What becomes of a refugee when they’re no longer a refugee? We spend so much time talking about migration caps and vetting that we seem to ignore all the Americans living amongst us, trying to acclimate to their new country after the harrowing journey from their former homeland. Would it surprise you to learn that they start their new life in substantial debt? Or that they don’t have many of the basic items they need to live, let alone feel like a human being? Wouldn’t you like to know how you can help?
In this episode, Miry Whitehill tells us the inspirational story of how she started helping these former refugee families—and how she created an easy way for you to help them too. She created MirysList.org.
To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the player here. Or download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, or Google Play, Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting app – click the links or search “usc bedrosian.”
In this last piece in his “mandatory voting” series, Matt explains why he sees requiring voter turnout as the solution we should pursue, over many different options.
The most common “feature” of our current system—and one that would be maintained with most of these other electoral changes—is that even if your view “wins” at the polls, that does not mean that you represent the majority, but rather the majority of the most privileged.
Matt Schauer, Master of Public Administration candidate (2018), returns to the topic of mandatory voting. In this post, he addresses some of the common arguments against the policy proposal as well as obstacles to implementation.
Last time I talked about the system that would be designed and the various benefits we would enjoy because of a mandatory voter turnout law. Now I cover some of the obstacles to overcome.
Requiring me to vote tramples my First Amendment right to free speech. How dare you!
Matt Schauer, Master of Public Administration candidate (2018), returns with a look at the benefits and drawbacks of mandatory voting.
You know your wacky neighbor or uncle always spouting some loony policy that no one seems to agree with, but somehow manages to be supported at election time, every time? These ideological extremists would be drowned out with a mandatory voting law.
In Matt’s second piece on mandatory voting, he asks about the cost of low voter turnout.
Our society is made up of a wide range of groups with very different needs and aspirations, and therefore have different requirements of their candidates at election time. Thus, who actually participates has real material consequences in our community. So out of those who do choose to vote, who specifically is turning out?
In Imperial County, just outside San Diego, 5.5 percent of teenage girls become pregnant every year. Twice the rate in the rest of California. Why is teen pregnancy so rampant here, when it’s been declining to record lows statewide? And why has it received so little attention? My guest solved both of these mysteries. What she found will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about women’s health care—and the politics that determine whether it’s accessible for all.
In this episode, inspirational speaker and social work professor Melissa Bird brings us face-to-face with American women who form the very bedrock of their communities—and their incredible, invisible struggle to take care of themselves.
To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the player here. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, or Google Play.
When you think about your rent increasing and how ridiculous paying $1000+ for 400 square feet of space is when others pay less for an entire mortgage, I bet all you want to do is punch your greedy landlord in the face. In many cases, the parents of other young professionals are frustrated too because like in Failure to Launch, they want their “naked room,” but their kids just won’t move out. With a parent’s age and wisdom, they recognize that landlords are just pawns; it’s the developers that are cheating us.
Tom Nichols’ The Death of Expertise is a broad look at the antipathy toward “experts” and “expertise” among the citizenry of contemporary United States. Nichols contends that this antipathy is dangerous for our democracy, that this distrust not only makes for unhealthy conversation but damages both political and public relationships with the very experts’ guidance. Spoiler alert – we do assume you’ve read it!
Featuring Richard Green (), Aubrey Hicks (), Pamela Clouser McCann, Anthony Orlando (, and Jan Perry ()
To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of The Death of Expertise click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player on this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, or Google Play
Last summer we launched the LA Civics Initiative – a collaboration with City Impact Lab meant to start a conversation about civic participation in Los Angeles. Through collaborative projects and workshops, we sought to figure out how the city’s residents can become more civically-minded as well as civically-active. Living in a representative democracy, most citizens…
Americans are fed up. The government is not living up to their expectations. Trust is deteriorating every year.
Donald Trump rode this wave of dissatisfaction all the way to the Oval Office. But does he really understand why citizens are dissatisfied? Do citizens themselves understand why the government appears to be failing them?
In this episode, we question these perceptions—and the solutions they imply—with Gregg Van Ryzin, Professor and Interim Dean of the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark.