly the voting centers near communities in which languages besides Spanish are often spoken. This should not be a difficult task given that there is already a process for creating and distributing election materials in Spanish. Those processes should be expanded to include election materials in other languages, particularly South Asian and East Asian languages. Second, Texas must have bilingual individuals as poll workers or clerks. Despite the recent legal concession regarding Texas’ previous attempts at restricting interpreters, investment in bilingual poll workers is still needed. Hiring trained interpreters in voting precincts with high concentrations of non-English speakers could
Roosevelt Review provide a more uniform response to how interpreters should be utilized in voting. It could even be possible to avoid spending money on hiring bilingual speakers if volunteers from local communities who speak these languages were recruited and trained on how to help people vote. Conclusion The Texas state government is one that has been historically hostile towards voting rights for non-English speaking peoples.  While some of the aforementioned policy proposals have been generally recommended by the Department of Justice, there has not been a widespread conversation or effort to materialize voting assistance for non-English and non-Spanish speaking voters. An important legal recourse that should be explored is forcing a federal supervision of the voting processes in Texas pursuant to the Voting Rights Act. Moreover, organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Asian American Legal Defense, and Education Fund should continue to be involved in efforts to ensure that Texans of all linguistic backgrounds are able to understand how to vote. Importantly, at stake in this legal and political conflict is the importance of a “right to government in a known tongue”, and establishing a democratic system that is inclusive of non-English speakers who have just as much a right to vote as any other citizen.
www.texastribune.org/2018/01/03/ what-expect-texas-voting-rightscourt-fights-2018/. 2. Ura, Alexa. 2017. “Texas Appears To Concede Voting Rights Case On Language Interpreter Law”. The Texas Tribune. Accessed January 28 2018. https://www.texastribune. org/2017/11/30/texas-appears-concede-language-interpreter-law/. 3. Ibid. 4. Ibid. 5. Ibid. 6. “U.S. Census Bureau Quickfacts: Texas”. 2018. Census.Gov. Accessed March 18 2018. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/TX. 7. Murphy, Alexa. 2018. “Why Is Texas Voter Turnout So Low? Demographics Play A Big Role”. The Texas Tribune. Accessed March 18 2018. https://www.texastribune. org/2018/02/23/texas-voter-turnout-electorate-explainer/. 8. “Minority Language Requirements”. 2018. Sos.State.Tx.Us. Accessed January 28 2018. https:// www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/laws/ advisory2016-15.shtml. 9. “Languages - Texas”. 2018. City-Data.Com. Accessed January 28 2018. http://www.city-data.com/ states/Texas-Languages.html. 10. Jose R. Juarez Jr., The American Tradition of Language Rights: The Forgotten Right to Government in a Known Tongue, 13 Law & Ineq. 443 (1995). Available at: http:// scholarship.law.umn.edu/lawineq/ vol13/iss2/6 11. Ibid.
“While there are some provisions in the Texas state election code that allow for interpreters, there are others that place restrictions on who interpreters can be. Moreover, though most electoral materials are available in English and Spanish, Texas is not obligated to provide electoral materials in any other languages. As such, a strong policy proposal that brings legal clarity to the status of interpreters and requires the state of Texas to provide electoral materials in more languages is needed.”
References 1. Ura, Alexa. 2018. “What To Expect In Texas’ Voting Rights Court Fights In 2018”. The Texas Tribune. Accessed January 28 2018. https:// 11
Ballots Behind Bars: Reenfranchising Former Felons in Florida By Michael Pusic
Introduction The right to vote is the bedrock of any democracy. Without full enfranchisement, marginalized groups face the constant threat of oppression by a politically advantaged majority. Lacking a voice in the polls, marginalized groups soon lose advocacy in virtually all policy that is created. They are unable to oppose any policies that wittingly or unwittingly curtail their rights, and unable to support those that would enable access to fundamental freedoms. This is especially true in the case of felons who have been unable to vote against mass incarceration policies that drastically curtail their access to virtually all areas of society. Across the U.S., approximately six million Americans are unable to vote because of past felony charges. Federal action is unlikely due to state control of voting laws, but much has been and can be done at the state level to remedy this issue. Because Florida is home to 28% of all disenfranchised felons in the U.S., more than any other state, it should be a prime target for reform efforts. Background Florida’s voter disenfranchisement has long been atrocious, but it has radically worsened in the past eight years. It is one of only four states in the country that permanently disenfranchises felons with virtually no recourse for the res12
titution of their voting rights. Governor Rick Scott took this system of disenfranchisement to new levels when in 2011 he issued the most restrictive clemency rules ever passed in the state. From 2010 to 2016, over 150,000 Floridians lost the right to vote, bringing the total number of disenfranchised people in the state to 1,686,000. The legal case against permanent voting restrictions is exceptionally strong. In virtually every major appeals court case, such restrictions have been struck down. Most recently, on February 1st, 2018 a federal judge in Florida ruled that the power of the state’s Clemency Board violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments, and that their restrictions on felon voting are similarly unconstitutional, though legislative reform has yet to catch up to the ruling. In January 2018, Floridians for Fair Democracy gathered enough petitions to put such reform on the ballot this November. The amendment would restore voting rights automatically to all felons who have completed their sentence, excluding those who have committed murder or a felony sexual offense. Recommended Action Floridians should vote in favor of the amendment to restore voting rights. Doing so would accomplish three things. First, it would fulfill the state’s a priori obligation to its
citizens. Since the state derives all legitimacy from the consent of those governed, any policy that revokes the ability of certain citizens to consent to government policy is unethical. Second, it would have a real effect on elections. Conservative estimates find that 300,000 more individuals would vote if felons were not disenfranchised. As a swing state, Florida is famous for its close elections, most notably in the case of George W. Bush’s 537-vote victory over Al Gore in 2000. More recently, in the 2016 presidential election, President Trump defeated Secretary Clinton by approximately 112,000 votes.  These facts indicate that restoring voting rights in Florida could do more than fulfill a principled obligation; it could actively change government policies and elected representatives to better reflect the democratic will. Finally, this reform could lead the way for other states to enact felon re-enfranchisement policies of their own. Comprehensive reform in Florida would put pressure on lawmakers in Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia, where felons are still permanently restricted from voting. Any policy to re-enfranchise felons must be paired with a robust educational campaign. Felons tend to live near one another in relatively poor communities, where the collective inability to vote often leads to a broader discon-
Roosevelt Review nect from American politics. After being barred from participation in American democracy for years, individuals can become alienated from various forms of political and civic engagement such that, even when given the right to vote, they are substantially less likely to use it than the average citizen. The state must ensure as many felons as possible are made aware of their right to vote and of the value in doing so. Conclusion The right to vote must be inalienable. It is the fundamental basis of any democracy, the means by which individuals express their consent to government and dictate the terms of that consent. No group should be stripped of this right, for doing so puts them at risk of oppression by the enfranchised majority. Supporting felon voter enfranchisement is the only way to end this deprivation of the right to self-determination and to restore the proper functioning of our democratic institutions.
inclusive democracy.” Rights Restoration. Accessed February 17, 2018. https://floridarrc.com/. 7.“Felony Disenfranchisement Laws (Map).” American Civil Liberties Union. Accessed February 17, 2018. https://www.aclu.org/issues/voting-rights/voter-restoration/felony-disenfranchisement-laws-map. 8. Berman, Ari. “Florida will vote on a measure that could turn the state solidly blue.” Mother Jones. January 23, 2018. Accessed February 17, 2018. https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/01/ florida-will-vote-on-restoring-voting-rights-to-1-5-million-ex-felons/. 9. Ibid. 10. “Felony Disenfranchisement Laws (Map).” American Civil Liberties Union. Accessed February 17, 2018. https://www.aclu.org/issues/ voting-rights/voter-restoration/felony-disenfranchisement-laws-map. 11. Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow (p. 159). The New Press. Kindle Edition
“Florida is one of only four states in the country that permanently disenfranchises felons with virtually no recourse for the restitution of their voting rights. Governor Rick Scott took this system of disenfranchisement to new levels when in 2011 he issued the most restrictive clemency rules ever passed in the state. From 2010 to 2016, over 150,000 Floridians lost the right to vote, bringing the total number of disenfranchised people in the state to 1,686,000.”
References 1. “Felony Disenfranchisement Laws (Map).” American Civil Liberties Union. Accessed February 17, 2018. https://www.aclu.org/issues/ voting-rights/voter-restoration/felony-disenfranchisement-laws-map. 2. Ibid. 3. Hawkins, Derek. “Florida’s Ban on Ex-Felons.” Washington Post. February 02, 2018. Accessed February 17, 2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/ wp/2018/02/02/floridas-ban-on-exfelo. 4. Ibid. 5. Ibid. 6.“Florida Rights Restoration Coalition moving towards a more 13
Increasing Female Representation Through Transitioning to Multi Member Districts in State Legislatures By Emma Cloyd Introduction Women have been making great strides in politics, including holding offices in all levels of U.S. government besides the presidency. However, an overwhelming number of elected seats in the United States still belong to men.  The first woman was elected to Congress in 1916; however, only 307 women served in the next century, leaving Congress and all other elected offices predominantly male. The number of women in politics is pertinent because of the societal and policy implications female elected representatives can have. Female representation increases the legitimacy of a governing body by making it more representative of the population it makes policy for. Currently, there is evidence indicating that electing women to office has positive policy implications for bills relating to women, children, and families.  Increasing the representation of women in lower level offices, such as city councils and state legislatures, could help create a pipeline to increase female representation on all levels by creating a large body of viable candidates. Using multimember districts, where voters select more than one candidate to represent their district, over single member districts, where voters select a single candidate, in state legislatures has been seen to lead to increased numbers of women and 14
thus could increase the number of women at all levels of government. Background Over the past several decades, an interesting change came to some state legislature districts when they converted from multimember districts (MMDs) to single member districts (SMDs) as a result of the 1964 Reynolds v. Sims Supreme Court decision. This case stated that under the Equal Protection Clause, there were to be â€œno less than substantially equal state legislative representation for all citizens.â€? In the case, Alabamaâ€™s state legislature had variance ratios as great as 41 to 1, meaning some individuals in districts had 41 people representing them in the state legislature while others only had one. Prior to the removal of many MMDs, it was thought that they were good for female representation because they allowed people to focus on the candidate rather than the party, as well as allow voters to vote for both a man and a woman, making the decision seem like less of a risk.  When analyzing the impact of switching from multi-member districts to single member districts, in three of four cases studied the number of female representatives in the state legislatures decreased.  Currently, ten states still use multi-member districts. Switching back to this system, which has been removed in many states, could
increase the percentage of women elected to state legislatures. Though it is unknown the overall impact on women in politics this shift could have, there is research indicating pathways from lower electoral bodies to high electoral bodies, which could help solve the descriptive representation crisis the United States is currently facing on a larger level. Recommended Action Switching to MMDs could potentially lead to the increased election of women that was seen prior to the conversion to SMDs. Currently, there are multiple different types of MMDs, some of which give voters multiple votes and others which rotate to elect people in different years. In order to best follow the Reynolds v. Sims case and the notion of one person one vote, three actions should be taken: 1) All state legislatures should have two members per district. 2) The state should redefine district borders to create districts of approximately equal size that are larger than the previous districts to ensure that state legislatures do not become too large. 3) Both members from each district should be elected in the same year for a term of the same length. Through this, state legislatures would create an environment where more women are elected because of the overwhelming research that indicates women candidates are
Roosevelt Review more viable in MMDs because voters may feel more inclined to vote for someone seen as nontraditional or risky like a female candidate. Furthermore, by creating districts that all have two members, it will be far harder to gerrymander districts to fit specific interests, as was done with MMDs in Alabama prior to Reynolds v. Sims. While the size of the state legislatures would have to increase, it could easily be compromised by shifting district borders to make districts larger. Conclusion Through the conversion to two member MMDs, states would be able to increase their gender representation without harming the interests of any one group. This plan could be implemented in any state, including those which already have other forms of MMDs. As it is up to the states on how to elect their state legislatures, this plan would involve changes to the states’ constitution, which could have varying implications depending on the state. However, through targeted campaigns emphasizing the ineffectuality of SMDs in regards to electing women, and the policy benefits of having women in office can have on historically marginalized and underprivileged communities, descriptive representation in the United States could be significantly increased. References 1. Abrams, Abigail. “2016 Election: Men in Government Still Far Outnumber Women.” Time. November 7, 2016. Accessed February 26, 2018. time.com/4556917/presidential-election-2016-women-government/. 2. “Women in U.S. Congress 2015.” CAWP. Accessed February 26,
2018. www.cawp.rutgers.edu/women-us-congress-2015. 3. Fox, Jennifer, and Richard Lawless. “Why Are Women Still Not Running for Public Office?” Issues in Governance Studies 26 (May 2008): 3. Accessed February 26, 2018. 4. Thomas, Sue. “The Impact of Women on State Legislative Policies.” The Journal of Politics 53, no. 4 .(1991): 967. Accessed February 26, 2018. doi:10.2307/2131862. 5. King, James D. “Single-Member Districts and the Representation of Women in American State Legislatures: The Effects of Electoral System Change.” State Politics & Policy Quarterly 2, no. 2 (2002): 163. 6. “Reynolds v. Sims.” Oyez. Accessed February 26, 2018. https:// www.oyez.org/cases/1963/23. 7. King, 164. 8. Ibid. 9. “State legislative chambers that use multi-member districts.” Ballotpedia. Accessed February 26, 2018. https://ballotpedia.org/ State_legislative_chambers_that_ use_multi-member_districts. 10. Carroll, Susan, and Krista Jenkins. “Unrealized opportunity? Term limits and the representation of women in state legislatures.” Journal of Women, Politics & Policy 23, no. 4 (2001): 1-30. doi:10.1080/ 1554477x.2001.9970972 11. “State Legislative Chambers that use Multi-Member Districts.” 12. King, 164.
“When analyzing the impact of switching from multi-member districts to single member districts, in three of four cases studied the number of female representatives in the state legislatures decreased. Currently, ten states still use multi-member districts. Switching back to this system, which has been removed in many states, could increase the percentage of women elected to state legislatures.”
A Federal Time Off to Vote Policy That Works for All Workers By Emma Warner
Introduction The right to vote - regardless of factors such as income - is vitally important to democracy in the United States. Currently, no federal policy requires employers to give their employees time off to vote. The lack of a federal paid time off to vote policy makes it harder for people to exercise their right to vote. This disproportionately affects low-income and middle-class voters, who may not be able to afford to take unpaid time off, if they are even granted that. In 2012, only 46.9% of people making less than $10,000 a year voted, while 80.2% of those making more than $150,000 a year voted. The more money you make, the more likely you are to vote, as evidenced by the fact that on average, each income bracket turns out to vote “3.7 percentage points higher than the bracket below it”. Workers should not be penalized, financially or otherwise, for exercising their right to vote in any election. Background As of right now, twenty states have no time off to vote requirement at all – with most stating that it is “subject to the employer” whether or not they allow their employees to take time off to vote. A total of twenty-nine states have either paid or unpaid time off to vote policies, but these are often convoluted or require additional 16
steps be taken. Twelve of these states have unpaid policies, and the remaining seventeen have paid policies. Washington, which uses an entirely vote-by-mail system, does not have any policy as they do not have any in-person voting that would require employees to leave work. Several states, including Utah and Tennessee, require employees to give their employers advance notice that they plan to take time off to vote. Ohio’s paid time off to vote policy only applies to salaried workers; while non-salaried workers cannot be fired for taking time off to vote, they are not paid for that time. In Oklahoma, as in several other states, proof that you voted is required in order for your pay to not be lowered or denied completely. These are just a few of the numerous and varied policies that are currently in place. Employers are also rarely required to post any notice about their time off to vote policy or how an employee would be able to take advantage of that policy. There is no standard for time off to vote policies in the United States, which causes confusion among voters, who are unlikely to take time off to vote if they are not aware of the existing policy in their state. There is also little incentive for the large majority of employers to follow any existing policies, as only twelve states impose penalties of any kind on employers who do not adhere to
their time off to vote policies, paid or unpaid. Workers are interested in understanding their rights in regards to getting time off from work to vote. In the weeks leading up to the 2016 Presidential election, Google searches for the phrase “time off to vote” skyrocketed, only reaching its peak on November 8th - the day of the election. Recommended Action A federal policy needs to be implemented in which employers are required to allow their employees paid time off to vote. Canada’s policy could be used as a model for the United States’ policy, as it is simple and easy to understand. It reads: “By law, eligible electors must have three consecutive hours to cast their vote on election day. If your hours of work do not allow for three consecutive hours to vote, your employer must give you time off ”. It further explicitly states that you cannot lose pay for taking time off to vote and imposes a penalty on employers who fail to allow their employees to take time off or who reduce the pay of the employees who do so. Employers should also be required to post notice of employee’s right to take advantage of this policy in advance of the election.
Roosevelt Review Conclusion This is just one important step that needs to be taken to give all eligible voters the chance to vote without imposing an unfair economic burden on them. A number of other steps could help alleviate the particular burden on voters who cannot afford to take unpaid time off from work (if they are afforded time off at all). This policy would remove one of the many barriers to voting that disproportionately affect low-income voters. Additional policies, such as increased mail-in voting, automatic voter registration, and no-excuse absentee voting should also be implemented in order to reduce barriers to voting in the United States. Paid time off to vote is an important step in this process and is a common-sense measure that could make a real difference in the number of low-income and middle-class people who choose to vote.
to vote. 6. “FAQs on Voting.” ElectionCanada. February 08, 2018. http:// www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=vot&dir=faq&document=faqvoting&lang=e#a6.
“There is no standard for time off to vote policies in the United States, which causes confusion among voters, who are unlikely to take time off to vote if they are not aware of the existing policy in their state. There is also little incentive for the large majority of employers to follow any existing policies, as only twelve states impose penalties on employers who do not adhere to time off to vote policies.”
References 1. Mcelwee, Sean. “The Income Gap at the Polls.” POLITICO Magazine. January 07, 2015. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/01/ income-gap-at-the-polls-113997. 2. “Time Off To Vote.” Vote411. org. http://www.vote411.org/taxonomy/term/75?page=1#.WmC2c5M-dKM. 3. “State Laws on Voting Rights/ Time Off To Vote.” Workplace Fairness. https://www.workplacefairness.org/voting-rights-time-offwork. 4. Ibid. 5. “Explore Search Interest for Time off to Vote by Time, Location and Popularity on Google Trends.” Google Trends. https://trends.google.com/ trends/explore?date=2016-10-01 2016-12-01&geo=US&q=time off 17
Low Voter Turnout: A Corporate Solution to A Public Crisis By Lindsay Meyerson
Introduction The United States has, by far, one of the lowest voter turnout rates of any nation in the developed world. With only a 55.6% turnout rate in the 2016 election, it trails ten percentage points behind the United Kingdom, twenty behind Israel, and thirty-two behind Belgium.  In certain local elections, such as school board elections, turnout falls below 10% of the voting-age population. Americans appear uneducated in terms of general knowledge of current policy and disinterested in participating in the political sphere. Background Voter apathy is a crisis that far predates Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Turnout was 51% in 1996 and barely managed to climb above 60% by 2004. This is a phenomenon that has become ingrained into partisan politics as, each year, the questions of who will vote and who will abstain become more and more central. Exhortations to vote by a few select politicians concerned with this epidemic of disinterest have been unable to motivate citizens to swarm local gyms serving for a day as polling places. That apathy is incredibly dangerous. When few vote, those along the fringes of political discourse on both sides of the aisle turn out to the polling places. This is evident to some extent at the national level, 18
but to a still greater extent at the local level. Though increasing or decreasing turnout by large margins will not necessarily affect the overall outcome of the election, it does have ramifications in terms of state and municipal governments that are equally important. This is visible too, in primary elections, where low turnout leads to the selection of more radical candidates. Increasing voter turnout will have tangibly positive consequences aside from the moral imperative that Americans have a right to vote and ought to do so, as it is their primary opportunity for participation in the creation of policy. There are, without a doubt, institutional explanations for this trend. That voting is scheduled on a Tuesday, that registration must often occur more than thirty days before the election, and that Voter ID laws effectively disenfranchise so many, all work together, in conjunction with a myriad of other systemic problems to construct an effective barrier to the participation in the democratic process for so many. However, there may also be an institutional solution to these institutionalized problems. While on-cycle local elections and voting on a weekend present better alternatives to the current system, those are proposals that will likely not be realized in the near future. Because state legislatures control most voting policy, any institutional
progress made would be incremental, state by state. Further, on-cycle elections would raise the voter turnout in elections that currently have participation rates around 10%, but would not address the issue that roughly 40% of Americans do not vote in even the most heavily publicized elections. Moving voting to a weekend might help, but would be hard to pass and, as many people also work long hours on the weekend, such policy may have a more diminished impact than is expected. The most promising of these institutional solutions would be moving voting to a weekend, rather than a Tuesday based on the critique that individuals often do not get time off from work to get to their polling place. 34% of people who did not vote in the 2014 midterms attributed to the fact that due to commitments at school or work they did not have time. While many corporations, like Patagonia and Facebook, have given employees holiday on the first Tuesday in November, many others have not.  It is unclear whether or not that actually increased the voter turnout rate of employees of those organizations, because no data has been taken on the subject. However, incentivizing employers to behave in a similar way could facilitate voting by their employees.
Roosevelt Review Recommended Action Unfortunately, such structural transformations have received little support. In their place, consideration should be granted to an incentive policy. Any business who employs minimum wage workers that institutes programs to facilitate voting by employees should be eligible for a tax deduction. This ‘facilitation’ must take the form of active engagement with publicity of the election, extended hours of break on the day of an election, paid time off for voting, and/or transportation from the location to polling places. To be considered for the deductible, there must be visible results in terms of increase of percentage of employees who vote in a given election cycle. There must also be a statistically significant increase in those who vote as a percentage of the total workforce of the company. Should that occur, and should the employer demonstrate a commitment to this program and the associated successes, the corporation can count all spent on the program as well as all productivity lost towards a deductible for the purposes of taxation. This will facilitate voting by the most disenfranchised population and engage employers in the constructive work of promoting engagement among their employees. Conclusion Corporations face an enormous amount of criticism for being the institutions that stand between minimum wage workers and their right to participate in the political process. This policy would address that concern in a way that is effective (as it is results based as well as effort based) and constructive. In recognition of the fact that absten-
tion from voting may be considered a point of political protest or an exercise of free speech or free expression, it is very challenging to compel an individual to vote through mandate or punitive measure. However, in similar recognition of the too low percentage of registered and eligible voters who turn out in the polling places each November to voice their opinion, some action must be taken to rectify the situation. This country was founded, from a very literal standpoint, on the idea that you should have a say in who levies your taxes. Civic engagement is taken as the highest good by the intellectual and political class in America, which has not altered the circumstances of so many. There may not be a way to enforce this participation, but there must be a way to strongly encourage it. References 1. Drew Desilver, “U.S. Trails Most Developed Countries in Voter Turnout,” Pew Research, May 15, 2017. 2. Zoltan Hajnal, “Where Does America’s Low Voter Turnout Matter the Most? In Local Elections,” Washington Post, March 24, 2015. 3. “Voter Turnout,” Fairvote, accessed February 19, 2018, http:// www.fairvote.org/voter_turnout#voter_turnout_101. 4. Christopher Ingraham, “A ton of people didn’t vote because they couldn’t get time off from work,” Washington Post, November 12, 2014. 5. Kate Taylor, “Hundreds of companies are giving workers paid time off to vote on Election Day this year,” Business Insider, October 31, 2016.
“Any business who employs minimum wage workers that institutes programs to facilitate voting by employees should be eligible for a tax deduction. This ‘facilitation’ must take the form of active engagement with publicity of the election, extended hours of break on the day of an election, paid time off for voting, and transportation from the location to polling places.”
Economic Development This year in the Economic Development center, our writers analyzed policy questions on a variety of scales: from local issues, such as how to stimulate a post-industrial rural economy, all the way up to federal tax and anti-trust law. In the last year, major changes in federal economic policy have provided for the expansion of wealth and income inequality and for the growth of private market power. Economic policy has the ability to address imbalances in power, economic instability, and the unequal distribution of resources and life chances across the population. Our writers propose a variety policy ideas to construct a more stable, equitable, and just economy that corrects the shortcomings of the marketâ€™s natural cycles and of the major changes to federal economic policy made in the past year. -Stephanie Grove, Center Director
For Want of A Trail: Using Outdoor Recreation to Revitalize Rural Economies By Eric Scheuch
Introduction Crosby, Minnesota, lies in the mountains of northern Minnesota. Like many other small mining towns in the “Iron Range”, Crosby’s economy plummeted when domestic demand for iron ore declined and foreign competition increased. Beginning in the 1970’s the mines began to close, sending Crosby into a period of long, slow decline accompanied by high unemployment and steep declines in property values and per-capita incomes. In 1993, much of the former mining land became a state park, but unemployment remained high and income remained low. Background That story of decline is not unique to Crosby. Over the last half century, thousands of towns across rural America, formerly dependent on natural resources like fossil fuels, minerals, and timber, have experienced economic calamity as those industries have declined or left for foreign locales. High paying jobs are replaced by low wage service ones, property values plummet, and social ills like crime and opioid addiction spread like wildfire. This is the untold story of the American economy today: while economic growth as a whole is healthy, it is largely concentrated in a handful of booming urban areas, leaving much of rural America in the dust. This post-industrial decline over22
whelmingly affects working class Americans over wealthier or better educated ones. These voters are angry at their lack of progress, and they vote like it: it’s not a coincidence that the ancestrally Democratic Iron Range went Republican in 2016. Recommended Action It is possible, however, to revitalize such areas using an underappreciated economic tool: the outdoor recreation industry. The outdoor recreation economy is a major engine of American economic growth: Americans spend $886 billion on outdoor recreation, creating 7.6 million jobs and $124.5 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue. In Crosby, targeted government investment led to such an economy recovery. During the recession, Minnesota state officials were choosing how to use federal stimulus funds to revitalize the Iron Range. At the urging of local mountain biking enthusiasts, the state used $700,000 to install 25 miles of professional grade singletrack, one of the highest-quality types of mountain bike trails. The trails opened in 2011, and the results have been nothing short of stunning: the town of 2,500 over a hundred miles from the nearest large city now receives 25,000 mountain biking visitors annually, who contribute over $2 million to the local economy.
At least 15 new businesses have opened in Crosby since the trails debut in 2011, helping drive the unemployment rate in Crosby down to 4.5%, far lower than other towns in the Iron Range. And Crosby isn’t done: a 75 mile expansion is projected to bring in $21 million annually. Other rural areas are following Crosby’s lead. Coos County, New Hampshire, was almost killed by the death of the New England paper industry, with an unemployment rate twice the state average. In late 2007, however, state legislators appropriated $889,000 to turn Jericho Mountain State Park in Berlin NH into an ATV playground by building a world class trail network. Jericho now serves as the hub for a booming ATV industry countywide that draws thousands of visitors and millions in economic activity every year. The unemployment rate in Coos is now 3.1%, just a hair above the state average. Conclusion Comebacks in Crosby and Coos worked because they involved many of the stakeholders: state, federal, and local government, and private business, conservation, and outdoor recreation groups working together towards a common goal. To repeat these success stories and help regrow other hard hit areas, stakeholders should work together to execute a central development
Roosevelt Review strategy that follows two main principles: First, they must invest smartly. Good development requires smart, targeted government investment. Because hard-hit communities cannot afford such investment, the federal and state governments should create dedicated grant programs to provide communities with the funds to build recreation-enabling infrastructure: such as trails, roads for better access, or dams to make better whitewater rapids. Any such investment should address the needs targeted by outdoor recreation groups, use existing public land whenever possible to bring down costs and simplify legal obstacles, and play to a region’s geographic strengths. Second, they must market aggressively: Such investment should be accompanied by an aggressive public-private marketing strategy, utilizing the affordability and reach of digital marketing tools to spread awareness about new recreation destinations. Government authorities should also work with recreation groups to spread the word. Stakeholders interested in implementing such a policy should work with interested groups like the Outdoor Recreation Association and similar minded legislators on the state and federal level to introduce legislation that encourages such development. The success of this model in Crosby and Coos, combined with the rapid growth of the outdoor recreation industry in recent years, gives policymakers a golden opportunity to revitalize declining rural areas while saving the environment at the same time.
Accessed February 05, 2018. http:// www.bestplaces.net/economy/city/ minnesota/crosby. 2. “Outdoor Recreation Economy Report - Outdoor Industry Association ...” Outdoor Industry Association. Accessed February 5, 2018. outdoorindustry.org/ resource/2017-outdoor-recreation-economy-report 3. Kraker, Dan. “From Mining to Biking: How Minnesota’s Cuyuna Range Became an off-Road Cycling Destination.” Minnesota Public Radio. October 7, 2016. www. mprnews.org/story/2016/10/06/ how-minnesota-suyuna-range-became-a-world-class-off-road-cycling-destination. 4. Hunt, Nicholas. “How Mountain Biking Is Saving Small-Town, USA.” Outside Magazine Online. June 7, 2017. Accessed February 05, 2018. www.outsideonline.com/2184491/ how-mountain-biking-savingsmall-town-usa. 5. Ibid. 6. Bookman, Todd. “The Sound of Money: Can ATVs Reinvigorate N.H.s North ...” New Hampshire Public Radio. Accessed February 15, 2018. http://nhpr.org/post/ sound-money-can-atvs-reinvigorate-nhs-north-country-economy#stream/0
“At the urging of local mountain biking enthusiasts, the state used $700,000 to install 25 miles of professional grade singletrack, one of the highest-quality types of mountain bike trails. The trails opened in 2011, and the results have been nothing short of stunning: the town of 2,500 people over a hundred miles from the nearest large city now receives 25,000 mountain biking visitors annually, who contribute over $2 million to the local economy.”
References 1. “Crosby Minnesota Economy.” Crosby, Minnesota Economy. 23
Modern Mobility for All: A Universal Ticket for New York City’s Subway By Hannah Healy and Leopold Aschenbrenner
Introduction In June of 2017, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the New York City subway system. In the past decade, the subways have faltered, unable to support the ballooning numbers of riders while coping with drastic funding cuts that have made vital repairs and replacement impossible. At the same time, the subway has become less accessible as the city continues to sprawl across the outer boroughs, beyond the reach of the current system. It is clear that New Yorkers, dependent on the subway for access to their jobs, their schools, and their families, particularly those who cannot afford pricey taxi rides or to maintain a car in the city, are in desperate need for a solution to the MTA’s failures. New York City needs a new approach that both sustainably funds urgent modernization efforts and gives lower-income residents access to essential mobility. Background New York City’s subways transport more than 5.7 million people every day, yet much of the 1930s-era infrastructure is crumbling: New York’s on-time performance is only 65%, the lowest of any major transit system in the world.  Across the board, independent analyses have concluded that the root of this decay is chronic 24
lack of investment, as ridership has doubled over the last decade but funding has stagnated.  Republican and Democratic leaders have repeatedly cut funding and, most egregiously, redirected earmarked funds and dedicated taxes away from the subway system towards their own pet projects.  The consequences of these failures are painful: subway riders miss everything from special occasions to job opportunities and lose valuable wages, furthering the city’s struggle with economic inequality. Moreover, due to a lack of maintenance, dangerous subway derailments have accelerated, with over a dozen in recent years with hundreds of injuries. As a result of state budget cuts, an increasing amount of the subway’s funding relies on fares, currently providing a record 60% of the overall funding.  A one-time ride costs $2.75, while costs for yearly unlimited passes total $1,452.  With no reduced price fare available, these prices not only put an undue burden on low-income New Yorkers, who often rely the most heavily on public transit and have the least available funds, but also prohibits them from accessing basic mobility. According to the Community Service Society, for more than 300,000 working poor New Yorkers, especially low-income African-Americans and Latinos, transit expenses often exceed 10 percent
of their family budgets.  This can force them to forgo critical medical care or food and can prohibit them from getting to job interviews, taking a better-paying job farther from home, and accessing educational facilities or voting polls. Moreover, the New York City subway system remains one of the least accessible public transit system in the U.S., with only 24% of stations offering elevators or lifts for physically disabled passengers.  As the MTA continues to raise fares on low-income riders and scrambles to find adequate funding for desperately needed repairs, projects that would increase individual opportunity and foster economic growth, such as expanding lines across the outer boroughs and adding elevators to improve accessibility, are sidelined. Recommended Action New York should provide universal access to and sustainable funding for New York City’s public transit. New York City should provide every resident with an unlimited MetroCard that provides universal access to public transit. In return, every adult resident would pay a yearly surcharge to the City, totaling $250/year for those earning between 133%-200% of the federal poverty line, and $500/ year for those earning above 200% of the poverty line (linked to CPI). Commercial lodging services (incl.
Roosevelt Review hotels and AirBnB) would charge a $10/day surcharge from guests in exchange for unlimited public transit access. Visitors staying in private lodging and NY state commuters would pay the existing fares. The surcharge on city residents would provide approximately $3 billion in funding every year;  the surcharge on visitors in commercial lodging would provide approximately $1.5 billion a year,  with an extra $1.5 billion coming from those paying the existing fares.  Not only would these combined approx. $6 billion/year cover the current funding provided by city transit fares, but provide an extra. $1.2 billion/year in funding for infrastructure investments.  Crucially, and in contrast to Governor Cuomo’s plan for $1 billion in one-time investments,  this reform would provide a recurring stream of investment revenue to not only fix the current crisis, but to continually maintain and improve the subway to avoid a repeat of the current failure. Funding maintenance and investment through this flat surcharge, as opposed to the currently abused system of earmarked taxes, will provide necessary accountability, ensuring that collected funds are actually used for the city’s subways. Moreover, this surcharge provides consistent revenue, as opposed to widely fluctuating property taxes in the financial hub of New York City. This plan would also reduce the massive burden of fares on lower-income New Yorkers and provide them with critical mobility necessary to access economic opportunity, especially impacting historically disadvantaged communities of color. By having every New Yorker chip in a relatively small amount, the city can ensure that ev-
eryone has access to basic mobility. Finally, the subway will become more reliable and significantly cheaper than other transportation options for residents and tourists in commercial lodging, likely leading many to utilize environmentally-friendly subways over polluting ride-hailing, taxis, and cars. Conclusion This proposal could potentially be undertaken completely at a local level, with the City levying the surcharge and distributing the MetroCards independently of the state-level Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) that currently manages the subway. However, the optimal and most efficient solution would be a cooperation by the City with the New York State government. As the subway continues to deteriorate, pressure by disgruntled commuters will force lawmakers to consider innovative new proposals. Commuters will benefit from the cheaper fares and improved reliability. Progressive organizations and communities of color would welcome significantly improved access to crucial mobility. Environmental advocates would embrace this proposal for its potential to significantly decrease pollution. These varied groups’ common interests in the proposal will provide a fertile ground for a broad, grassroots base of support. Universal access to NYC’s subways funded by a simple surcharge would be a huge step forward in ensuring modern mobility and economic opportunity for all New Yorkers. References
Times. Accessed November 27, 2017. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid. 4. Fitzsimmons, Emma G. 2017 “Subway Train Derails in Brooklyn, Disrupting Morning Commute”. The New York Times. Accessed February 26, 2018. https://www.nytimes. com/2017/07/21/nyregion/subway-derailment-brooklyn.html. 5. “MTA 2017 Adopted Budget, February Financial Plan 2017-220”. 2017. Mta.info. Accessed November 27, 2017. 6. Walker, Ameena. 2017. “Brace yourselves, New York: MetroCard prices are about to go up”. Curbed NY. Accessed November 27, 2017. 7. Riders Alliance, and Community Service Society. 2016. “The Transit Affordability Crisis”. Accessed November 27, 2017. 8. Rosenberg, Eli. 2017. “New York City’s Subway System Violates Local and Federal Laws, Disability Groups Say”. The New York Times. Accessed February 04, 2018. 9. Mahler, Jonathan. 2018. “The Case for the Subway”. The New York Times. Accessed February 04, 2018. 10. “Income and Taxes, NYCdata: Number of Households - By Income Range”. 2015. Accessed November 27, 2017. http://www.baruch.cuny. edu/nycdata/income-taxes/hhold_income-numbers.htm. 11. Josephs, Leslie. 2017. “New York City needs foreign visitors because they spend four times more money than Americans”. Quartz. Accessed November 27, 2017. 12. “NYC Visitation Statistics”. 2016. Nycgo.com. Accessed November 27, 2017. 13. “MTA 2017 Adopted Budget, February Financial Plan 2017-220”. 14. Lovett, Kenneth, Sarah Gabrielli, and Larry Mcshane. 2017. “Cuomo announces $1 billion infusion of state funds to repair MTA”. NY Daily News. Accessed November 27, 2017.
1. Rosenthal, Brian M. 2017. “How Politics and Bad Decisions Starved New York’s Subways”. The New York
Real Tax Reform to Counter the Misguided Republican Tax Cuts By Brendan Moore
Introduction The structure of the U.S. tax code impacts every American’s economic decisions; affecting whether they work, how much they work, how they declare their income, what state or municipality they live in, and whether and when to get married or start a family. Rooted in the idea that the aggregation of every Americans’ decisions naturally maintains a degree of overall welfare prior to taxation, scholarly opinion generally supports non-distortive tax policy. Expanding literature has focused on taxation’s role in mitigating income and wealth inequality. While most economists agree that an ideal “tax reform” bill should rely on minimizing distortions, many experts also assert it must mitigate income and wealth inequality. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 largely fails the first objective and turns the second on its head. To pass legitimate tax reform, Congress must vote to repeal special treatment of business over labor income and push for a more progressive rate structure. Background In December 2017, President Trump signed the TCJA into law on the promise the “tax cuts will be rocket fuel… for the American economy.” However, when forty leading economists were surveyed by the University of Chicago’s IGM Economic Experts Panel, and asked to evaluate the following statement 26
: “If the US enacts a tax bill similar to those currently moving through the House and Senate (assuming no other changes in tax or spending policy), US GDP will be substantially higher a decade from now than under the status quo,” only 2% of the panel agreed, while 53% disagreed. The rest were uncertain. The TCJA likely will not substantially boost economic growth, and yet its most prominent provisions forged or exacerbated several key problems in the U.S. tax system that must be addressed by subsequent legislation. The law cuts the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and eliminates the corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Further, it reduces the taxes of pass-through businesses -- which have their income “pass through” to their owners to be taxed under the individual income tax. The headline provision of the TCJA cut the corporate tax rate with the stated intention of raising wages. Kevin Hassett, Chief of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, projects that the corporate tax rate cut would raise the wages of an average American family by $4,000 to $9,000. The White House’s argument is contingent on corporations passing on substantial savings from the cuts directly to workers. Such optimism conflicts with reliable economic research which finds workers only bear 35% of the incidence of the corporate tax. In other words, for every dollar a corporation is
taxed, only $0.35 comes out of workers’ paychecks. While workers may stand to gain some increase in wages, firm owners and landowners stand to benefit far more from the direct effects of the rate cut. Indeed, American companies have pledged 30 times the amount of money to buying back their own shares of stock than to investing in their payrolls. Supporters of the TCJA also contend workers’ wages will rise in the long-run because firms will have more money to invest, thus increasing productivity and, in turn, wages. However, a rate cut when investments can already be full expensed (as was the case before the TCJA) will have a negligible impact on a firm’s incentive to invest. According to former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, “If a company is permitted to deduct all of its investment costs and then is taxed on all of its investment profits, the tax rate has no impact at all on the investment incentive.” Thus, it appears that both the direct and indirect effects of the tax cut fail to meet their purported goal of boosting median worker wages. A second less-well known provision of the TCJA is its reduction of the taxes of pass-through businesses -- the profits and losses of which, unlike those of traditional corporations, flow directly onto the owner’s individual tax returns -- via a 20% deduction, effectively cutting the rate at which they are taxed from 39.6% to 29.6%. Although 95% of
Roosevelt Review all businesses are pass-throughs, and not all pass-through entities, such as hedge funds and prestigious law firms, should not be thought of as “small businesses.” In fact, 70% of pass-through income accrues to the top 1%, compared to twofifths of corporate dividends. By allowing for a lower marginal rate and 20% deductibility (which expires in 2027), the windfall in the TCJA for pass-through businesses will continue to play a prominent role in increasing income inequality, exacerbating disparities between the rich and the middle and working class. In addition to having first-order effects on income and wealth inequality, both of these provisions of the TCJA will surely incentivize tax evasion. To begin, the AMT is an extra tax with a low, flat rate that is imposed on corporations and individuals that permits few deductions. Companies who sought to effectively “deduct” their way to a negligible tax burden through use of accountants and tax lawyers had to pay the AMT rate if their taxable income fell below a certain point. With the AMT eliminated entirely, large companies may seek to effectively “deduct” their way to a negligible or zero tax burden by employing their corps of accountants and tax lawyers. Regarding pass-throughs, the TCJA changed the long-standing practice of taxing labor income and income accruing to LLCs, partnerships, and S-corporations at the same rate. Now, high earners face a major incentive to reclassify their wage and salary income as “business income” to get the lower pass-through rate. For example, a law firm partner who reclassified her $1 million salary as business income from the law firm would
save about $100,000 in taxes under the new law, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Despite a provision in the TCJA intended to prevent such tax avoidance, the IRS already struggles to enforce existing tax rules for high earners who seek to reclassify their wages as business income to avoid payroll taxes. Without dramatically increased funding and enforcement, high income earners will enjoy the same privileges to avoid income taxes. Recommended Action Congress should repeal the permanent measure of the elimination of the Alternative Minimum Tax for corporations and raise the 21% corporate rate to 28%, which was President Obama’s proposal to Congress in 2012 negotiations. Further, instead of letting the harmful provisions regarding pass-throughs expire naturally in 2027, Congress should restore the relevant rules that preceded the TCJA. In terms of taking action, Congress should increase funding to the IRS to ensure tax evasion does not occur under the new or old rules. Before the TCJA, some pass-through owners still had an incentive to misreport salary income as business income because doing so allows avoidance of the FICA (payroll) tax which funds Social Security and Medicare. Lastly, Congress should cap the size of businesses that can be structured as pass-throughs, given that many large, influential companies still are allowed to exploit these rules meant for truly small businesses. Such an assessment about the size of businesses can be a function of revenue, payroll, and capital stock. Conclusion Stagnating median wages and
increased inequality are trends that leaders in both parties purport to combat through their proposed tax and transfer policies. However, because only a fraction of savings from business tax cuts flow to worker wages, the TCJA is unlikely to substantially boost median earnings. Due to the large cuts for pass-through companies, the law will exacerbate income inequality in the United States. The U.S. tax code should be reformed to raise the corporate tax rate up from 21%, strike the temporary cuts for pass-through entities, and ensure pass-throughs are truly “small businesses.” Such steps are crucial in facilitating a stronger and more fair American economy for the 21st century. References
1. “Merry Christmas and 36 Other Things Trump has said about Taxes.” CNN online. November 2017. 2. “Tax Reform” University of Chicago IGM Economic Experts Panel, November 21, 2017. 3. Hassett, Kevin, Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers: “Corporate Tax Reform and Wages: Theory and Evidence.” October 2017. 4. Suarez Serrato, Juan Carlos, and Owen Zidar. “Who benefits from state corporate tax cuts? A local labor markets approach with heterogeneous firms.” American Economic Review 106, no. 9 (2016): 2582-2624. 5. Lazonick, William. “The value-extracting CEO: How executive stockbased pay undermines investment in productive capabilities.” 2016. 6. Summers, Larry. “One Last Time on Who Benefits From Corporate Tax Cuts.” Washington Post, October 2017. 7. Owen Zidar. “Capital Tax Incidence and Inequality.” Chicago Booth Working Paper. May, 2017. 8. “So Called “pass Through” Firms May Soon Get a Big Tax Cut.” The Economist. Accessed January 19, 2018.
Harms of Corporate Consolidation: Expanding Anti-Trust Legislation to Combat Predatory Pricing By Stephanie Grove Introduction The rapid expansion of platform technology– the combination of applications and retail segments serviced by one base– exposes gaps in antitrust legislation that enable predatory business strategy and unchecked expansion of big business. Some examples are Apple, Amazon, Google, etc. Preserving fair competition protects the bargaining power of laborers and consumers over wages and prices, respectively, by allowing it to act as a natural regulator. In response to current legal gaps which allow “platform providers” to rapidly expand across industries, policymakers must revise antitrust legislation to widen the applicability of predatory pricing regulations and quantify intangible advantages like brand-recognition and supply-chain relationships (the ability of large companies to negotiate more profitable contracts with their suppliers, transportation, and distributors, partly due to their scale). Innovative anti-trust legislation must prevent the use of cross-industry predatory pricing strategy, while anticipating the radiative effects of big data and supply-chain negotiation in the consolidation of market power into companies like Amazon. While predatory pricing has long been illegal, the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission must revise standards for antitrust prosecution in light of 28
multi-industry corporation expansion in recent years. These platform providers’ ability to sustain losses unfairly allows them to phase out competition. By protecting fair competition, expansion of antitrust legislation will indirectly benefit consumers and labor negotiations by regulating private power. Background Relaxed anti-trust legislation fails to prevent predatory pricing– setting the price below the cost of production to damage competition– and from engaging in cross-industry mergers that under-anticipate the anticompetitive advantages reaped. Brand recognition, big data, and supply-chain negotiating capabilities of multi-industry digital platform providers lead to unfair competative advantages. The expansion of these providers creates barriers to market entry that reduce consumer welfare, and policy has yet to respond. Such barriers to entry are manifest with falling rates of new business creation since the 1970s. In relation, each major industry’s largest 50 firms’ percent share of total industry revenue has increased since 1997. The fact that big businesses today earn returns 10 times the size of median returns, a ratio that has tripled since the 1990s, is a worrying sign of the recent consolidation of power. Consolidation
of economic power leads to that of political power, slowing innovation while diminishing labor bargaining power and consumer choice. This gap in legislation has radiative consequences due to the leveraging of market power accumulated through anti-competitive practices including negotiation with wholesalers and distributors. The Supreme Court prosecuted predatory pricing more heavily before the Reagan administration, after which economic theory popularized the notion that predatory pricing is unsustainable because damaged competition can reenter.  In light of the surge in cross-industry mergers that have recently proven this neoliberal theory wrong, formal legal standards for prosecution must address this misconception. Current antitrust standards assume sustained loss impossible, and rely on the economy to self-regulate.However in light of recent cross-industry consolidation, companies are able to engage in predatory pricing for longer, in which they sell at a loss to gain market share, resulting in more direct harm to competition, and indirect harm to consumers. Multi-industry companies now make up for sustained loss by earning high profits in other sectors. Increases in cross-industry mergers over the past 30 years corresponds with decline in worker power, widening of wealth gaps, and the
Roosevelt Review increase in consumer prices of between 15-50% without a corresponding increase in product quality, Amazon is the greatest example.  The Clayton Act partly prevents leverage and foreclosure, the theory that firms may use one of their business segments to gain market dominance in another segment, but has left major gaps that digital platform providers have utilized to maximize profits. Recommended Action Predatory price regulation, in conjunction with improved analysis of the radiative effects of market power will prevent further anti-competitive market consolidation. Antitrust legislation has underestimated multi-industry corporations’ ability to leverage brand-recognition and market power to strike supply-chain deals and consumer dedication which result in anti-competitive business advantages. The Reagan Era popular belief that predatory pricing cannot sustain in the long-run antiquates as multi-industry revenue streams enable digital platform providers to excel. Another reason that firms today are able to sustain loss longer results from their capital structure, investors today are willing to take on the risk. Single-industry companies could not sustain this sort of mechanism as competitors would likely re-enter the market after prices are raised again, and they would have no way to offset loss. Current antitrust legislation fails to account for both the cross-industry pricing mechanism, brand-loyalty, and supply-chain negotiations leveraged by these corporations. Cross-industry dominance allows companies like Amazon to sustain loss in particular segments in the
short run in order to phase out competitors and utilize the radiative effects of expanding market share mentioned above. Antitrust policy’s focus on the short term benefit for consumers in the short-run distracts from long-term consequences of anti-competitive practices and the consolidation of market share. Market consolidation policy is time-contingent as it is much easier to prevent harms to competition preemptively and let competition act as a natural regulator, rather than impose regulations on a well-established monopoly. Conclusion Due to changes in investor behavior, the rise of cross-industry platform companies, and the upward trend of consolidation, companies like Uber, Amazon, Disney and Intel gain unsurmountable market power and, as a result, political power. The FTC and DOJ must raise the protections against predatory pricing in law and in prosecution standards. The welfare of consumers and labor power are at risk.
Growth” (2016): 1-23. 4. Lina M. Khan, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox.” 5. Lee, Timothy B. “Uber Lost $2.8 Billion in 2016. Will It Ever Become Profitable?” Vox, Vox, 9 Jan. 2017, www.vox.com/new-money/2017/1/9/14194202/uber-lost22-billion-9-months. 6. Mark, Thoma, “Are Mergers Good or Bad for the Economy?” CBS News: MoneyWatch (December 29, 2016). Accessed November 27, 2107. 7. The New York Times Editorial Board, “How Mergers Damage the Economy.” The New York Times (October 31, 2015). Accessed November 21, 2017. 8. The New York Times Editorial Board, “How Mergers Damage the Economy.”
References 1. Sandeep Vaheesan, “Reconsidering Brooke Group: Predatory Pricing in Light of the Empirical Learning.” Berkeley Business Law Journal, Volume 12, Issue 1 (2015): Article 3, 82. 2. Lina M. Khan, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox.” The Yale Law Journal: Antitrust Law and Consumer Law, Volume 126, Number 3 (January 2017): 564-907. Accessed November, 2017. 3. Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors the President Obama, “Beyond Antitrust: The Role of Competition Policy in Promoting Inclusive 29
Education Historically, the Education Center has focused on projects that aim to equalize educational opportunities. Our initiatives have covered financing higher education and diversifying New York City public schools. This year, after participating in the Roosevelt Institute’s Re: Public incubator in the summer, we selected diversification of New York City public schools as our initiative topic— specifically researching the predictive validity of the specialized high school admissions exam. Towards the end of the spring semester, we pivoted to address the lack of information on Title IX in our campus, which has a particularly unique environment due to the close proximity of Barnard College and Columbia College/SEAS, which each possess their own Title IX offices. Our achievements this semester included a panel discussion and film screening of Starving the Beast, a documentary about the financialization of public higher education in America. The panel included a representative from Roosevelt national, our own Adem Senegal, and a member of the contract negotiating team of Columbia’s graduate student union. We hope to continue to contribute to the discourse on adjunct professorships and graduate student unionization on campus moving forward. -Lexie Lehmann, Center Director
Funding Women’s Education: A Step Towards Peace and Security By Lindsay Meyerson
Introduction Only 30% of women living in the rural area of Monduli in Tanzania are literate. In Kenya, 40-45% of girls will not receive a high school education. 85.1% of women in Afghanistan receive no formal, classroom education. In Pakistan, only 2.5% of the national budget is allocated to spending on education and, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Province, literacy rates for women over age 10 hover around 31%. In that same area, only 13% of students in high schools are female.  Around the world, 131 million girls remain out of school and are forcibly kept out of academic circles because of the structure of institutions and cultural norms. To the American observer, inculcated from a young age with the conviction that all individuals deserve equal rights and equal treatment regardless of gender, barring women from the classroom is an intolerable practice. Yet, the United States government does little to nothing to combat this problem. Background Each fiscal year, foreign aid shrinks to a greater and greater degree. In 2015, foreign aid accounted for 1.3% of the federal budget, which totaled 3.8 trillion dollars.  While the aggregate amount spent on foreign aid has grown, the percentage spent abroad that is earmarked for humanitarian relief has 32
declined. 35% of the already miniscule foreign aid budget is spent on military aid, which is separate from the slightly smaller allocation for non-military security assistance.  These percentage of the foreign aid budget going to military and security spending is overwhelming, and the vague descriptions of these categories dissuades too many questions as to where this already limited foreign aid budget actually goes. However it is clear that in total, less than 60% of the foreign aid budget, or less than .08% of the national budget, goes to ‘long term development’ or humanitarian relief. Education spending is then an even smaller fraction of that .08%. From a pragmatic point, increasing access to education for women is critical for economics and social development. When 10% more women attend school and develop skills, GDP of a nation goes up by 3%. This is a critical increase for low income countries that will increase the stability of their political and economic spheres in the long run. Education is also essential for public health. Women who attend school are significantly less likely to contract HIV, and the children of educated women are twice as likely to survive past infancy. Overall, women’s education reduces poverty and strengthens a nation’s social fabric. The returns that the United States
will reap through such expenditure also deserve proper consideration. First and foremost, strengthening the economies of foreign nations simultaneously strengthens their markets, creating fertile ground for U.S. products. The prospect of reliable export markets has the potential to encourage American production and thereby boost domestic markets and domestic employment, which are meaningful benefits. The still stronger argument, however, is one grounded on national security interests. In general, prosperous societies are more stable. The correlation between the rise of insurgent or terror groups and low GDP has been well established since scholarship of the 1960s. Thus, global economic development is a universal good in terms of U.S. foreign policy. General Mattis, stated before members of the U.S. Congress during a National Security Council meeting in 2013 that, “If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition.” The constructive presence of the United States abroad mitigates the need for military intervention, which, time and again, has proved far more expensive than was initially predicted and far more expensive than alternative diplomatic options. Recommended Action Foreign aid and foreign direct investment should be far greater
Roosevelt Review portions of the U.S. budget than they currently are. Women’s education is a microcosm of the much larger issue of massive cuts to foreign aid spending. However, it is a significant in that American dollars have enormous impact abroad, in a way that they cannot have at home. Aid that takes the form of either increased aid to foreign governments earmarked for the construction and staffing of schools or the improvement of federal grant programs to support not-for-profits already attacking this crisis would be enormously beneficial. Such progress would represent a next step in the battle against a myriad of plagues, which, at present, have no cure. Conclusion In 1948, the United States shipped $13 billion, $140 billion in 2017 dollars, to Europe to rebuild after World War II and to refortify the continent at the outset of the Cold War. President Truman and the United State congress, at the time, understood the importance of foreign aid as a part of diplomacy and as a part of the responsibility of America, the global powerhouse. In 1990, the aim of foreign aid was not tied to the fall of the Soviet Union, but the rise of independent and autonomous states around the world. The trend of U.S. global attention has reversed, as more and more concern is based on domestic rather than international or diplomatic efforts related to foreign aid spending. Increasing the portion of the foreign aid budget devoted to education, specifically womens’ education, would demonstrate that the United States is committed to the promotion of global gender equality and to the broader social and economic progress of the nations with whom it claims to be
References 1. “Projects,” Circle of Women, accessed February 14, 2018, http:// www.circleofwomen.org. 2. Girls’ Education and Gender Equality,” Global Partnership for Education, accessed February 17, 2018, https://www.globalpartnership.org/focus-areas/girls-education. 3. “Federal Spending: Where Does the Money Go,” National Priorities Project, accessed February 19, 2018, https://www.nationalpriorities.org/ budget-basics/federal-budget-101/ spending/. 4. James McBride, “How Does the U.S. Spend Its Foreign Aid,” Circle of Women, last modified April 11, 2017, https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/how-does-us-spend-itsforeign-aid. 5. McBride, “How Does the U.S. Spend Its Foreign Aid.” 6. Lauren Stepp, “Top 10 Reasons Why Female Education Is Important,” Borgen Project, last modified May 23, 2016, https://borgenproject.org/top-10-reasons-female-education-important/. 7. Alex Lockie, “Mattis Once Said If State Department Funding Gets Cut ‘Then I Need to Buy More Ammunition,’” Business Insider, last modified February 27, 2017, http:// www.businessinsider.com/mattisstate-department-funding-need-tobuy-more-ammunition-2017-2.
“Increasing the portion of the foreign aid budget devoted to education, specifically womens’ education, would demonstrate that the United States is committed to the promotion of global gender equality and to the broader social and economic progress of the nations with whom it claims to be friends.”
Responding to Distant Disaster: Funding the Education of Child Refugees in Cash-Strapped Connecticut School Districts By Maeve Flaherty not recognize the unique needs of these students (English as a Second Language tutoring, trauma counseling, family support, etc.) as more significant than ordinary students. It financially burdens already overwhelmed and underfunded school districts while failing to provide refugees with the assistance they require to succeed. The burden placed on Connecticut’s lowest achieving districts by refugees is compounded by a statewide educational landscape of extreme inequality. Connecticut is the second most unequal state in the nation—in 2013 the top 1% earned average incomes more than 40 times that of the bottom 99%.  That one percent lives clustered in extremely wealthy towns neighboring cities with extreme poverty. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metro area is the second most unequal metropolitan area in the United States. In a state where Background schools are heavily supported by Connecticut school districts are local property taxes, inequality required by the federal McKinbetween towns means inequality ney-Vento Homeless Act to enroll between schools. Property-poor all students within their borders. When refugee students enroll, often towns in Connecticut have less money for schools even while taxsuddenly, there is no dedicated ing residents at higher rates. A pool of money for the increased students. Their mandated education 2016 Connecticut Superior Court case, Connecticut Coalition for Jusand free lunch is funded only by the state’s primary education grant, tice in Education Funding v. Rell, ruled that the state’s school financthe Education Cost Sharing Grant, ing system is unconstitutional and which uses official enrollment required a change. That change numbers to determine state funding. This basic state funding does has yet to come, and Connecticut’s Introduction Since Hurricane Maria wrought devastation across Puerto Rico in mid-September, over 500 students fleeing the natural disaster have enrolled in Connecticut public schools. Of those students, 85% are enrolled in the state’s lowest achieving districts. The students, primarily brought to Connecticut to live with extended family already in the state, come with trauma and without resources. The districts are unable to provide the students with the academic and emotional support they need, failing the students and disrupting the schools. To support the underfunded school systems that are overwhelmingly taking in the child refugees of natural disasters, wealthy Connecticut school districts should be required to contribute to a state-wide emergency fund.
school system remains unevenly funded. Vermont’s 1997 Act 60, known as “The Equal Educational Opportunity Act”, provides a model for education spending across school districts independent of district wealth. Act 60 effectively pools all the state’s education funding, from which school districts can draw money. The level of per-pupil spending in the town determines payment into the pool, meaning that towns that spend more per-pupil have proportionally higher tax rates than those that spend less. A 2012 study of the system found that “The state has designed an equitable system. We found virtually no relationship between district fiscal capacity (measured by either district property wealth or personal income) and spending levels.” Recommended Action While enacting a state-wide shift in funding as dramatic as The Equal Educational Opportunity Act would be close to impossible in Connecticut, the act nevertheless provides an example of how pooled resources can transform school districts, or, in the case of Hurricane Maria, provide emergency funding and assistance to school districts supporting refugee children. An emergency pool funded by districts based on their per-pupil spending could be created requiring that, for example, for every
Roosevelt Review dollar spent per-pupil above the statewide average, .5 cents would be contributed to the emergency fund. From this emergency pool, school districts would draw funds based on the number of enrolled refugees or transient students at any given moment, enabling the state to direct resources to the most needed and respond to emergencies. The fund would cover all refugee students, both those fleeing natural disasters and other dangers, in all Connecticut K-12 public and charter schools. The fund would pool school district funds to provide refugee students with the education they deserve. Connecticut already has a significant network of local refugee and immigrant focused non-profit organizations, including Integrated Refugee and Immigration Services (IRIS) and the International Institute—Connecticut (ICONN), which both provide emergency aid to new families and work with the local school systems. The state has systems in place that cater to new immigrants and organizations ready to advocate for their needs. The biggest missing piece in providing refugee students with a good education is funding within the schools themselves. The money exists in the Connecticut school system—it is just poorly distributed. Legislative action is both necessary and possible to require that the burden of refugee students be shared by all schools in Connecticut, giving all students a fair chance. Conclusion An emergency education fund requires the Connecticut state legislature to intervene and pass a law mandating the fair contributions of all school districts on a per-pupil
spending basis. Legislative action should be advocated for through a dedicated lobbying campaign by pro-immigrant nonprofits and policy groups across the state, paired with a grassroots movement focused on mobilizing the residents and parents in under-performing school districts that are the most negatively affected by the influx of refugees. A dedicated campaign would lead to a legislative solution and emergency funding for schools. Refugee children need more resources, not less. Connecticut must grapple with its unconstitutional education system to provide each Connecticut student, old and new, with a fair chance to succeed.
6. Act 60. Vermont 1997. http:// www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/1998/acts/ act060.htm 7. Picus, Lawrence O., Allan Odden, William Glenn, Michael Griffith, Michael Wolkoff. “An Evaluation of Vermont’s Education Finance System.” Lawrence O. Picus and Associates, LLC. January 18, 2012. http://picusodden.com/ wp-content/uploads/2013/09/VT_ Finance_Ex_Sum._1-18-2012.pdf
References 1. Thomas, Jacqueline Rabe. “500 kids fleeing Hurricane Maria’s wrath now in CT schools.” November 03, 2017. Accessed November 17, 2017. https://ctmirror. org/2017/11/03/500-kids-fleeinghurricane-marias-wrath-now-in-ctschools/. 2. Ibid. 3. Sommeiller, Estelle, Mark Price, and Ellis Wazeter. “Income inequality in the U.S. by state, metropolitan area, and county.” Economic Policy Institute, June 16, 2016. http://www. epi.org/publication/income-inequality-in-the-us/. 4. Harris, Elizabeth A., and Kristin Hussey. “In Connecticut, a Wealth Gap Divides Neighboring Schools.” The New York Times, September 11, 2016. Accessed November 15, 2017. https://www.nytimes. com/2016/09/12/nyregion/in-connecticut-a-wealth-gap-dividesneighboring-schools.html?_r=1. 5. CCJEF vs. Rell Court Decision. 2017 CT. https://www.cga. ct.gov/2016/rpt/pdf/2016-R-0306. pdf 35
Leveling the Playing Field: How Columbia Can Stop Hurting Its Low-Income Students By Troy Brown
Introduction As the most economically diverse school in the Ivy League, Columbia University occupies a distinguished position among some of the top ranked schools in the United States.  While Columbia’s admissions policies can be praised for helping to provide lower income students with the opportunity to attend the school, Columbia’s financial aid policies deserve criticism for creating a system in which economic disparities play an outsized role in determining the academic opportunities and experiences. By holding on to an approach to paying for school that prioritizes those who come from economically privileged backgrounds, Columbia has subjected its low-income students to a form of second-class status that robs them of many advantages that should accompany attending a school like Columbia. Background Paying for school at Columbia is broken down into a number of different categories. First, the amount that each student owes may be reduced by grants--money that does not have to be repaid--that come from either state or federal governments or the institution itself. Grants issued by Columbia are awarded based on need, with half of all students receiving grants worth on average $52,073. With a cost of attendance of $74,173, this 36
means that for students receiving grants, there is still an average of $22,100 that they are expected to pay. This remaining amount is further broken down into parental and student contributions. These expected contributions are calculated based on the school’s “review of the information provided to [them] in the financial aid application”. The amount students are expected to pay themselves, called the student responsibility is broken down into the student contribution and student employment. The student contribution, currently $3200, is a “standard amount we expect students to earn for their college expenses by working over the preceding summer,” while student employment “reflects the amount students are expected to earn during the academic year.” The student contribution, unlike the parental contribution, can be reduced or eliminated through outside scholarships. The logic behind the student contribution seems reasonable on its face: there is an expectation students should have to contribute to their education through money earned over the summer, but in reality this system hurts those who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Often for students from wealthier backgrounds, the student contribution is simply be folded into the parental contribution. The parents of low income students are often not in a
financial position to take on these extra costs. Rather than serving to forge dedicated and hard-working students, the student contribution exacerbates class divides that are already sharply felt by low-income students at an “elite” Ivy League university while robbing them of extracurricular opportunities available to their economically privileged peers. Lower-income students may be forced to choose between working an unpaid internship and taking out loans to cover their unearned student contribution or foregoing the extra-curricular opportunities that their wealthier peers can freely take part in. If one of the reasons for attending Columbia is the strong alumni network that opens up job opportunities to current students, then students who have to pass up those opportunities to pay for their own education are effectively robbed of one of the school’s greatest perks. In addition to its negative impacts on low income students summer opportunities, the student contribution magnifies geographic iniquities. The lost opportunities over the summer severely affect the educational attainment of all low-income students, but the student contribution further disadvantages students who come from states with lower minimum wages. Students who are unlucky enough to come from a state with comparatively low wages
Roosevelt Review will have to put in even more effort than low income students from higher wage states. Before taxes are taken out, earning $3200 in a state with a minimum wage of $7.25 means working almost 200 hours more than one would have to in a state like New York that has a $13 minimum wage. Those in favor of keeping the student contribution often point to the fact that students can use outside scholarships to decrease or eliminate the amount that they owe. However, that argument ignores two important points. First, it is unjust to force already disadvantaged students to jump through more hoops relative to their wealthier peers. Second, that argument ignores the fact that for many students, the reality of attending Columbia means taking out loans to cover not only their expected contribution amount, but also part of their parents’ which cannot be decreased by outside scholarships. Columbia must reform their financial aid system to promote a more equal college experience. Recommended Action The problem with eliminating the student contribution is certainly not a lack of funds; from 2012 to 2016, Columbia’s endowment doubled, now sitting at over $9 Billion.  Columbia could eliminate the student contribution if they were to boost their spending on financial aid by roughly 7.2%--approximately an additional $28,377,600 for the 8868 current undergraduate students. Additionally, in order to make the school as accessible as possible, Columbia could allow outside scholarships to decrease the parental contribution rather than just the student contribution. By doing these two things, Colum-
bia would be leveling the playing field for disadvantaged students; opening up an avenue for personal and profession gain that would be accessible by all of its students. Conclusion Columbia has done a better job than peer institutions at getting low income students in the door, but now they need to better support these students once they arrive. Despite efforts to create a student body from diverse economic backgrounds, lower-income students are still disadvantaged relative to their peers when it comes to paying for school and accepting extra-curricular educational opportunities. Through a number of small but meaningful reforms to the current financial aid system, Columbia can open up more opportunities for lower-income students to learn and succeed at Columbia and in their careers that follow.
2018. https://www.wsj.com/articles/ inside-harvards-radical-plan-toreverse-a-decade-of-poor-returns-1488277804. 4. Consolidated Financial Statements. Report. The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University. November 8, 2017. Accessed February 23, 2018. http://finance. columbia.edu/files/gateway/content/reports/financials2017.pdf. 5. Headcount Enrollment by School. Report. Office of Planning and Institutional Research, Columbia University. October 31, 2017. Accessed February 23, 2018. http:// www.columbia.edu/cu/opir/abstract/opir_enrollment_history_1. htm.
References 1. “Some Colleges Have More Students From the Top 1 Percent Than the Bottom 60. Find Yours.” The New York Times. January 18, 2017. Accessed February 23, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/ interactive/2017/01/18/upshot/ some-colleges-have-more-studentsfrom-the-top-1-percent-than-thebottom-60.html. 2. “Columbia Financial Aid and Educational Financing.” Determining Eligibility | Columbia Financial Aid and Educational Financing. Accessed February 23, 2018. https:// cc-seas.financialaid.columbia.edu/ how/determine-eligibility. 3. Chung, Juliet, and Dawn Lim. “Inside Harvards Radical Plan to Reverse a Decade of Poor Returns.” The Wall Street Journal. February 28, 2017. Accessed February 23, 37
Requiring Civics Education in New York City Public Schools By Rosie Moss
Introduction According to a 2011 Harvard study, two-thirds of American students scored below proficient on a national civics assessment. When citizens do not understand how the institutions of U.S. democracy work, they are less likely to become engaged in politics. Low participation in politics, including low voter turnout, can be damaging to the strength and efficiency of a democracy. Currently, New York City public high school students need a Regents Diploma in order to graduate. This entails taking and passing the Regents exams for certain courses like Social Studies, Science, and Math. Under the Social Studies requirement, students are required to earn half a credit in “Participation in Government.” Yet, this category is only tested through the “U.S. History” Regents exam.  The New York State Board of Education should create a Regents examination on “Government and Civics” that is mandatory for graduation from public schools. This would increase knowledge about the United States’ system of democracy and lead to greater political participation. Background Though many teachers are pushing for fewer mandated tests in school, a test on basic civic knowledge is crucial to ensure that 38
students enter their adult life with the tools they need to actively participate in government. A successful democracy relies on the ability of citizens to vote and participate politically, thus allowing them to effectively express their concerns and desires. Voting is necessary for the survival and growth of any democracy because it helps ensure that the population is equally represented in government and that certain groups are not advantaged over others. Receiving a civics education increases the likelihood that students will vote and allows students to hold elected officials responsible for their actions. Only 50% of eligible voters in the age range 18-29 voted in the 2016 presidential election.  There is a direct correlation between receiving a civics education and intention to vote. For example, students who completed a year of American government or civics were 3-6 percentage points more likely to vote than peers who did not complete such a course.  Furthermore, teaching civics in public schools will help increase voter participation in low income communities. In the 2008 general election, 76.4% of U.S. citizens whose annual family incomes were $75,000 or more voted; in the same election, 51.9% of U.S. citizens whose annual family incomes were less than $20,000 voted. A course on government and civics
will give students from all socioeconomic backgrounds the tools and knowledge they need to participate in government by voting. Recommended Action A course on civics and government could be piloted in a few public schools in New York City to test whether it is effective in increasing political participation and knowledge before being implemented in all New York City public schools. The course should include history of U.S. institutions and political processes, current events, and projects that require students to learn about their governments firsthand. Throughout the course, instructors should promote the importance of participating in government, especially through voting. The New York City Board of Education should assess students through a final project that involves active political participation, such as collaboration with local policymakers to make a positive change in their communities. Data should be collected on the rates of voting among students who receive civics education compared with those who have not. Lastly, including this assessment in the already existing New York Regents testing will make it much more realistic and convenient to execute.
Roosevelt Review Conclusion To implement this solution, the best first step would be reaching out to Generation Citizen, an organization that teaches civics to New York City students through a comprehensive, uniquely designed curriculum. In the 2016-2017 school year, 75% of Generation Citizen students in New York believed that they had the resources and knowledge to actually make a difference in their communities. These statistics show that Generation Citizen’s pedagogy and approach to teaching civics are effective. It would be productive to work with Generation Citizen, as well as other similar organizations in New York City, to develop an in-depth curriculum for the course and assessment. In addition, it would be necessary to lobby the idea to school administrators, local elected officials, and the New York City Board of Education. Once the policy idea has local support, it would need to be presented to the New York State Board of Education, as Regents curriculums and tests are managed at the state level. It would also be effective to try to implement the “Government and Civics” course at a few schools in the local area, before moving to the state level.
Paves the Road to Sustained Democracy. Generation Citizen. 2017. 3. Jennifer Bachner. From Classroom to Voting Booth: The Effect of High School Civic Education on Turnout. 2010. 4. Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2008. U.S. Census Bureau. U.S. Department of Commerce. 2012. 5. Generation Citizen: New York Regional Spotlight. Generation Citizen. 2017.
“Voting is necessary for the survival and growth of any democracy because it helps ensure that the population is equally represented in government and that certain groups are not advantaged over others. Receiving a civics education increases the likelihood that students will vote and allows students to hold elected officials responsible for their actions.”
References 1. Levinson, Meira. Benefits of Civic Education: Increased Equality and Narrowed Civic Empowerment Gap. Guardian of Democracy: The Civic Mission of Schools, ed. Jonathan Gould. Philadelphia, PA: Leonore Annenberg Institute for Civics of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. 2011. 2. Higher Education Services Commission. New York State. 2017. Generation Citizen: Education 39
Health for All: Instituting Mandatory Health Education at Columbia University By Carolyn Kelly
Introduction Sexual harassment is a personal topic, and up until recently it was a private, not public, issue. It took a mass movement against sexual assault and harassment for society to begin noticing and addressing the effects of sexual misconduct and assault. The â€œMe Tooâ€? movement has brought forth stories of harassment across the working world. But assault and harassment begin before the workday and do not end at five pm. Over a third of women at Columbia report experiencing sexual assault of some kind by their final year at school. These numbers are unacceptable, and do not even include harassment, which can have serious mental health effects for women later in life. Women face constant obstacles in life and in the workforce because of sexual assault and harassment Columbia University has a responsibility to graduate conscientious adults. Ending sexual harassment and assault is not an easy task. To move towards accomplishing this goal, Columbia should implement a mandatory health education class. Providing a place for facilitated conversations about sex, consent, and health would allow these topics to be addressed responsibly. Having an open, discussion based health class at Columbia would also address the wider problem of a shortage of health focus on campus. Columbia lacks space for students 40
to talk openly and honestly about their health. Mandatory health classes would create this space and allow health issues to be addressed head on. Background A study published by SHIFT (Sexual Health Initiative to Forster Transition), a Columbia organization that collects data about sexual assault on campus, found that 36.4% of senior women at Columbia reported sexual assault. 20.5% of senior women reported penetrative assault. Of the women who experienced assault of any kind, 57.1% said they had been taken advantage of while incapacitated and 34.6% said physical force was used. Risk of assault was also higher for LGBTQ+ people. These statistics paint a picture of a campus plagued sexual violence These issues need to be addressed in health class. Sexual harassment and assault has repeatedly been linked to mental health problems. A study conducted in 1999 published in the American Journal of Public Health found that female employees who experienced sexual harassment were 50% more likely to be depressed and twice as likely to experience anxiety. Poor mental health is a problem on campus, and adequate steps have not been taken. Addressing sexual harassment head on in a health class will help reduce the associated health risks while pro-
viding space to grapple with wider mental health issues. Recommended Action Columbia University should institute a University wide wellness credit. Like a psychical education credit, each student would complete a single credit course once during their time at Columbia. The class would meet twice a week for fifty minutes each. It would be taught by upperclassmen in a model based on Peer Health Exchange, which trains college students to teach health classes to high schoolers. Having students teach classes creates open space for students to share their experiences. The curriculum will be divided into three sections; one focus on physical health, covering nutrition and first aid. The second will cover mental health with topics like stress and coping skills. The final section will cover sexual health, starting with basic anatomy, birth control, and consent. The class will discuss situations where consent is confusing, like alcohol use. Allowing time to discuss consent in full allows students to take classroom concepts into the real world. Women have been taught strategies to avoid rape, but based on the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, it seems men have not been taught what assault is. Health classes at universities are not an uncommon phenomenon. Stanford University provides
Roosevelt Review students who take three wellness classes with a wellness certificate. Classes range from sexual health to how to be happy. This fall, Dartmouth instituted a sexual violence prevention project, where students have to take part in classes and group activities surrounding sexual violence throughout their four years. Columbia currently mandates a Sexual Violence Response Training program during NSOP, but this program happens once. One time programs are significantly less effective than semester or yearlong programs. Having a mandatory class will force students to attend and participate. Criticism of college health classes fall into two categories. First, some say college health comes too late. People have already developed opinions and behaviors about health that can not be changed. But health classes in colleges target individuals as they construct their own lives for the first time. In addition, private college curriculum is not regulated by the government, unlike the curriculum at public schools which is subject to bureaucratic state legislators and often only teaches abstinence. Second, some say college students are overscheduled and will resent a health requirement. While students are overscheduled, sexual and mental health are the underpinnings of success and too important to ignore. The goal of college is to prepare people for the real world, and Columbia has failed as a university if it sends students into a hostile workforce without knowledge and skills to fight back.
sexual assault and student health. Constructive conversations about health and sexual assault need to take place on campus in a safe and educational environment. Studies show that educational efforts to combat learned behavior are effect. In 1995, 25% of teens smoked but in 2015 only 6% of teens smoked after extensive educational intervention in health classes. Through education and activism society can reverse age old trends. Amending existing curriculum requirements across four colleges will be difficult. Currently women’s activists are attempting to add feminist literature to curriculum requirements have had little success. However, these issues are not going away. Columbia must carve out a space for these newly public conversations about sexual harassment and assault to take place on campus if the next generation is to live healthy, happy lives.
“Instituting a peer led mandatory health class would allow Columbia University to better address sexual assault and student health. Constructive conversations about health and sexual assault need to take place on campus in a safe and educational environment.”
References 1. Richman, J. A., and K. M. Rospenda. “Sexual harassment and generalized workplace abuse among university employees: prevalence and mental health correlates.” American Journal of Public Health 89, no. 3 (1999): 358-63. 2. Ibid. 3. “Our Solution.” Peer Health Exchange. 4. “Wellness Education.” Stanford Health and Human Performance. 5. “Sexual Violence Prevention Project.” Dartmouth College.
Conclusion Instituting a peer led mandatory health class would allow Columbia University to better address 41
Implementing Individualized Professional Development for Teachers to Improve Student Outcomes in New York City By Nicole Felmus Introduction Currently, registered professional teachers, educational leaders, and teaching assistants with more than one year of experience and 9 college credits certified by the New York State Department of Education must clock in a minimum of 100 hours of Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) in a calendar year. CTLE hours can be completed “through activities designed to improve the teacher or leader’s pedagogical and/or leadership skills, targeted at improving student performance.” Typically, CTLE trainings are multi-hour long sessions focused on school climate, content specific pedagogy, and working with students from a diversity of backgrounds. Thus, they do not focus on the specific needs of individual teachers. CTLE does not include ongoing, personalized coaching for teachers of any level, including permanent teachers. Teachers spend approximately 30 hours inside their classrooms interacting with students every week, but never experience coaching specific to their pedagogical practice. Additionally, New York City public school teachers are assessed using a value-added system. Value-added teacher evaluations attempt to use student growth as a measurement of a teacher’s effectiveness in any given year. Using a value-added evaluation, fundamentally an economic idea, views the student 42
as the customer of a school. Since New York City uses a value-added formula to assess teacher success, teachers should receive ongoing, personalized coaching to improve student outcomes in their classrooms. Background Teachers work in silos with few observations from school professionals, including other teachers and administrators. According to NYC testing data, only 37.8% of students in grades 3-8 are proficient in math and only 40.6% of 3-8th grade students are proficient in English Language Arts. With less than 50% of students performing at grade level, changes must be made to improve student outcomes. Research shows that 30% of student achievement is impacted by teachers. This includes a combination of a teacher’s content knowledge and pedagogical skills. After receiving certification, teachers do not receive individualized training and their classroom practice is rarely observed. In New York City, teachers are paid on a value-added measure. This means that when reevaluating a teacher’s position or pay, their students’ growth is taken into account as a measure of teacher success. The fundamental principle in value-added measurement is that teachers will be more invested in their students and be better
teachers if they will be paid more for better outcomes. While this is a philosophically sound argument, it is impossible to improve in any field without coaching and practice. Recommended Action New York City should institute individualized teacher coaching in addition to the current CTLE requirements, similar to Washington, D.C. Public School system (DCPS). At DCPS, teachers participate in 90-minute weekly Learning together to Advance our Practice (LEAP) seminars. These seminars include weekly 15-minute observations of teachers by a LEAP coach, a teacher with a high effectiveness rating in their academic department (such as math or English language arts). After their observations, teachers debrief with their LEAP coach and focus on points of success, growth, and make improvements to their practice. Weekly seminars and post-observation meetings are also opportunities for teachers to plan upcoming lessons and practice their teaching skills. Teachers in Washington, D.C. have supported the change and appreciate the support provided by interactive opportunities to improve their profession. Ongoing professional development has also been shown to lead to increases in student achievement. A synthesis of nine different studies on teacher professional develop-
Roosevelt Review ment show that teacher’s with more than 49 hours of professional development can boost their students’ achievement by approximately 21%.  Not only do professional learning communities increase student achievement overall, they are also helpful in narrowing the achievement gap between white students and students from marginalized backgrounds. When implemented successfully, professional development “immerses teachers” in their content area “and provides research-based knowledge” on student learning. Conclusion To implement individualized teacher coaching in New York City, the NYC Department of Education would need to increase the amount of professional development hours built into the current school day that are required for teachers to keep their certification, specifically permanent teachers. Additionally, the NYC Department of Education would need to shift their resources to build a framework for implementation of individualized professional development, applying the Washington, D.C. model. This can be built into the current CTLE requirements for professional teachers, educational leaders, and Level II teaching assistants. While teachers may be initially adverse to this policy change, it will help the real customer of New York City public schools, its students. If coaching is included in the paid teacher work day, teachers would not need to use hours outside of school to focus on improving their practice. This policy change would help bolster teacher communities within schools and give teachers more opportunities to plan lessons.
1. “Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) Requirements.” Office of Teaching Initiatives. Accessed February 12, 2018. http://www.highered. nysed.gov/tcert/resteachers/ctle.html. 2. Ibid. 3. “Statement on the New York City Teacher Value-Added Model.” August 29, 2008. Accessed February 12, 2018. https://www.classsizematters.org/ wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Statement_on_NYC_Teacher_Value_Added_Model_Final.pdf. 4. “2017 New York State Test Results: New York City Grades 3-8.” NYC Department of Education. August 2017. Accessed February 12, 2018. 5. “Raising Student Achievement Through Professional Development.” Generation Ready. Accessed February 12, 2018. http://www.generationready. com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/PDWhite-Paper.pdf. 6. David, Jane L. “What Research Says About…Using Value-Added Measures to Evaluate Teachers.” The Key to Changing the Teaching Profession67, no. 8 (May 2010): 81-82. Accessed February 12, 2018. http://www.ascd.org/ publications/educational-leadership/ may10/vol67/num08/toc.aspx. 7. “LEAP: Teacher Professional Development.” District of Columbia Public Schools. Accessed February 12, 2018. https://dcps.dc.gov/page/leap-teacher-professional-development. 8. Ibid. 9. Ibid. 10. Ibid. 11. “LEAP Teacher Leader Interview with Libby Sanchez of Marie Reed Elementary School.” YouTube, DC Public Schools, 5 Oct. 2016, www.youtube. com/watch?v=un51VEKe8aY 12. “Raising Student Achievement Through Professional Development.” 13. Yoon, Kwang Suk, Teresa Duncan, Silvia Wen-Yu Lee, Beth Scarloss, and Kathy L. Shapley. “Reviewing the evidence on how teacher professional development affects student achievement.” Regional Education Labratory. 2007. Accessed February 12, 2018.
https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/ southwest/pdf/REL_2007033.pdf. 14. “Raising Student Achievement Through Professional Development.” 15. Ibid.
“Where do Tomatoes Come From?” The Need for Agricultural Education in New York City Public Schools By Lexie Lehmann Introduction In New York City, limited access to green space prevents students from learning about agriculture and healthy eating. As a solution, the New York City Department of Education should implement agricultural education programs in tandem with nearby community gardens, beginning with a pilot program in New York’s Upper West Side. While agricultural education has not traditionally been included in New York City’s public-school curricula, urban agricultural education is not an new concept. Historically, the discipline has been confined to rural and predominantly white communities, however there are several compelling reasons why agricultural education should be expanded to New York City’s more ethnically and socioeconomically diverse populations. Background 15% of the U.S. workforce is employed in agriculture-related careers, and more than 57,000 jobs for college graduates in the agricultural, food, and renewable resources sectors are expected to be created by 2020. As early as 2004, researchers at the Journal of Career and Technical Education began to explore the possibility of expanding agricultural education programs to urban settings. A 2014 study in the Journal of Agricultural Education found that inclusion of 44
agricultural education courses into an urban charter school “played a major role in breaking students’ stereotypes regarding agricultural careers and higher education opportunities” with a focus on “STEM related agricultural careers”. Many institutions around the country and even in the city of New York have already hopped aboard the urban agricultural train. In 2011, former limousine driver Tony Hillery founded the non-profit organization Harlem Grown to “inspire youth to lead healthier, more ambitious lives through mentorship and hands-on education in urban farming, sustainability, and nutrition”. The non-profit executes this goal by transforming vacant properties and community gardens into urban farms, with the goal off “empowering Harlem youth to improve their nutrition and wellness”. Harlem Grown currently operates four community gardens, which annually divert 8,500 pounds of food scraps through compositing and produce 2,000 pounds of produce for distribution. Similarly, New York University in New York’s Lower East side recently established their own Urban Farm Lab led in conjunction with the NYU Steinhardt Food Studies Program, demonstrating the feasibility for this program to be expanded throughout New York’s diverse metropolis. In 2010, New York City’s
“GrowNYC” program introduced a school garden initiative called “Grow to Learn”, in partnership with The Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC. The program “facilitates and promotes the creation of a sustainable school garden in each and every public school across New York City”. In 2015, GrowNYC partnered with Green Beetz, a non-profit organization with the mission to “empower elementary and middle schoolers to navigate the complex issues surrounding food in the 21st century”. During the 2017-2018 school year, Green Beetz will reach over 1,700 students in 24 schools across New York City.  These programs demonstrate extraordinary potential to meet the needs of New York City’s 1.1 million public school students. In addition to learning more about healthy eating and the importance of a diet with fruits and vegetables, urban agricultural education allows students to practice applications of math, science, and English. By working alongside local community gardens, students will also have the opportunity to practice civic engagement at the local level, as well as to take ownership of their own contributions to the neighborhood. Recommended Action The partnership between the New York City Department of Education and New York’s community gardens would begin with an opt-in pilot
Roosevelt Review program for public schools within Manhattan Community Board 7, also known as the Upper West Side.  NYCParks’s “GrowNYC” garden program manages more than 600 community gardens across its five boroughs. A significant fraction of these gardens can be found in the Upper West Side. From there, the partnership between the New York City Department of Education and the “GrowNYC” division of NYCParks could expand agricultural literacy beyond the Upper West Side into other districts in Manhattan, and finally, other New York City boroughs. The potential for impact on New York City neighborhoods is drastic; once students invest in their neighborhoods, they begin to cultivate supportive communities with sustainable potential. Many factors indicate the necessity and demand for a more comprehensive urban agricultural education program. The biggest of which is the issue of food insecurity and limited access to healthy food sources among New York City’s lower-income school districts. This contributes to a broader finding by the Food Research and Action Center that children from low-income backgrounds have a greater risk of obesity. Instituting and expanding an urban agricultural curriculum will help combat food insecurity and unhealthy eating habits by teaching its students how to grow their own produce while also providing them with healthy produce to eat. This program is extraordinarily cost-effective. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Urban Agricultural Tool Kit”, a small aquaponics facility to sustain farming on a preexisting urban community garden space could be built for only a few thousand dollars, or even less
if the construction uses salvaged and recycled materials. Beyond cost-effectiveness, this policy has the potential to reach an incredible size and scale in the city of New York. Urban agricultural education can be a significant tool for community engagement and mobilization. Urban farming provides students with the opportunity to literally invest in their communities and to cultivate an active, hospitable urban environment. In addition, there is an increasing demand for competent knowledgeable workers in agricultural, food, and natural resource industries. Urban school districts, by consequence, provide opportunities for an “increased application pool with larger populations of students from diverse ethnic backgrounds”. From an occupational preparation standpoint, several case studies of these programs have also demonstrated that the outcomes of urban agricultural education include higher rates of college enrollment and greater life expectancy. Conclusion A lot of work has already been done to advocate for urban agricultural education programs, as demonstrated by the “Grow to Learn Initiative”. That said, there has yet to be an effective coupling of public sector resources in the city’s Department of Education and private sector non-profits like Harlem Grown, Green Beetz, and the NYU Urban Farm Lab. A first step would be to form a coalition among these organizations with clearly similar groups in order to advocate for greater funding and support from the city’s Department of Education. Once a coalition is formed, research work could be done to quantify the efficacy of
these education programs, as well as the feasibility of expanding these programs more widely throughout the city. References
1. Esters, Levon T., and Blannie E. Bowen. “Factors Influencing Enrollment in an Urban Agricultural Education Program.” Journal of Career and Technical Education 21, no. 1 (September 1, 2004). 2. “USDA - NASS, Census of Agriculture - Publications - 2012 - Highlights.” Accessed November 28, 2017.3. “USDA 2015-2020 Employment Opportunities - in Food, Agriculture, Renewable Natural Resources, and the Environment.” Accessed November 28, 2017. 4. Henry, Kesha A., Brian Allen Talbert, and Pamala V. Morris. “Agricultural Education in an Urban Charter School: Perspectives and Challenges.” Journal of Agricultural Education 55, no. 3 (2014): 89–102. 5. “About.” Harlem Grown. Accessed November 28, 2017. 6. Ibid. 7. “Harlem Grown - NYC Service.” Accessed November 28, 2017. 8. “About the Farm Lab.” NYU Urban Farm Lab (blog), September 24, 2013. 9. “Grow to Learn NYC: The Citywide School Gardens Initiative | GrowNYC.” Accessed November 28, 2017. 10. “Green Beetz.” Green Beetz. Accessed November 28, 2017. 11. “About Us - New York City Department of Education.” Accessed November 28, 2017. 12. “NYC Planning | Community Profiles.” Accessed November 28, 2017. 13. “Find Your Community Garden : NYC Parks GreenThumb.” Accessed November 28, 2017. 14. “Relationship Between Poverty and Obesity.” Food Research & Action Center (blog). Accessed November 28, 2017. 15. “USDA Unveils New ‘Urban Agriculture Toolkit’ for Urban Farmers and Agri-Business Entrepreneurs | USDA.” Accessed November 28, 2017. 16. Ibid.
Energy and the Environment This year, the Energy and the Environment center focused on addressing carbon emissions produced on the Columbia campus, working to implement a green energy fund and commit the University to carbon neutrality. The policies in this journal, however, also focus on wider environmental challenges. They tackle issues such as renewable energy on campus, inequity in air pollution or tree planting in New York City, and industrial agriculture. Environmental issues are rarely confined by man-made borders or jurisdictions, so policies to address climate change or air quality must be pursued at all levels of government. With the acceleration of both global climate change and local environmental crises, the policies contained in this section are both timely and critically important. -Charles Harper, Center Director
Taking Steps Towards a Smaller Carbon Footprint: Helping Students Achieve Carbon Neutrality By Meredith Harris and Arianna Menzelos Introduction This past year Columbia University drafted its Sustainability Plan, setting goals that align with the Paris Agreement and OneNYC’s plans to reduce New York City’s emissions 80 percent by 2050.  Although more ambitious than the current pledges of the United States, which pulled out of the Paris Agreement, Columbia’s plan is not bold enough. Student involvement in sustainability efforts is crucial in order to reduce campus emissions. However, according to a poll sampling 75 individuals from all four undergraduate colleges (mostly first years), only 13 percent of Columbia students feel as though they have the power to enact on-campus environmental change. Yet 77.3 percent of respondents believe that Columbia should set emissions goals that are more ambitious than those of the Paris agreement and OneNYC, and 90.7 percent would support a university plan towards carbon neutrality, in which Columbia’s net emissions of greenhouse gases would reduce to zero. Institutions like Columbia, which have the resources to pursue net-zero emissions, must involve their students in leading the fight against climate change. Background A recent audit by the UN Environmental Programme found that even if all countries meet their 48
commitments of the Paris Climate Accords, the earth will warm 3.2°C by 2100. The United States, the largest polluter of carbon in history, no longer has a formal commitment to reduce emissions and therefore will continue to contribute to rapid global temperature increases. Columbia contributes to the countrywide carbon pollution problem. The University currently releases 105,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent each year, the equivalent of the greenhouse gas emissions of 22,484 passenger vehicles driven for one year. The university’s delay in planning for carbon neutrality sends a weak message on the urgency of the environmental crisis. Many colleges and universities throughout the United States, including American University and Cornell University, have already achieved or are on the path to reaching carbon neutrality. Columbia’s current sustainability plan incorporates little student involvement. A grant program would give students real-world experience in developing sustainable solutions such as the installation of bio-digesters, the regulation of compost, or the implementation of campus-wide LED light bulbs. Efforts towards carbon neutrality have repeatedly proven to save institutions and governments money long term, and Columbia’s $9 billion endowment should leave no room for evading climate action. Sec-
ond Nature’ Climate Action Plan, a framework leading universities to take concrete steps towards carbon emission reductions, has helped to engage students in climate activism. Colleges and universities throughout the country have committed to Second Nature’s Climate Action Plan, and 74 percent of the 91 institutions committed have saved their campuses money. Columbia has a strong student activist community that would be eager to contribute to on-campus environmental efforts. Yet only 13% of surveyed Columbia students feel as though they have the power to enact on-campus environmental change. Further, only one self-identified low-income student and two self-identified students of color from the survey of over seventy students reported believing that they have the power to enact sustainable change at Columbia. This grant program would allow students of all backgrounds to share equal voice in green developments on campus. To achieve this goal, the University should institute the Fund for University Neutrality (FUN) to establish a grant program supporting student projects that reduce the University’s carbon footprint. Recommended Action Modeled off of a program at the University of South Florida, FUN would provide an opportunity for students to propose innovative
Roosevelt Review green infrastructure and energy-saving solutions to a panel of judges who could approve of their project and grant them the capital to implement it. The process of FUN’s implementation would begin through the four undergraduate colleges, where there program would be piloted if passed through a ballot referenda process. This fund would cause a slight increase in each student’s tuition with his or her consent and would become incorporated into the next iteration of the Columbia Sustainability Plan. However, students receiving financial aid would have the tuition increase accounted for by the university in their financial aid package. With the capital generated from this measure, a self-sustaining grant program would be created and expanded upon in the future. 57 percent of Americans have reported a willingness to pay money to combat climate change. If fifty-seven percent of the Columbia students who support moving Columbia towards carbon neutrality agree to an increase in their tuition, the fund would raise approximately $86,848 with a charge of $1 per credit at 16 credits per student on average. This quantity of funding alone could fund projects on Tree Mapping, iBar Technology, or carbon offset purchases. This value most likely reflects an underestimation, as the poll projects a higher investment in sustainability among students at Columbia in comparison to members of a nationally representative survey. Currently, Columbia’s administration does not fully disclose information about the university’s energy use. This absence of transparency may prevent students from awareness that the University could striving for bolder goals.
The student body must collectively demand more transparency on this front. Once aware of the current statistics, interest in participating in a program such as FUN would spike. In past years, Columbia ran a similar grant program to encourage student sustainability efforts, but the grant--offering only $10,000 a year--no longer receives funding. A replacement for this program is necessary. Conclusion Columbia University must take steps towards carbon neutrality and heighten student involvement in sustainability initiatives. Stakeholders, namely the Barnard/Columbia Roosevelt Institute Energy and Environment committee, should begin the process of establishing a grant program by connecting with faculty and administrators involved in sustainability planning. The committee and other interested undergraduate students should first propose FUN to the student councils of each undergraduate college. Stakeholders would petition for ballot referenda in each council, which, if passed, would become part of the April election ballot. Campus publications would play a role in promoting the grant program, and rallies and events would be held to increase public support. Activist culture at Columbia is strong, and student groups have spurred administrative change in the past. For example, Columbia Divest for Climate Justice succeeded in convincing the administration to divest from thermal coal.  Various student publications including the Columbia Daily Spectator could help by publishing news and opinion pieces on FUN. If FUN passes through the student council elections, stakeholders
would present election results to the deans of the four undergraduate colleges along with a proposal for FUN. Through connections made with the Earth Institute faculty, students would gather a student-inclusive board of judges for the submissions proposed to FUN. After implementation in the undergraduate community, stakeholders would take similar actions within the graduate schools. Finally, Columbia University’s administration would sign Second Nature’s Climate Commitment to formally join the climate leadership network of higher education institutions nationwide. The grant would be incorporated into the next iteration of Columbia’s Sustainability Plan, and its establishment would require a recurring ballot referenda every two years to ensure student approval of the measure. Obstacles exist in implementing this policy. Stakeholders should expect to experience resistance from students who object to a tuition increase, but the optional nature of the charge should mitigate these concerns. Though communication with high-profile faculty and administrators may also prove challenging, with increased student awareness and persistence, stakeholders can rally support for FUN’s implementation. FUN accomplishes the goals of both enhancing student involvement in sustainability and pushing Columbia towards achieving a carbon neutral campus. FUN can help the local New York City environment and can serve as an innovative model for increasing sustainability efforts on college campuses nationwide. For references see page 90. 49
Urban Vertical Farming: Bringing Sustainability to Agriculture By Adekunle Balogun
Introduction The setting of one of the most severe contributors to the United States’ pollution is quotidian. It doesn’t bear the proverbial smoking gun that screams carbon emissive. In fact, the setting is idyllic but much more furtive in its corruption of water and other resources than it appears. The typical soybean farm a few miles outside a major city, like Omaha, Nebraska, practices unsustainable methods of crop production that do more harm than good. This is the setting for industrial farming, and it is long overdue for an update. Background The industrial agriculture process raises monocultures - large scale, single crop farms - to mass produce soybeans, lettuce, wheat, and other staples. It provides inexpensive crops for people, livestock, and biofuel production. These large scale farms with sales over $500,000, annually represented only 5% of farms in the United States while accounting for 74% of produce sales. In order to maintain that productivity, these large scale farms directly consume approximately 80% of the nation’s clean water, making them a powerful force in the quality of that water. In such dealings, industrial agriculture has increased the threat of water scarcity in the United States. By 2020, due to shortages of potable water, there 50
will be an expected 41% increase in the average cost of water which could roughly triple the number of American households (from 11.9% to 35.6%) that cannot afford water bills. As a major consumer of water, industrial agriculture has an obligation to maintaining the quality of the water it cycles. Instead, it contributes majorly to pollution of local and interstate waterways. The large monocultures cultivated by industrial farms require disproportionately large quantities of fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides to maintain crop yields that are proportional to those of small scale farms. These additives settle into soil and runoff into local bodies of water over time. Fertilizer runoff causes large algal blooms that can release toxins or deplete the oxygen stores of aquatic environments, creating“dead zones” for aquatic life and leaving local sources of water undrinkable. These bodies of water often need special treatment that cannot be provided by conventional methods of water filtration. Industrial agriculture also significantly contributes to carbon emissions. While accounting for approximately 1% of GDP, agricultural processes produce 10% of the country’s carbon emissions . Large farms use tractors and other vehicles (often non-electric) to layer fertilizers across fields. They also support the production of fertilizer which is a highly carbon
emissive process. Agriculture also contributes to U.S. transportation emissions. Because the majority of monocultures are concentrated in specific states where conditions for growth are most favorable, producers are forced to transport crops across states to serve distant cities. As harmful as industrial farming processes are, subsidies firmly support the system. In 2016, the federal government paid $13.9 billion in subsidies on crops in order to insure possible failed harvests.  While these subsidies help to provide cheap food for consumers across the country, they enable unsustainable practices that are creating health and environmental hazards for nearby communities. With the same subsidies applied to urban farming, it is possible for processes that are more environmentally conscious to produce crops at a similar price. Recommended Action Policy change must begin by removing incentives for the destructive behaviors of industrial agriculture--particularly those that can be replaced by efficient alternatives. Urban farming is a sustainable alternative to industrial agriculture. It is defined by the ability to grow crops indoors and in an urban setting. Urban farms, specifically vertical farms, provide constant exposure to light from LEDs and precise quantities of nutrients for
Roosevelt Review crops while minimizing the use of water and growing high-demand produce locally. These conditions provide crops grown indoors with higher potential for monitored and rapid growth. By reducing water consumption, minimizing cost of transportation, and potentially outputting the same weight in crops as traditional farms, vertical farms provide a reliable means of producing food for a growing U.S. population. Projections predict an estimated 9.8% increase in the population by 2030 and a 24.2% increase by 2050. Because more than 62.7% of the U.S. population is concentrated in 3.5% of the nation’s land area, urban environments offer ideal circumstances for vertical farming to succeed. Crops that grow quickly like leafy greens (lettuce, kale, mint) and tomatoes should be the focus of the shift to support vertical farms. Subsidies for monocultures that grow these crops should be cut and redistributed to vertical farms that invest at least 70% of their agricultural spending into the same crops. Accidentally taking away the income of small-scale farmers is the major concern of cutting subsidies for any kind of crop. Without subsidies, farmers have no incentive to grow certain crops, and if their only profitable crop is cut, then they are unemployed. This policy carefully avoids that scenario. Because the primary producers of lettuce, kale, mint, and tomatoes are large scale producers that grow crops in monocultures, small scale traditional farmers generally are not in those markets and therefore are not significantly affected. As for primary producers, it is easy for them to switch to crops that are hard to grow vertically. A vertical farm that is at least 70%
invested in crops like lettuce, kale, mint, and tomatoes is a more responsible investment. These urban farms are seriously invested in producing the aforementioned crops, and therefore more deserving of the subsidies. By helping these farms to start and become profitable, we can encourage them to takes risks on growing more difficult crops as technology improves in the future. It is important for the transition to urban farming to begin now and progress over time, so that more sustainable and responsible options do not suddenly leave a majority of rural farmers unprepared and unemployed. Conclusion By bringing the production of our food closer to population centers and driving down transportation costs, this policy makes healthy options for food more accessible. This policy is also reducing the carbon intensity of the U.S. agricultural industry that will need to grow in order to support an additional 75 million residents by 2050. It can only work on a national scale because monocultures are concentrated in only a few states where climate is ideal for growth. The national level is also the scale on which transportation emissions and costs are most impactful. As a result, the new subsidies for urban farming would be available across the country for producers that are growing crops within the limits of a city of at least 10,000 people References
1. Duffy, “Economies of Size in Production Agriculture.” 2. “Yale University.” Industrial Agriculture | Global Forest Atlas. Accessed February 04, 2018. 3. Mack, Elizabeth A., and Sarah
Wrase. “A Burgeoning Crisis? A Nationwide Assessment of the Geography of Water Affordability in the United States.” PLOS ONE 12, no. 1 (January 11, 2017): e0169488. 4. Lages Barbosa, Guilherme, Francisca Daiane Almeida Gadelha, Natalya Kublik, Alan Proctor, Lucas Reichelm, Emily Weissinger, Gregory M. Wohlleb, and Rolf U. Halden. “Comparison of Land, Water, and Energy Requirements of Lettuce Grown Using Hydroponic vs. Conventional Agricultural Methods.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 12, no. 6 (June 2015): 6879–91. 5. “Industrial Agriculture.” Union of Concerned Scientists. Accessed February 4, 2018. 6. “What Causes Ocean ‘Dead Zones’?” Scientific American. Accessed February 7, 2018. 7. Anderson, Donald M., Patricia M. Glibert, and Joann M. Burkholder. “Harmful Algal Blooms and Eutrophication: Nutrient Sources, Composition, and Consequences.” Estuaries 25, no. 4 (August 1, 2002): 704–26. 8. Morrison, Rosanna Mentzer, and Alex Melton. “Ag and Food Sectors and the Economy.” USDA ERS - Ag and Food Sectors and the Economy. October 18, 2017. Accessed February 04, 2018. 9. Marshall, Elizabeth. “Agriculture and Climate Change.” USDA ERS - Agriculture and Climate Change. October 14, 2016. Accessed February 04, 2018. 10. “Subsidizing Waste: How Inefficient U.S. Farm Policy Costs Taxpayers, Businesses, and Farmers Billions (2016).” Union of Concerned Scientists. Accessed February 4, 2018. 11. “U.S. Population Growth Projections 2015-2060.” Statista. Accessed February 4, 2018. 12. “U.S. Population Growth Projections 2015-2060.” Statista. Accessed February 4, 2018. 13. U.S. Census Bureau. “U.S. Cities Home to 62.7% of Population but Comprise 3.5% of Land Area.” The United States Census Bureau.
Tampaâ€™s Vulnerability: The Need for Immediate Flood Policy Implementation By Marion Gibson
Introduction The changing climate is leading to more intense storms and rising sea levels, contributing to potential climate disasters for humans. Major metropolitan areas are confronted by a pressing need to build resiliency. The nature of a city, with high population density and extensive vital economic infrastructure, increases their vulnerability to natural disasters. In August of 2017, Hurricane Harvey dumped four feet of rain on the city of Houston, resulting in the worst flooding event the country has seen. In the years before the floods, the rapid growth of Houston encouraged business-friendly public officials to neglect closely monitoring expanding real estate developments. Widespread construction in the surrounding Houston suburbs, particularly in Northern Houston, removed grasslands vital for flood drainage. The failure to update flood zones in accordance with the changing climate patterns contributed to a lack of awareness by local residents of the precariousness of their situations. Now, Tampa is facing a similar problem. As one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country, Tampa attracts thousands of newcomers each year and advances business-friendly local policies to economically incentivize further development. Situated on a vulnerable bay facing the Gulf 52
of Mexico, Tampa lacks adequate protection from potential hurricanes and flooding disasters, and it is pure luck that they have avoided such a disaster thus far. The threat is eminent, and in many ways, Tampa is more vulnerable than Houston ever was, particularly due to its location on the bay. Background According to a study published in Nature magazine, Tampa is one of the ten most vulnerable cities in the world in regards to flood and storm vulnerability. The lack of tangible policies currently being carried out by the local government to adequately adapt to the changing status quo heightens this threat. If a 500-year flood event occured in Tampa, the results would be catastrophic, with an estimated cost of $175 billion dollars in damage according to one Boston firm. More than 30% of the Tampa - St. Petersburg population is currently living in FEMA designated flood zones surpasses. A major issue that contributed to the damage from Hurricane Harvey was inaccurate flood zone designations and a general lack of information provided to Houston residents on their flood risk. A federal agency, FEMA, controls the coordination of these flood zones. Therefore, inaccurate flood zoning based on past weather patterns rather than long term climate probabilities is
a nationwide problem. However, local governments can and should be involved in the correction of local flood zones, as well as the communication to local residents of smart flood preparations and insurance needs. Tampa has focused more on local infrastructure than addressing flood zoning problems. While building flood infrastructure is necessary and helpful, when such measures do fail, the consequences can be much more devastating, as shown in the levee failure during Hurricane Katrina. Therefore, it is vital to update disaster response procedures in accordance with climate change predictions and future storm probabilities, rather than past data. This will minimize the economic and human impacts of an eventual storm. Recommended Action In order to ensure long-term resilience, Tampa needs to prioritize aggressive flood control policies to respond to both rising sea levels and potential storms. This policy does not focus on infrastructure improvements, because a focus on flood protection infrastructure fuels overreliance and increases potential risk when such edifices fail. Instead, Tampa needs to focus on accurate flood zoning management, active communication with the public, and clear disaster response plans. First of all, Tampa needs to designate a group of people within
Roosevelt Review the local government to revise the floodplain maps of the area. Although FEMA controls the designation of flood zones, local governments can and should take an active role in correcting the zoning to better reflect climate predictions and models rather than historical data. Additionally, Tampa should actively inform FEMA of ongoing large scale real estate development that reduces the land’s natural ability to drain flood zones. Secondly, Tampa should actively communicate flood risks to residents. This includes encouraging residents to buy flood insurance, even if they do not live in designated 100 year flood zones. Tampa should launch an aggressive informative campaign so that residents are aware of evacuation plans and the ways in which they can prepare for potential floods. Conclusion Tampa is a business friendly Southern city, like Houston. Large scale resiliency projects may not be politically popular there. However, flood zone updates, risk assessments, and public campaigns are relatively low cost and easy to implement. By involving local businesses in these campaigns, the city government would be more successful. The first step would be to create a commission on flood risk and assessment that examines current flood zones by hiring outside contractors that specialize in surveying. Then, a campaign on public risk education and storm preparation should be implemented. This campaign can include advertisements, commercials, and community events that partner with local nonprofits. The city government has a responsibility to its residents to provide this education
and empower individuals to take necessary precautions given the current situation. By doing so, the economic and human impacts of severe storms will be minimized. References 1. Leslie Shapiro, “What 500-year flooding could look like in Tampa Bay and four other areas,” Tampa Bay Times, August 31, 2017. 2. “Census: Tampa Bay shows Fourth highest population growth in nation,” Tampa Bay Times, March 23, 2017. 3. Stephane Hallegatte, Colin Green, Robert J. Nicholls & Jan Corfee-Morlot, “Future flood losses in major coastal cities,” Nature Climate Change volume 3, pages 802–806 (2013) doi:10.1038/nclimate1979 4. Darryl Fears, “Tampa Bay’s Coming Storm,” The Washington Post, July 28,2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/health/ environment/tampa-bay-climatechange/?utm_term=.7671dc3a1d28 5. Ibid.
“Tampa is one of the ten most vulnerable cities in the world in regards to flooding and storm damage. The lack of tangible policies currently being carried out by the local government to adequately adapt to the changing status quo heightens this threat. If a 500 year flood event occured in Tampa, the results would be catastrophic, with an estimated cost of $175 billion dollars in damage.”
Environmental Justice in New York: Increasing Air Quality in Low Income Neighborhoods By Adekunle Balogun
Introduction Public goods exist for the benefit of the communities that contribute to their maintenance. In recent years, cities across the country have begun to prioritize environmental conditions--more specifically air quality--as the vital resources that they are. Despite a recent series of harmful policy decisions at the federal level, many cities like New York City have taken local responsibility for environmental action as demonstrated by their independent commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement. With the promise of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, Mayor De Blasio has committed the city to serious action in the fight battle against pollution and global warming. This movement carries a particular urgency in our struggle for equal opportunity and social mobility given the effects of poor air quality on health and education. While the more affluent communities of New York City and cities across the country have been heralded as beacons of the shift towards sustainable urban living, the poorer residents of the city have been forgotten and left behind. Background Unfortunately, household income bears a disturbing correlation with air quality. South Bronx neighborhoods like Hunts Point, with a median household income of $21,867 in 2012, are some of New 54
Yorkâ€™s poorest communities. Here, cases of respiratory illnesses like asthma are abnormally high. In 2013, Hunts Point had the highest rate of asthma in the state--197.9 cases per thousand Medicaid recipients compared to the 61.9 cases per thousand recipients that were seen in Manhattanâ€™s wealthier Upper East Side-Lenox Hill neighborhood. This disparity is the product of a number of pollutants. High traffic of non-hybrid/electric vehicles (non-H/EV) along the three major bridges that lead into South Bronx exposes residents to significant amounts of sulfur oxides and small particulate matter (PM). Air quality in the South Bronx is also diminished by local natural gas energy plants that are responsible for emitting nitrogen oxides. These pollutants cause respiratory illnesses that range from asthma to cancer. Low-income neighborhoods lack the financial and political capital to fight industrial activity in their communities, compounding existing air quality problems. Even though the state has created tax credits to incentivize the switch to low/zero-emissions vehicles, this policy has not been accepted at a pace that demonstrates consideration for these low-income, predominantly minority neighborhoods. This is reflected by disproportionate rates of asthma in Black (6.9%) and Hispanic (8.1%) chil-
dren. Furthermore, asthma in children causes reduced academic performance. These children fall behind academically as their poor respiratory health inhibits the completion of meaningful work in school and at home. Meanwhile, their more affluent counterparts are untouched by the rising rates of asthma and the increased medical bills that are seen in communities with poor air quality. This situation rapidly expands income and opportunity inequality. Recommended Action Disproportionate air pollution in low-income neighborhoods has widened existing racial and socioeconomic divides between New York City residents. To target the poor air quality of South Bronx and communities like it across the state, New York State should implement an annual tax on all state registered non-H/EV manufactured before 2010 and after 2019, scaled inversely to the market fuel-efficiency of the vehicle. New York should use the revenue to reduce the environmental disparities between communities--the foremost being those in air quality. This action should begin with exhaust filtration upgrades to fossil fuel power plants. By levying an annual tax on nonEVs, consumers will have more to consider than the initial cost of their vehicle. These taxes would
Roosevelt Review make hybrid and electric vehicles more competitive against nonEVs in the automotive industry. Coupled with existing tax credits for EVs offered by the state and the federal government, consumers have more incentive to look for environmentally-responsible options as they replace old vehicles. The disincentive that the tax creates will go further than the current tax credit scheme. While the tax credits can incentivize a consumer to purchase an EV, they cannot prompt commuters to replace the non-EV that they already own. These taxes could incentivize commuters to make upgrades to cheaper, more environmentally conscious modes of transportation before they would normally do so. By focusing the tax on cars manufactured before 2010, the policy recognizes the difficulty of upgrading newly purchased vehicles and focuses on old models that are less fuel efficient and are approaching the end of their lifespan. Disincentivizing consumers from purchasing vehicles made after 2019 will secure long-term reductions in general vehicle emission. South Bronx--and other high-traffic communities like it--could experience up to a 25% reduction in toxic emissions, according to national estimates of emissions from transportation. Beyond reducing the annual $660 million that New York spends on hospitalization related to asthma alone, improvements in the air quality of these communities will improve academic performance among their children. This policy alleviates disparities between low-income, often minority, neighborhoods and their more affluent counterparts.
Conclusion Recognizing that low-income families are more likely to keep vehicles for longer than the national average of eight years, this tax potentially harms the citizens that it aims to serve. In order to avoid this conflict, households of one with annual incomes below $25,000 (increasing $7,700 with each additional member) should be exempt from the tax. The nature of the tax requires its implementation on a statewide scale; gradually, the emissions taxes would fund upgrades to fossil fuel power plants in low-income communities across the state. All New Yorkers benefit from reduced spending on asthma, decreased cancer rates from particulate matter, equal educational opportunities, and improvements in air quality. References 1. Bureau, US Census. “U.S. Cities Home to 62.7% of Population but Comprise 3.5% of Land Area.” The United States Census Bureau. Accessed February 4, 2018. https:// www.census.gov/newsroom/ press-releases/2015/cb15-33.html. 2. Le, Jenny, John Keefe, and Louise Ma. “Median Income | NYC Neighborhoods.” Map. Median Income | NYC Neighborhoods. Accessed November 27, 2017. https:// project.wnyc.org/median-income-nabes/. 3. New York (State). Office of the State Comptroller. The prevalence and cost of asthma in New York State. By Thomas P. DiNapoli. New York: Office of the State Comptroller, 2014. 17. 4. “Environmental Health Perspectives – Children Are Likely to Suffer Most from Our Fossil Fuel Addiction.” Accessed February 4, 2018. https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/11173/.
5. Miller, Christopher, and Carolina Rodríguez. “Health Department Launches Asthma Campaign “Your Child’s Asthma Is Always There, Even When They Seem Perfectly Fine”.” pr088-16, NYC Health, 3 Nov. 2016, www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/ about/press/pr2016/pr088-16.page. Accessed 27 Nov. 2017. 6. “Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” EPA. April 14, 2017. Accessed March 08, 2018. https:// www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions. 7. New York (State). Office of the State Comptroller. The prevalence and cost of asthma in New York State. By Thomas P. DiNapoli. New York: Office of the State Comptroller, 2014. 1. 8. Ham, John C., Jacqueline S. Zweig, and Edward L. Avol. Air Pollution and Academic Performance: Evidence from California Schools. Report. Economics, University of Maryland. College Park, MD: University of Maryland, 2009. 9. Zucker, Howard. “Department of Health.” 2017-2018 Federal Income Guidelines. Accessed March 08, 2018. https://www.health.ny.gov/ prevention/nutrition/wic/income_ guidelines.htm.
Foreign Policy While foreign policy and international affairs topics never fail to attract attention and debate, proposing policy on these issues presents many challenges. As a center, many of Foreign Policyâ€™s discussions this year focused on incredibly complex issues such as the Rohingya crisis, international security in the age of big data, and terrorism post-ISIS, which resulted in a series of panels organized by our initiative. More holistically, the Foreign Policy center focused on developing the ability to look at incredibly complex issues of global proportions and discern tangible, focused policy outcomes that identify actors in the position to make a difference. The pieces in this section are evidence of this ability in our writers who, demonstrating an ardent pursuit for actionable policy ideas, have studied a wide range of topics and found nuanced solutions in a field where answers are rarely easy or obvious. -Meher Malik, Center Director
Rethinking Military Aid: Against Funding the Abuse of Children in Foreign Detention Centers By Meher Malik
Introduction Every year, the United States provides over 100 countries with billions of dollars in military aid. This money is used to help foreign militaries strengthen national defense, provide training in conflict resolution, and purchase U.S. military equipment. Military aid comes from different sources and is directed through multiple channels, which means regulation is not as simple as one would imagine. However, it is also not so complex that the U.S. cannot withhold aid from militaries that actively detain and torture children—and yet it does not. Many of the countries that receive the most military aid from the US have been criticized for gross inhumanities against children held in detention centers, from reports of children being illegally detained and tried as terrorists, to cases of torture, sexual assault and intimidation. Financially aiding these militaries displays a tolerance for human rights abuses that cannot continue. The U.S. needs to set real restrictions on who it is willing to provide military aid to by strengthening laws that are already in place and removing loopholes that perpetuate this tolerance. Background U.S. aid to foreign militaries comes in the form of foreign military financing (FMFs), peacekeeping operations (PKO), and 58
international military education and training programs (IMETs). Foreign military financing makes up the majority of this aid, amounting to a requested $5.3 billion in the 2019 budget in comparison to roughly $291 million and $95 million in PKOs and IMETs, respectively. The proposed budget for fiscal year 2019 has Israel and Egypt receiving the largest FMF packages, of $3.3 billion and $1.3 billion respectively. This doesn’t include the $5.2 million requested for the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund, which is part of the Department of Defense’s FY2019 budget. The U.S. does to some extent regulate this aid using bills such as the Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA) of 2008. The CSPA bans the provision of military assistance to countries that recruit child soldiers and requires that the government take use of child soldiers into consideration when budgeting aid.  The law may be waived at the discretion of the president, though, a loophole which Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has recently been accused of taking advantage of in order to send military aid to Iraq, Myanmar and Afghanistan. Nevertheless, given the size of these FMF packages, the threat of being denied aid could significantly deter militaries from recruiting children. Still, recruiting child soldiers is far from the only atrocity against
children these militaries have been accused of. Between 2013 and 2017, 3,200 children have reportedly been imprisoned and tried in Egyptian military courts. Parents of ‘disappeared’ children have accused the detention centers holding the minors of torture and subjection to inhumane conditions. Additionally, the Afghanistan military has not only continued to enlist soldiers under the age of 18, but they have also been accused by Human Rights Watch (HRW) of holding children—including babies brought in with their mothers—in detention centers on “suspicion of security-related offenses”. According to interviews conducted by the UN, children in these centers are subject to torture more often than adults. HRW has also accused soldiers in Afghanistan of physically and sexually abusing children in order to elicit confessions from them. Iraqi forces have been accused of similar acts by HRW, with additional claims that the military has detained and tortured hundreds of women and children for crimes they suspect male family members of committing. These horrific cases cannot go unnoticed. In continuing to aid these military forces the U.S. makes itself complicit in these atrocities. The U.S. provides aid to improve defense and establish peace in these countries, thus claiming a moral
Roosevelt Review high ground. Ignoring these acts of gross inhumanity undermines America’s claim to moral authority. They must be denounced and actively prevented. Recommended Action In November 2017, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (Democratic-Farmer-Labour Party-Minn.) introduced the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act in Congress. With an estimated 10,000 Palestinian children detained and prosecuted in Israeli military courts since 2000--often subject to beatings, coercive interrogation and other forms of torture--the bill would ensure that “none of the funds authorized to be appropriated for assistance to Israel may be used to support the military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children”. The legislation was referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. This act moves in the right direction by preventing direct flow of aid from the U.S. to centers that detain and torture children, and yet the government must take more decisive action to actively deter these militaries. Given the exploitation of loopholes in the Child Soldiers Protection Act, one must be wary of FMFs being channeled through different organizations, only to ultimately substitute money that the military may relocate from other funds. The issue of preventing detention and abhorrent torture of minors is not a partisan one, and should be treated unilaterally and decisively. As it stands right now, the CSPA is similar to the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children
Act in that it provides loopholes and grey areas that cannot be afforded when children’s lives are at stake. Therefore, the CSPA should be expanded to additionally condemn foreign militaries by whom minors are held and tortured in detention centers and/or tried in military courts with no contact to their parents or guardians and no provision of a lawyer. This condemnation must also go further than only effecting consideration when the defense budget is being chalked out. Proof of this activity by foreign militaries must result in binding prohibition of military aid from the U.S. Conclusion Ultimately, if U.S. military aid is to truly effect long-term peace in the countries it is currently directed at, legislators must consider the future generations it is affecting. By working closely with international organizations such as Human Rights Watch, the U.S. can use its position as a primary source of military aid for several countries to make fundamental shifts in international attitudes. Implementing policy to prohibit aid to militaries that subject children to inhumane conditions and encouraging other nations to do the same can set a standard. At the very least, it can reduce complicity in gross human rights violations around the world and protect innocent children from lives scarred by torture, abuse and inane violence. References 1. United States, Congress, “USAID.” USAID, 13 Feb. 2018. www. usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1868/150_Summary_Table_FY19.pdf.
2. Gould, Joe. “Trump budget shaves $1 billion from foreign military financing.” Defense News. February 12, 2018. Accessed February 13, 2018. 3. United States of America. Department of Defense. Justification for FY 2019 Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Afghanistan Security Forces Fund (ASFF). 2018. http://comptroller.defense.gov/ Portals/45/Documents/defbudget/ fy2019/army/asff/PB19_ASFF.pdf 4. H.R. 1191, 115th Cong. (2008) (enacted). 5. Szep, Jason, and Matt Spetalnick. “U.S. diplomats accuse Tillerson of breaking child soldiers law.” Reuters. November 21, 2017. Accessed February 8, 2018. https://www. reuters.com/article/us-usa-tillerson-childsoldiers/u-s-diplomatsaccuse-tillerson-of-breaking-childsoldiers-law-idUSKBN1DL0EA. 6. Wakea, Mahmoud. “Innocence behind bars: The fate of Egypt’s minors at the mercy of criminal and military courts.” Mada Masr. December 8, 2017. Accessed February 5, 2018. https://www.madamasr.com/en/2017/12/08/feature/ politics/innocence-behind-barsthe-fate-of-egypts-minors-at-themercy-of-criminal-and-militarycourts/. 7. “Extreme Measures | Abuses against Children Detained as National Security Threats.” Human Rights Watch. June 06, 2017. Accessed February 10, 2018. https:// www.hrw.org/report/2016/07/28/ extreme-measures/abuses-against-children-detained-national-security-threats. 8. Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act, H.R. 4391, 115th Cong. (2017).
Breaking the Ice: Modernizing America’s Icebreaker Fleet By Justin Holliman
and new trade routes open, the U.S. will be forced to stand by purely due to logistical deficiencies. Yet as a Congressional Research Service report on icebreaker modernization pointed out, increasing our fleet by just a few vessels can dramatically shift the balance of power in the Arctic. Icebreakers are uniquely capable of ramming into sea ice that would sink ordinary military vessels. Once the path is opened however, traditional military vessels like aircraft carriers can deploy and reinstitute America’s military advantages. As USCG Commandant Admiral Paul Zukunft noted, “You can’t project out the status quo.” Nations like Russia with its forty and China with its three icebreakers may not be hostile now, but should anything change, the U.S. will be almost powerless to respond to a northern threat. As Arctic ice melts in an increasingly warm planet, it may seem counterintuitive to invest in ships specifically designed to smash Background through sea ice. Yet as a Task Force With only two icebreakers left in Report on Arctic Imperatives by America’s fleet, the “heavy” icethe Council on Foreign Relations breaker Polar Star and the “medidetailed, there will be sufficient ice um” icebreaker Healy, the USCG lacks the ability to check Russia as it and other dangers in the Arctic exploits the Arctic’s vast oil and gas for decades to come. The U.S. reserves. A New York Times report National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Oceanic and Atmodetailed that Russia has leveraged spheric Administration (NOAA) its fleet of nearly forty icebreakare two key environmental research ers to expand its hegemony in the arms of the federal government northern waters. As ice melts Introduction Two of America’s utmost priorities are military capability and scientific research. As such, the disintegration of the United States Coast Guard (USCG)-run icebreaker fleet, crucial ships that fulfill both roles, is a devastating blow to our national and environmental security. With Arctic ice melting as the planet warms, the U.S. lacks the capability to monitor increasing Arctic commerce and environmental protection. Unless America decides to reinvest in the ships, we will watch from the sidelines as nations like Russia continue to dominate Arctic geopolitics. With only two outdated icebreakers left in its fleet instead of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) recommended six, the Coast Guard is largely unable to patrol our Arctic territory around Alaska—leaving rescue missions and scientific research to suffer as well.
which rely upon Coast Guard icebreakers to monitor changes in sea ice levels, chart and map Alaskan seas, resupply our research stations in Antarctica, and even rescue stranded personnel. These missions are all vital to climate change research and necessitate more than the lone, lab-equipped Healy to continue. As a NSF report noted, if the Healy is rescuing someone in the Arctic, researchers at the McMurdo Station in Antarctica are stranded - forced to rely on the graces of other nations like Russia to bail them out. Recommended Action The fleet has been allowed to decay due to the unwillingness of past administrations to push for the allocation of the funds necessary to build new icebreakers. With steel hulls often two-feet thick, icebreakers require a complicated building process carried out in tandem with military advisors and environmental researchers’ specifications. Only recently has the USCG seen movement on getting a single, new heavy icebreaker for a total cost of $1 billion. It is estimated to take approximately 5 years to build. Yet, as the DHS has repeatedly specified: the U.S. Coast Guard needs approximately six icebreakers to carry out its search and rescue, environmental research, and national security missions. With the Polar Star living on
Roosevelt Review pieces cannibalized from its drydocked sister ship Polar Sea, it too faces the end of its tenure. To truly modernize the American icebreaker, Congress must allocate approximately $5 billion dollars for the design, acquisition, and outfitting of five new heavy icebreakers. This would combine the DHS request for 6 total icebreakers with the cost-saving idea of having a single model proposed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Transportation Research Board. This cost-effective approach is one already approved by Adm. Zukunft. As the USCG is already accepting design requests for its single new planned icebreaker, the process could easily be expanded to include the other four new icebreakers. Congress would need to allocate USCG funding at the start of the next fiscal year to begin the design stages of the new fleet to meet USCG specifications. The icebreaker currently in pre-design has been funded through the Navy’s acquisition budget which, unlike the USCG’s tiny budget, has the cap space to absorb the high costs. Since the USCG falls under DHS control rather than the Department of Defense, this is a method supported by Adm. Paul Zukunft to get around budget limits. It is also how the Healy was paid for in past years. The Center for American Progress noted that the Navy already intends to allocate nearly $20 billion annually for the next two decades toward new ships. This budget flexibility would ensure the joint venture can fit into current budgetary projections. Conclusion Despite the recent Congressional budgetary meltdowns, the nature
of rebuilding our icebreaker fleet is a truly bipartisan policy. Furthermore, it has been a long-ignored problem that will soon leave the U.S. without any means of patrolling Alaska and other Arctic and Antarctic interests. Republicans gain improved national security, Democrats promote environmental research, and both can save lives and create jobs by building five new icebreakers. This is a multi-year process, and waiting any longer to rebuild our fleet will leave the Coast Guard with a single ship. It is easy to forget that despite America’s military and scientific prowess, it is no longer a nation unchallenged. Our Coast Guard has long dealt with a small budget, but in order to guarantee that our nation and our planet’s interests are preserved, it needs icebreakers to live up to its motto and indeed be, always prepared. References 1. Hsu, Jeremy. 2017. “U.S. Icebreaker Fleet Is Overdue for an Upgrade.” Scientific American. June 2. Conley, Heather A. 2015. “To Build or Not to Build an Icebreaker? That is the $1 Billion Funding Question.” To Build or Not to Build an Icebreaker? That is the $1 Billion Funding Question. | Center for Strategic and International Studies. Center for Strategic & International Studies. September 1. 3. Freedburg, Sydney J. 2018. “New Icebreaker Will Have Space, Power For Weapons: Coast Guard.” Breaking Defense. January 10. 4. Davis, Julie Hirschfeld. 2015. “Obama to Call for More Icebreakers in Arctic as U.S. Seeks Foothold.” The New York Times. The New York Times. September 1. 5. O’Rourke, Ronald. 2017. “Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modern-
ization: Background and Issues for Congress.” Congressional Research Service. Congressional Research Service . November 30. https://fas. org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL34391.pdf. 6. Allen, Thad W., Todd Whitman, and Esther Brimmer. 2017. “Arctic Imperatives: Reinforcing U.S. Strategy on America’s Fourth Coast.” Council on Foreign Relations. Council on Foreign Relations. February. 7. Davis, Julie Hirschfeld. 2015. “Obama to Call for More Icebreakers in Arctic as U.S. Seeks Foothold.” The New York Times. The New York Times. September 1. 8. Augustine, Norman R. 2012. “More and Better Science in Antarctica Through Increased Logistical Effectiveness.” National Science Foundation. U.S. Antarctic Program Blue Ribbon Panel. December 12. 9. West, Richard. 2017. “Acquisition and Operation of Polar Icebreakers: Fulfilling the Nation’s Needs.” The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Transportation Research Board . July 11. 10. “Highlights of the Department of the NAVY FY 2017 Budget Table of Contents.” 2016. Assistant Secretary of the Navy. U.S. Navy. http:// www.secnav.navy.mil/fmc/fmb/ Documents/17pres/Highlights_ book.pdf. 11. “Budget-in-Brief Fiscal Year 2017.” 2016. Department of Homeland Security. Department of Homeland Security. 12. Judson, Jen. 2015. “The Icebreaker Gap.” The Agenda. Politico. September 1. 13. Polefka, Shiva. 2015. “Icebreakers: Essential Assets for a Changing Arctic.” Center for American Progress. March 5.
Accounting for the Uncounted: The National Security Imperative for Recording and Compensating Civilian Casualties in Iraq and Syria By Clara Harter Introduction The U.S. prides itself on the accuracy of its drone strike technologies and, in partnership with twelve European nations, has launched a robust airstrike campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. President Obama was a huge proponent of drone strikes asserting that they are less likely to “create enemies in the muslim world” than boots on the ground which would cause “more U.S. deaths, more Black Hawks down, more confrontations with local populations.” President Trump is now escalating the use of drones and making efforts to relax airstrike regulation by reducing the burden of evidence needed for approval of strikes and shifting this approval away from the Oval Office directly onto military leaders. However, for airstrikes to result in less radicalization and more local good will towards America, we must conduct these strikes with accuracy and take accountability for their consequences. Unfortunately, we are currently doing neither of these things in Iraq and Syria. A private investigation by the New York Times found that the rate of civilian casualties from drone strikes was one in five, a figure thirty-one times higher than that formally reported by the military.  Additionally, despite the established precedent of offering condolence payments to relatives of victims, there is no system in place 62
for these people to report casualties and therefore no compensation has been received. These facts reveal a shocking flaw in military accuracy, transparency, and recording mechanisms and consequently a serious national security issue. Background The U.S. military has confirmed only 732 civilian casualties as a result of airstrikes from August 8th, 2014 to December 31st, 2017.  Meanwhile, Airwars, a nonprofit organization working to track airstrikes and assess creditable civilian casualties, estimates that the absolute minimum number is 6,047, based off of confirmed cases, while the true number is likely several thousand deaths higher. Other organizations that are performing their own investigations, have demonstrated how little the military monitors sites after strikes. For example, evidence gathered by a team of Buzzfeed reporters from seven strike sites forced the military to claim responsibility for thirty-six previously ignored civilian casualties. As of November 2017, the military had not offered a single compensation payment for civilian casualties. This is a national security issue as one of the largest challenges in Middle Eastern intervention is breaking the cycle of radicalization by deconstructing the view of America as an evil occupying force.
Al-Qaeda and ISIS consistently rely on this image to recruit and radicalize locals. While on one hand the lack of a physical presence in Iraq and Syria appears less imperialistic and invasive, there is also no one physically engaging with locals and providing a counter narrative to extremists’ anti-American propaganda. This makes it essential for the U.S to acknowledge responsibility for its actions and make clear efforts to address the consequences. Recommended Action In order to both improve drone warfare strategy and mitigate the encouragement of more radicalisation, the US should establish a system for locals to submit proof of civilian casualties and a correlating fund to give them symbolic compensation. In both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars there was a proven strategic benefit of making condolence payments to foster local goodwill. The US offered up to $2500 dollars per person as an “expression of sympathy for death, injury, or property damage caused by coalition or U.S. forces generally during combat”. These payments are intended to have symbolic value and according to Craig A. Whiteside, an officer who issued these payments in Iraq, they “were done smartly”, “were done out of a sense of fairness”, and “generated goodwill.” Organizations such as Airwars already have large net-
Roosevelt Review works in place to survey strike sites and a considerable log of evidence, which the military could easily utilize. By creating an outlet for registering and compensating casualties the military can improve techniques for verifying civilians casualties, gain resources for analyzing drone strike failures, and reduce local ill-will and the cycle of extremism. Conclusion From a U.S standpoint, implementing this policy would be startlingly easy as congress has already approved and allocated funds for such a purpose. Section 8111 of the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act allows commanders to provide payments for “property damage, personal injury, or a death that is incident to U.S. combat operations in a foreign country.” As this is an issue of national security, establishing a fund for compensating victims of US drone strikes can effectively be tackled with a bipartisan push. The Marla Ruzicka Iraqi Victim War Fund can be used as a potential model, which I would recommend extending so that US payments legally imply a formal acknowledgement of guilt on the behalf of the military. Another aspect that is important to consider, is shifting coalition policy so that individual nations each acknowledge responsibility for civilian casualties. Currently only the US publishes its civilian casualties, meaning that locals cannot tell who is responsible for civilian deaths from say a French or British airstrike. In order to reach an ultimate goal of military transparency and prevent civilians from incorrectly assuming America is responsible, it is advisable to place pressure on other coalition leaders
to acknowledge their role in civilian casualties. In turn, this would allow the US civilization compensation fund to function more effectively. Strategically, the best way to do this would be through evidence of foreign intervention in the Middle East fueling cycles of radicalization. References 1. Obama, Barack. “Obama’s Speech on Drone Policy.” The New York Times. May 23, 2013. Accessed February 23, 2018. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/24/us/politics/ transcript-of-obamas-speech-ondrone-policy.html. 2. Zenko, Micah. “Trump Could Take Obama’s Drone War Further Into the Shadows.” Foreign Policy. February 02, 2017. Accessed February 24, 2018. http://foreignpolicy. com/2017/02/02/the-buck-doesntstop-with-trump-on-counterterrorism/. 3. Khan, Azmat, and Anand Gopal. “The Uncounted.” The New York Times. November 16, 2017. Accessed February 23, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/ interactive/2017/11/16/magazine/uncounted-civilian-casualties-iraq-airstrikes.html. 4. Ibid. 5. “Civilian and ‘friendly fire’ casualties.” Airwars. January 2018. Accessed February 24, 2018. https://airwars.org/civilian-casualty-claims/. 6. Ibid. 7. Giglio, Mike. “BuzzFeed News Investigation Leads To US Admission It Caused Civilian Deaths in Mosul.” BuzzFeed News. November 2, 2017. Accessed February 23, 2018. https://www.buzzfeed.com/ mikegiglio/the-us-isnt-payingfor-civilian-deaths-in-iraq-evenwhen-it?utm_term=.oxddKAqYm#. md6Mlwgaq.
8. Giglio, Mike. “BuzzFeed News Investigation Leads To US Admission It Caused Civilian Deaths in Mosul.” 9. Giglio, Mike. “BuzzFeed News Investigation Leads To US Admission It Caused Civilian Deaths in Mosul.” 10. “Our Methodology.” Airwars. 2017. Accessed February 24, 2018. https://airwars.org/methodology-new-draft/. 11. U.S. Congress. Committee on Appropriations. Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016: committee print of the Committee on Appropriations, U.S. House of Representatives on H.R. 2029. 114th Cong. Cong. 12. Audit of USAID/Iraq’s Management of the Marla Ruzicka Iraqi War Victims Fund. Report no. E-267-08-002-P. U.S Agency for International Development, Office of Inspector General. April 3, 2008. 13. Zenko, Micah. “Trump Could Take Obama’s Drone War Further Into the Shadows.” Foreign Policy. February 02, 2017. Accessed February 24, 2018. http://foreignpolicy. com/2017/02/02/the-buck-doesntstop-with-trump-on-counterterrorism/.
Successfully Maneuvering The United States Into an Age of Private Spaceflight Companies By Ben Kaplan
Introduction Space: The final frontier. For nearly a century, space has drawn out efforts from countries to push beyond Earth to seek resources, defense, and the science fiction-esque prestige of discovering the extra-terrestrial. Yet, recently space exploration has been shifting more and more toward a private model. This shift comes as little surprise, following a pattern of slashed funding for government space programs, increased demand for extra-terrestrial solutions, and an extension of Mooreâ€™s Law toward space-related technologies. Each of these factors has pushed both the research of space solutions and the execution extraterrestrial missions away from the public eye and into the fast-paced and profit-driven private sector. A drop in government oversight on space programs allows for discovery and progress at speeds that appear breakneck when compared to present day NASA and its procedures aimed at risk reduction. Yet, while the private sector may focus on progress and exploration no matter the risk involved, there are human and diplomatic factors that must be considered when pursuing the uncharted and loosely regulated domain beyond Earthâ€™s atmosphere. The unique strengths of both private and public space programs must be utilized to create the strongest combination for space exploration as a whole. 64
Background In recent years the commercial space industry has grown at an annual rate consistently higher than that of comparable infrastructure and communications industries. The commercial space industry was last evaluated in 2015 as worth $323 billion and growing. Of this $323 billion, the United States government made up 14%; NASAâ€™s total budget currently sits at 19.8 billion dollars. Other countries made up a total of 10%. The commercial space field is growing at the rate of any booming industry, and yet it is regulated by decades old treaties and regulations, which were ambiguous at the time and are all but irrelevant within the modern world of space exploration. Currently, the private space industry relies greatly on contracts from public space programs and the U.S. military. The relationship between private companies bidding on government contracts is by no means a new practice. Government agencies, from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Drug Enforcement Agency, have been using the natural competition of the free market to ensure they receive the services they need at the lowest viable cost. This is no different for the space industry. In recent years, the young company SpaceX has beaten out aerospace giants such as Boeing and Orbit-
al ATK for billions of dollars in government contracts based on its lower cost of operations. These contracts have allowed SpaceX to grow from a small company, to a fully fledged competitor on the international stage. Additionally, as a private company working for the government, SpaceX is free to take on risks and aptly named moonshot projects, which would be impossible for a government space agency attempt. Currently, NASA has begun to head down what could be a fruitless path, trying to compete directly with private space companies. However, NASA must realize that today space exploration is not and should not be pursued only by the wealthiest governments. Recommended Action NASA must realize that it cannot compete with private space companies in the areas which these companies excel. By their very nature, private companies can grow faster, risk more, and act with greater efficiency, than a government agency can. Yet, they can also quickly fail, go bankrupt, and disappear completely, things no government agency would undergo within a under a similar period of time. NASA is here to stay and is backed by the strongest and wealthiest government in the world. That longevity and stability places it in a situation totally unique from a private company. NASA must leverage the
Roosevelt Review growth of private space companies to contract out many of its previous hardware projects. This will not only free up personnel within the agency, but it will also be far more cost-effective and promote the fast-paced and successful research at which the private sector excels. These savings can be utilized by NASA to greatly bolster the fields in which it excels over the private sector. These areas are twofold: fostering international cooperation and research. Fostering international cooperation must become a core tenant of NASA’s mission as the world moves into the age of private space flight. NASA’s unilateral backing from the U.S. government places it in the strongest possible situation for these negotiations. The second priority, research, is one of NASA’s core duties, and it simply cannot be fully pursued by private companies as they are profit motivated. NASA must place more focus on research that serves the common good but does not have immediate profitability. A new focus on the promotion of international cooperation and research, enabled by the unloading of physical launches and other similar tasks to private companies, will allow NASA and the United States to continue to lead the world in the great race, even as the sector evolves. Conclusion To move NASA forward into the world of private space companies we must see an initial action from Robert M. Lightfoot, the current administrator of NASA. He must begin by rewriting NASA’s Strategic Plan for 2019. This new plan must prioritize the tasks discussed above. Additionally, much of Congress’s funding for NASA is directly al-
located to specific projects. Following Administrator Lightfoot’s new Strategic Plan, Congress must address the specific project funding allocations which could be in conflict with NASA’s new strategy. This process could begin as early as next year. However, it will likely take decades for it to fully come to fruition as already funded projects would need to run their course before their funding can be reallocated. References
1. Berger, Eric. “Air Force Budget Reveals How Much SpaceX Undercuts Launch Prices.” Ars Technica. June 15, 2017. Accessed April 06, 2018. https:// arstechnica.com/science/2017/06/ air-force-budget-reveals-how-muchspacex-undercuts-launch-prices/. 2.Canis, Bill. “Commercial Space Industry Launches a New Phase.” Congressional Research Service. https://fas. org/sgp/crs/space/R44708.pdf 3. “Contact CIA.” Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed April 06, 2018. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2056. html. 4. Dillow, Clay. “Does Elon Musk Have One More Trick up His Sleeve?” CNBC. May 13, 2015. Accessed April 06, 2018. 5. “Does the Future of Space Travel Lie with NASA or Space Entrepreneurs?” The Washington Post. Accessed April 06, 2018. http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2013/11/23/ which-way-to-space/?utm_term=.94e299ba2030. 6. Dunbar, Brian. “NASA Organization Structure.” NASA. January 08, 2015. Accessed April 06, 2018. 7. Evans, Jason. “The Decline of NASA and the Rise of Private Space Exploration.” Accessed April 06, 2018. 8.Hampson, Joshua “The Future of Space Commercialization.” Niskanen Center. https://science.house.gov/sites/ republicans.science.house.gov/files/ documents/TheFutureofSpaceCommercializationFinal.pdf
9. Hedman, Eric R., Eric R. Hedman, and Logic Design Corporation. “Is NASA Afraid to Take Risks?” The Space Review: Is NASA Afraid to Take Risks? Accessed April 06, 2018. 10. Markoff, John. “Smaller, Faster, Cheaper, Over: The Future of Computer Chips.” The New York Times. September 26, 2015. Accessed April 06, 2018. https://www.nytimes. com/2015/09/27/technology/smaller-faster-cheaper-over-the-future-ofcomputer-chips.html. 11. Masunaga, Samantha. “Don’t Expect a Space Race between SpaceX and NASA. They Need Each Other.” Los Angeles Times. March 05, 2017. Accessed April 06, 2018. 12. Masunaga, Samantha. “Don’t Expect a Space Race between SpaceX and NASA. They Need Each Other.” Los Angeles Times. March 05, 2017. Accessed April 06, 2018. http://www. latimes.com/business/la-fi-spacex-nasa-20170301-story.html. 13. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. “2014 Strategic Plan” 14. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. “FY 2017 Agency Financial Report.” 15. Niiler, Eric. “NASA’s Risk-taking May Be Getting Scary Again.” Wired. June 03, 2017. Accessed April 06, 2018. 16. Singh, Sarwant. “The Space Industry: Seriously Congested, Contested And Poised For Growth.” Forbes. July 21, 2014. Accessed April 06, 2018.
Healthcare This year the Healthcare center addressed many urgent questions on healthcare policies and practices as well as ethical concerns in the biotechnology industry. The center lead discussion meetings with the general body on CRISPR gene editing technology and on the opioid crisis in America. Additionally, the center hosted a debate between two doctors and professors on physician assisted death. As we grappled with all of these complex topics, we focused on finding policy solutions that could be workable at the local and university levels as well as in the state and federal arenas. Like our centerâ€™s slate of events this year, the following policy pieces reflect the broad and diverse array of topics being debated in healthcare today with pieces exploring the primary care gap, mental health in young adults, and much more. -Center Director Sarah Lubin
Closing the Primary Care Gap: Expanding California’s Scope-Of-Practice Regulations for Nurse Practitioners to Meet Patient Demand By Sinead Hunt Introduction In 1919, Sir Bertrand Dawson was commissioned by the UK’s new Ministry of Health to lead an investigation into the systematized delivery of healthcare services in England. His report, entitled the “Dawson Report,” articulated a simple and yet profound conviction that “the best means of maintaining health and curing disease should be made available to all citizens.” In light of his findings, access to primary care became the fundamental cornerstone of healthcare in the UK. The United States, however, never developed the same emphasis on primary care as its English counterpart. Following World War II, the GI Bill encouraged the specialization of physicians who had been general practitioners before the war. This alarming trend of specialization has continued to this day, such that the United States has a surplus of specialists but a dearth of primary care physicians. Numerous studies have found that when you control for all possible lurking variables, including income, education and unemployment, an area’s primary care physician to population ratio is strongly associated with lower rates of all-cause mortality, infant mortality and low birth weight. Primary care has proven to be the most efficacious and cost-effective strategy for improving health outcomes and reducing health inequities, and yet 68
the U.S. continues to underestimate its value and importance. Background With a population of over 6.7 million currently residing in a designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), California’s physician shortage is among the worst in the nation. Current mid-range projections reveal that California would need approximately 4,100 additional primary care providers in 2030 to meet demand. On the demand side, high rates of projected population growth among the “Baby Boomer” demographic will place an inordinate strain on the state’s already overtaxed primary care delivery systems. While the demand for primary care services in California continues to surge, California’s primary care workforce is projected to further decline. Current statistics reveal that 44% of California’s current practicing family physicians are nearing retirement (age 55 years or older). Among the younger generation of physicians, interest in primary care medicine is tepid, as comparatively low wages dissuade many recent medical school graduates from pursuing preventative medicine. Given that primary care physicians earn significantly less than their specialist counterparts ($195,000 annually as compared to $284,000 annually), it is no surprise that a mere one-fourth of
medical school graduates opt to pursue family medicine. Because the number of new primary care MDs just completing residency programs is insufficient to replace current physicians who are predicted to retire, California’s supply of primary care MDs is projected to decrease between 8% and 25% by 2030, thereby further exacerbating the already dismal primary care gap. Recommended Action Common policy recommendations involve improving retention of younger physicians, increasing primary care reimbursement and improving work-life balance for primary care physicians. These policy recommendations reflect a culture which uses the terms “primary care gap” and “physician shortage” interchangeably, implying that the former cannot be resolved without redressing the latter. However, given the scope of California’s current and projected primary care gap, the recruitment and retention of additional primary care physicians is neither financially viable nor practically feasible. Given the market and cultural forces that dissuade many recent medical school graduates from pursuing primary care, it is unlikely that such a recruitment effort would be achievable. Instead, California should redress its scope-of-practice regulations to allow nurse prac-
Roosevelt Review titioners (NPs) full prescriptive and diagnostic authority, thereby ensuring that primary care providers are able to meet growing patient demand. California’s current nurse practice laws are prohibitively stringent, preventing NPs from using their extensive training and expertise to the fullest extent. Under current state law, California NPs are permitted to diagnose ailments and provide basic primary care services, but are prohibited from prescribing drugs or ordering tests without a physician’s approval. This present policy of “team-based care led by a physician” protects physicians’ interests by creating artificial demand for their services, but hurts the healthcare system overall by restricting the supply of primary care providers (PCPs). Rather, California should join 23 other states in granting NPs full practice authority, thereby redressing their acute and growing need for primary care practitioners. Conclusion Previously, State Senator Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) has advocated for legislation to permit nurse practitioners to provide primary care independent of a physician’s supervision. In 2015, he introduced SB 323, a bill which passed in the senate but was shot down after a vote in the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions.  This unfortunate loss can be largely attributed to lobbying efforts exerted on behalf of the California Medical Association (CMA), a professional organization representing over 43,000 physicians.  The CMA argued that SB 323 would have compromised patient care, thereby placing Californians “at risk.” It is ironic that the CMA should be so vocally con-
cerned over the quality of primary care provided by NPs, considering that 36% of California MDs refuse to see Medicaid recipients due to relatively low reimbursement rates.  Sen. Hernandez has responded that the California Medical Association “doesn’t want anyone infringing on their business,” suggesting that the professional organization is more concerned with protecting the pecuniary interests of their members than redressing the primary care gap. The CMA has spent an exorbitant amount of money combatting SB 323. Since Sen. Hernandez first introduced his first NP bill in 2013, the CMA has spent $9 million dollars on lobbying, as compared to the California Association of Nurse Practitioners, which has spent less than $500,000 on lobbying in the same period. However, in September of 2017, Jeff Stone, another California State Senator, passed SB 554, which allows NPs to prescribe buprenorphine to combat California’s growing opioid epidemic. SB 554 may provide the California Association of Nurse Practitioners with a powerful legal precedent to petition for full practice authority in the future. California’s current primary care gap is staggering and only projected to grow in future years. If legislative action is not taken to redress the curtailed practice authority of Nurse Practitioners, millions of Californians will be left without access to essential healthcare services. References
1. The Future Provision of Medical and Allied Services. 1: An Interim Report of the Consultative Council for England, The Lancet, Volume 195, Issue 5048, 1920, Pages 1183-1187, ISSN 0140-6736, 2. STARFIELD, B., SHI, L. and MACINKO, J. (2005), Contribution of Primary Care to Health Systems and Health. Milbank Quarterly, 83: 457–502. 3. Ibid. 4. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation “Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs)”
31 December 2016 5. Spetz, Joanne, Coffman, Janet, Geyn, Igor. California’s Primary Care Workforce: Forecasted Supply, Demand and Pipeline of Trainees, 2016-2030. San Francisco: Healthcare Center at UCSF, 2017. Accessed January 23rd, 2018. 6. Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) “The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections from 2014 to 2025) 5 April 2016 7. Coffman, Janet, Geyn, Igor, Himmerick, Katherine. California’s Primary Care Workforce: Current Supply, Characteristics, and Pipeline of Trainees. San Francisco: Healthcare Center at UCSF, 2017. Accessed January 23rd, 2018. h 8. Medscape “2015 Physician Compensation Report” 21 April 2015 9. Chen, Candice, Stephen Petterson, Robert L. Phillips, Fitzhugh Mullan, Andrew Bazemore, and Sarah D. O’Donnell. “Toward Graduate Medical Education (GME) Accountability.” Academic Medicine 88, no. 9 (2013): 1267-280. 10. Spetz, Joanne, Coffman, Janet, Geyn, Igor. California’s Primary Care Workforce: Forecasted Supply, Demand and Pipeline of Trainees, 2016-2030. San Francisco: Healthcare Center at UCSF, 2017. Accessed January 23rd, 2018. 11. Ibid. 12. Bodenheimer, T. S., and M. D. Smith. “Primary Care: Proposed Solutions To The Physician Shortage Without Training More Physicians.” Health Affairs32, no. 11 (2013): 1881-886. 13. Bendix, Jeff. “Medical schools struggle to close primary care gap.” Medical Economics. March 25, 2017. Accessed January 28, 2018. news/medicalschools-struggle-close-primary-care-gap. 14. Bartolone, Pauline. “California Nurse Practitioners Lose Battle For Independent Practice, Again.” California Healthline. January 25, 2017. Accessed January 28, 2018. 15. California Medical Association. “Bill allowing nurse practitioners to practice outside of their training dies.” News release, August 30, 2013. Chant.org. Accessed January 28, 2018. 16. “Home.” AANP - State Practice By Type. Accessed January 28, 2018. 17. Stephen J. Dubner Produced by Greg Rosalsky. “Nurses to the Rescue!” Freakonomics. November 15, 2017. Accessed January 28, 2018. 18. Radio, Southern California Public. “Assembly panel kills nurse practitioners autonomy bill (updated).” Southern California Public Radio. September 02, 2016. Accessed January 28, 2018. 19. Radio, Southern California Public. “State Senate takes up bill to expand nurse practitioners’ authority.” Southern California Public Radio. July 16, 2015. Accessed January 28, 2018. 20. California Medical Association. “California Medical Association responds to vote on Senate Bill 323.” News release, June 30, 2015. Cmanet.org. Accessed January 28, 2018. 21. Coffman, Janet, Margaret Fix. “Physician Participation in Medi-Cal: Is Supply Meeting Demand?” California Health Care Foundation. June 28, 2017. Accessed February 11, 2018. 22. Lazarus, David . “ California doesn’t have enough doctors, and this bad law isn’t helping.” LA Times, October 10, 2017. Accessed February 11, 2018. 23. “Senator Stone’s bill, signed by Gov. Brown, expands authority to treat Opioid Addiction.” Jeff Stone. September 12, 2017. Accessed February 11, 2018.
Lowering Barriers to Public Access of Epinephrine Auto-Injectors By Cassidy Gabriel
Introduction Currently, an undue burden falls on the sufferers of anaphylaxis to lead the charge on their own emergency care in the case of reaction. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening and severe allergic reaction triggered by an antigen: a substance that the body mistakenly finds to be offensive. These patients are the sole carriers of the life-saving devices required in anaphylactic emergencies, and they are expected to know how and when to use them. However, when other emergencies strike, protocol is a collective, publicly-understood responsibility. If someone is choking, people respond with the Heimlich maneuver. When someone is suffering cardiac arrest in a public space, the widely-understood response is to respond by treating them with an automated external defibrillator (AED). Even for non-health emergencies there are publicly understood protocols. For example, during a fire everyone is taught to reach for the fire extinguisher; stop, drop, and roll; and call 911. There is a standard of urgency and widespread protocol comprehension that mobilizes witnesses to respond to most emergencies. Anaphylactic reactions demand a reconceptualization as one such emergency in order to improve the quality of life of the 1 in 50 Americans susceptible to this severe type of reaction. 70
Background In November of 2017, Elijah Silvera, a three-year-old student at the Seventh Avenue Center For Family Services in Harlem suffered an allergic reaction. His anaphylactic milk allergy was “documented” and “written down”, according to the school. However, an adult (allegedly aware of the aforementioned documentation) gave him a grilled cheese for lunch. Rather than employing the cornerstone of emergency response and calling 911, the school called Silvera’s mother. Silvera’s mother came to the school, picked up her son, and brought him to the hospital where he died. 1 in 13 American children are, like Silvera, at risk for anaphylactic reaction. An anaphylactic reaction is a matter of life and death within minutes for sufferers; there is no time to reference documentation or wait for a parent to take their child to the hospital. There is an immense need for widespread device access and emergency protocol training for anaphylaxis that is efficient and accessible. These duel efforts could reduce the number of preventable deaths that are currently the result of insufficient existing protocols. Anaphylactic reaction emergency protocol is currently inhibited by phenomena like the bystander effect, which occurs when in emergency no particular person assumes the authority that is necessary to
lead response, assuming that someone else among them will do so. Publicly accessible auto-injectors and widespread auto-injector training is needed to reduce bystander obsolescence and the perceived need for specialized medical attention when anaphylactic emergencies occur in public spaces. Legislation in 50 states permits “stock epinephrine” or undesignated auto-injectors to be kept in K-12 schools. Congress amended its Public Health Service Act in 2013 with the The School Access to Epinephrine Act, which allocates grants to states with this protocol, but the incentive has done little to standardize protocol, with only 13 states requiring stock epinephrine. This legislation also does extremely little to combat the “out of sight, out of mind” paradigm that inhibits attempts to increase anaphylaxis awareness. Often, the stock epinephrine is kept only in the nurse’s office, and its administration is restricted to nurses and healthcare professionals. Recommended Action Auto-injectors need to be available in high-traffic, public spaces like the hallways of primary and secondary schools, workplaces, federal buildings, restaurants, commercial centers, university dining halls and dormitories, museums, and ambulances--spaces typically stocked with AEDs, fire extinguish-
Roosevelt Review ers, and informative emergency plans for CPR administration. Simple, easily-accessible, and de-stigmatized emergency protocol mobilizes and empowers bystanders and makes saving lives second-nature. Efforts to improve accessibility of epinephrine auto-injectors can be enhanced by additionally requiring auto-injector trainings during school and workplace orientations and offering training courses comparable to CPR courses, which are becoming an increasingly-required qualification. In the U.S., which has one of the highest rates of anaphylaxis in the world, education, training, and public access to auto-injectors have the combined potential to increase cognizance of anaphylactic risk. This awareness can increase knowledge of symptoms among the public, mobilize and empower bystanders to save lives in critical situations, and provide much-needed peace-of-mind to the millions of Americans dealing with this condition. Conclusion Anaphylaxis is not a condition that one treats, regularly and personally, but an emergency that demands immediate response. If a sufferer goes into anaphylactic shock, two of the most characteristic symptoms include throat closure and loss of consciousness, which can prohibit the sufferer from indicating where their auto-injector might be located. Anaphylactic individuals, if in need of their life-saving medication, are not equipped to be in charge of its administration. A bystander must be empowered with the ability to have an epinephrine auto-injector as readily available as an AED or fire extinguisher or any other pub-
lic, encased emergency response equipment. Public-access epinephrine auto-injectors serve sufferers incapacitated by reactions, experiencing unexpected reactions, or experiencing first-time anaphylaxis by empowering healthy bystanders to reach for auto-injectors on their own and spearhead treatment and emergency protocol. Sufferers having an unfamiliar or first-time reaction might not have an auto-injector at the ready like those with a history of anaphylaxis, and would be dependent on a public auto-injector for treatment. References 1. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, “Anaphylaxis,” accessed December 11, 2018, https://www.aaaai.org/ conditions-and-treatments/conditions-dictionary/anaphylaxis 2. Albert L. Sheffer, M.D., and K. Frank Austen, M.D., “Exercise-induced anaphylaxis,” accessed December 11, 2018, http://www.jacionline.org/article/0091-6749(80)90056-1/pdf 3. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, “Anaphylaxis in America,” accessed December 11, 2018, http://www.aafa.org/page/anaphylaxis-in-america.aspx 4. Stephen M. Garcia, Kim Weaver, Gordon B. Moskowitz, and John M. Darley, “Crowded Minds: The Implicit Bystander Effect, accessed,” accessed December 11, 2018, http:// www2.psych.ubc.ca/~schaller/Psyc591Readings/GarciaWeaverMoskowitzDarley2002.pdf
“There is an understood standard of urgency and widespread protocol comprehension that mobilizes witnesses to respond to most kinds of emergencies. Anaphylactic reactions demand a reconceptualization as one such emergency in order to improve the quality of life of the one in fifty Americans susceptible to this severe type of reaction.”
Tackling Columbia’s Mental Health Crisis: Increasing Peer to Peer Communication and Disclosure By Sarah Lubin Introduction In the last academic year, six students have died while enrolled at Columbia University. Four deaths were by suicide. As a wave of emails informing the community of a peer’s passing reached students’ inboxes, there was a concurrent movement to address mental health and stress culture on Columbia’s campus. Facing pressure from this movement, Columbia announced that it would lead a “Steering Group on Mental Health” in collaboration with The Jed Foundation, a non-profit which works to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among teens and young adults.  This initiative will assess the policies, programming, and services offered at Columbia and work to enhance wellness outreach. Background Although there are many programs and resources for mental healthcare at Columbia, these modes of support are clouded with negative perceptions of inaccessibility, insensitivity, and inefficiency. Additionally, the stigma of mental illness that encompass the community is a large barrier to students seeking treatment. Prejudice and discrimination can prevent effective treatment, care seeking, and service participation. A patient’s individual knowledge, cultural background, and social networks can also affect their perception of mental illnesses 72
and treatments and can contribute to an unwillingness to seek treatment. The barriers of stigma can be categorized into personal level barriers and provider or system-level barriers. Personal barriers are the opinions and behaviors that affect individuals’ health decision making. These include “stigma leading to avoiding treatment or dropping out prematurely, poor mental health literacy, beliefs of treatment ineffectiveness, lack of a support network that promotes care seeking, and perceived cultural irrelevance of many treatments.” Provider barriers are those that affect one’s ability to seek out resources such as “lack of insurance, financial constraints, staff cultural incompetence, and workforce limitations that are all influenced by stigma.” Many people who could benefit from care do not receive it because stigma, whether manifesting in personal or provider barriers, creates a persistent obstacle. Recommended Action In order to reduce the barriers for students seeking mental health counseling or other resources, there needs to be a major shift in the culture on Columbia’s campus. Meaningfully modifying the habits of students will take years, although more programs to promote self-determination and empowerment should be initiated and implement-
ed as soon as possible. Creating a more positive community in regards to mental health starts with the individual. For those who buy into stigmas surrounding mental health issues, communication and contact with other individuals who have mental health challenges can reduce stigma. Disclosing challenges or potentially unhealthy thoughts with someone in a mutual relationship can create improvements in social networks and in quality of life for individuals with mental health issues. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has worked to support communication and disclosure with the “What a Difference a Friend Makes” campaign. They found that friends often encouraged others to seek out help. When this contact occured, they found there was an increase in patient continued participation. Peer support can be empowering and should be utilized. In addition to the typical and established resources provided by the university, more workshops on mental health should be available to students and be led by students. Increased availability allows more students to seek and utilize services. Providing peer counseling sessions for students who suffer from anxiety and different low risk concerns could stimulate self-reflection and decrease the stigma associated with more formal resources. Acceptance and commit-
Roosevelt Review ment therapy can be promoted to address personal barriers such as self-stigma. Conversations focusing on mindfulness and acceptance could temper stigmas and promote self-efficacy. Groups and individual sessions would be lead by peers trained similarly to Columbia and Barnard SVR & Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence programs. Peer Advocates of the SVR & Rape Crisis/ Anti-Violence programs receive 50 hours of training and are supervised by advisors at Columbia and Barnard. Students would talk with a trained peer to unload any concerns they have and discuss simple resolutions. Sitting down and conversing with a peer for even twenty minutes allows students to unpack any concerns they have and discuss possible solutions. Conclusion By talking and refraining from bottling-up anxieties and apprehensions, students would generate a more accepting environment. Peer support resources could be held in dorms outside of business hours. Bringing the resource to the students would also decrease the major obstacles to care seeking out and participation. Slowly shedding the stigma around mental health could increase demand as students become more comfortable seeking help. The key factor in this program is the reliance on peers in the transition to a supportive college community.
hensive Assessment of Undergraduate Health and Wellness Resources.” Columbia College, 5 Apr. 2017, www.college.columbia.edu/news/ columbia-announces-comprehensive-assessment-undergraduate-health-and-wellness-resources. 3. Corrigan, Patrick W., et al. “The Impact of Mental Illness Stigma on Seeking and Participating in Mental Health Care.” Psychological Science in the Public Interest, vol. 15, no. 2, 3 Sept. 2014, pp. 37–70., journals.sagepub.com/doi/ full/10.1177/1529100614531398. 4. Altweck, Laura et al. “Mental Health Literacy: A Cross-Cultural Approach to Knowledge and Beliefs about Depression, Schizophrenia and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.” Frontiers in Psychology 6 (2015): 1272. PMC. Web. 5. Davidson L., Chinman M., Kloos B., Weingarten R., Stayner D., Tebes J. K. (1999). Peer support among individuals with severe mental illness: A review of the evidence. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 6, 165–187. doi:10.1093/ clipsy.6.2.165 6. Corrigan P. W. (2012). Where is the evidence supporting public service announcements to eliminate mental illness stigma? Psychiatric Services, 63, 79–83. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi. ps.201100460
“Peer support can be empowering and should be utilized. In addition to the typical and established resources provided by the university, more workshops on mental health should be available to students and be led by students.”
References 1. Holmes , Aaron. “Suicide at Columbia and the Urgency of Prevention.” Columbia Daily Spectator, 27 Mar. 2017, www.columbiaspectator. com/news/2017/02/02/suicide-columbia-and-urgency-prevention-0/. 2. “Columbia Announces Compre73
Addressing the Opioid Crisis on Staten Island: Combating Stigma to Provide Better Treatment Options By Sinead Hunt Introduction One weeknight in May, Mike Cartigiano, a longtime resident of the Southbeach-Tottenville neighborhood of Staten Island, walked into a classroom of his local elementary school, seeking help and guidance. Mike, like many other residents of Staten Island, is struggling with an Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), and two weeks prior to this meeting, was found in his bedroom, overdosed on heroin and not breathing. When weighing his treatment options, Mike became interested in trying Methadone Maintenance Therapy (MMT), which has been clinically proven to be more effective than detox programs at reducing opioid dependence. Like many other Staten Islanders, Mike’s parents harbored reservations about methadone, and instead found themselves hoping that Mike would try an in-patient detox facility. Despite MMT’s well-documented success in reducing rates of opioid misuse, many Staten Islanders stigmatize methadone as a last resort treatment for the lazy or weak-willed. As a result of this pervasive stigma, opioid maintenance treatment facilities are underutilized on the island. Background In 2016, more New Yorkers died from opioid overdose than from car accidents and homicide combined, prompting NYC Mayor de Blasio to 74
announce a new initiative, Healing NYC, a $38 million commitment to reduce NYC opioid overdoses by 35%. However, the opioid epidemic does not affect all boroughs equally. Staten Island’s crude rate of 31.8 opioid overdose deaths per 100,000 is the highest in NYC. In recent years, the preexisting “moral-spiritual model” of opioid misuse has been replaced by the “medical model.” Whereas the former viewed opioid misuse as a moral failing, the “medical model” presents opioid misuse as a physiological disease. Advocates of the “medical model” promote a variety of strategies to designed to minimize the harmful consequences of opioid misuse, collectively known as “harm reduction.” One such strategy of harm reduction is the use of opioid maintenance programs, which provide individuals with controlled amounts of methadone or buprenorphine. A longterm research project examining the rate of opioid overdose death in the Baltimore area from 1995 to 2009 found that increasing the availability of buprenorphine and methadone was associated with a 50% decrease in the number of fatal heroin overdoses. This study and others like it have consistently found that Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) is the most successful treatment at reducing rates of opioid misuse, HIV/AIDS transmission, criminal arrest and recid-
ivism. MAT are widely considered by physicians and public health experts as the safest treatment for Opioid Use Disorders (OUD). Despite the proven efficacy of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in reducing the risk of opioid overdose, MAT is consistently underutilized nationwide. In 2012, out of the 2.5 million Americans who identified as having an Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), only 1 million received MAT. Although there is an established need to expand the provision of MAT on Staten Island, existing MAT treatment facilities are already underutilized. Recommended Action A major barrier to individuals seeking MAT is the stigma surrounding agonist maintenance. Negative attitudes towards MAT are pervasive among addicts, friends, family members and even medical professionals. The stigma surrounding MAT does not affect the treatment decisions of all people equally. Due to the heightened stigma against MAT within communities of color, African-American and Latinx individuals are far less likely than their white counterparts to receive MAT.  In a survey of out-of-treatment minority injection drug users, sixty-six percent of respondents felt that being on methadone is not the same as abstaining from drugs and
Roosevelt Review seventy percent of respondents believed that people in recovery look down on people receiving MAT An educational campaign addressing the many existing misconceptions surrounding MAT would empower many Staten Islanders to view MAT as a valid treatment option. MAT patients’ lived experiences of stigma towards MAT can be classified into the following overarching themes: 1) MAT is simply replacing one drug with another. Agonist maintenance treatment is a way to get high, not to get better. 2) Because MAT is widely seen as a legal way to get high, MAT patients are inherently untrustworthy and unqualified for employment. 3) MAT is a cop-out strategy for those who lack the willpower necessary to under detoxification. Given this information, an effective public awareness campaign would address the above misconceptions by encouraging the public to reconsider their lexicon of drug addiction, combatting the misconception that individuals who receiving MAT are “still on drugs” and are therefore untrustworthy, and finally, redefining substance misuse as a severe, chronic illness, rather than a moral failing. Conclusion The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) has already undertaken a significant campaign to reduce stigma towards mental illness, and more specifically, substance misuse. While their ThriveNYC report highlights the need to expand the provision of methadone, buprenorphine and naloxone, it does not specifically address the stigma that prevents many individuals from seeking said treatments. Be-
cause of ThriveNYC’s commitment to change the culture surrounding mental health, their campaign’s mission would feasibly cohere with an additional public awareness campaign to expand access to MAT, an essential treatment for substance use disorders. Drawing on their experiences from ThriveNYC, the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene could assist the Richmond County DA’s Office to design and implement an effective public awareness campaign that targets the three broad stigma experiences of MAT patients through a combination of personal testimonials and data-driven “myth-buster” messaging. References
1. “Methadone Maintenance Therapy Versus No Opioid Replacement Therapy for Opioid Dependence1.” Alcohol and Drug Misuse, 2012, 110-12. doi:10.1002/9781118454503.ch42. 2. NYC Office of the Mayor “De Blasio Administration Launches New Initiative To Combat Opioid Epidemic” March 2017 https://www1.nyc.gov/ site/doh/about/press/pr2017/healingnyc.page 3. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene “Epi Data Brief: Unintentional Drug Poisoning (Overdose) Deaths in New York City, 2000 to 2016” June 2017, No 89, http:// www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/ pdf/epi/databrief89.pdf 4. Schwartz, Robert P. et al. “Opioid Agonist Treatments and Heroin Overdose Deaths in Baltimore, Maryland, 1995–2009.” American Journal of Public Health 103.5 (2013): 917–922 5. Stotts, Angela L., Carrie L. Dodrill, and Thomas R. Kosten. “Opioid Dependence Treatment: Options In Pharmacotherapy.” Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy 10.11 (2009): 1727–1740. PMC. Web. 18 Nov. 2017. 6. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Adminis-
tration Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality “Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings” https://www.samhsa.gov/data/ sites/default/files/NSDUHresults2012/ NSDUHresults2012.pdf 7. Myrela Bauman, Raoul Bhatta, Kirsten Kierulf-Vieira, Erin Kuller, Patricia Wendt, Mon Yuck Yu “Staten Island Needs Assessment: Opioid Addiction Prevention and Treatment Systems of Care” 8. Haris, Mary. “The Problem with Addiction Treatment: Getting People to Take It.” WNYC News, June 15th, 2017. 9. Frank, David “The Trouble with Morality: The Effects of 12-Step Discourse on Addicts’ Decision-Making.” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 43.3 (2011): 245-256 10. Lundgren, LM; Amodeo, M; Ferguson, F; Davis, K. Racial and ethnic differences in drug treatment entry of injection drug users in Massachusetts. J. Subst. Abuse Treat 2001, 21, 145–153. 11. Ibid. 12. Woo J, Bhalerao A, Bawor M, et al. “Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover”: A Qualitative Study of Methadone Patients’ Experiences of Stigma. Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment. 2017;11:1178221816685087. doi:10.1177/1178221816685087. 13. Olsen Y, Sharfstein, J. 2014. Confronting the Stigma of Opioid Use Disorder—and Its Treatment. JAMA. 2014; 311(14):1393- 1394 14. NYC Office of the Mayor “ThriveNYC: A Roadmap for Mental Health for All” https://thrivenyc. cityofnewyork.us/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/ThriveNYC.pdf
Human Rights The Human Rights Center strives to find policy solutions that guarantee essential rights and freedoms for all persons, while working to expand the reach and acceptance of human rights as a normative framework. This year, we have focused on two local human rights issues. We have worked to partner with campus groups to advocate that Columbia set aside funds to cover legal fees for students’ family members facing deportation, in addition to the funds provided for students’ legal fees. We have also worked to coordinate advocacy across New York state campuses to raise awareness and lobby for the HALT Act, which would severely limit isolated confinement in New York state prisons. We are looking forward to continuing these initiatives in the future, and tackling new issues next year -Ali Fraerman, Center Director
Do More than #CloseRikers: End Solitary Confinement in New York, Close the State’s Isolated Confinement Supermaxes By Ali Fraerman Introduction The New York State prison system is heavily reliant on solitary or isolated confinement (two people in one segregated cell), with about 9% of the state’s incarcerated population in some form of isolated confinement on any given day. New York State policy has these prisoners spend 23 hours a day in high-security cells, with one hour a day for “recreation,” which in most isolated confinement units consists of time outside on an enclosed balcony. In isolated confinement, incarcerated people start with a complete loss of “privileges” like visitors and packages, and must work to regain them, though the punishable offenses that can restart this process and add more time to a person’s isolated confinement sentence are highly subjective. People can spend months to years in solitary in New York. New York is one of the seven states with the largest percentage of prisoners in isolated confinement. Despite recent legislative measures to divert seriously mental ill people to alternative mental health units, people with mental health issues are still overly represented in punitive segregated units and are disciplined for symptoms of their conditions. Isolated confinement is extremely damaging to individuals’ mental health, with isolated confinement units accounting for 40% of New York’s prison suicides, and 78
similar percentages of self harm and attempted suicide. It is time to do away with this abusive practice. Background New York City has made strides toward eliminating isolated confinement, first eliminating the practice for teenagers at Rikers when Mayor DeBlasio committed to ending isolated confinement for incarcerated people under 21. Starting in 2011, the state prison system began diverting “S-designated” incarcerated people, those defined as having a “serious mental illness” to supposedly non-punitive mental health units with programming not available to ordinary prisoners in isolated confinement unites. However, this approach has had mixed success and has not actively reduced rates of self harm in isolation. “S-designated” patients only account for a small portion of the state prison system’s mental health caseload, and many people with severe mental health issues still reside in isolated confinement. Aside from the segregation units, referred to as Special Housing Units (SHU) or Keep Locks, on site at many of the state’s higher security prisons, New York has two super maximum security prisons dedicated to solitary confinement. Southport was converted to a supermax in 1991, and now has an operating budget of 39 million dollars per year, and holds 400 people in
isolated confinement. Upstate, the second facility, was opened in 1998 and holds roughly 800 people in isolated confinement at present, though it has room for 1,000. It was built specifically for isolated confinement at a location 6 hours away from New York City, and the project cost 180 million dollars. To maximize space, Upstate’s policy is to confine two people in one cell, all day, every day, so while it is not all “solitary” confinement, this practice of isolated confinement still segregates prisoners and can create further issues for incarcerated people. Both supermax facilities are sanctioned to hold mentally ill people and have large mental health caseloads. Recommended Action The first step on the road to completely eliminating New York’s carceral state is passing the Human Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act expected to come before the state assembly this year. The bill limits isolated confinement to 3 days at a time and no more than 6 days in a 30 day period. It also restricts the circumstances of isolated confinement, keeping incarcerated people younger than 21 and older than 55, those with disabilities, LGBTQ+ populations, and those who are pregnant out of segregated confinement. It mandates that even isolated confinement should create the “least
Roosevelt Review restrictive environment necessary” and that deprivation of basic needs, such as food, cannot be used for punishment. In an ideal world, a bill would pass stipulating a complete annulment of the practice of isolated confinement, but the Republican makeup of the New York State legislature makes this an unlikely venture. In order to mitigate the concerns of legislators, the bill allows exceptions to the limits on stays in isolation, stipulating that an incarcerated person who commits a violent act or sexual assault, plans a riot, accumulates weapons, or escapes can receive a segregated confinement sentence longer than 3 days, but mandates a robust hearing in these cases. Still, conducting these hearings within the New York Department of Corrections current process will be a great detriment to what HALT is trying to accomplish, given that DOCCS hearing boards send thousands of people into segregated confinement each year. Current guards are present at hearings, while the system’s “hearing officers” are former Correctional Officers themselves. In order for HALT to be implemented, it needs to be implemented with greater oversight than past reform initiatives, especially to these “exception hearings.” The New York State “Justice Center,” a state advocate for people with mental health needs, is currently tasked with monitoring state prisons’ mental health diversion units and will be tasked with monitoring compliance with HALT. However, their monitoring of the other mental health units has been lackluster-- they have failed to fully interview prisoners and have declared units not in violation of legislative provisions when they have been. If the Justice Center is to take on the role of monitoring
compliance with HALT, especially exception hearings, they need to have their staff and funding increased in order to conduct more routine and robust inspections of facilities, without warning. Additionally, the passing of HALT does not stipulate the closing of Upstate and Southport, New York State’s solitary con finement prisons. However, they should be closed once HALT passes, as step to reducing New York’s incarcerated population. The passage of HALT implies a greatly reduced need for isolated confinement space, and Upstate and Southport are entirely fitted for isolated confinement. For example, Upstate is entirely self contained through long corridors, and lacks recreation space and other infrastructure, like open visiting rooms, found in lower security prisons. Its location makes it hard to attract essential staff like medical professionals and teachers, and therefore it can barely support an in-cell study program, let alone further education initiatives or other programming. An overhaul of Upstate, and Southport, which has similar infrastructure, in order to accomodate general populations after HALT is implemented would be too costly, and counterproductive to overall reduction in the state’s prison population. At the very least, New York’s current goal should be to close Upstate and Southport, while avoiding overcrowding other facilities by reducing New York’s isolated confinement population under HALT, and the prison population as a whole. Conclusion HALT is expected to come before the NYS assembly in March, when it should pass. However, the Senate is majority Republican, and the
Democratic voting block is undermined by the “Independent Democratic Caucus” which votes more conservatively. Many in Upstate New York consider prisons a stable source of jobs (and government jobs have great benefits) and therefore upstate legislators are reluctant to reduce prison capacities. The senate needs to be lobbied aggressively to pass HALT. Once HALT does pass, Southport and Upstate should be considered for closure by Governor Cuomo and DOCCS immediately. In the meantime, we should boost New York’s alternative court initiatives in the hopes of diverting the mentally ill, impoverished, and addicted especially to treatment and rehabilitation programs rather than prison. Our ultimate goal should be to cease sentencing of non-violent offenders in the short term, in order to reduce the incarcerated population and shut down more prisons. After that, complete abolition. References 1. “NY State Senate Bill S4784A”. 2018. NY State Senate. 2. Correctional Association of New York. 2017. “Solitary At Southport”. New York City. 3. Todyrs, Katherine. 2018. “Fixing Solitary Confinement In New York State Prisons”. Human Rights Watch. 4. Nolan, Dan, and Chris Amico. 2017. “Solitary By The Numbers”. Frontline. 5. Winerip, Michael. 2015. “New York State Agrees To Overhaul Solitary Confinement In Prisons”. New York Times.
New York’s Homeless and Barriers to IDs: Rethinking Documentation Requirements for IDNYC By Emma Bellows Introduction In New York City, it is nearly impossible for homeless people to obtain state identification cards. Without one, it is difficult to apply for jobs, open bank accounts, apply to schools, and receive the public benefits that were designed to help low income or homeless individuals. New York State requires documentation of residence, identity, and a fee in order to apply for an ID. For the homeless, who lack a permanent living space, monetary assets, and safe places to store important documents, these requirements present an insurmountable challenge. The most recent attempt at resolving this issue is the IDNYC program, which allows low-income NYC residents to apply for a free form of ID using expired forms of identification. However, the IDNYC card has more limited uses than a regular state ID card. To help alleviate the cycle of homelessness, New York City should rework its current requirements for obtaining a state ID and reevaluate the benefits of the IDNYC program to allow homeless people access to the resources a state ID provides such as air travel, voter registration, and work authorization. Background In 2004, 54% of homeless people without ID were denied access to shelter services, 53% were denied food stamps, and 95% were de80
nied access to medical services, including Medicaid. In that year about .5% of the New York City population was homeless according to approximate estimates of the homeless population. The first attempted solution to a lack of state-sanctioned identification for low income individuals was the welfare card, a “short-cut” for low-income people to receive benefits that is still in use. People can use this card to sign up for programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and free cell phones without having to fill out the typical extensive forms. Welfare cards can be used as one of many documents needed to apply for a state ID. However, welfare cards by themselves do not serve as an effective way to combat lack of ID among the homeless because applying for a welfare card also requires specific documentation, like birth certificates and social security cards. If one had the documents necessary to apply for a welfare card, he or she probably would be able to complete a state ID application. Though it saves people time when applying for critical programs, the welfare card does not adequately circumvent the barriers homeless people face when applying for state IDs. The second, more recent attempt at providing a means for the homeless to gain benefits is the IDNYC program. IDNYC’s appli-
cation process is more accessible for homeless individuals because it requires expired documents rather than current ones like the welfare card. More homeless people have access to expired documents than to current documents because they obtained before they becoming homeless. However, many homeless people still do not have access to expired identification documents, especially those who are chronically homeless. While the media often notes the success of the IDNYC program, the positive aspects referenced in various forms of publicity focus on the ID’s ability to provide cultural experiences like free libraries and museums to low-income individuals. Most reports fail to address the ID card’s lack of accessibility or how useful it is in providing access to necessities like food and shelter for the homeless. The current IDNYC program has been considered a success because it has reached large portions of the population. 400,000 people signed up in the first six months, and as of August 2016, one in ten New Yorkers have an IDNYC card. This verifies the population’s need for such a program. Furthermore, more than half of cardholders use IDNYC as primary form of identification and 94 percent of survey respondents reported that the process of getting the IDNYC card was either somewhat or very easy. Rethinking IDNYC and state ID
Roosevelt Review documentation requirements is a necessary step in addressing the ever-increasing needs of New York’s homeless population. So much effort is spent on designing effective programs to aid the homeless and low-income people Yet, so many of these programs are inaccessible for their targeted users due to lack of identification. Recommended Action New York City should rethink the benefits of IDNYC and prioritize day-to-day, life-or-death needs of low-income and homeless people before cultural benefits. Currently, the few vital needs that are provided for by IDNYC include discounts for prescription medicines and vaccines records. While those are vital causes, they are certainly not enough. The benefits most recently added to the IDNYC program are access to Chelsea Pier and Entertainment Cruises, demonstrating how access to cultural experiences has been prioritized over access to health, education, and shelter. By changing the policy to emphasize access to social services, the city would effectively be giving these people solidified access to Medicaid, homeless shelters, and the ability to apply to schools and jobs. While the structure and ease of the program works well for those who can readily provide identifying documentation already, the needs of the low-income population are still not being prioritized. IDNYC cannot be used to apply for housing or SNAP, and the homeless in particular cannot provide the proof of residency necessary to get the card. While there is a clause that allows for homeless people to use a letter from a local shelter in lieu of an official housing document, many people can’t even get into tempo-
rary homeless shelters without a state ID. In order to reform the IDNYC card to make it more accessible and beneficial for the low income and homeless, one should not have to present proof of residency, even in the form of a letter from a shelter, in order to get the card. Instead, applicants should need to prove that they are part of the New York City community, be it through proving which shelters they frequent or where they go to get their groceries. Additionally, IDNYC should be considered adequate identification for access to temporary housing, SNAP, and Medicaid benefits. IDNYC costs New York City $8.4 billion dollars a year. By reducing the number of cultural benefits, while including more necessity benefits, there should be no net increase in the cost of the program. The city has already committed to spending on the program, so it should allocate that spending more wisely. Conclusion The New York State DMV is in charge of administering state IDs. Local non-profits and concerned citizens should ally to pressure state government to change the documentation qualifications for IDNYC and the benefits IDNYC prioritizes. The first goal should be to change the documentation requirements, so that as many people as possible could receive IDNYCs. Then, New York can reassess the priorities of the program and the more pressing needs of the low-income population. Eventually, this should lead to the relaxing of the the requirements for New York State ID programs, creating a more effective and occasionally more lenient means of providing New
Yorkers with state IDs. Additionally, this would change the IDNYC program by making it more of a cultural benefit program for low-income New Yorkers. With access to identification, people will have significantly easier experiences applying for jobs, getting access to homeless shelters, and applying for education. References
1. “Why Do I Need An ID?” ID= - Why Do I Need an ID? Accessed April 08, 2018. 2. Cook, Lauren. “What Benefits Do You Get with a IDNYC Card?” Am New York. March 30, 2018. Accessed April 08, 2018. 3. “Without ID, Homeless Trapped in Vicious Cycle.” The Pew Charitable Trusts. Accessed April 08, 2018. 4. “POPULATION DISTRIBUTION IN 2004.” Census. 5.”Basic Facts About Homelessness: New York City.” Coalition For The Homeless. Accessed April 08, 2018. 6. “Non-Driver State ID.” ID= - How Do I Get an ID? - Non-Driver State ID. Accessed April 08, 2018. 7. “Frequently Asked Questions.” NYC. Accessed April 08, 2018. 8. Cook, Lauren. “What Benefits Do You Get with a IDNYC Card?” Am New York. March 30, 2018. Accessed April 08, 2018. 9. “First Comprehensive, Independent Evaluation of Nation’s Largest Municipal ID Program.” The Official Website of the City of New York. August 18, 2016. Accessed April 08, 2018. 10. “First Comprehensive, Independent Evaluation of Nation’s Largest Municipal ID Program.” The Official Website of the City of New York. August 18, 2016. Accessed April 08, 2018. 11. Cook, Lauren. “What Benefits Do You Get with a IDNYC Card?” Am New York. March 30, 2018. Accessed April 08, 2018. 12. “Frequently Asked Questions.” NYC. Accessed April 08, 2018. 13. Khurshid, Samar. “$8.4M Muni ID Program Budget Includes $1.8M for Advertising.” Gotham Gazette. Accessed April 08, 2018.
Land of the Free, But Only For the Few: An Examination of the Constitutionality of North Carolina’s Farm Act By Emma Gomez Introduction As Dolores Huerta, renowned civil rights and farmworker activist, once said, “Organized labor is a necessary part of democracy.” Now more than ever, this sentiment could not be more important. Every year, hundreds of immigrants will make the arduous journey from Mexico or other Central American countries to work on farms in eastern North Carolina, where a dearth of suitable farmworkers exists. Many of these workers are on temporary protected status, meaning they are free to live and work in the United States for a period of time due to unsafe conditions in their home country. However, this status does not guarantee the workers protection from the federal laws that prohibit unfair compensation, protect against child labor, and provide other safeguards for workers. As a result, their collective power to advocate on their own behalf is severely handicapped. In lieu of these federal policies, migrant farmworkers rely heavily on the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), the states’ only farmworkers’ union, for support and protection. Background Last summer, Governor Roy Cooper and the North Carolina legislature passed a bipartisan effort to inhibit the authority of the FLOC and these workers in the form of the North Carolina Farm Act of 82
2017. The manner in which this law disenfranchises migrant workers is twofold. First, the law eliminates the section of the workers’ contract which guarantees that an employer will honor the employee’s request to deduct union dues from their paychecks before they receive them. Because many of these workers do not have access to proper bank accounts, this preliminary withdrawal of union fees is crucial for the worker to participate in the union and for the union to receive their payment. Second, the law unabashedly invalidates the settlement agreements that the union worked to negotiate. This severely undermines existing lawsuits that were intended to improve the living and working conditions of North Carolina farmworkers and discourages future lawsuits. Most importantly, the two major provisions of the NC Farm Act of 2017 violate the farmworkers’ First Amendment freedoms of assembly and expression. Union groups like the FLOC were organized to assemble and empower voices of those who are unable to do so by themselves. While advocates for the law say that it is meant to simply “reduce unnecessary administrative burdens on farmers,” others contend that the law was specifically designed to disenfranchise Latino workers who could not efficiently enter into the union or advocate on their behalf if it were not for
the automatic deductions or union contracts between their employers. The new Farm Act also is in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the constitution, which guarantees “equal protection of the laws” to any person within its jurisdiction. This includes migrant workers. By specifically targeting the union whose membership is primarily composed of low-income, noncitizen workers of color, the law is being intentionally discriminatory. Recommended Action Due to the unconstitutional nature of the NC Farm Act, its provisions should immediately be challenged in court to protect the state’s farmworkers. Luckily, this is already being done. The ACLU, along with the Southern Poverty Law Center and the North Carolina Justice Center filed a lawsuit, which is now called FLOC v. Cooper, asking for a preliminary injunction and a constitutional and civil rights challenge to the law as it stands. What has not been done, however, is a recognition and comment on the lawsuit itself on the part of the governor. Roy Cooper campaigned on promises of ensuring that North Carolina laws “work for everyone, not just the select few.” If he aims to hold true to this commitment, acknowledging the lawsuit is the first step. Not only would a public comment aid his own reputation,
Roosevelt Review but it would be crucial in the success of the lawsuit in protecting the human rights of the farmworkers on North Carolina soil. Following this, the state legislature should then take steps to empower disadvantaged migrants who are granted temporary visas to live and work in the state. Visa law, a subset of immigration law, grants official entry to individuals who seek to enter the country to work or visit during a specific period of time. To be granted a visa, applicants are intensely reviewed through a series of application processes. North Carolina’s migrant farmworkers, who must enter through this intense process, should be rewarded for their efforts by being included in federal and state labor laws. While not extending these protections to undocumented immigrants more generally, temporary visa holders whose presence is acknowledged by the government are reasonable recipients of these protections. Long termresidents in the European Union, for example, are granted the same core rights as nationals in the area of social protection and assistance.  Labor laws could and should be considered to be “core rights” applicable to those on temporary visas. North Carolina’s actions are harmful to visiting workers and backward as compared to other countries on the same issue. Conclusion The most immediate step that need to be taken is a victory in FLOC v. Cooper. The result of this lawsuit has the ability to remove the most dangerous harms that these migrant farmworkers are facing. Beyond simply reinstating the union protections, advocacy groups and the North Carolina legislature
should not quit until disadvantaged migrants are granted full and equal protection of the laws which govern us. With more than 100,000 farmworkers providing more than $12 billion for the state economy, North Carolinians must realize sooner rather than later that protecting the human rights of these migrants is not just the right thing to do: it’s the best for the future of North Carolina agriculture. References 1. Hauss, Brian. “North Carolina Is Trying to Destroy the State’s Only Farmworkers Union. We’re Suing.” American Civil Liberties Union. November 15, 2017. Accessed April 10, 2018. 2. Blythe, Anne. “Does NC Law Block Latino Farmworkers from Unions? Question Goes to Court.” News & Observer. November 15th, 2017. Accessed April 10, 2018. 3. Hauss, Brian. “North Carolina Is Trying to Destroy the State’s Only Farmworkers Union. We’re Suing.” American Civil Liberties Union. November 15, 2017. Accessed April 10, 2018. 4. “Roy Cooper: Best Bet for Governor.” The Pilot Newspaper. October 04, 2016. Accessed April 10, 2018. 5. “Visa Law.” HG.org. Accessed April 10, 2018. https://www.hg.org/ visas.html. 6. “Long-term Residents.” Migration and Home Affairs - European Commission. December 06, 2016. Accessed April 10, 2018. https:// ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/whatwe-do/policies/legal-migration/ long-term-residents_en.
“Every year, hundreds of immigrants will make the arduous journey from Mexico or other Central American countries to work on farms in eastern North Carolina. Many of these workers are on temporary protected status, which does not guarantee the workers protection from the federal laws that prohibit unfair compensation, protect against child labor, and provide other safeguards for workers.”
Housing First: Bringing About An End to Homelessness in the Next Decade By Michael Pusic
Introduction Each night, roughly 564,000 individuals sleep on the street or in shelters. Of those, nearly 80,000 are chronically homeless, meaning they have spent at least a year on the streets. Though chronic homelessness accounts for just 14% of all forms of homelessness, it represents the most severe poverty in the United States. Paradoxically, chronic homelessness is also arguably the easiest type to alleviate. By transforming the model of homelessness care to an approach called Housing First, cities and even states have been able completely eradicate chronic homelessness. This report argues for the Housing First approach to be implemented on a national scale. Background Though nearly 70% of homeless individuals live in shelters, fewer than 30% of the chronically homeless have any form of shelter whatsoever. They sleep on park benches and street corners, where extreme sleep deprivation and social isolation create vicious cycles of substance abuse and mental illness. In fact, approximately 60% of rough sleepers suffer from mental illness and over 80% struggle with substance abuse. Further, over 50% have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses and lack access to insurance and the healthcare necessary for treatment. 84
Together these factors condemn our nationâ€™s most destitute to a life expectancy of 62 - roughly on par with Zimbabwe - though our these individuals live in one of the richest countries in the world. Chronic homelessness causes innumerable harms to the individuals trapped in its vicious cycle, but it also negatively affects society at large. Rough sleepers crowd out resources for the short-term homeless, as their destitute position forces them to use up over 50% of public spending on homelessness despite making up a fraction of those experiencing it. Further, the Department of Housing and Urban Development found that the chronically homeless cost taxpayers roughly $3.2 billion a year - money that could otherwise be spent on education or healthcare. Further, as few escape this condition, these annual costs are often multiplied across years or even decades, and this spending rarely leads to the alleviation of this extreme form of poverty. Recommended Action Few are willing to hand the chronically homeless their spare change, much less a free furnished apartment. However, doing so may be the most efficient and cheapest way to end their homelessness permanently. In the current shelter system, homeless individuals are moved
along stepwise based on their sobriety and mental health. In order to even get into an emergency shelter, most have to commit to total abstinence from drugs and alcohol. And the only way to move from emergency shelter to affordable housing is to have steady employment. The problem with this is that itâ€™s virtually impossible to kick substance abuse while living on the streets, and it is harder still to find a job without an address. As a result, less than half of those who enter the system ever make it to a permanent home. A Housing First policy, however, turns this system on its head. The chronically homeless are given their own apartment up front and offered everything from addiction treatment to cooking classes. With the stability of their own home, they are able to focus on recovery rather than security, on employment rather than shelter. This model was first implemented in Medicine Hat, Canada where it ended chronic homelessness for over a thousand residents in just five years. In 2005, Utah adopted a statewide Housing First policy and saw chronic homelessness drop by 91% in under a decade. Perhaps more surprising still, giving apartments to the chronically homeless actually saves money. Between emergency room visits, jail time, and social safety net spending the average chronically homeless
Roosevelt Review person costs the government approximately $45,000 a year (HUD). Meanwhile, supportive housing costs approximately $8,000 a year. If implemented nationally, savings would likely be in the range of $12.4 billion. Conclusion Housing First has cut costs and permanently alleviated poverty in numerous cities and states. Taking it nationwide provides the best shot at ending chronic homelessness. The policy has historically had robust political support - the Bush administration’s top executive on homelessness was the first to give it national support, and the Obama administration produced much of the research that revealed its efficacy. However, the current administration has veered away from this path. Pressure must be put on them to restore progress and end chronic homelessness, permanently.
ter/statements/2012/mar/12/ shaun-donovan/hud-secretarysays-homeless-person-costs- taxpayers/. 8. Ibid. 9. “One home at a time.” The Economist, The Economist Newspaper, 15 Nov. 2014, www.economist. com/news/international/21632519how-cut-number-street-dwellersand-save-money-too-onehome- time?zid=318&%3Bah=ac379c09c1c3fb67e0e8fd1964d5247f. 10. Surowiecki, James. “Home Free?” The New Yorker, The New Yorker, 19 June 2017, www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/22/ home-free. 11. Ibid.
“Few are willing to hand the chronically homeless their spare change, much less a free furnished apartment. However, doing so may be the most efficient and cheapest way to end their homelessness permanently.”
References 1. “Chronically Homeless.” National Alliance to End Homelessness, endhomelessness.org/homelessness-in-america/who-experiences-homelessness/chronically-homeless/. 2. “Ending Chronic Homelessness Saves Taxpayers Money.” National Alliance to End Homelessness, endhomelessness.org/ resource/ending-chronic-homelessness-saves-taxpayers-money/. 3. Lynsen, Ann. Homelessness and Housing. 20 June 2014, www.samhsa.gov/homelessness-housing. 4. Ibid. 5. Ibid. 6. Ibid. 7. “HUD secretary says a homeless person costs taxpayers $40,000 a year.” @Politifact, www.politifact.com/truth-o-me85
Technology The Techology center at Columbiaâ€™s Roosevelt chapter was founded this spring in response to a growing concern that technologyâ€™s policy applications and implications were not being adequately addressed by our preexisting centers. In the age of the gig economy and big data, our chapter felt that conversations about computer ethics and tech policy were a necessary addition to our discussions. As a progressive think tank, Roosevelt strives to be on the forefront of policy research and discussion. Hence, with one bitcoin discussion and an open call for policy pieces, the Tech Center was born. Albeit new, the Executive Board of Roosevelt at Columbia is excited to introduce this addition to our portfolio of centers. In the future, we hope to discuss topics of security, ethics, finance, accessibility, and connectivity, among others. The piece contained within this section is just a small taste of what our future has in store. Next year, Roosevelt at Columbia will formally integrate the Techology Center into its preexisting infrastructure, complete with its own center director, initiative, and policy working group. -Lexie Lehman, Founder of the Technology Center
Smart City U: Urban Universities as Test Beds for Smart City Ventures By Lexie Lehmann
Introduction Until recently, technological development has remained confined to the private sector. Now, with the advent of the Internet of Things—a fancy phrase referring to the embedding of sensors and computation in physical objects that can connect, communicate, or transmit information through the environment—corporate actors are partnering with government institutions to create “smart cities”. A smart city, accordingly, uses these technologies and the wealth of data they produce to optimize human life. The city is the ideal place for this sort of innovation because of its inherent diversity, density, and conglomeration of public and private stakeholders. For better or worse, smart city development has received mixed reviews; where some people see this technology as a past-due contribution to the public from the private-sector elite, others see this evolution as the coming of Big Brother’s “menacing city”. Background The biggest problem inhibiting smart city development, and fueling the dissent from its skeptics, is a lack of communication between the developers of the technology and its users, the citizens. Critics of the smart city call it a “snazzy political label used by a modern alliance of leftist urbanites and tech 88
industrialists”, and a movement that purports to increase capital rather than quality of life . Arguably, the problem is that these novel tech endeavors lack community-based test beds, causing developers to stay removed from the same constituencies that they are trying to help. This is unsurprising, considering that the tech community has been a historically insular field . In contrast, smart city business ventures have a huge untapped potential for interdisciplinary study. The development of solutions to the city’s complex problems requires the insight of sociologists, urbanists, historians, and political scientists to iterate a successful product. In addition, this sort of interdisciplinary thinking is well aligned with the technical world’s movement towards “empathetic design”, which prioritizes ease of use and social benefit above all else. Moreover, the burden of innovation should not lie on the city’s residents, who are hesitant to adopt change in the first place, but rather on the developers, who must meet with the city to find integrative solutions that work best for everyone. Recommended Action Smart city solutions require constant iteration, incessant innovation, and interdisciplinary consulting. As a compliment, America’s urban universities are consolidated centers for new, intersectional
talent. These academic hotspots are the near-perfect locations for community-based incubators for smart city technologies. A partnership between smart city innovators, urban universities, and their surrounding communities would unite with a shared goal of improving urban life and a shared method of empathy-driven, user-centered design. A project of this sort may look similar to the work of Alphabet-subsidiary Sidewalk Labs, whose goal is to alleviate urban problems by tailoring the technology to local needs. To do so, Sidewalk’s first major project is to completely redesign a 12-acre stretch of the Quayside neighborhood of Toronto . The key ingredient to this collaboration is a dedication to transparency; According to an article in the MIT Technology Review, Sidewalk’s “Waterfront Toronto” says it will hold the developers accountable for explaining to the public what personal data it collects and why, and how it keeps the information secure . Transparency would be a necessary component to the success of this solution, as well. The project may also take the form of the NYCx Co-Lab Challenge. In 2017, the City of New York solicited creative technology solutions to enhance the experience and use of public spaces at night, to increase nighttime activity in neighborhood corridors, and to help unlock the nighttime activ-
Roosevelt Review ity and cultural life of Brooklyn’s Brownsville Neighborhood . The challenge was posted publicly with awards of up to $20,000 per team to fund the pilot solutions. That said, the point of the challenge is not to artificially impose a product on the community, but rather to build with the communities throughout the research, design, and development stages. According to the NYCxCoLab website, “this method ensures that [the technologies] are designed around the realities of the communities they impact” . A similar design competition could be posed to a university community in order to obtain a diverse arrange of design solutions. Moreover, regardless of what form the test-bed operation would take, the connection between urban universities and smart city business ventures is critical to the development of these technologies. The technology sector lacks interdisciplinary input, and would very much benefit from a pot of new talent and new thinkers. Conclusion While community-based test bed programs already exist—such as the NYCx Co-Lab example—most lack the funding and academic resources that a university affords . By making this connection, the university may provide a test bed for further development. I should note, however, that the university is not a perfect test bed for this sort of development, nor should it be. Universities have a different demographic makeup that often distinctly contrasts with the income and racial composition of its historical communities. That said, the university could serve as an initial point of contact for further development and improvement of these technologies.
References CTO, NYC Mayor’s Office of the. NYC Mayor’s Office of the CTO. https://tech.cityofnewyork.us. Accessed 12 Apr. 2018. INFOGRAPHIC: Tech Industry’s Diversity by the Numbers - Business Insider. http://www. businessinsider.com/infographic-tech-diversity-companies-compared-2017-8. Accessed 12 Apr. 2018. “Mayor de Blasio Brings NYC’s First Neighborhood Innovation Lab for Smart City Technologies to Browns.” The Official Website of the City of New York, 20 Mar. 2017, http://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/159-17/ mayor-de-blasio-brings-nyc-s-firstneighborhood-innovation-labsmart-city-technologies-to. NYCx Co-Lab Challenge: Safe & Thriving Nighttime Corridors. http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycx/ nighttime/nighttimechallenge.html. Accessed 12 Apr. 2018. Sadowski, Jathan, and Frank Pasquale. “The Spectrum of Control: A Social Theory of the Smart City.” First Monday, vol. 20, no. 7, June 2015. firstmonday.org, http:// firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/ article/view/5903. Sidewalk Toronto - Home. https:// sidewalktoronto.ca. Accessed 12 Apr. 2018. There Is No Such Thing as a Smart City - The Atlantic. https:// www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/02/stupid-cities/553052/. Accessed 12 Apr. 2018. Woyke, Elizabeth. “A Smarter Smart City.” MIT Technology Review, https://www.technologyreview. com/s/610249/a-smarter-smartcity/. Accessed 12 Apr. 2018.
“The biggest problem inhibiting smart city development, and fueling dissent from its skeptics, is a lack of communication between the developers of the technology and its users, the citizens. Critics of the smart city call it a “snazzy political label used by a modern alliance of leftist urbanites and tech industrialists.” Arguably, the problem is that these novel tech endeavors lack community-based test beds, causing developers to stay removed from the same constituencies that they are trying to help.”
References Continued “Taking Steps Towards a Smaller Carbon Footprint” - References 1. Columbia University of the City of New York. Columbia University Sustainability Plan. Columbia University of the City of New York, 2017. https:// sustainable.columbia.edu/sites/ default/files/content/Columbia%20 University%20Sustainability%20 Plan%281%29.pdf. 2. “Mayor Announces Major New Steps to Dramatically Reduce NYC Buildings’ Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” The Official Website of the City of New York. Accessed November 27, 2017. http://www1.nyc. gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/38616/onenyc-mayor-de-blasio-majornew-steps-dramatically-reducenyc-buildings-greenhouse 3. Earth Institute. “What is the U.S. Commitment in Paris?” Earth Institute | Columbia University. Last modified December 11, 2015. http://blogs.ei.columbia. edu/2015/12/11/what-is-the-u-scommitment-in-paris/. 4. Barnard/Columbia Roosevelt Chapter Energy and Environment Committee. Thoughts on Sustainability @ Columbia. 2017. https:// docs.google.com/a/barnard.edu/ forms/d/1hX3wXeQjTgSM14uEpXxtJPoj7xInG7WPDSCGpNmiqDQ/edit?usp=drive_web. 5. UNEP. The Emissions Gap Report 2017: A UN Environment Synthesis Report. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 2017. https:// wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/ handle/20.500.11822/22070/ EGR_2017.pdf. 6. Gillis, Justin, and Nadja Popo-
vich. “The U.S. Is the Biggest Carbon Polluter in History. It Just Walked Away From the Paris Climate Deal.” The New York Times. June 01, 2017. https://www.nytimes. com/interactive/2017/06/01/climate/us-biggest-carbon-polluterin-history-will-it-walk-away-fromthe-paris-climate-deal.html. 7. Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator. EPA, August 28, 2015. https://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator. 8. Deutsch, Claudia H. “College Leaders Push for Carbon Neutrality.” The New York Times. Last modified June 13, 2007. http:// www.nytimes.com/2007/06/13/education/13green.html. 9. American University’s Climate Action Project Team. American University Carbon Neutral by 2020. American University, 2010. http:// www.american.edu/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=1812784. 10. Lovins, L. Hunter, and Boyd Cohen. “Carbon Markets.” In Climate Capitalism: Capitalism in the Age of Climate Change, 237. New York: Hill and Wang, 2011. PDF e-book. 11. “Climate Leadership Network.” Second Nature. Accessed November 27, 2017. http://secondnature. org/who-we-are/network/. 12. Second Nature. “2015 Network Snapshots.” Second Nature. n.d. Climate Leadership Network Snapshots. 13. Barnard/Columbia Roosevelt Chapter Energy and Environment Committee. Thoughts on Sustainability @ Columbia. 2017. https:// docs.google.com/a/barnard.edu/ forms/d/1hX3wXeQjTgSM14uE-
pXxtJPoj7xInG7WPDSCGpNmiqDQ/edit?usp=drive_web. 14. University of South Florida. “About the Fund | Overview.” University of South Florida. Last modified 2017. http://www.usf.edu/ student-affairs/green-energy-fund/ about/index.aspx. 15. Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. Reducing Carbon Emissions. Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago & The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 2016. http://www.apnorc.org/PDFs/EnergyClimate/Fact%20Sheets_2%20 Carbon%20Policies_Final.pdf. 16. University of South Florida. “Projects by Year.” Student Green Energy Fund. (2012). http://www. usf.edu/student-affairs/green-energy-fund/projects/projects-by-year. aspx 17. Bollinger, Lee C. “Columbia Announces Divestment from Thermal Coal Producers.” Columbia News, March 13, 2017. March 13, 2017. Accessed November 25, 2017. http://news.columbia.edu/coal.
Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and Senators and Congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country. - Franklin D. Roosevelt