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…

The Path Forward: Where Do We Go From Here?

Read Raphael Bostic’s last post in our partnership with Home Matters.

We have a long history of mobility. It’s one of the advances that set the New World apartfrom the Old. Our founders wanted us to move. They didn’t want us confined to the class we were born into or the name we were given or the land our parents could bestow on us. They wanted us to set out across this vast continent, and they didn’t want us to settle until we found a home we could call our own.

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.

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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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The Ethics of Governing

PhD candidate Anthony Orlando discusses the “Ethics of Democracy” in the latest episode of Our American Discourse.

Democracy is a dialogue. It requires our leaders to ask, to listen, and to react. Good governance thus hinges on conversation and consent—and whether we like it or not, conflict. Planners and policymakers have to balance competing needs, never more so than in today’s polarized environment. How do they do the right thing? Does such a thing even exist? Citizenship demands that we engage with these uncomfortable questions, especially in this troubled era.

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Turning the Corner: Progress Is Not Dead, Trump Is Not the Future

PhD candidate, Anthony Orlando, writes an op-ed about Los Angeles voters and Measure S within the larger political context:

The voters of Los Angeles have taken a stand—and the world should pay heed.

“Measure S,” the ballot initiative defeated in yesterday’s election, was not just a local issue. True, it would only have halted high-rise construction in one city. But like Brexit, like the election of Donald Trump, its effect would have been global.

Good Governance and the Democratic Process

The “causes of faction are…sown in the nature of man,” said James Madison. But could the founders have foreseen the level of political polarization we’re seeing today? They certainly tried. That’s why we have separation of powers, checks and balances, and the Bill of Rights. In many ways, these institutions are under attack. Power has been concentrated, and minority rights have been threatened. How shall become of our constitutional system?

In this episode, we navigate this treacherous onslaught with Dean Jack Knott.

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