Heath Brown

Heath Brown is an assistant professor of public policy at the Graduate Center and John Jay College, at the City University of New York.

Recent Articles

Nonprofits May Hold Key to Immigrant Turnout in 2016

Nonprofit community organizations focused on mobilizing immigrant voters are proliferating around the country, and may play a crucial role in whether immigrants turn out in this election.

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes
Below is an adapted excerpt from Immigrants and Electoral Politics: Nonprofit Organizing in a Time of Change , by Heath Brown, to be published by Cornell University Press on November 8, 2016. Seated in a circle with Chinese-speaking volunteers, Julia Chung, the civic engagement associate from the MinKwon Center for Community Action, trains the group in the art and science of phone-banking. During the two-and-a-half hour session at the cramped New York City office of the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC), Chung prepares the five volunteers to call hundreds of Chinese Americans, most living in the surrounding blocks in Flushing, Queens. She explains to the volunteers, a mix of Mandarin and Cantonese speakers, that the purpose of the calls they’re about to make is to ask the community “what they care about most, if they have voted, and if they’ve run into any voting problems.” In part because they are less likely to vote, Asian Americans, especially those...

Presidential Transition Demands Transparency

Experts agree that the presidential transfer of power should start now, but just as urgent is the need to strip back the veil of secrecy that has shrouded past transitions.

(Photo: AP/Charles Dharapak)
Election Day is five months away, but the presidential transfer of power is already under way. While transition-planning might strike some voters as premature, the presidency has simply grown too complex for the thousands of important decisions behind a functioning executive branch to be made in the 77 days between the election and Inauguration Day. As a group of past Republican and Democratic White House luminaries advised in an open letter to this year’s crop of presidential hopefuls: “Some may view such early preparation as presumptuous, but the days of candidates attacking each other for ‘measuring the drapes’ should be over.” Early transition-planning is also now a matter of law. In March, President Barack Obama signed into law bipartisan legislation that requires the White House to mobilize an interagency transition council at least six months before Election Day. But just as important as early planning is an open and transparent process—a...