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Event: On the Global Crisis of Democracy

Cal Sport Media via AP Images
Cal Sport Media via AP Images Marchers hold their signs high during the March for Racial Justice from Lincoln Park to the Capital in Washington. O n October 5 and 6, the Albert Shanker Institute is hosting a conference, co-sponsored by the Prospect and other progressive publications and organizations, on the global crisis of democracy. Intellectuals and activists from the United States, China, South Africa, Germany, Israel, Hungary, and Austria will discuss the rise of the nationalist-populist right, the growth of economic inequality and the shrinking legitimacy of political institutions, the rise of nativism and racism, and how best to counter these threats to democracy and decency. Prospect editors Bob Kuttner and Harold Meyerson are among the speakers. THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY Thursday, Oct. 5, 3:00 p.m. to Friday, Oct. 6, 5:00 p.m. Washington Court Hotel, Atrium Ballroom 525 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 The conference is free, registration is required. REGISTER HERE...

The White Working Class

An American, and a Democratic, dilemma

AP Photo/Eric Gay
AP Photo/Eric Gay A worker uses a lift to move rolls of sheet metal at LMS International, in Laredo, Texas. wwc_homepage_logo-3.jpg W ith our partners at The Democratic Strategist , The American Prospect is co-publishing this series of articles on one of the most contentious topics in today’s political discourse, and one of progressives’ and the Democratic Party’s most vexing problems: the white working class (WWC). The need for such a discussion is both obvious and twofold. First, the white working class—the bedrock of the long-vanished New Deal Coalition—has largely and increasingly been abandoning the Democratic Party, even when that has meant voting against some of its economic interests. While Hillary Clinton’s loss of such presumably blue-wall states as Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania dramatized the extent of the Democrats’ problem, it was also just the latest stage of an epochal shift. Wisconsin, after all, has a wall-to-wall reactionary state government, with Scott...

What States and Cities Can Do To Fight Climate Change

Today, the Prospect is posting Ben Adler’s long-form piece, which also appears in the spring issue of our print magazine, on how states and cities are moving ahead on policies that limit climate change, and what they’re doing to counter the Trump administration’s policies that will make climate change even more severe.

As Ben points out, the regulations and standards for utility companies are set by states and in some cases, by municipalities. In the coastal states with Democratic governments—extending from Massachusetts to Maryland in the east, and California to Washington (with Hawaii thrown in for good measure) in the west—governments have set Renewable Portfolio Standards for their utilities that mandate transitions away from the use of coal and conversion to entirely renewable forms of energy over the next couple of decades. California and Washington have required new buildings to meet energy efficiency standards, through the use, for instance, of rooftop solar panels.

For their part, cities with progressive governments (which far outnumber states with such governments) have in recent years appropriated funds for light rail lines, bike paths, and other forms of transportation that provide alternatives to autos. And following the pattern set by new EPA chief Scott Pruitt when he was the much-beloved-by-oil-companies attorney general of Oklahoma, such enviro-conscious state attorneys general as New York’s Eric Schneiderman have announced they’ll be suing the federal government when it moves to undo long established environmental protections and climate-change legislation.

You can read the article in full here.

A Close Look at Education Reform in Washington, D.C.

Today, The American Prospect published a feature story by Rachel Cohen on D.C. school reform. The District of Columbia has been cast as one of the nation’s most successful examples of education reform. Over the last decade, the city has significantly expanded charter schooling and implemented a new teacher evaluation system based in part on student test scores. The Obama administration repeatedly touted D.C.’s new school policies, and states across the country looked to the nation’s capital as a model to emulate.

Proponents of D.C.’s new school policies say there is clear evidence that the reforms are working, but critics say the success narratives have been blown way out of proportion. Here are other key takeaways from Cohen's story:

  • Racial achievement gaps have narrowed in D.C. since 2003, but they remain large, and socioeconomic achievement gaps have widened.
  • Researchers say that accessing data to study the effectiveness of D.C. school reform has been quite difficult. City leaders and DCPS officials have often been resistant to the idea of rigorous, independent evaluations, and the lack of transparency has created confusion over how effective or ineffective D.C.’s school reforms have actually been.
  • Some local researchers and education advocates want to see the government establish an agency—similar to the Congressional Budget Office—that could offer independent, objective analysis of D.C. education policy. But whether local politicians could be persuaded to fund a think tank that might possibly reveal less-than-flattering information about DCPS remains to be seen.

You can read the article in full here.

Best of the Prospect 2016

After a year that left progressives reeling, The American Prospect looks back at our most important stories of 2016.

The American Prospect
The American Prospect M ost progressives could never have imagined that 2016 would end on such a cataclysmic note. Even at the most appalling moments of a presidential campaign more bitter and divisive than any in recent memory, the depth of the democracy threat posed by a Donald Trump presidency did not fully sink in. Then came Election Day, and now the nation is waking up to the full implications of a Trump administration burdened by conflicts of interest and run by billionaires, CEOs, and doctrinaire conservatives bent on dismantling the very agencies they run. Through it all, the Prospect has weighed in unflinchingly with stories that make sense of the economic, racial, environmental, and civil liberties challenges ahead. Here are some of our favorite stories of 2016. Winter 2016 “ Grace Under Fire ,” by Rachel M. Cohen On a warm Tuesday morning in late September, Cecile Richards, the 58-year-old president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, went before Congress to defend her...