How to Stop Feeling Marginalized and Start Engaging in Politics

You may think politics isn’t for you. It’s for the elites. It’s for the rich and powerful. It isn’t for people who look like you or talk like you or live like you. Well, that may be the world we’ve constructed, but it’s not inevitable. You deserve better.

Still not convinced? Good! This episode is for you! Learn how you can become a part of the solution.

In this episode, inspirational speaker and social work professor Melissa Bird knocks down the misconceptions that marginalize us and replaces them with the attitude we need to take on the injustices in our nation today.

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The Great American Housing Finance System and the Role of the Federal Government

Housing is local, but money is global. What is the best way to allocate our resources toward housing affordability? How far are we from that goal? How do we even agree on what affordability means?

In this episode, our resident housing finance expert Richard K. Green will walk us step-by-step through these winding routes we’ve constructed to access the American dream.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the Soundcloud player here. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloud, or Google Play.

Transit-Oriented Development

People are moving back into the cities. But where should they go? In an age of congested freeways and greenhouse gas emissions, gentrification and concentrated poverty, suburban sprawl and all sorts of inequality, where is the best place to build, to live, to walk, and to shop? One answer has been touted to address all those problems: near public transit. In this episode, we define, describe, and debate “transit-oriented development” with Seva Rodnyansky.

Paid Family Leave and Work-Life Balance in Today’s America

It’s one of the few things that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump agreed on, but it’s nowhere to be seen on the current legislative agenda. Why do both a majority of both parties want paid family leave, and when are they going to get it? This isn’t just a matter of mothers and babies. It…

Build, Baby, Build: Make the City Affordable Again

If you live in a major city, you probably know that the rent is “too damn high.” What if the city’s rental affordability crisis were in your hands? Would you do something about it? We think you might, and that’s why you’ll want to hear from the one renter who’s taking on big-city politics and showing us all how it’s done.

In this episode, we get down to the grassroots of housing advocacy with Sonja Trauss.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the Soundcloud player here. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, or Google Play.

Who’s Really in Charge? Government Bureaucracy Under Attack

Bureaucracy is so boring. Who cares? Not you, right? Well then, you’re in for an unwelcome surprise because the people who run our government from day to day aren’t the ones you voted for. Our democracy depends on the men and women of the bureaucracy. They execute the laws, and lately they’ve been doing it without supportive leadership, without the trust of the public … without a voice.

In this episode, William Resh is their voice, and we would be wise to listen.

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Tell ‘Em What They Need to Know: The Virtues of an Informed Electorate

They say we live in the Information Age, but more and more, it feels like the public understands less and less about what really matters. How should you invest your money in a volatile economy? How should you vote when you don’t like your choices? The information is out there, but often it’s manipulated, spun, and diverted from your attention. The more information we have, it seems, the more education we need to understand it. That’s why, according to Paul Haaga, good financial advice and good journalism have never been more valuable. In this episode, he gives us an ample share of both.

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Federalism and the Battle for Partisan Power

We think we know how federalism works. Republicans believe in states’ rights, and Democrats want a strong federal government, right? Not so fast. New research reveals a whole different tug of war playing out on Capitol Hill. Our legislators don’t always do what they say, but they do have a strategy to design and implement our laws. It turns out that federalism is ground zero in their battle for partisan power—and now we finally know how the game is being played.

In this episode, we go behind-the-scenes with the researcher who uncovered these terms of engagement, Pamela Clouser McCann.

The Art of Leadership in Precarious Times

The great leadership gurus usually tell a story of virtue rising to the top. They advise us to think positive, treat everyone with respect, and follow our moral compass. But we don’t have to look far to see leaders who turn this wisdom on its head. Negativity, disrespect, and divisiveness seem to be the order of the day. Were the experts wrong? Is good leadership dead? Surely there must be a more realistic way to understand the whims of the masses—and make straight their path once more.

In this episode, we get a more realistic take on leadership from the contrarian guru Rob Asghar.

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