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Public Policy

On Killer Apes, Naked Apes, and Just Plain Nasty People: The Misuse and Abuse of Science in Political Discourse

Hippo Reads | Posted 10.02.2015 | Science
Hippo Reads

Is biology destiny? Do our genes determine who we are and what we're capable of? What does the mere idea that they might mean for politics and policy? A lot, it turns out.

The Government Is Learning How To Change Your Behavior -- Supposedly For Your Own Good

The Huffington Post | Alexander Howard | Posted 09.21.2015 | Technology

Not every effort to change how we make choices will go flat like the soda ban that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration tried to impose up...

The Consequences of Our Underwhelming Criminal Justice Reform Debate

Eli Day | Posted 09.09.2015 | Politics
Eli Day

To recall that America's ghastly criminal justice record was rendered by our own callous hands is to accept that it must be repaired by the same. Anything else seems a pathetic attempt to relieve oneself from the hard work of citizenship, the cost of which is paid in human carnage.

Taking Stock in Our Children: In a Time of Volatile Markets, How We Can Play the 'Long Game' by Investing in Our Society's Future

Riane Eisler | Posted 09.08.2015 | Politics
Riane Eisler

When world markets convulse, people tend to think short term. But as a society, we must start focusing on what investors call the "long game" -- re-examining our economic priorities to improve and stabilize more lives over time.

5 Ways Educators Can Take Back Their Professional Narrative

Chester Goad, Ed.D. | Posted 08.25.2015 | Education
Chester Goad, Ed.D.

Regardless of political ideology, educators must reclaim their profession. I know you don't seek attention. You just want to teach, but it's time for a PR offensive of your own. It's time for the experts to drive the narrative, and below are five ways to do that.

Summer Reading List: The Top 6 Books on Leadership for Social Justice

Dr. Artika R. Tyner | Posted 08.17.2015 | Books
Dr. Artika R. Tyner

A study of leadership serves as your "leadership compass," an indispensable navigational tool. This compass will aid you in developing your leadership skills and creating a vision for the future of social change.

5 Steps Toward Disability Equality

Chester Goad, Ed.D. | Posted 08.17.2015 | Education
Chester Goad, Ed.D.

Do what you can to learn more about disability-related issues and help start some discourse about disability equality, and then share that with other people. Disability is not just physical. There are plenty of hidden disabilities related to learning or emotion as well. Help stop stigmas and stereotypes.

Three Things About Abstinence-Only Sex Ed You Need to Know Now

Carolyn Davis | Posted 08.14.2015 | Education
Carolyn Davis

John Oliver's brilliant piece did a marvelous job laying out many of the problems in the abstinence-only approach, from its emphasis on shame and ineffectiveness in preventing unplanned pregnancy or STIs to its harmful neglect of the needs of LGBTQ teens.

Who Are "The Mentally Ill?"

Paul Heroux | Posted 08.10.2015 | Crime
Paul Heroux

Who are the mentally ill? The lunatics? The insane? The reason I ask is because there seems to be this need to be afraid of them, whoever they are, ...

Who Speaks for California Latinos on Climate Change?

Manuel Pastor | Posted 07.31.2015 | Latino Voices
Manuel Pastor

There are ongoing and vibrant disputes between economists over whether California's attempts to address our climate crisis can create jobs as well as protect the planet.

Mental Illness, Societal Oppression, and My Rebuttal to Bruce Levine

J Nelson Aviance | Posted 07.23.2015 | Healthy Living
J Nelson Aviance

In a recent piece posted on, Bruce E. Levine made the bold statement that: For nearly two decades, Big Pharma commercials have falsely tol...

How Washington D.C. Can Improve Care for Patients at the End of Life

Walter Smith | Posted 07.16.2015 | DC
Walter Smith

A MOST -- called a MOLST or POLST in other places -- guides conversations between a patient and the patient's medical team about specific treatment options and interventions in light of the expected course of the condition.

Uphold This Law, Not That: Why Beyond #LoveWins and FHA Ruling, All Discrimination Needs Our Attention

Ramona Ortega | Posted 07.07.2015 | Politics
Ramona Ortega

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent rulings on gay marriage and the Housing Discrimination Act are two enormously important milestones united by more than a shared timeline. They are bound together by a shared purpose to dismantle discrimination in this country. But is that feasible?

Should We Stop Being Nice to Older Adults?

Roger Landry, MD, MPH | Posted 06.15.2015 | Healthy Living
Roger Landry, MD, MPH

Are we actually programming ourselves and our older adults for an aging experience that we don't want and does not have to happen? Yes, we are indeed.

Where Politics, Public Policy and Business Meet: Diversity Matters

Laura Cox Kaplan | Posted 06.02.2015 | Business
Laura Cox Kaplan

Studies consistently show that teams and corporate boards produce better results when the talent around the table is diverse (in terms of gender and race, and in terms of perspective and experience).

Needed: Modern-Day Rosie the Riveters

Surina Khan | Posted 05.20.2015 | Politics
Surina Khan

Today, women comprise 47 percent of our workforce and our numbers are growing. In addition to being primary caretakers for our families, women are becoming primary income-earners, too.

A Progress Report on Impact Investing

Ben Thornley | Posted 06.02.2015 | Impact
Ben Thornley

Topline numbers on market size and growth always steal the show when JP Morgan and the GIIN release findings from their annual survey of impact investors.

Detroit Discourse Takes a Turn for the Better

Patrick O'Connor | Posted 06.23.2015 | Detroit
Patrick O'Connor

Since compromise is the underpinning of our country's governance system, it should come as no surprise that our government doesn't work when compromise doesn't exist.

Through Smart Drug Policies, We Can Change Our Communities for the Better

Gary Mendell | Posted 05.23.2015 | Impact
Gary Mendell

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a staggering and tragic statistic: Heroin overdose deaths tripled from 2010 to 2013.

Elements of a Public Policy Discussion Concerning the Treatment of Mental Illness

Brad Reid | Posted 05.23.2015 | Politics
Brad Reid

It is time as a society to rethink our approach to mental illness. This comment begins with an explanation of "public policy," followed by a very brief general history of our society's approach to mental illness, and concludes with 15 of the many questions that should be studied and debated.

Notes From a 'Commie' Sports Reformer

Ken Reed | Posted 04.13.2015 | Sports
Ken Reed

I am Sports Policy Director for League of Fans, a sports reform organization founded by Ralph Nader. In that role, I write position papers, columns, and a blog on what we think are the biggest and most important issues in sports today. I often call for significant change, and that can raise the ire of traditionalists, hence the incendiary labels I receive from some readers.

What Thomas Piketty and Larry Summers Don't Tell You About Income Inequality

Lynn Parramore | Posted 04.08.2015 | Politics
Lynn Parramore

According to economist Lance Taylor and his colleagues, we're not yet talking about the kinds of major changes needed to keep us from becoming a Downton Abbey society.

Setting the Record Straight on 97 Percent LTV Mortgages -- They Work

Garrick T. Davis | Posted 03.31.2015 | Business
Garrick T. Davis

Mortgage guarantor giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both recently announced their intent to once again begin purchasing mortgage loans at 97 percent loan-to-value (LTV) in the case of first-time homebuyers.

How Do We Restore the Promise of Work in America?

Maureen Conway | Posted 03.25.2015 | Politics
Maureen Conway

Too often we begin with old assumptions about what government can accomplish or what business can do; we need to cast fixed ideas aside and remain open to learning from these examples, and many more, in order to find our way to restoring the promise of work.

How Governmental Sustainability Policy Can Speed the Transition to a Cleaner Economy

Steven Cohen | Posted 03.22.2015 | Green
Steven Cohen

Sustainability management is simply the latest step in the evolution of the field of organizational management. Twentieth century managers were concerned with finances, human resources, information, production, performance, marketing, strategy and globalization.