Rachel M. Cohen

Rachel M. Cohen is a writing fellow at The American Prospect. Her work has appeared in the Washington Monthly, Dissent, Next City and The Forward.

Recent Articles

Road Hazard: Millions of Autos On U.S. Highways Recalled But Not Repaired

Why we have millions of cars with unfixed safety recalls — and Germany has none.

This article appears in the Fall 2014 issue of The American Prospect magazine. The online version has been corrected.

City Coffers, Not Police Budgets, Hit Hard By the High Cost of Brutality

If settlements for police misconduct on citizens came out of the funding for police, incidents of abuse would be reduced, experts say.

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A s the national conversation around racism and police brutality quickly fades—ramped up briefly in the wake of Michael Brown’s death—U.S. taxpayers remain stuck footing the bills for their local law enforcement’s aggressive behavior. This week alone, Baltimore agreed to pay $49,000 to man who sued over a violent arrest in 2010, Philadelphia agreed to pay $490,000 to a man who was abused and broke his neck while riding in a police van in 2011, and St. Paul agreed to pay $95,000 to a man who suffered a skull injury, a fractured eye socket, and a broken nose in 2012. In 2013, Chicago paid out a stunning $84.6 million in police misconduct settlements, judgments, and legal fees . Bridgeport, Connecticut, paid a man $198,000 this past spring after video footage captured police shooting him twice with a stun gun, then stomping all over him as he lay on the ground. And in California, Oakland recently agreed to pay $4.5 million to settle a lawsuit a man filed after being shot in the head,...

The Politics of Pre-K: How A Program Known to Help Poor Mothers Could Doom Your Candidacy

When the emphasis is kept on how it's good for business, early-childhood education is popular. Just don't call it childcare. 

(AP Photo/The Monitor, Gabe Hernandez)
(AP Photo/The Monitor, Gabe Hernandez) I n Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race, education has emerged as one of the most heated issues. A Quinnipiac University poll released this month found education ranked as the most important issue for voters, after jobs and the economy. Despite contentious politics surrounding reform of public education from kindergarten through twelfth grade, Republican incumbent Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf have discovered that plugging expansion of pre-kindergarten programs wins them political points without treading into treacherous waters. That is, as long as they don't mention the mothers who will inevitably benefit, too. The governor’s record is haunted by his 2011 budget, from which he cut nearly $900 million in public education funds—a decrease of more than 10 percent. The severe cuts have garnered national attention , particularly for Philadelphia—the state’s largest school district—which wrestled with a $304 million cut this past school...

Can Private Capital Save Public Housing? (Tenants Have Their Doubts)

It could be more cost-effective to just appropriate more direct funds to the program and keep it in the public sector, but Congress is not about to do so.

Traditional public housing is out of favor and substantially out of funds. It’s bureaucratic, concentrates the very poor, and is literally crumbling due to a huge backlog of deferred maintenance.