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Roosevelt Review

Equal Justice

Access to Justice: Improving Legal Representation for Public Housing

Litigants using Non-Lawyer Advocates
By Susannah Cohen

Contest Winner

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: New York City Solid Waste Disposal
By Ryan Elivo


Honorable Mention: Municipal Green Bonds: Uniting the Private and

Public Sector to Fight Climate Change
By Samuel Place


Economic Development

Getting Out of Jail Free: Bail Bonds and Equal Justice

By Ademali Sengal


Outsourcing Information Technology Jobs

By Alicia Schleifman


Warriors No More: On De-Militarizing American Police Forces

By Elise Guarna



Participatory Budgeting as a Means of Increasing Civic Engagement

for Urban Youth
By Nikita Mary Singareddy


Its Getting Personal: A Call to Regulate the Data Broker Industry

Through Economically Viable Reforms
By Allison Schlissel
Uprooting U.S. Farm Support Programs
By Jonathan Kroah


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): An Analysis of

Where We Are and Where We Need To Be
By Sahng-Ah Yoo


Smart Growth: Tailored Infrastructure and Transportation Strategies

in the Greater Washington Area
By Simon Shwartz



Monitoring State Responses to Communal Violence

By Katie Hallern


Public Parking in New York City: Where the Rubber Meets the Road
with Policy and Participatory Democracy
By Brit Byrd

One Opportunity to Take One Step in the Right Direction With Iran
By Masih Babagoli



Defense & Diplomacy

Missile Defense in the 21st Century: What it Means for US Security

and Strategies for Future Safety
By Jay Rappaport
A Permanent Fix for Immigration: The Case for State Citizenship
By Edmund Brose


Providing for Our Professors: Reducing Adjunct Positions as a Means

of Improving Higher Education
By AJ Stoughton


Fulfilling Americas College Promise

By Kunal Shah


Say No to Common Core

By Nicole Felmus


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Roosevelt Review

Energy and Enviroment

Publication Sta

Ending the Exportation of Banned Pesticides

By Charles Harper


The Nuclear Option

By Andrew Ascenio


Editor-in-Chief - Lauren Tomasulo

Layout Editor - Spencer Cohen

Picking up the PACE for Rooftop Solar

By Samuel Place


The Executive Board of the Roosevelt Institute Columbia Chapter

The Role of Law in Fighting Climate Change

By Daniela Lapidous


President - Brit Byrd

Vice President - AJ Stoughton
Outreach Director - Allison Schlissel
Secretary - Elise Guarna
Treasurer - Nicole Felmus
Creative and Media Director - Alex Chang

The Right to Life: A liberal paternalist approach to promoting vaccination without compromising civil liberties
By Alexandra OKeefe


The Gulf Cooperation Council: How reforming GCCs mandatory

health care services will lead to a more sustainable Middle East
By Rana Abuhilal


Gender Disparities in Clinical Trials

By Leah Reiss


Center Directors
Alexandra O'Keefe and Leah Reiss (Co-Directors of Healthcare)
Edmund Brose (Director of Defense and Diplomacy)
Kunal Shah (Director of Education)
Nikita Mary Singareddy (Director of Equal Justice)
Simon Schwartz and Jon Kroah (Co-Directors of Economic Development)
Samuel Place (Director of Energ y and Environment)

Drug Policy in America: An Educational Perspective

By Lauren Tomasulo


First Year Fellows - Ademali Sengal and Alicia Schleifman

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Roosevelt Review

Letter from the Editor

The Roosevelt Institute has occupied a particular niche in the Columbia University intellectual community. As a student-run, non-partisan, progressive think-tank, we offer students a unique opportunity to discuss current events, topics
of public policy, and evaluate the effectiveness of proposals during our weekly discussions. Our discussions are both
innovative and pragmatic, offering creative solutions to deep-rooted problems and considering all obstacles that must
be overcome. The remarkable variety of proposals is evidenced by proposals ranging from improving access to justice to
the common education standards. The scope and creativity of the policy proposals in this journal reflect the Roosevelt
Institutes steadfast commitment to open-minded but rigorous discussion. The proposals are organized within our six
centers: Economic Development, Education, Energy and Environment, Equal Justice, Healthcare, and, lastly, Defense and
I am honored to have served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Columbia Roosevelt Review in the 2014-2015, 2013-2014, and
2012-2013 academic years. It is truly a pleasure to present this publication that features policy solutions to the complex
issues that nations face today. These problems may seem daunting to tackle, yet our writers face these multifaceted issues
with artistry and ease. I hope you all enjoy reading it.
To all of our writers and executive board members, thank you for all your hard work. It has culminated in another
successful issue of the ColumbiaRoosevelt Review.
Lauren Tomasulo
Editor-in-Chief of the Columbia Roosevelt Review

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 6-7

Equal Justice

This is the seventh annual Columbia Roosevelt Review published by the Columbia University chapter of the Roosevelt Institute. We are proud to present twenty-six policy proposals written by Columbia University undergraduate students. This
year, we started an exciting new policy contest entitled Modern Quagmires of the City. The parameters stipulated that
the proposal must explain a problem that affects New York, while using the City as a case study to logistically implement
solutions to that issue.

Equal Justice
From immigration to urban youth civic engagement, justice system reform to police demilitarization, EJs authors have
posed solutions to break down the complex barriers to equity and equality. The Equal Justice Center strives to address
these issues from all angles in order to develop pragmatic, actionable solutions that aim towards the core tenant of social
justicethat one persons prosperity should never come at the expense of anothers opportunity. I would like to expressly
thank all the authors for their time and commitment to the Roosevelt Review. Im pleased to present this ne collection of
policy pieces from the 2014-2015 Equal Justice Center.
-Nikita Mary Singareddy

4/10/15 3:03 PM

By Susannah Cohen

Equal Justice

mong the many disparities that exist in

America, arguably the most important
one is the disparity in Access to Justice.
Access to justice, as a nationwide and international movement, can have an array
of implications, significantly the loss of an
individuals voice in the nations legal system. Access to Justice lays at the foundation of Americas political system, assuming that, in addition to expressing ones
opinions through voting, one can always
look to the judiciary to seek legal redress.
However, this assumption is, in
reality, far from true. Many marginalized
groups in America are disadvantaged
when attempting to navigate the justice
system, with one of the largest reasons being lack of money. A few statistics:
- 1:40the ratio of lawyers available
to the poor versus lawyers available for
- 1.33the national average number
of lawyers for every 10,000 poor people.2
-63.6 millionthe number of American who qualified for LSC-funded legal
aid during 2013: 1.8 millionthe number of people actually served, when including all people in the households of
closed cases.3
- 50%the percentage of Americans
below the poverty line who seek civil
legal aid are turned away4

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 8-9
cr39_4/CR39-4Hannaford.pdf, http://www.
4 8

These discrepancies, often referred to

as the justice gap are disturbing, and
provide a glimpse into the deep chasm
between how Americans of different incomes experience the justice system.
In addition to the justice gap, the
proliferation of self-representation has become another recent trend in the American legal system of significant concern.
While many people believe all American
citizens have a right to council regardless
of income, in fact, this right only applies
to criminal cases.5 The number of litigants
without lawyers in civil cases has been increasing over the last few decades, with
current estimates that 80% of all litigants
in civil cases are self-represented.6 This
issue has become especially prevalent in
Housing Court, as there tends to be a large
difference in resources between landlords
and tenants regarding Access to Justice.
The landmark Donaldson report in 1993
found that, in New York City Housing
Court, 88% of tenants were self-represented even though 65% are eligible for
free representation (due to legal provider
under-funding), while 97% of landlords
had representation.7 According to current nationwide estimates, about 90% of
landlords have representation while 90%
of tenants are self-represented.8 Further-

cates would be able to provide administrative information, legal advice, and in-person courtroom representation, only in the
area of housing law.
Creating the training programs
for non-lawyer advocates is the first major
hurdle that must be surmounted in establishing this new profession. The American
Bar Association, a university, or some other organization could develop a training
program that culminates in certification,
allowing these professionals to practice
non-lawyer advocacy in Housing Court.
While people with expertise in Housing
Court and law education would determine
the content of the curriculum, one major
topic would be client interaction as these
cases are often extremely sensitive. As
many self-represented litigants in Housing
Court lack of information, another crucial role for non-lawyer advocates is simply to provide knowledge and guidance
throughout the legal process. Helping clients fulfill the court tasks, fact-checking,
and preparing a coherent testimony are
simple responsibilities drastically alter
the balance of power between landlord
and tenant in court. Finally, a unique aspect of Housing Court is the settlement,
referred to as hallway justice, in which
[unrepresented litigants] meet with their
adversaries attorneys in the hallways and
sign stipulations of settlement drafted by
the attorneys before meeting with a court
attorney or the judge.11 Of course, this
system puts an unrepresented litigant at a
massive disadvantage, so non-lawyer advocates must be familiar with the de facto
process and learn how to operate in the
fast-paced, pushy, and often underhanded negotiations. This sort of certification
program would ensure quality and knowledge in non-lawyer advocates without the
burden of proficiency in other areas of law.
a certificate from an official non-lawyer
advocate training program.
This new profession would
9 provide a middle ground between full
loads/2009/06/NYCLA_HC_in_21st_Cent. representation and no representation.
pdf, Non-lawyer advocates would likely make
considerably less than lawyers, although
bba-news-release-study-assesses-practithis should be decided on a state-by-state
cal-impact-of-legal-representation-in-evicbasis. This field would provide an extion-cases,
cellent option for lower-income people
10 11 loads/2009/06/NYCLA_HC_in_21st_Cent.

Equal Justice

Access to Justice: Improving Legal Representation for Public Housing Litigants using
Non-Lawyer Advocates

more, an abundance of research has concluded that self-representation correlates

highly with eviction, posing a serious
threat to litigants and making Access to
Justice that much more important.9
Beyond the effect on individual
lives, these shifts are also causing new institutional problems. Americas adversarial, representation-based court model assumes that, in most cases, both sides will
have access to representation; therefore,
the system only functions when this prerequisite is fulfilled. Looking specifically at
Housing Court, this dysfunction has momentous effects, toying with peoples basic
human need of a stable home. Due to the
nature of Housing Court, several specific
issues arise as a result of a litigant-lacking
representation: litigant dearth of information, inability to properly articulate in the
courts, and inconsistency across Housing
Courts in resources for self-represented
The Policy Suggestion:
In order to adequately combat this
growing and pressing issue, we must take
radical measureswe cannot simply try
to add more lawyers or increase legal aid
fund. For an institutional problem, we
must seek an institutional answer. Therefore, we need to create a new class of
professional that does not require a law
degree, but rather is certified in housing
court procedures and can fully represent
his or her client in court. This individual would function as a lawyer, but could
only practice in this specific area of law.
This concept has been theorized by many
researchers, lawyers, and thinkers, often
enumerated as courtroom aides, navigators, non-lawyers professionals, or
legal technicians. I seek to solidify this
concept under one name non-lawyer
advocates and institute this professional
definition nationwide. Non-lawyer advo-

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seeking legal help but unable to afford

high lawyers fees. It would also create a
new option for people seeking professional careers who cannot or do not want to
spend vast periods of time in school. At a
time when so many college graduates are
desperate for meaningful ways to make an
impact, non-lawyer advocacy seems like a
perfect way to put what they have learned
into practice.
The Evidence:
On the local level, many cities
have attempted to institute similar professions in order to test their impact. Overall, the results were extremely positive
and showed that limited representation
vastly improved outcomes for tenants
over self-representation. The Boston Bar
Association conducted a Civil Right to
Council Housing Pilot in the Northeast
Housing Court of Massachusetts. The pilot compared outcomes for tenants receiving full representation to those receiving
partial representation. The study found
that there was almost no difference in
outcomes for tenants that were fully versus partially represented but most importantly, partially represented tenants
remained in possession of their homes
thirty percent more than self-represented
In the San Francisco Right to Council pilot program provided full-scope and
limited-scope representation to low-income people facing eviction. The results
determine that, while full-scope representation tended to produce better outcomes,
tenants who received either full-scope or
limited-scope representation were more
likely to avoid homelessness than unrepresented tenants. Additionally, when
looking at the efficacy of the professionals providing either full- or limited-scope
representation, the study found that repeat players gain advantages from their
developed expertise and knowledge, such
as specialized knowledge of the substantive area of law as well as experience with
the particular procedures of the venue and
familiarity with opposing counsel and decision-makers.13
These two studies show that, when


Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 10-11

compared with no representation, limited

representation is unequivocally beneficial to tenants and lowers the likelihood
of homelessness tremendously. But even
further, it is unclear how big of a difference exists between outcomes of full- and
limited-scope representation. Due to the
nature of Housing Court, full representation may not be necessary to achieve
client needs as intimate knowledge of
Housing Court does not necessitate a vast
arsenal of legalese. These studies, along
with several others, bolster the claim that
non-lawyer advocates are a proposal worthy of consideration in attempting to solve
the problem of Access to Justice in Housing Court.

Getting Out of Jail Free: Bail Bonds and

Equal Justice
By Ademali Sengal

ail bonds constitute a $14 billion industry

in the US1. As the only developed nation
to implement a private bail bonds system, the US stands in clear opposition to
what the international community deems
fair. The functional purpose of bail is to
ensure that the defendant will be present
for the date of their trial. In its traditional form, bail was release on recognizance
(ROR)a verbal oath to appear on the
given date. In the modern American legal
system, bail is justified as a deterrent for
future crimes, arbitrarily determined, and
usually too costly for most accused people
to afford. Todays justice system functions
in a way that the wealthy can pay for their
release while the working class and poor
cannot pay the full amount of bail. For
those who cannot afford the full bill, the
only alternative is to turn to bail bondspersons.
Commercial bail bonds allow the accused to pay a non-refundable 10 percent
of the full bail amount to a bond agent
and the bond agent pays the remaining 90
percent of the bail. The bond agent then
ensures that the accused is present on the
trial date so they can receive the full bail
amount. This is a highly profitable industry with little risk. Indeed, bail surety
companies only lose 1 percent of all revenue, which is far lower than any other
insurance industry. This system was first
regulated by the Bail Reform Act of 1966
which states that the accused should be release if there is reasonable assurance that
they will be present at the trial and that information should be collected in order to
determine appropriate bail or alternative
actions. Unfortunately, these proposed
reforms have yet to be fully implemented.
The Problem:
The central problem of this system is its opposition to the presumption
of innocence. Bail bonds are a prima facie
violation of this basic principle of justice
because they punish an individual before

guilt is determined. This initial flaw in bail

reveals that the practice should be administered sparingly and only when necessary.
The notion that innocent persons pay for
freedom is the most common reason why
developed nations deplore bail bonds.
For nations that view monetary
bail as a reasonable tool to ensure attendance in court the US system has an additional set of flaws. The US Supreme Court,
in the 1983 Schall v. Martin case, justifies
bail as an insurance against bail-jumpingthe traditional legal understandingand a deterrent for future actions.
In his vehement dissent, Justice Marshall
argued that determining bail on possible,
unrelated, future crimes was, consistent
with the usages of tyranny and the excesses of what bitter experience teaches us to
call the police state.2 Bail is determined by
the severity of the crime, criminal record,
and judge digression. The current system
is susceptible to abuse and corruption. In
many instances excessive bail is placed on
the accused because of collusion between
bail agents, judges, and police. Excessive
bail is used to coerce the accused to agree
to a plea deal rather than organize an effective defense. Furthermore, bail agents
have no incentive to discourage repeat
offensives. The modern American system
encourages this quid pro quo corruption
with profit rather than justice driving actions.3
Additionally, the bail bond system relies on bounty hunters to track
down defendants who jump bail. Bounty
hunters are given great leeway in their use
of force as civilians and can enter private
property without a warrant and detain
defendants across state boarders. This additional expansion of the justice system is
uniquely American and highly unregulated. Bounty hunters are effectively a private
police force used by an insurance company to collect a paymentsomething that
most would view as unacceptable. Albeit

Equal Justice

Equal Justice

While many people

believe all American citizens have a right to council regardless of income,
in fact, this right only
applies to criminal cases.
The number of litigants
without lawyers in civil
cases has been increasing
over the last few decades,
with current estimates
that 80% of all litigants
in civil cases are

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cused until their trial date with reminders

that their presence is required. A direct
relationship between the accused and the
court can increase the likelihood that the
accused will appear and does not rely on
a third party to communicate with the
accused. This process can also clarify the
penalties of not showing on the assigned
trial date as a deterrent rather than using monetary punishment for those who
are likely already financially stretched.
Multnomah County in Oregon is a prime
example of successful implementation
for this system. The county has two programs for monitoring the accused while
they continue their lives out of jail. After
a rigorous process of analyzing risk the
county grants ROR and places low and
medium risk accused people under supervision from the Pretrial Supervision
Program or the Close Street Supervision,
for higher risk accused persons. With constant phone contact, family contact, home
visits, or even electronic monitoring, the
county allows accused persons to continue to participate in society without a monetary punishment.
Judicial systems are justified in maintaining some people in jail until their
court appearance, but the process of doing so is currently unjust. Forcing accused
persons to remain in prison by raising
the price of bail does not provide a legally
clear line that they pose a threat and still
allows for the possibility that they get out
on bail. The better procedure to uphold
due process would be to use preventative
detention if the accused is highly likely to
avoid trial or poses an obvious threat to
society. Furthermore, this is an important legal distinction from the threat that
the accused will commit another crime.
The status quo allows for higher bail if the
accused is expected to commit a different
crime, which is unjust. Effective reform
would utilize risk assessment and preventative detention if the accused presents a
direct threat to their family, community,
or self. The onus is on the Pretrial Release
System to show clear threat and validate
that threat before judges to determine
whether preventative detention is necessary.
Funding for such projects would be
made possible through a decrease in the
cost of housing prisoners who are given
excessive bail. Rather than keeping the ac-

cused in jail waiting for trial, money could

be spent to more effectively determine the
likelihood of trial attendance. The four
states that have banned for-profit bail
bondsIllinois, Kentucky, Oregon, and
Wisconsinhave been able to continue
to fund their risk analysis programs.5 Additionally, these states maintain relatively
average budgets for costs associated with
the prison population. The battle to overturn the vested interests of the for-profit
bail-bond industry will take much time
and effort, but this battle is imperative in
protecting the presumption of innocence.
These reforms would allow accused persons to remain productive members of
society and ensure an equitable execution
of justice.
Big insurance behind bail bonds
| Al Jazeera America. (n.d.). Retrieved
March 24, 2015, from http://america.
Raifeartaigh, U. (1997). Reconciling bail law with the presumption of
innocence. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 17(1), 121.
Liptak, A. (2008, January 29).
Illegal Globally, Bail for Prot Remains
in U.S. The New York Times. Retrieved
Fair Treatment for the Indigent:
The Manhattan Bail Project. (2011). Federal Sentencing Reporter, 24(1), 1012.
Bradford, S. (2012). For Better or
For Prot: How the Bail Bonding Industry
Stands in the Way of Fair and Effective
Pretrial Justice (p. 57). Washington, DC:
Justice Policy Instutute.

Warriors No More: On De-Militarizing

American Police Forces
By Elise Guarna

ust before 3 A.M. in May of 2014, a SWAT

team executed a no-knock warrant on a
house just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Officers made their way into the room where
the Phonesavanh family was sleeping and,
upon entering, threw a flash-bang grenade that landed in the crib of the Phonesavanhs infant son, Bou Bou. The blast
covered the nine-month old in third degree burns and blew a hole in his chest so
deep that it exposed his ribs and collapsed
a lung.
The team was executing a search warrant for Mr. Phonesavanhs nephewwho
was not a resident of the houseunder
suspicion that he had made a $50 drug
sale. No guns or drugs were found in
the house and no arrests were made. The
man in question was later arrested without incident and without a SWAT team.
Despite the fact that there were childrens
toys strewn across the front lawn of the
house and childrens seats visible in the car
parked in the driveway, officers claimed
that they had no idea there may have been
children in the house.1
Bounkahm, Bou Bous father, compared the experience to memories that he
has of communist soldiers breaking down
the door of his childhood home in Laos
during wartime. Bou Bous mother, Alecia, said that her three daughters are now
terrified of the police.2
Possibly the most disturbing part of the
story is that the botched raid that disfigured Bou Bou Phonesavanh is far from
extraordinary. The drastic militarization
of American police forces over the past
decades has resulted in a police officer
that is trained as a warrior instead of as
a protector, evidenced by the radical increase in the number and scope of SWAT
deployments. In response to high crime
rates and our countrys wars on drugs and
terror, the federal government has poured
both money and equipment into training
local police forces as armies. However,
this begs the question: if the police are an

army, are we the enemy?

A Brief History of SWAT:
While attempting to control the violent
Watts riots of 1965, LAPD officer Daryl
Gates came to believe that standard police
training was inadequate to deal with the
snipers, random chaos, and guerilla tactics that characterized the Watts riots. In
response, he created Americas first SWAT
SWATwhich stands for Special Weapons and Tacticswas created as a means of
responding to exceptional threats quickly
and efficiently, therefore minimizing risk
to civilians and officers alike. The highly
trained SWAT teams were to be deployed
in hostage, barricade, and active shooter4 situations to provide an appropriate
alternative to what Gates termed polices
usual indiscriminate shooting.5
However, the War on Drugs initiated
by President Nixon and championed by
President Reagan changed the way that
SWAT was used, turning what was once
a tactic of last resort to a standard tool of
law enforcement. The war-like rhetoric
that Nixon used even prior to officially
waging war on drugs in 1972 exacerbated domestic fears that crimeand specifically drug-related crimewas a dire
threat to national security and should be
treated as such.6
Over time, this came to justify use of
highly trained, militarized SWAT teams
to execute search warrants for drugs often
in low-level investigations. In 2014, the
ACLU reported that 62 percent of SWAT
deployments in 2011 and 2012 were for
drug searches.7 The radicalized view of
drug-related dangers that policy makers
continue to hold is summed up in a classified governmental memo written in 2004,
which states that the War on Drugs has
all the risks, excitement, and dangers of
conventional warfare.8
This seemingly widespread belief that
the War on Drugs does indeed have the
same dangers of conventional warfare

Equal Justice

Equal Justice

the bail bond system is incredibly effective

other systems could avoid legal infringements and yield similar results.
Finally, the current system hurts
the wrong people. Freedom under the status quo is determined by ones ability to
post bail. The most vulnerable people in
society are only further victimized in the
bail bond system. This compounds punishment when considering statistical tendencies that those who remain in prison
waiting for trial are three times as likely
to be sentenced to prison and also receive
three times as long a prison sentence. This
system only contributes to recidivism
rates and an already overcrowded prison
population. As a benefit to tax payers and
in order to maintain the principles of presumed innocence policies should be formulated to correct the status quo.
Policy Solution:
Although the for profit bail bond
system is effective in lowering the likelihood of bail-jumping, there are viable alternatives that do not violate rights or fall
susceptible to abuse. The least radical action would focus on reforming the current
bail system to create fairer pricing of bail
or no bail. An information-based analysis
of the accused, with a particular focus on
their community involvement, can determine the likelihood that they jump bail.
The Vera Institute conducted extensive
analysis of a personalized bail determination and found that with more information about the person arrested judges were
more likely to give a ROR instead of bail.
Additionally, those given ROR were still
just as likely to appear for their court date.
The accused persons who received ROR in
their tests were more than twice as likely to
be acquitted or have their case dismissed.
Those granted ROR were also found to
serve significantly less time in prison after
sentencing with only 16 percent receiving
any time in prison compared to the 96 percent for other accused who were unable to
make bail.4 Collecting information about
an individual from those who know them
can better explain the likelihood that they
would jump bail. For many bail would not
be necessary if there is sufficient expectation that they would appear before a court
In addition to risk assessment,
courts can duplicate the efforts of bail
agents and maintain contact with the ac-

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Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 14-15

has led policy makers to the conclusion

that the men on the front lines of our
drug wars should be armed with the same
weaponry as our conventional militaries.
In 1996, Congress introduced Section
1033 of the National Defense Authorization Act,9 which authorizes the Department of Defense to transfer excess military equipment to local law enforcement
agencies free of charge and with relatively
little supervision. With the onset of the
War on Terror, the incentive to arm domestic police forces grew even greater. As
of 2014, the Law Enforcement Support
Office claims to have transferred $4.3 billion worth of property through the 1033
While it may, in fact, be necessary for
local police departments to have an advanced arsenal in the event of a legitimate
threat, the equipment is more often used
for routine police work. As a New Hampshire City Councilmember admitted, Our
application talked about the danger of domestic terrorism, but thats just something
you put in the grant application to get the
money. What red-blooded American cop
isnt going to be excited about getting a toy
like this?11

SWAT had placed the suspects two young

stepchildren. When Taylor entered, the
eight-year-old girl immediately assumed
a defensive position between the detective
and her younger brother, asking, What
are you going to do with us?
Looking back on the event, Taylor says,
Here I comewith all my SWAT gear
on, dressed in armor from head to toe,
and this little girl looks up at me, and her
only thought is to defend her little brother.
I thought, how can we be the good guys
when we come into the house looking
like this, screaming and pointing guns at
the people they love?13 The search of the
house turned up three joints and one pipe.
The police can only serve as a legitimate stabilizing force if they work in
service of the people and ensure that all
people feel safe in their communities and
their homes. Each time SWAT is used for
a task for which it is not requiredsuch as
executing a search warrantresources are
wasted, the possibility of accidental injury
increases, and the overly aggressive front
that the police show to the public widens
the rift between them and increases the
peoples growing distrust for the force that
is intended to protect and serve them.

The Problem:
So, what exactly is the issue? What is so
dangerous about arming our police officersthe men and women who risk their
lives to protect us every dayto the best
of our ability?
As stated in a recent report from the
ACLU, the militarization of American
policingencourages them to adopt a
warrior mentality and think of the people
they are supposed to serve as enemies.12
More often than we would like to believe,
this overzealous and militaristic approach
to police work can result in the physical
harm or death of innocent citizens, as in
the case of Bou Bou Phonesavanh.
However, the less apparent danger is
the exacerbation of already souring relations between the people and their police. Betty Taylor, a detective in Lincoln
County, MI, recalls a specific day on the
job that exposed her to the true costs of
militarized policing. She was asked to
come along on a SWAT raid to stay with
the children who the officers knew would
most likely be in the house. Detective Taylor was directed to the bedroom where

The Solution:
The rise of militarized policing is a
multi-faceted issue that requires a slew of
policies addressing different aspects of the
problem. I will, however, offer a few policy proposals addressing the transparency,
accountability and use of SWAT teams, in
the hopes of ensuring their efficacy as a
law enforcement tool and improving the
relationship between police and civilians.
Deployments: SWAT was created to
provide highly coordinated responses
to extraordinary, high-risk threats. They
were never intended to execute search
warrants and should not be used to do
so unless there is a compelling and proven reason to expect an unusually high
risk to officer or to uninvolved civilians
that would be best countered by SWATs
heavy-handed approach.
1033: Instead of being used as a pipeline from the Department of Defense to
our red-blooded American police officers, 1033 should be repurposed to provide appropriate quantities and types of
weapons to departments that demonstrate
a real need. Before being eligible to receive

equipment through the program, departments should have to be deemed fit by the
DoD, meaning that any officer that would
have control over the weapons use should
have to attend training that reviews when
and how it is appropriate to use the equipment and clearly outlines inappropriate
uses that would result in the equipment
being taken back. Once equipment changes hands, the Department of Defense must
then monitor its use and be held partially
responsible if use of the weapons results in
unnecessary harm to persons or property.
Recordkeeping: Departments should
be required to keep a centralized database
on SWAT activitieseasily accessible by
the publicthat clearly record the number of times SWAT is deployed, for what
purpose, how many members are deployed, any injuries sustained during the
raid (to officers, citizens, or even domestic
pets), and what resulted from the raid (arrests, seizure of contraband, etc.).
Accountability: In the event that the
wrong house is raided, or an innocent
person is harmed during a SWAT raid, any
expenses sustained by the innocent parties should fall on the police departments
that called for the raid and formal apologies should be issued to those affected. In
addition, helmet cameras should be made
standard for SWAT teams.
While these proposals do not address
many of the deeper issues affecting relations between the police and the people,
they do offer a way of introducing more
checks into the system that shouldand
generally doeskeep us safe.
Police officers put their lives in danger
every day to keep us safe, and for that we
are eternally grateful. However, the past
decades have demonstrated the danger to
the safety of our people and the health of
our society posed by police departments
reliance on excessively militant techniques. As the saying goes, when youre
holding a hammer, everything looks like
a nail. By instituting these fairly simple
policy reforms and opening local police
departments up to greater civilian and
federal oversight, we can begin to reverse
this worrisome trend.

Roosevelt Review

Equal Justice

Equal Justice

Each time SWAT is

used for a task for which
it is not requiredsuch
as executing a search
warrantresources are
wasted, the possibility of
accidental injury increases, and the overly aggressive front that the police
show to the public widens the rift between them
and increases the peoples
growing distrust for the
force that is intended to
protect and serve them.

Recovers From Grenade, NBC News, July

7, 2015,
American Civil Liberties Union,
War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing, Special
Report (New York, NY: ACLU Foundation,
2014), 15.
Radley Balko, Rise of the Warrior
Cop: The Militarization of Americas
Police Forces (New York: PublicAffairs,
2013), 53.
War Comes Home, 2.
Balko, Rise of the Warrior Cop,
Balko, Rise of the Warrior Cop,
War Comes Home, 2.
War Comes Home, 26.
Taylor Wofford, How Americas Police Became an Army, Newsweek,
August 13, 2014, http://www.newsweek.
War Comes Home, 26.
War Comes Home, 25.
War Comes Home, 3.
Balko, Rise of the Warrior Cop,

M. Alex Johnson, Militarized
SWAT Teams Under Scrutiny as Toddler

4/10/15 3:03 PM

By Nikita Mary Singareddy

Equal Justice
Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 16-17

ational studies have shown that youth civic engagement has weakened over the past
three decades. Comparing the activities
of young Baby Boomers to present-day
Millenials, there is a noticeable downward
trend in metrics of political participation
such as voting, informal efforts to solve
community problems, affiliations with
non-political associations and religious
institutions, and volunteerism.1 This generational decline does not bode well for
the long-term health of American democracy. Dwindling civic participation clearly
means fewer opportunities for state and
local governments to understand the concerns of young constituents especially
those of urban minorities. Research exhibits that low-income youth of color are the
most disengaged, an extremely problematic finding given that group differences in
civic participation can lead to disparities
in citizen influence over legislation as well
as the unequal distribution of social benefits.2 Undoubtedly, there is a crucial need
to address, enhance, and sustain urban
youth engagement. Cities have found that
participatory budgeting (PB) efforts with
high schoolers demonstrate positive, continual impacts for historically underrepresented youth.3 PB can be instrumental in
making the allocation of public resources
more inclusive and equitable by promoting public access to revenue and expenditure information. With the institutional
and sociopolitical challenges presented by
an inner city environment, this piece presents public budgeting as a highly innovative mechanism to involve urban ethnic
youth in civic decision-making and sow
the seeds for future engagement.
Urban youth of color (16-24) are less
likely than their white middle-class counterparts to display important characteristics of citizenship. Democracy for Some:
The Civic Opportunity Gap in High
School, a study by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and
Engagement, measured civic engagement

using ten factors including attendance at

religious services at least monthly, reading
newspapers at least once a week, voting,
contacting a political party, working on a
community project, attending club meetings, and believing that the government is
trustworthy. Data from the nationally representative sample of almost 3,000 high
school students found that middle-class
white youth displayed higher levels in all
ten factors than urban youth. They were
four times as likely to be part of campaign
work and twice as likely to contact elected officials. Furthermore, urban youth
were twice as unlikely to protest and three
times as unlikely to report participating in
service activities than whites.4
The statistics are particularly salient
when coupled with studies from developmental psychologists. Professor Judith Torney-Purta, Professor of Human
Development at the University of Maryland, has noted that, in comparison to
middle-class white youth, youth of color from low-income families tend to feel
more alienated from their communities
and generally have a lower sense of political efficacy.5 This suggests that civic
involvement is possible only when young
people have acquired knowledge about
their communities as well as opportunities
to participate in them; connected youths
are more likely to feel a sense of connection and responsibility to their community. However, research indicates that youth
living in urban contexts are more likely
to encounter obstacles depriving them of
knowledge about their communities or
access to opportunities to participate.6 Often ethnicity, SES and geographically-defined neighborhoods are negative variables for urban adolescents developing
their civic identity. This line of argument
is also supported by researchers who have
documented limited opportunities for inner-city civic participation byway of declining volunteer and church institutions
as well as decaying community supports.7

idea formulating and into the formal planning stages as budget delegates. Although
the city has yet to pass participatory budgeting proposals, Greensboro became the
first city in the South with PB.12 Looking
out West, Vallejo is the largest city in Solano County,California, United States.In
2012, it had an estimated per capita income of $23,334 and 75% minority ethnic
make-up.13 That same year, the urban City
of Vallejo made history by becoming the
first U.S. municipality to approve participatory budgeting (PB) city-wide. In its
first year of PB, Vallejo residents created
and approved 12 public projects, from
community gardens to youth scholarships to park rehabilitation. Survey data
demonstrated that 9% of assembly attendees were 16 years of age or younger; additionally, 11% were 18 years or over the but
not registered to vote, suggesting that PB
engaged residents of all ages that were typically not involved in civic affairs. In terms
of voting on PB proposals, youth voters
(16-17 years of age) accounted for 18% of
the total votes cast, higher than PB youth
engagement in Chicago and New York.14
In interviews with members of the PB
Vallejo Youth Committee, they asserted PB presented itself as an effective way
to engage with the community. Jennifer
Aguiar, a Hispanic senior at Jesse Bethel
High School and PB youth delegate, came
to her first PB Vallejo assembly for the free
pizza, but stayed when she saw an opportunity to make a change. She signed up to
be a delegate on the Youth Committee.15
In collaborating and working diligently in
the PB youth committee, Aguiar was initially surprised by the enthusiasm of other youth delegates; but soon, she saw the
power of her fellow urban youth when two
of their 2012 ballot initiatives college
scholarship funds and funding improvements to the local Boys and Girls Club
facility passed with almost 1,000 votes
each.16 Reflecting on participatory budgeting in Vallejo, Aguiar thought it had
discernibly empowered the youth:
In some parts of the Vallejo community there was a stronger sense of unity
that has emerged from PB. Personally, it
just opened my eyes to what it was like to
actually do something that means something to people, if that makes sense. A lot
of the youth dont realize the power they
can possess to make a better change in

Equal Justice

Participatory Budgeting as a Means of Increasing Civic Engagement for Urban Youth

Consequently, many urban youth have

less faith in traditional forms of political
With increasing levels of distrust in the
efficacy of government, urban youth are
especially eager to participate in actions
where they can represent themselves and
see tangible results. According to statistics
from the Participatory Budgeting Conference held in San Francisco earlier this
year, civic activities outside of traditional
political institutions are important ways
for youth to make their voices heard.9 Given the political gridlock and mainstream
narratives that highlight the failures of
government, young people are increasingly focused on their local communities and
innovative collaborations to solve local
Participatory Budgeting (PB) can be an
innovative mechanism to involve citizens,
especially the youth, in the decision-making process of public budgeting. PB can
be instrumental in making the allocation
of public resources more inclusive and
equitable by promoting public access to
revenue and expenditure information. PB
effectively increases transparency in fiscal policy and expenditure management,
thereby enhancing government credibility and citizen trust.10 It is important to
educate and empower urban youth to be
civically-minded decision-makers. Using
the cities of Greensboro (NC) and Vallejo (CA) as case studies, there is substantial evidence that participatory budgeting
offers urban youth the chance to increase
their engagement and effectively solve key
issues in their local communities.
Greensboro, a 50% African American neighborhood in North Carolina,
launched its first participatory budgeting
efforts in 2014.11 In an ongoing community-driven collaborative project with The
University of North Carolina, led by Dr.
Spoma Jovanovic, Dudley High School
and the Greensboro Municipal government teamed up to help educate the community about the PB process and the potentially positive impact it can have on
historically underrepresented urban communities. Dudley students researched and
developed their own mock-PB proposals
that were used to educate the community about the PB process. With $500,000 at
stake, several students stepped up beyond

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4/10/15 3:03 PM

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 18-19

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

(DACA): An Analysis of Where We Are
and Where We Need To Be
By Sahng-Ah Yoo

n August 15, 2012, the United States

Citizenship and Immigration Services
(USCIS) began formally accepting applications to their new executive deferral
program: Deferred Action for Childhood
Arrivals (DACA). The DACA directive
is an act of prosecutorial discretion that
offers a temporary solution to a growing
human rights issue on how the United
States handles immigrants. Described as a
smart enforcement policy, DACA prioritizes deportation of criminal immigrants
over law-abiding, young, productive immigrants, helping to unclog deportation
courts and enabling a DACA grantee to
bypass many obstacles that had prevented
them from being incorporated into society in a humane and productive way.
Only a subset of the undocumented
population is eligible for DACA. The limitations are based on (1) age (under the
age of 31 as of June 15, 2012), (2) years of
residency (have continuously resided in
the United States since January 1, 2010),
(3) presence in the United States (were
physically present in the United States
since June 15, 2012 and at the time of filing
the DACA application; were in the United
States before 16th birthday), (4) educational attainment or military service (high
school diploma), and (5) clean criminal
record (no felony, no serious misdemeanor, three or less misdemeanors).
In its first year alone, more than
573,000 people applied for DACA relief
with 430,000 of these applicants accepted.
Evidently, more than half the people immediately eligible for DACA applied for
the program in fewer than 12 months a
remarkable feat that emphasizes the demand for the program as well as the working infrastructure that has allowed the
program to process such a large number
of applications efficiently. By the two-year

mark, USCIS had collectively accepted

702,485 different residents, almost double
the previous year.1
It should come as no surprise that there
is such high demand; the facets of DACA
include an Employment Authorization
Document, an official photo ID card from
the government that demonstrates your
work eligibility to employers, and permits individuals to obtain a social security
number and card from the Social Security
Administration.2 Moreover, according to
a study published by the American Immigration Council at the one-year mark,
approximately 60% of DACA recipients
surveyed had obtained a new job, 49%
had opened their first bank account, and
57% had obtained a drivers license since
receiving DACA status. These benefits
have allowed young adult immigrants to
widen their educational and employment
While the benefits of transitioning
from undocumented to DACAmented
are clear, and though a significant number
of people have benefited from DACA already, the data also indicates that DACA
is not reaching its entire target population. According to estimates made by Migration Policy Institute (MPI),4 as of July
2014, only 55% of the 1.2 million youth
who are immediately eligible have applied
for relief from deportation.5 Who is not
applying and why not?
A brief analysis reveals holes in the
programs success that offer a somewhat
comprehensive answer to that question.
This investigatory piece allow us better
insight into the inner workings of the deferred action program and targets for the
United States in providing undocumented
immigrants (temporary) relief from deportation and access to better life in the
United States.6 But, perhaps more im-

Equal Justice

Equal Justice

Khane, John. Democracy for
Some: The Civic Opportunity Gap in
High School. Center for Information and
Research on Civil Learning and Engagement (2008). Web.
Torney-Purta, Judith. Links and
Missing Links between Education, Political
Knowledge, and Citizenship. American
Journal of Education105.4 (1997): 446.
Kirshner, Ben, Karen Strobel,
and Mara Fernndez. Civic Involvement
Among Urban Youth: A Qualitative Study
of Critical Engagement.John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities Stanford University (2002). Web.
Sanchez-Jankowski, Martin.
2002. Minority Youth and Civic Engagement: The Impact of Group Relations,
Applied Developmental Science, vol. 6 (4),
Daniel Hart and Robert Atkins.
2002. Civic Competence in Urban Youth,
Applied Developmental Science, vol. 6 (4),
Putnam, Robert D. Bowling
Khane, John. Democracy for
Alone: The Collapse and Revival of Amer- 21
Civic Opportunity Gap in
ican Community. New York: Simon &
Center for Information and
Schuster, 2000. Print.
Learning and Engage2
Judis, John B., and Ruy A. Teixeiment
ra. The Emerging Democratic Majority.
New York: Scribner, 2002. Print.

Vallejo by taking part in the PB process.

I now know I have the ability to help not
just this community, but many more, and
it is in part due to getting involved in the
PB process. I want to see Vallejo progress
towards a better future where people can
say they were proud to grow up here.17
These examples explain how urban
youth have and would continue to benefit from civic engagement measures like
participatory budgeting. First, PB has
provide urban youth a sense of empowerment as exhibited in Vallejo. Many minority youth experience marginalization
and alienation because of systemic racism
and oppression; through PB participation
and youth organizing to solve community problems, urban youth have the opportunity to demonstrate their strengths
and realize their rights as contributing
members of their community.18 Greensboro and Vallejo have demonstrated that
PB activities provide youth the opportunities to lead, to take ownership of the
programs, and to develop a sense of community with peers. Research indicates that
such empowerment in political efficacy is
related to positive outcomes for civic engagement in the future.19 Additionally, PB
might benefit urban youth because participation in civic activities limits time for
youth to be involved in risky behavior. PB
connects youth to supportive adults who
can provide them guidance and enhances
the opportunity for youth to develop relationships with peers who value justice and
change.20 And lastly, civic engagement like
PB provides adolescents with opportunities to develop their skills that have been
underdeveloped by experiences in schools
and other public institutions. These proven, positive effects of PB in youth civic engagement make it critical to further develop participatory budgeting efforts in even
more urban cities.21

Roosevelt Review

4/10/15 3:03 PM

Equal Justice
Table 2. Ten origin countries with highest estimates of eligible DACA applicants11

portantly, the answers to these questions

can begin to tell us how much further we
need to develop the program to fit the true
needs of our nations most silent and powerless residents.
This paper analyzes USCIS data on application numbers alongside various indepth research conducted by independent
immigration political think tanks. The
published data tells us the following:
Which state you live in matters.
We can partly understand why half of

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 20-21

postsecondary education, drivers licenses, and other benefits as well as those

that have higher levels of immigration
enforcement may have higher DACA
application rates because the burdens and
risks of unauthorized status are especially
high.10 Moreover, an increase in media attention on the mass influx of immigrants
has caused more needed resources to enter the states, by means of nonprofit immigration help and pro bono-committed
law firms.
Another way to understand the discrepancy between eligibility and applications is by looking at countries of origins. Except for Maryland, Massachusetts,
and Virginia, Mexico heads the list of top
countries of origin for the undocumented
population in each state, far above many
other countries. Table 2 compares the top
ten origin countries from which immediately eligible youth come from.
The data in table 2 shows a geographical
correlation with the application rates. The
top three origin countries with highest
application rate include Honduras (68%),
Peru (61%), and Mexico (52%), which
are Latin and South American countries,
whereas the lowest three application rates
come from Asian countries: Philippines
(26%), Korea (24%), and China (10%). At
the end of 2013, the application rate for
Asian origins was 17.9%, meaning that
over 90,000 youths have yet to be served.12
The physical distance between the
United States and the origin country may
be encouraging or discouraging, depending on the direct foreign government involvement in the advertising and advising
of DACA to the undocumented population. This, in turn, may be influencing
the awareness and resources immigrants
have to apply for DACAship. For example,
experts believe that Mexican-born applicants are less likely to be denied DACA
status due to the strong role that the Mexican consulate has played in facilitating
DACA applications: hiring new employees, extending hours, and providing other
services to help DACA applicants identify
documents and make a significant amount
of public outreach to raise awareness of
the program.13 As a policy solution, however, foreign involvement in promoting
the DACA directive will be unfeasible.
China, for example, does not have the po-

litical history or geographical immediacy

to motivate action that Mexico does. The
complicated but long history between the
United States and Mexico, especially with
NAFTA, in addition to the robust presence
of family members who remain behind in
Mexico, allows for more open government
consideration to aid the people who fled
from their country and lifestyle.
Another factor might simply be the
immigration history that exists for each
group within the United States. If Mexico shocks with its high number of eligible and applying immigrants, China is
surprising for the opposite reason. Listed
as the 7th most DACA eligible applicants,
Chinese immigrants have consistently
applied in such low numbers that people
have called their single-digit application
rates14 as negligible.15 China is not even
listed as one of the top twenty countries
of origin of DACA applicants.16 This may
be due to a U.S. history marred by institutionalized discrimination against foreigners from centuries past. In 1882, the
federal government created its first explicit discriminatory law that prohibited entry of a specific ethnic working group on
the premise that it endangered the good
order of certain localities. The Chinese
Exclusion Act targeted Chinese skilled
and unskilled laborers from entering the
country for ten years under penalty of imprisonment and deportation. The Act also
affected Asians who had already settled in
the United States; any Chinese who left
the United States had to obtain certifications for reentry and Chinese immigrants
were excluded from the path to citizenship, permanently alienating them from
this country even as life-long residents
(Chinese Exclusion Act, 1882). When the
ten-year period was over, nativist culture
hadnt died down. In 1892, Congress approved renewal of this Act - it wasnt until
decades in 1943 during the height of Japanese xenophobia that the Chinese gained
a more favorable status for the Act to be
reconsidered and somewhat rejected. This
nativist culture still lives on in the 21st
century compounded with an unhealthy
lack of public and private discussion in
this area. According to Betty Hung, In
the Chinese community, there is such a
community culture of silence about this.17
This raises the possibility of lingering distrust with the U.S. Government.

The bottom line is that depending on
the nationalities of the immigrants and
the states in which they live, the resources
available greatly influence the number of
applicants to the USCIS. Other resources
that may have a hand in the low application
rate include the cost-prohibitive filing fee
of $465, inability to present acceptable evidence that prove their continued presence
in the country, lack of awareness about the
program in rural areas, and extreme fear
of deportation for themselves and family
members. For any of these problems to be
fixed, we need to focus our attention to
each of these problems in a specific and
focused way, dedicated to alleviating the
root of the problem. In the following section, two proposals are presented to tackle
some of the discussed problems namely,
low Asian DACA applications and prohibitive high application fee.
POLICY #1: Raise Asian DACA Application Rates
As stated above, Asians have been reluctant to apply for, and especially so with
the recent controversy raised by a federal
judge who put a hold on Obamas planned
expansion of the deferment program. Judy
Chu, California Democratic Representative noted that Asian immigrants are currently very wary of sharing personal information with the government and have
doubts about whether the program will
last. There is particular emphasis in the familial concern of what could occur if one
member of the family formally appears
before the government as undocumented
and the risks they pose to others.
Much work must be done to reach out
and assure the Asian undocumented population of the worth, safety, and benefits of
applying for DACAship. This effort must
take place at all levels of the program.
On the personal level, conversations on
DACA and its variations should become
a household conversation that is easy to
have with correct information flowing
mouth-to-mouth. This starts with a new
approach to the DACA campaign, which
has so far, been focused on the internet,
radio, and certain community social justice centers. What needs to happen is a direct insertion of people who know the information into the communities that have

Equal Justice

Table 1. Fifteen states with highest estimates of eligible DACA applicants8

the immigrants immediately eligible for

DACA status have not applied by looking
at individual state demographics and their
respective policies. Table 1 below shows
the top fifteen states based on the largest
immediately eligible populations in 2012. 7
From the data in table 1, it is clear that
DACA is not being implemented as uniformly or as greatly as it could be. Evidently, Arizona (66% application rate) has
certain factors that push immigrants to
apply for DACA benefits while New Jersey (37%) does not.9 What, then, makes
Arizona more appealing to eligible candidates?
The data also shows that the current
sum of eligible DACA recipients and the
number of them who actually apply are
not highly correlated. California, while
having three times the number of Texan
eligible immigrants, falls far behind in
application rates. While one might expect
that a larger eligible population would induce better resources as a collective motivation towards higher application rates,
which is simply not the case here.
What is more significant than the eligibility estimate is the history of immigration in each state. The top four states with
application rates (60%+) are Texas (2),
Arizona (9), Colorado (11), and Nevada
(15), all of which have significantly lower
DACA eligible population estimates than
states like California or even New York.
Located in the Southwest, these four states
have experienced a rapid rise in their immigrant populations during the past 10-15
years. On the other hand, the three states
with the lowest application rates include
Massachusetts, Virginia, and New Jersey,
all of which are generally located on the
East Coast, which has not experienced
any particular rise in undocumented immigrants in the past decade.
Differences in recent immigration history have led to different policies adopted by each state. This is compounded by
existing regional differences in political
leanings and communal attitudes towards immigrants. Generally speaking,
the states on the Northeast coast tend to
be more liberal, with more forgiving immigration policies, whereas Southwest
states have a more racially divided history
and conservative stances on government
aid programs. States with more restrictive policies affecting immigrant access to

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POLICY #2: Financial Aid/Sensitivity to

The undocumented populations experience with poverty in America takes the
innate problems in our nations social support system that plague our own citizens
and worsens it with complex legal issues
that enhance the limitations and prohibits undocumented workers from finding
any form of relief. According to the Career Equity Resources Center18, the average income of undocumented families is
40% lower than that of either native-born
families or of legal immigrant families and
nearly 40% of undocumented children live
below the federal poverty level, compared
with 17% of natively born children.19 This
can be attributed to the low-paying jobs
they hold and to their susceptibility to be-

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 22-23

ing paid below minimum wage. In 2008,

undocumented immigrants made up
25% of farmworkers, 17% of construction
workers, and are likely to hold low-skilled
jobs20 such as cleaning services21.
Given these circumstances, the $465
filing fee for both initial applications and
renewal requests can be impossible for
many undocumented immigrant, becoming yet another roadblock in their paths
to DACAship. Yet, there is no fee waiver
for those applying for employment authorization. And those who are applying for
DACA without the employment authorization application must go through an arduous fee waiver application that includes
submission of a letter and documentation
that proves an income of less than 150% of
the US poverty level and an accumulation
of $10,000 in debt due to medical expenses in other words, proof of qualifications
that are too specific and random.
This raises a couple policy points. First,
the renewal application should be accepted without any additional fee theyve
paid once to be in the system; another
fee will quickly outweigh any work benefits that come from being DACA status.
Second, if USCIS finds no way to reduce
the high application fee due to processing
costs, it should work for increased awareness of certain financial support programs
that help DACA eligible immigrants to
apply. Some examples include lending
circles and specifically DACA-population
targeted loans. Many organizations have
established lending circles, including Mission Asset Fund in San Francisco22, which
provides 0% interest credit-building loans.
Community Trust, another financial organization located in California, provides
individual loans for up to $465, with a relatively low interest rate after 6 months.23
These two organizations and many of the
others should be placed as resources on
the main website and should, in general,
receive more attention from the administration as it ups its efforts to communicate
accessibility and safety to DACA eligible
populations for them to begin using its
services. Moreover, returning to our discussion on state-by-state resource differences, the federal government should provide incentives for the states other than
California to follow suit and implement
strong financial support programs.

Whether members of our community
like it or not, undocumented immigrants
have become a crucial part of our society
and are here to stay; DACA is the first of
many steps that must be taken for us to
move forward together towards a more
productive and inclusive society. But it has
not been a perfectly executed directive. We
must work towards making this program
much more available to those already eligible and should begin to reconsider
the repercussions of dividing the undocumented population by age, education,
and other somewhat random factors. The
top five states with the highest estimates
of number of undocumented immigrants
do not match the top five states with the
highest estimates of number of DACA-eligible immigrants. This observation raises pointed questions to the effectiveness
of the relief DACA gives. The success of
DACA relies on our ability to reach out to
the entire eligible undocumented population and assuring them of the safety in
confidentiality and from deportation. But
this sort of emotional and political safety may not be felt by our immigrants by
policy changes, instead resting on a more
cultural change on the part of the American people toward immigrants. To keep
our nations core humanitarian ideals and
democratic values, we should create more
permanent and safer laws and public policies that allow these immigrants to come
out of the shadows and live the normal
lives of free human beings.
US Citizenship and Immigration
Services. (September 2014). Number of
I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action
for Childhood Arrivals by Fiscal Year,
Quarter, Intake, Biometrics and Case Status: 2012-2014. USCIS.
Lenahan, K. (2015, January
20). Deferred Action Iniatives, including
DAPA and DACA: Answers to Frequently
Asked Questions. Retrieved January 22,
2015, from Avvo:
Gonzales, R., & Bautista-Chavez,
A. (2014). Two Years and Counting:

Batalova, J., Hooker, S., Capps,
R., & Bachmeier, J. (2014). DACA at the
Two-Year Mark. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute.
Immediately eligible refers to
those who fulll all the requirements and
can apply immediately
In May of this year, USCIS has
planned to roll out a second deferred action
program, in conjunction with DACA,
called the Deferred Action for Parent
Accountability (DAPA), aimed towards
providing parents of US citizens or lawful
permanent residents brief amnesty to care
for their children and family. This program
will have signicant effects on the livelihoods of mixed families (families with both
documented and undocumented members)
and should be interesting to study after a
few months of its release.

Washington, D.C.: Pew Research Center.

Roosevelt Review

Batalova J. , Hooker, Capps,
Bachmeier, & Cox, 2013
Semple, K. (2013, December 9).
Advocates struggle to reach immigrants
eligible for deferred action. The New York
Career Equity Resources Center.
(2010). Promoting Academic Success with
Undocumented Students. New Jersey:
Rutgers University.

Gonzales, 2009


Cohn & Passel, 2009

Oakford, R. L. (2013). The
Economic Effects of Granting Legal Status
and. Center for American Progress. Washington, D.C.: Center for American Progress.
Lending Circles. (2014). Retrieved February 26, 2014, from Mission
Asset Fund:

while there are some changes in
the eligible population estimates from 2012
to 2014, generally, the states have remained 23
Community Trust. (2012). Who
within the top fteen states
Are We? Retrieved February 26, 2015,
from Community Trust: https://www.
Batalova J. , Hooker, Capps, &
Bachmeier, 2014

Equal Justice

Equal Justice

previously been left out of the conversation. For example, a hot line for Chinese
immigrants who have questions about deferred action has been implemented on a
case-by-case basis, by the zeal of too few
people educated enough on these topics
within these communities. A more generalized, money-backed systematized resource would be ideal.
On an international level, both home
and host countries should work together
(much like how Mexico and the United
States have) to create a better transition
for these immigrants and put more pressure on the United States to implement
roll-out programs that favor Asian American immigrants as they do other demographics. One of the reasons that Latinos
have had a much better turnout is because
Spanish is spoken in most of the Latin
American countries, whereas speaking to
Asians requires multiple languages and,
thus, multilingual versions of the same
resources, requiring time, knowledge, and
man power. As convincing as this reason
may sound, it is by no means an excuse.
Spending time and resource to properly
reach out the Asian American population
will help create a better implementation of
this program.
But mostly, there needs to be a special
concern taken by the United States, on a
national level, to create a more inviting
and confidential space that will dissuade
fears from immigrants, like the Chinese,
who have historically been oppressed in
and rejected from the United States.

Assessing the Growing Power of DACA.

Washington, DC: American Immigration

Application rate here refers to
the ratio of initial applications accepted for
processing to the immediately eligible or
potentially eligible DACA populations.
Wong, T., Garca, A., Abrajano,
M., FitzGerald, D., & Ramakrishnan, K.
(2013). Undocumented No More. Washington, DC: Center for American Progress.
Batalova J. , Hooker, Capps, &
Bachmeier, 2014
Wong, Garca, Abrajano, FitzGerald, & Ramakrishnan, 2013
Wong, Garca, Abrajano, FitzGerald, & Ramakrishnan, 2013
Wong, Garca, Abrajano, FitzGerald, & Ramakrishnan, 2013
Cohn, D., & Passel, J. S. (2009).
A Portrait of Unauthorized Immigrants in
the United States. Pew Hispanic Center.

4/10/15 3:03 PM

Roosevelt Review

By Katie Haller

Defense &

Defense and Diplomacy

This years Defense and Diplomacy Center section contains a variety of policy solutions that perfectly mirror the diverse
areas that encompass modern day national defense and international diplomacy. The section contains an article with a new take
on the classic issue of nuclear proliferation, and another that articulates the argument for reaching a nuclear accord with Iran.
Even with the initial framework agreed to in Switzerland, the article outlines why both sides must still follow through in order
to benet all the parties involved. The other two pieces are concerned with issues of citizenship and how communities interact
within and outside of borders; a constantly evolving issue in the United States and abroad. One piece seeks to nd solutions to
ethnic violence, and the other a pathway for citizenship for unauthorized immigrants. Indeed, the denition of who is a legal
citizen in the United States has huge impacts on defense, the economy, and how we interact with other nations. These pieces
reect many of the discussions we have had this year at the Columbia chapter, and I am very pleased to present such reective
and thoughtful policy recommendations.
-Edmund Brose

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 24-25

n February and March of 2002, around

2,000 people died in a period of Hindu-Muslim violence in the Indian state
of Gujarat1. In May of 2014, the man who
was Chief Minister of Gujarat at that time
and actively promoted the violence, Narendra Modi, was elected Indias newest
Prime Minister. Modis election testifies
to a troubling fact: sometimes states are
complicit in the violence they are meant
to prevent. Moreover, they often get away
with it.
The 2002 Gujarat massacre was an instance of communal violence, or violence
that involves groups that define themselves by their differences of religion, ethnicity, language, or race2. Such violence
often appears in the form of ethnic riots
between civilian groups with different
communal identities. Often, when communal tensions spring up in a society,
the violence does not escalate due to an
effective state response. State responses
to put down ethnic violence can include
police and security forces acting to hold
back and arrest the aggressors, the military deploying to curb violence, and state
and central governments reacting quickly
and fairly to protect victims and punish
aggressors. A timely and effective state response is key to suppressing ethnic riots
and preventing them from growing too
large. It is when states are hesitant or indecisive in their response for instance, by
waiting too long to act or worse, when
states actively participate in the violence,
that ethnic riots can grow into large-scale
massacres with hundreds or thousands of
civilian casualties. Conversely, states can
sometimes act too harshly in suppressing
the violence by disproportionately punishing the aggressors.
The international community, includ1

ing states, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and others can play an
important role in helping to shape state
responses to communal violence. This article will examine ways for international
actors to protect human rights and minimize casualties by taking actions to encourage states to respond effectively and
fairly to instances of communal violence.
For context, three recent cases of communal violence and the resulting state
response will be examined. Then policy
recommendations for international actors
will be enumerated.
Three Cases of Ethnic Riots
To illustrate different types of
state responses to communal violence,
three recent cases of ethnic riots around
the world will be examined. In India in
2002, in China in 2009, and in Myanmar
in 2012, violence broke out between two
communities, with a wide range of state
responses from case to case.

Defense &

Monitoring State Responses to

Communal Violence

Case 1: Gujarat state, India, February-March 2002

On February 27, 2002, in the town
of Godhra, Gujarat, India, a train carrying
Hindu pilgrims caught on fire. Nearly 60
people died3. At the time, popular opinion and the Gujarat state government,
led by a Hindu nationalist party, blamed
the fire on a Muslim mob (later found
not to be the case). Between February 28
and March 2, Hindus retaliated by murdering, torturing, and sexually assaulting
the Muslim population in Gujarat, as well
as looting and burning their property. By
the end of the violence, hundreds if not
thousands were dead. Indias government
official death count, published in 2005 and
almost certainly understated, is 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus4. Some sources esti-

Human Rights Watch. We Have No

Human Rights Watch. We Have No
Orders to Save You: State Participation and
Orders to Save You: State Participation and
Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat.
New York, NY: Human Rights Watch, 2002, 21. Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat.
New York, NY: Human Rights Watch, 2002, 4.
Human Rights Watch. Slaughter
Gujarat Riot Death Toll
among Neighbors: The Political Origins of
Communal Violence. New Haven: Yale UP,
Revealed. BBC News. BBC, 11 May
1995, 1.
2005. Web. 16 Dec. 2014.

4/10/15 3:03 PM

mate the total number of casualties to be

over 2,0005.
There is abundant evidence showing
the government of Gujarats participation
in the riot. Several actions taken by the
government, including transferring officials who attempted to stop the violence
and instructing state officials not to intervene, facilitated the violence6. The government also likely used indirect methods to
promote rioting. Hindu participants in
the violence were armed with sophisticated weapons and computer printouts from
the Ahmedabad municipal corporation,
along with voter lists, that showed the addresses of Muslim families and their properties7. The police actively participated in
the violence, or stood by while Muslims
were massacred because, as the police told
the Muslims: We have no orders to save

Defense &

and of those, 134 were Han, 10 were Uyghurs, and the others from the Hui and
Man ethnic groups12.
Media, government, and international
organizations reports of the riot all attest
to the states swift response to put down
the violence. On the first day of the protest, police were already on the scene,
and as the riot grew more violent, troops
in full riot gear and armored vehicles arrived13. The police used tear gas, fire hoses, and batons to disperse the crowd14. On
July 6, the local government announced a
curfew banning all traffic in the city until
8 P.M15, and the central government severely restricted communications in Xinjiang during and after the riot16. Human
Rights Watch and several foreign journalists claim the government sought to
tightly control the flow of information out
of the region. Human Rights Watch also
notes the extreme response by Chinese
Case 2: Urumqi, Xinjiang region, China, security forces and government to the violence, which included unlawful arrests
July 2009
In late June, 2009, in the city of and enforced disappearances of several
Shaoguan, China, a brawl erupted be- Uyghurs .
tween works from the ethnic Han and
Case 3: Rakhine State, Myanmar, June
Uyghur groups. On July 5, Uyghurs in the
Xinjiang provinces capital city of Urumqi 2012
In June 2012, large-scale communal
organized a street protest to demand gov9
broke out in Rakhine State in
ernment investigation into the incident .
between the ethnic Rakhine and
At some point, the demonstration became
Muslim populations. The vioviolent (how this happened remains unclear), and rioters clashed with the police lence was caused by allegations circulating
by throwing stones and setting vehicles that on May 28, 2012, an ethnic Rakhine
on fire10. The riot spread throughout the woman was raped and killed, reportedly
city, with some Uyghurs attacking Han by three Muslim men. From there, escacivilians and looting shops11. The official lating attacks from both sides led to an
Xinhua News Agency reported that of 156 increasingly high death toll. Rioters from
of 197 total deaths were civilian casualties, both Rakhine and Rohingya populations
looted, torched, and destroyed homes,
Human Rights Watch, We Have No businesses, and places of worship and enOrders to Save You, 21; and Jaffrelot, Christophe. Communal Riots in Gujarat: The State at
Risk? Working paper no. 17. Heidelberg Papers
in South Asian and Comparative Politics,

July 2003, 16.


Ibid., 157.

Human Rights Watch. We Have No

Orders to Save You: State Participation and
Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat.
New York, NY: Human Rights Watch, 2002, 5.



Associated Press. Death Toll from

Chinas Ethnic Riots Hits 184. Newsday.
Newsday, 10 July 2009. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 26-27

Innocent Civilians Make up 156 in
Urumqi Riot Death Toll. Xinhua
News Agency, 05 Aug. 2009. Web. 17 Dec.

Wong, Riots in Western China Amid

Ethnic Tension.

Civilians Die in China Riots. Al
Jazeera English. Al Jazeera, 5 July 2009. Web.
17 Dec. 2014.

Wong, Riots in Western China Amid

Ethnic Tension.


Human Rights Watch. We Are

Afraid to Even Look for Them: Enforced Disappearances in the Wake of Xinjiangs Protests,


Ibid., 5.

gaged in killing sprees . Due to collusion

between the Rakhine and local security
forces, however, the Rohingya suffered
more casualties. In an official report, the
government of Myanmar claimed that 31
Rakhine and 57 Rohingya were killed19.
However, rights and Rohingya groups
have claimed that at least 650 Rohingya
were killed by Rakhine and government
forces, and at least 1,200 were missing20.
During the height of the sectarian violence, Myanmars government
failed to effectively intervene. Witnesses
from both Rakhine and Rohingya communities told Human Rights Watch that
they lacked protection from the authorities at the highest point of violence21. Then
on June 10, Myanmars President Thein
Sein declared a state of emergency and
transferred civilian power to the army in
affected areas of Rakhine State22. Violence
in the state capital of Sittwe calmed in a
few days. However, the state of emergency very quickly led to a wave of intensive
violence by various state security forces
against Rohingya communities. In the
north of the state, for instance, the Nasaka border guard, the army, police, and
Lon Thein paramilitary forces committed
killings, looting, and mass arrests against
Rohingya23. Moreover, in many cases, police and Rakhine people worked together
to commit violence against Rohingya24; in
addition, mass arrests and enforced disappearances of Rohingya by state forces occurred throughout the state25.
Policy Recommendations
The evidence from the three cases discussed here has important implications
for international actors who wish to minimize casualties from communal violence
or to protect human rights. When states
are complicit in communal violence, as in
India in 2002, and to a degree in Myanmar

in 2012, international actors should speak

up and take actions to hold states accountable in order to prevent mass atrocities.
Alternatively, on the rare occasions when
states do act effectively to suppress largescale ethnic riots, as in China in 2009, the
international community should be wary
of the possibility of an excessive and authoritarian state response.
Here are a few recommendations
for various international actors when instances of communal violence break out:
Allies and neighbors of states where
communal violence has broken out can
exert their influence on the government to respond quickly and effectively
to stop the violence.
Foreign governments can put pressure
on states with ethnic riots to respond
effectively, through methods including
threatening or enforcing sanctions.
Journalists and the media should
strive to call attention to ethnic riots
and state response to them, even if the
issues are not well known at the time by
the international press. Media attention
is one of the few ways other states can
be urged to intervene.
NGOs can play a major role in researching and raising awareness about
governments roles in instances of
communal violence, as Human Rights
Watch and others currently do.

Roosevelt Review

Defense &

The international community, including states,

intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), nongovernmental organizations
(NGOs), and others can
play an important role
in helping to shape state
responses to communal


The international community has
a vital role to play in helping to shape state
responses to communal violence. In order to avoid large-scale tragedies like the
2,000 deaths in Gujarat within a few weeks
in 2002, international actors must take actions to encourage states to respond effectively and fairly to instances of communal


Kipgen, Nehginpao. Conict in

Rakhine State in Myanmar: Rohingya Muslims
Conundrum. Journal of Muslim Minority
Affairs 33.2 (2013): 298-310, 301.


Ibid., 20.
Ibid., 1.
Ibid., 2.
Ibid., 25.
Ibid., 28.

4/10/15 3:03 PM

By Masih Babagoli

Defense &

adical Iranian students took American

hostages in the United States embassy in
1979, leading President Carter to freeze
Iranian economic assets in the United
States following the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979 and that was only in the first
year of the new Iranian regime. The relationship between these two nations has
not been much friendlier since. Starting
in 2003, the progression of the Iranian
nuclear program has started a chain of
sanctions against Iran mainly by the United States and the European Union, chiefly
aimed at inhibiting the growth of Irans
nuclear capabilities. No formal, long-term
agreement that eases tensions on both
sides has resulted from negotiations thus
far. Now, under the Joint Plan of Action,
which is a short-term agreement that has
brought concessions from both the United States and Iran and is set to expire in
June 2015, both sides are close to negotiating a formal agreement.1 However, there
are dissenting groups on both sides, mainly right-wing groups, that oppose such an
agreement: the American dissenters want
more sanctions, and the Iranian dissenters want more nuclear development. An
American-Iranian agreement must be
reached in the near future; failure to do
so will not only orient Iran back toward
nuclear development and economic degradation, but it will also return relations
to the extremely antagonistic ways of the
past few decades.
The original goal of American, and
eventually international, economic sanctions on the Iranian regime was to retard the growth of the nuclear program
by straining Irans economy so that it
would compromise. However, Iran had
increased its number of centrifuges to
19,000 by 2013, according to Irans nucle-

US Department of the Treasury.
sanctions/Programs/pages/iran.aspx (accessed
February 11, 2015).

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 28-29

ar chief Ali Akbar Salehi2. Why didnt the

sanctions work? The Iranian economy was
able to withstand the sanctions through
numerous strategies. First of all, Iran began to shift more focus on non-oil exports
(such as cement, urea fertilizers, and minerals). According to the overview on Iran
sanctions by the Congressional Research
Service, two-thirds of the money Iran
needs for its imports comes from non-oil
exports as of 2014.3 Additionally, the government, under Rouhani, reduced subsidies on goods such as bread and gasoline;
Ahmadinejad originally implemented
this subsidy.4 One other strategy was the
increased focus on domestic production
in place of imports and limitations
on hard currency used on luxury goods.5
Through these methods, Irans economy was able to continue functioning and
withstand the sanctions while the regime
developed its nuclear capabilities. Essentially, Irans leaders prioritized national
defense (their nuclear program) over the
economy, by making the economy able to
continue functioning and withstand the
sanctions while the regime developed its
nuclear capabilities.6
The gross suffering of the economy in
the face of nuclear development is truly
visible in the shortage of medicine, goods
that put the lives of millions innocent citizens at risk, that began to arise. According to a article published in the DARU
Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, there

Nasser Karimi, Iran Says It Is

Developing New Centrifuges for Uranium Enrichment, The World Post, December 27, 2013,
(accessed February 11, 2015).

Kenneth Katzman, Iran Sanctions,

Congressional Research Service (March 2015),
(accessed February 11, 2015).

Katzman, Iran Sanctions.
Katzman, Iran Sanctions.
Bahman Fozouni, e-mail message
to author, February 10, 2015.

has been a reduction of availability of

lifesaving medicines in the local market
and [that] has caused increasing pain and
suffering for Iranian patients not because
the sanctions apply to medical goods but
because of the difficulties that exist in
paying for these medications as a result of
the sanctions.7 This includes plasma-derived medicines needed for hemophilia
patients. 8
The bottom line is that the leaders of
Iran have a much greater interest in defying the West and pursuing nuclear development whether for the purpose
of defense or energy than maintaining
some economic status or apparently the
well-being of their own people as shown
by their unwillingness to compromise regardless of the shortage of medical goods
caused. Iran is not new to international
sanctions. (It has seen them since 1979,
and its economy and its people is built
to withstand these external pressures.) In
fact, Bahman Fozouni, Professor of Political Science at California State University,
Sacramento contends that Iran used the
extended period of sanctions regime to
further develop its nuclear program to the
point that it felt it had gained enough bargaining leverage to be able to more effectively negotiate with the West than in the
past.9 That is one of the major reasons why
Iran is now negotiating with the West.
However, according to the general director of Irans Foreign Ministry Political
and International Security Department,
Hamid Baedinejad, Naturally, if there is
no agreement on the issue [Irans nuclear
program] then both sides can return back
to their previous positions. [] Iran will
continue its development and we will install more centrifuges.10 Therefore, those

who want to revert to imposing more American-Iranian cooperation on batsanctions on Iran will only force Irans re- tling ISIS. The opportunity is there for a
turn to its nuclear program since it priori- deal, and it needs to be taken advantage of.
tizes the program more than preserving its
economy, which is still functioning.
Who are the hardliners on both sides
that want to return to the old state of relations? In Iran, the opposition consists
partly of cleric hardliners who want do not
want the state to give in to any demands of
the West. Cleric Mohammad Reza Ashtiani says, They are going to give us part
of our own money as if we are indebted.11
On the other hand, the dissenters in
the United States are mostly made up of
right-wing Republican Congressmen. On
March 9, 47 Republican Senators sent a
letter directly to Iran stating that any deal
reached by President Obama would not
be valid without a vote by Congress and
that any future administration can potentially revoke or change the deal once
Obama leaves.12 Also, while voting on this
bill has been delayed, Republican Senators
are trying to pass a bill that would require
Congress to approve any nuclear deal
reached with Iran. In response, a new bill
was recently initiated in Iranian legislation
that nullifies the Joint Plan of Action from
Irans side if the United States imposes any
additional sanctions on Iran13. From both
ends, an agreement is absolutely essential.
Any hint of additional economic sanctions will push the United States and Iran
back again to tension-filled, and much
more antagonistic, relations like the past,
benefitting the hardliners who want that.
The obvious benefit that comes with
an American-Iranian nuclear agreement
would be that Iran would not be able to
develop a nuclear weapon, which was initially the main goal of the United States
Abdol Majid Cheraghali, Impacts of in imposing the sanctions. It would also
eliminate any possibility of war with Iran
international sanctions on Iranian
pharmaceutical market, DARU Journal and all of the costs that come with that.
of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2013), http://www. Additionally, while the US and Iran have been at odds on most issues, a softening
of relations with Iran could allow for more
64.pdf (accessed February 11, 2015).

Defense &

One Opportunity to Take One Step in the

Right Direction With Iran

Roosevelt Review

Ali Akbar Dareini, Hard-liners in

Cheraghali, Impacts of international 11
Iran oppose poisoned nuclear deal, The Times
sanctions on Iranian
of Israel, January 14, 2014, (accessed February
pharmaceutical market.
Bahman Fozouni, e-mail message to 11, 2015).
author, February 10, 2015.
Letter From Senate Republicans


Iran threatens nuclear enrichment

expansion if US pursues sanctions,,
February 5, 2015, (accessed
ary 11, 2015).


to the Leaders of Iran, The New York Times,

March 9, 2015, (accessed March 22, 2015).


Richard Nephew, Nows not time for

more Iran sanctions, CNN, February 6, 2015,
(accessed February 11, 2015).

4/10/15 3:03 PM



Missile Defense in the 21st

Century: What it Means for US Security
and Strategies for Future Safety
By Jay Rappaport

Defense &

issile defense systems (MDS) ought to receive more attention than they do. Rogue
nations development of nuclear weapons
dominates the armament conversation,
while their gaining access to MDS could
prove dangerous in more subtle but perhaps more long-lasting ways. However,
given the current state of the proliferation
of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)
the US must continue to research and develop MDS carefully to protect its shores,
while it should discourage the proliferation of MDS in other nations. Because the
US already has several poorly functioning
missile defense systemscurrent systems
are unreliable at bestit should shift its
programs to research more and develop
only when the new MDS is believed to be
able to work soundly and to be a substantial improvement off of the current MDS.
II: Definitions and Background
The Council on Foreign Relations defines missile defense systems as
missiles that can be launched more than
5500 km from many platforms, including silos, trucks, trains, submarines, and
warships.1 That missile is launched when
the system detects that there is an incoming missile. The missile from the defense
system hitsand destroysthe incoming missile before impact, defending the
home nation from a missile attack. To do
so, the system first detects the incoming
missile. Second, it discriminates or separates the target from its surroundings.
Third, it undergoes fire control, during
which it determines where to intercept the
missile, and fourth it destroys the missile,
hitting it with some type of interceptor.2
Missile defense systems have had mixed

MDS= Military Defense System

BMD= Ballistic Military Defense

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 30-31

Jonathan Masters, Ballistic Missile

Defense. Council on Foreign Relations. 2013.



States poses. In short, US missiles look less

scary, even to allies, when they too have
MDS. In order to protect its allies, the US
has shared BMD technology and actual
MDS with many of them. This lessens the
USs security advantage over its allies but
strengthens its relationship with its allies.
Weighing these factors is inexact, but this
balance must be considered in determining whether or not this is in the USs best
Both other P-5 nations and militarily rogues have developed MDS without
US support. Russia has an MDS could potentially protect Moscow and is currently
developing equivalents to US THAAD
and GMD (ground-based midcourse defense) systems.9 China, however, does not
have BMD technology that could protect
it from inter-continental missiles.10 German intelligence indicates that ISIS has
short-range MDS capable of shooting
down aircraft, specifically 2 Iraqi planes.
They cannot fire very high, but could definitely shut down air space.11 With Russia
and ISIS serving as the clearest supporting evidence, it has become clear that stable nations and rebel groups can develop
MDS without US assistance.
In addition to the simple problem of the USs losing a comparative security advantage, other nations developing
MDS poses the risk of igniting an arms
race. Nations may begin to compete with
each other to develop the most up-to-date
MDS. The prospect of nations investing
more resources than they currently do
in military technology of any sort could
very well compromise US safety. However,
even more problematic for international
security, nations may compete with each
other to develop armaments that can penetrate each others MDS. Other nations
development of MDS may compromise
US security because it might ignite a defensive or offensive armament race.
Current political research suggests that MDS may stabilize international

security and limit threats. Steven Quackenbush of the University of Utah writes
that, according to classical deterrence
theory, because of how high the costs of a
military engagement would be when both
states have MDS, nations will be deterred
from attacking each other.12
Thus any US policy regarding
MDS and BMD technology must address
the facts that with and without American
assistance, other parties are developing
MDS, and that development lessens US
comparative power and could cause nations to enter into defense or offensive
arms races with each other.
IV: Recommended US Policy
The US governmentand the
US government aloneought to keep
researching and developing MDS and
discourage other nations from doing the
same. This is a crude policy recommendation with consequences that may seriously
impede US and international security in
the long-term. It is, however, the best policy to keep the US and its allies safe given
current international affairs.
MDS presents a potentially effective means through which to protect the
US from missiles, and the US must do so.
Even though current MDS are not without flaws, a successful MDS would protect
a nation from incoming missiles. The US
has the potential to develop successful
MDS. The policy option that protects the
US most fullyeven if it is in the shorttermis having MDS to combat Iranian
or North Korean missiles.
Only the US government should
work on that development, not the private sector. There are a handful of private
sector American defense corporations
that have worked on various armament
projects in recent history. If the companys equipment proves vital to MDS production, the government should buy it.
If the companys personal proves vital to
MDS production, the government should
hire them and privately set severe restrictions on what information they can dis9; http://itar-tass. close outside of the government. The risk
that this technologys proliferation poses
should lead policymakers to try to keep it
as unbeknownst to others as possible. Re-


Defense &

success in tests, but it is clear how they

should work under ideal circumstances.
The US first became involved in
missile defense systems in the second half
of the twentieth century. The Pentagon
first developed MDS and ballistic missile
defense (BMD) technology to counter
the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
(USSR) nuclear threat during the Cold
War. The US used an ineffective MDS prototype during the Gulf War.3
Currently, the US stated policy is that the US uses BMD technology
and MDS to deter potential strikes form
nations with nuclear capabilities the US
views as less stable, like Iran and North
Korea.4 The United States has spent $100
billion on MDS since 2002 and plans to
spend $8 billion per year through 2017,
although that remains a small portion of
the total national defense budget.
The US has four missile defense
systems: Ground-Based Midcourse Defense, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense,
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense
(THAAD), and Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3). The US has the systems
that should combat short, medium, and
long-range missiles, if the systems work.
With regards to this topics international component, the US has sold
PAC-3 batteries to more than a dozen
nations and deployed them to countries
including but not limited to Afghanistan,
Turkey, and South Korea.5
III: State of the Problem, Practical and
For the purposes of this paper,
the problem should be any result of MDS
development that lessens the USs safety.
Three sources of this problem in practice
are renegade nations with missile capabil-

ities, US proliferation of MDS technology,

and the development of MDS technology
without American sponsorship. The theoretical sources of the problem are the lessening of US comparative security power,
the increasing likelihood of arms races,
and the MDS proliferations effect on the
probability of entering into conflict.
The US military defense systems
would most likely defend against rogue
nations. Obviously, a missiles hitting the
US compromises US security. It may be
more strategic for a rogue nation to sneak
a bomb into the United States than to try
to launch a missile, but the threat of a missile is real and a possibility for which the
US ought to prepare itself. North Korea
already has short and medium-range ballistic missiles and is developing an intermediate-range missile that could hit the
US.6 Iran, on the other hand, has a large
ballistic missile arsenal. Although an Iranian missile could fly up to 5500 km, it
could only hit the US if it were launched
from a vulnerable position, which is unlikely. These missiles could hit an American ally in Europe though. These are the
main threats American MDS would most
probably combat.
The US has encouraged its allies
development of MDS and BMD technology. The Obama administration has begun to develop MDS in Europe to protect
those nations from regional renegades, especially Iran. In 2010, the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO) announced
US integration of MDS technology in Europe as official policy. The USS Donald
Cook arrived in port of Rota in February
2014, one of four US MDS on ships to arrive in Spain.7 The US gave Japan a BMD
technology including Aegis-equipped
destroyers and Patriot missile batteries.8
American policymakers should be cognizant of the fact that other nations, allies or not, possess significant MDS and
BMD technology. Such knowledge paints
a fuller picture of exactly what security advantages the US gains in comparison to other nations when it develops its
MDS program; the more common missile
defense systems are in other nations, the
less of a threat military engagement or
diplomatic disagreement with the United

Roosevelt Review


Stephen L. Quackenbush, National Missile Defense and Deterrence,

Political Science Quarterly 59 (2006):536.

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David Willman, $40-billion Missile Defense System Proves Unreliable,
Los Angeles Times (June 15, 2014.) http://

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 32-33

one possibility, which have notably proved

effective with Russia, producing the NEW
START Treaty. The US could also petition the United Nations (UN) to create a
framework for other nations to decrease
their MDS programs for some incentive of
international protection, and the US could
try to be the party responsible for enforcing it. Then the US would have ethical and
defensible grounds to defend destroying
other nations MDS programs. Whether
through bilateral negotiations, the UN, or
another means, the US should do all that
it can to discourage and prevent other nations MDS development.
V: Conclusion
Military defense systems present
a unique armament crisis because of their
defensive nature. In order to combat the
all too unstable missile-based threats the
US faces, the US must continue to research
and develop MDS and BMD technology,
but because of its limited resources, the
US should only move onto the development stage after careful and thorough research has been conducted. The US ought
to prevent the spread of MDS technology
to avoid defensive or offensive arms races
and a decrease in its comparative security power. To accomplish this end, the US
should consolidate its MDS program into
government hands, engage in bilateral negotiations, and involve the UN. Missile
defense systems are necessary for the US
given current missile proliferation, but
the US should do all that it can, including making it official policy, to limit the
spread of those systems.

A Permanent Fix for Immigration: The Case

for State Citizenship
By Edmund Brose

he United States seems incapable of solving its problem of adequately addressing

the economic issues associated with, and
human rights conditions of, undocumented immigrants living in the country. This
failure is unfortunately due to the perceived economic burden of integrating
this group into our society, and the resulting political gridlock in Washington. On
the state level, there is an exciting opportunity to take action, by granting citizenship rights to undocumented immigrants
who reside within state borders, allowing
them to fully enter the communities in
which they live and enjoy the rights of
state citizenship, without having to apply
for national citizenship.
Background and Context:

Undocumented immigration is an
issue that affects the U.S. economically, politically, and morally. The solution
presented is the best one right now due
to the partisan political climate at the
federal level and would benefit undocumented immigrants and naturalized citizens alike. There are currently about 11.7
million undocumented immigrants living
in the U.S., according to the Pew Research
Center Hispanic Trends Project.1 About
three-quarters (76%) of the nations unauthorized immigrant population are
Hispanics; the majority of the group overall (59%) are from Mexico, numbering 7
million.2 The main motivation for such
immigration is overwhelmingly for work,
often laboring in industries that pay poorly and exploit their labor. Even if successful in gaining entry, which has become a
much more treacherous process due to
enhanced border security, many live in
deplorable conditions. Unauthorized immigrants are unable to safely report labor
violations and discriminatory housing
practices for fear of deportation. For the
millions of undocumented living in this
country, basic human rights are not upheld like housing, fair wages, and social

benefits like social security, a program

that undocumented immigrants often pay
large sums into, and receive nothing in
return. This problem affects communities
across America, but is particularly impacting at the state level the fiscal cost
of immigration is not, in fact spread over
the nation, and therefore can impact immigration-heavy states much more than
others.3 Indeed, the overall positive fiscal
impact tends to accrue at the federal level, but the costs tend to be concentrated at
the state and local level.4 Thus, this is an
issue which impacts states more heavily,
because they are the institution that must
most immediately handle this population
influx, and thus has a right to make progress on the issue if they so choose.
According to a report by the Texas
Comptrollers Office, conducted in 2006,
on the state level undocumented workers
contribute more than average to their state
social service spending. By the reports estimates, the state would lose $17.7 billion
dollars in Gross State Product in fiscal
year 2005 without this group.5 In addition,
the positive impact a path to citizenship
could have is tremendous. Texas could
see sizable economic benefits if it gave its
undocumented inhabitants citizenship;
they would see a$4.1 billion gain in tax
revenue and the creation of 193,000 new

Defense &

Defense &

stricting MDS research and development

to the US government limits the potential
for the unintended spread of MDS, and
for this reason only the US government
should conduct MDS research and development.
In order to use resources most
effectively and still preserve national security, the US should shift its MDS program from being development-focused to
being research-focused. One of the most
significant critiques of any MDS program
is that it costs too much, and MDS development comprises much of such a programs cost.13 Just last year the Los Angeles Times deemed a $40-billion US MDS
unreliable. The new MDS missed its
mock target.14 The MDS America has are
good, although one should be reluctant to
label any military defense good enough
unless it has proved perfect in its tests
and American MDS certainly has not.
However, continuing to spend resources
on producing flawed MDS seems silly. A
more efficient use of resources would be
to research BMD technology thoroughly and try to produce a vastly improved
MDS. The threats the US faces are real
and current, so perhaps the government
should set a deadline by which production
will begin on the then best available MDS
model, but research should be the current
priority. Also, the US government may
need all resources available if it is to concentrate MDS research and production
in its own hands and not in those of the
private sector. The US would save scarce
resources, combat one of the programs
harshest critiques, and ultimately develop
a better product if the government prioritized MDS research over development.
The final component of US missile defense policy should be to discourage
BMD technology research and development in other nations. It is neither in the
USs best interest to be in either a defensive or offensive arms race with any other
country, nor to decrease its comparative
armament advantage. The means through
which to limit nations MDS programs is
unclear, but bilateral negotiations present

Roosevelt Review

In large part, due to the polarizing rhetoric of the GOP and the Tea Party interests
represented in Congress, the immigration
reform bill, S.B. 744, has not passed the
House. Moreover, President Obamas recent executive order holding deportations
of families is an encouraging temporary
enactment, but is only a short-term, impermanent measure; his plan allows families with undocumented individuals who
have lived in the U.S. 5+ years a stay of
deportation, but it does not grant full citizenship7. Thus, the time is right for a comprehensive and permanent solution to the

4/10/15 3:03 PM

The Policy Idea:

Granting state citizenship to undocumented people who have lived in a state
for more than 5 years, the same time period as the executive order stipulates,
would allow for state benefits, social services, and voting rights to be conferred
upon formerly illegal people. It would
be a historic and constitutional move under the 14th amendment, which grants an
individual citizenship to both the United
States and also to the individual state; thus
a person could become a citizen of a state
without necessarily becoming a citizen of
the entire country. This action would integrate undocumented persons into state
and local communities, and protect those
individuals from discrimination and human rights violations. Furthermore, such
a measure would positively affect the
economies in these states, as well as generate hundreds of millions of state tax revenues from these new citizens.

Defense &
Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 34-35

Policy Analysis:
Unauthorized people and families live
in constant fear of deportation; furthermore, most undocumented immigrants
pay significant amounts of taxes but cannot
claim all their benefits to which their taxpaying entitles them. The largest example
of such payment without access to benefits is in the Social Security infrastructure;
since the money is often automatically
taken out of the paycheck of an individual
as a payroll tax, and because noncitizens
cannot claim benefit of a federal program,
they account for a major portion of the
program, estimated at $520 billion in October 2005.8 Moreover, this community is
often discriminated against when they are
trying to secure housing a basic human
right.9 It is unfeasible and immoral to
deport undocumented people en masse
as some pundits and anti-reform activists
suggest; instead, the U.S. must focus on
integration, rather than discrimination,
in order to train, educate, and maximize
the productive potential of these new
Americans. Many studies, including one
conducted under President George W.
Bushs administration, have shown that
immigrants not only help fuel the Na-

tions economic growth, but also have an

overall positive effect on the American
economy as a whole and on the income of
native-born American workers.10
It is hard to project exact numbers for
the impacts such legislation will have, but
we can look to the projected impact S.B.
744 would have: real GDP would increase
by 3.3% in 2023 and 5.4% by 2033, and
would decrease federal budget deficits by
$197 billion over the 2014-2023 period,
and $700 billion over the 2024-2033 period.11 One can posit that similar effects
would be seen on the state level, as shown
in the Texas projection mentioned above
more workers and more citizens would
be taxed, and help support cash-strapped
local and state governments. Alternatively,
the price of doing nothing is very steep: as
of October 2014, the Houses inaction has
cost more than $17.7 billion in missed tax
revenue from illegal workers.12 We need
this demographic of society to be fully integrated to benefit our own economy and
social services, and moreover to protect
their human rights: to end housing and
other forms of discrimination based on
immigration status.
Key Facts:
-States bear the main fiscal responsibility when it comes to immigration both
in terms of actually interacting with the
immigrants by collecting their taxes, educating their children, and benefiting most
immediately from the large amounts of labor they complete.13
-On average, all immigrants will pay
$80,000 more in taxes per capita than they
use in government benefits over their lifetime.14
-States that have passed stringent immigration measures in an effort to curb
the number of undocumented immigrants
living in the state have hurt some of their
key industries, which are held back due to
inadequate access to qualified workers.15
-Immigrants, especially the undocumented, tend to use medical services
much less than the average American. In
fact, the average immigrant uses less than
half the dollar amount of health care ser-

vices as the average native-born citizen.

Nov 29 2014,


-As of October 2014, the Houses inac6

Progressive Immigration Policies
tion has cost more than $17.7 billion in Will Strengthen the American Economy, Cenmissed tax revenue from illegal workers.17 ter for American Progress, Accessed January
Next steps:
I believe the next step in addressing this
issue is to present legislation similar to a
bill presented in the New York State legislature, the New York is Home Act, across
the nation. This needs to be proposed at
the state level for the aforementioned
reasons: undocumented immigration is
ultimately an issue that impacts states
more directly than the federal government, states can and should act within the
bounds of the constitution to create a state
by state citizenship, and such an action is
the best course of action in finally solving
this issue. I would call for concrete projections as to the exact economic impacts,
and then making sure the integration was
properly implemented, so that there was
no list of undocumented workers that
federal officials could use to deport those
who wanted state citizenship, a crucial element of the New York State bill.
Julia Preston, Number of Illegal Immigrants in U.S. May Be on Rise
Again, Estimates Say, New York Times,
Accessed Nov 30 2014, http://www.nytimes.
Scipio Garling, Immigration 101:
A Primer on Immigration and the Need for
Reform, The Federation for American Immigration Reform, Accessed Nov 18 2014, http://

15, 2015,


The Facts on Immigration Today,
Center for American Progress, Accessed Dec
1 2014,

Fixing the System: President Obama
is Taking Action on Immigration, Accessed
January 18th, 2015
Immigration Myths and Facts,
American Civil Liberties Union, Accessed
Nov 18 2014,
Hostility, Southern Poverty Law
Center, Accessed Nov 18, 2014, http://www.
Immigrations Economic Impact,
Council of Economic Advisers, Executive
Ofce of the President, Accessed January 18,
The economic Impact of S. 744, the
Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and
Immigration Modernization Act, Congressional
Budget Ofce, Accessed Dec 1 2014, http://

Defense &

problem of unauthorized immigration.

Roosevelt Review

The Facts on Immigration Today,
Center for American Progress, Accessed Dec
1 2014,
Edward P. Lazear, Immigrations
Economic Impact, Council of Economic
Advisors, Accessed Nov 28 2014, whitehouse.
Edward P. Lazear, Immigrations
Economic Impact, Council of Economic
Advisors, Accessed Nov 28 2014, whitehouse.

Facts About Immigrants Low Use
of Health Services and Public Benets National Immigration Law Center, Accessed January
Edward P. Lazear, Immigrations
20, 2015,
Economic Impact, Council of Economic
Advisors, Accessed Nov 28 2014, whitehouse. pdf
Carole Keeton Strayhorn, Undocumented Immigrants in Texas: Financial Analysis
of the Impact to the State Budget and Economy, Texas Ofce of the Comptroller, Accessed

Immigration Myths and Facts,
American Civil Liberties Union, Accessed
January 20 2015,

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Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 36-37

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Roosevelt Review

History & Overview

Recommended Action

In 2007, Mayor Michael Bloomberg publicly rolled out PlaNYC, a citywide initiative intended to prepare New York City
for a projected influx of one million new
residents by the year 2030. This initiative
was the product of collaboration between
27 agencies and environmental, business,
and labor interest groups. The initiative
addresses issues pertaining to areas such
as Land, including Housing, Open Space,
and Brownfields; Climate Change; and
EnergySolid Waste was notably absent
from the 2007 version. While New York
City had released its Solid Waste Management Plan in 2006, which sought to
increase New York Citys residential diversion rate to 25% by the year 2007 as well
as the citys whole diversion rate to 70%
by 2015, it encountered many issues. For
example, the essence of the proposal was
to redistribute the citys solid waste infrastructure to account for borough equity
and reduce collection truck mileage by
raising the share of garbage that is exported by barge and train.

New York City must address solid waste

for the following reasons; since the closing of the Fresh Kills Landfill in the year
2001, the majority of the solid waste has
been transported to landfills in states such
as New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. This not only has sizeable regional
equity implications, but it constitutes an
enormous drain on taxpayersthe city
expends $300 million in export costs annually, and the cost of exporting has increased from $61 to $92 between 2000 and
2010. Solving the solid waste problem
would also help address climate change,
as landfills are a significant contributor to
heat-trapping methane emissions. Finally,
addressing the problem will generate jobs
and value for New York City, as the waste
would be handled locally.

The plan was lauded as a victory for environmental justice80% of the citys
waste is treated in South Bronx, Southeast
Queens, and North Brooklyn, which are
principally poorer communities of color.
However, the plan has been delayed from
permitting delays and lawsuits from the
not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) phenomenon, in which residents would rather
not have these facilities near their homes.
These issues have persisted as late as August 2014, when a federal judge ruled that
Upper East Side residents could not hamper the construction of a controversial
marine waste transfer station; Manhattan houses no solid waste facilities. As of
2014, the residential diversion rate was a
paltry 15.4%, well below the original 2006
goal of 25% by 2007 and the updated 2013
PlaNYC goal of 30% by 2017the 2013
goal also includes a citywide 75% diversion rate by the year 2030.

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 38-39

I recommend that New York City enact

the long-term objective of achieving zero-waste by 2040. New York City should
also increase the residential diversion rate
to 45% by 2030. This emphasis on residential waste is based on the fact that only the
city has direct jurisdiction over its disposal whereas commercial waste is handled
by private companies. There is also the
fact that 40% of all commercial waste is
recycled already, at 40% as of 2011, which
makes addressing the residential diversion rate low-hanging fruit. I propose the
following initiatives to achieve these goals:
Mandate the Separation of Food
Scraps for Composting by 2017
Provide Financial Incentives and Enact Education Campaign for Residential Recycling
Construct Three Waste-to-Energy
Facilities by 2030
Implementation & Logistics
In 2013, organic waste constituted 18% of
New York Citys residential waste stream.
As one of the primary sources of New
York Citys residential waste, food scraps
should be addressed. New York City com-

87% of New Yorkers already have access

to recycling bins and a GreeNYC study a
study found that while New Yorkers accept
recycling as a fact of life, compliance has
not been consistent. Barriers to recycling include the eort involved, forgetfulness and
also unclear requirements.
posting pilot programs have been very
successful, showing an unexpectedly high
level of participation, and should thus be
expanded to include the whole city within the next few years. In order to do this,
the New York City will have to streamline
the waste disposal process to ensure an
efficient transition. For example, collection bins would have to be provided, as
well as an education campaign to educate
New Yorkers about what can and cannot
be composted. The city would also have to
increase the already paltry number of central collection points throughout the boroughs, and consider new destinations for
the waste stream, including composting
facilities or waste-to-energy plants, which
are addressed in the third initiative.
For the second initiative, New York City
should enact a pay-as-you-throw program akin to San Franciscos program,
which reduces the municipal bills of residents that recycle and compost, to encourage recycling. 87% of New Yorkers
already have access to recycling bins and
a GreeNYC study a study found that while
New Yorkers accept recycling as a fact of
life, compliance has not been consistent.

Barriers to recycling include the effort involved, forgetfulness and also unclear requirements. The city should thus enact the
pay-as-you-throw program to provide a
reliable incentive, and should commission
a team of educators to go door-to-door to
educate residents on how to recycle and to
ensure that city information is transmitted
effectively. Given the disparities between
neighborhood recycling rates, with poorer communities showing lower rates, this
would allow New York City to achieve significant gains.
For the third initiative, the city should
construct three waste-to-energy facilities
by the year 2030 to provide an additional
destination for the citys garbage and food
scraps. An anaerobic digester facility, for
example, could generate electricity using organic waste. Processing this waste
within the city would generate value and
jobs for inhabitants. This may be the most
difficult initiative to enact because of the
aforementioned NIMBY phenomenon.
When considering siting, New York City
must reach out to public and community stakeholders and keep them involved
in the process from day one. Modern

waste-to-energy technology has allowed

for cleaner facilities, though this fact has
not yet reached public opinion. By including community stakeholders into the
planning process, there are opportunities
to change public opinion and to allow the
community a say in the conditions for allowing construction, including monetary
benefits and local job creation.
When considering garbage in New York
City, this quote by Steven Cohen, Executive Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, is appropriate: When
you grab your morning bagel and coffee
around here, its not from a drive-in and
doesnt end up in a cup holder and on the
car seat next to you. It ends up in a bag
you carry in the subway or walk a few
blocks to the office. When the casher asks
if you want paper or plastic, you think of
food landing on your news shoes and say:
both. New York City has an enormous
opportunity to address waste. While there
are policies that can streamline the waste
stream, tackling the out of sight, out of
mind mentality is the ultimate determinant of success with this issue, and that
will require long-term education.

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Roosevelt Review



Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 40-41

4/10/15 3:03 PM

56 years old
The notion of a green bond was established by the World Bank in 2008. Through
the Strategic Framework for Development and Climate Change, the World
Bank planned to tie together private sector growth and sustainable development
practices, and wanted to do so through
green bonds. According to the framework,
green bonds are like most other bonds an
economic sensehowever, they must be
used toward something green. Since the
birth of the program, the World Bank and
the IFC have issued a combined $10.7 billion in green bonds. While this number
may seem impressive, it pales in comparison to the overall bond market, which
tops out at around $90 trillion.iii
According to projections outlined by
Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the
market for green bonds increased to $14
billion in 2013, with the potential to grow
up to $40 billion in 2014. However, there
have been little to no developments within
the US thus far. One of the main reasons
for this is due to the predominantly federal role in which green bond distribution
takes place. As of right now, there are very
few municipalities with an official green
bond program; Washington D.C. established a pilot program which sold $350
million in bonds, and Massachusetts has
included a limited green aspect into their
state bond market.
Since the program is still relatively new,
there are no objective standards that determine whether or not the bond is truly
green. While the World Bank and IFC
attempted to lead by example, their standards are not mandatory. The Climate
Bonds Initiative estimated that nearly 40%
of green bonds sold since 2013 lacked an
independent review of how green they
were, displaying a major gap in the program.
Moving forward, there is room for several improvements to be made upon the
green bond market, and New York City
has the opportunity to set precedent.

In September 2014, in front of attendees of the U.N. Climate Change Summit,

President Obama spoke with great urgency, warning, The climate is changing
faster than our efforts to address it. In the
twenty-first century, temperatures are projected to increase by 0.3-1.7 C if extreme
interventions are taken to mitigate climate
change, and by 2.6-4.8 C at the most with
business as usual. Climate change will result in many significant adjustments in
our way of living, and it will force societies
to expedite storm-hardening measures.
New York City, due to its proximity to the
coast, must act prudently when it comes
to infrastructure reform. Through a Green
Bond Program, this is entirely possible.
The effects of climate change will be
felt all over the United States, and especially in New York City. Knowing this, the
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) published a report entitled Climate Change
In New York State, in 2011. The report,
also referred to as ClimAID, provides climate projections throughout the entire
state, mapping changes in precipitation
and temperature through 2100. Based on
middle range projections, New York City
should expect to see a 15% increase in precipitation, and 8.8 C increase in temperature by the end of the century.
These projections should be cause for
alarm, as they foreshadow a rise in both
intensity and frequency of extreme weather events in New York City. We should
expect to see events similar to Hurricane
Irene and Super Storm Sandy, which
translate to more power outages, flooding,

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 42-43

displacement, and destruction. The city is

ill equipped to handle this new stress created by climate change, especially when
looking at the state of its infrastructure.
While PlaNYC and other programs have
been successful in establishing a framework for a long-term climate change response, there is plenty left to be desired.
In 2011, Super Storm Sandy shed light
on the need to reinvest in New York City
infrastructure; however, this problem has
existed for quite some time.
Several studies have highlighted the
importance of renewed infrastructure in
all five boroughs. Caution Ahead, a report conducted by the Center for an Urban Future, estimates that the city needs
approximately $47.3 billion in order to repair and replace current infrastructure to
adequate levels. However, it appears that
there will be a $34.2 billion lag in necessary funding over the next five years, if we
maintain the current course of action.
Infrastructure woes can be felt in a
number of ways. Road quality has dipped
below 70% for the first time in over a decade; the citys bridges are 63 years old
on average, with 11% being structurally
deficient; 269 of the 728 miles of subway
tracks have exceeded their 50 year useful
life, with 26% over 70 years old; LaGuardia amongst other notable deficiencies has been compared to the likes of
a third world airport by Vice President
Joe Biden; 6,800 miles of water infrastructure averages 69 years old, and 4,600 miles
were made with weak and highly corrosive materials; on average, sewage mains
are 84 years old, and natural gas mains are

Green Bonds in New York City

In September of 2014, New York City

Comptroller Scott Stringer called for
the creation of a Green Bond Market in
they city. This call included a report that
outlined the strengths of a bond market in New York City, and some of the

major roadblocks that would present

themselves. Ideally, the report claims
that this could be included in the budget process as soon as early 2015.iv
One of Stringers major concerns regards the criteria of a green bond, since
there are currently no set parameters.
While the criteria will depend upon
key investors and the Citys capital program, this would be an excellent opportunity to prioritize infrastructure
plans, and incorporate them into the
green deinition. Since it is at the Citys
discretion to deine the green bond system, prioritizing investments according
to need could be of use. If, for example,
the City chose to place infrastructure
development as a very high priority, it
would set precedent for other major
municipalities. This could ultimately
alleviate some of the nationwide concerns regarding weak infrastructure in
the 21st century.
Additionally, the city should look to
prioritize green bonds that exist in
storm surge zones. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations Sea, Lake, and Overland
Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) projections, certain regions of the city have
been outlined as vulnerable zones
based on category 1 through 4 hurricanes. This area amounts to over 300
square kilometers, or roughly 40% of
the total area of the city.1 It would be
strongly advised that the new plan take
into consideration storm surge zones
when establishing green bond criteria.
It is not a matter of if green bonds will
be implemented, but when. In 2015, we
should expect to see green bonds in New
York City. However, it is crucial to set specific parameters for green bonds that play
into the needs of the city itself. Focusing
on infrastructure woes, and targeting regions in storm surge zones could establish
the most beneficial practices. With every
$1 billion invested into infrastructure creating 28,000 jobs, there are no seemingly
negative consequences in this initiative.

Roosevelt Review
Storm Surge Zones:
1 display
City the
storm surge zones in
New York City, relative to the total land
mass. Nearly 40%
of the entire land
mass is susceptible
to extreme hurricane storm surge.
I created this map
using ArcGIS.

to date. With less than a percent of all

global bonds attributed to being green,
there is immense potential for growth.
Thus, seamlessly adding green bonds to
the current bond system in the City is not
only easy, but also necessary in setting an
example to other municipalities on how to
combat climate change on the local level.

i. Center for an Urban Future, at http://www., Caution Ahead: Overdue Invest-ments for New Yorks Aging Infrastructure.
March 2014.
ii. R. Horton, D. Bader, C. Rosenzweig, A.
DeGaetano, and W. Solecki, Climate Change in
New York State: Updating the 2011 ClimAID
Climate Risk Information, New York State
Energy Re-search and Development Authority
(NYSERDA), 2014, Web, 23, Sept. 2014.
iii. World Bank Green Bond Issuance to Date:
iv. Stringer, Scott. A Green Bond Program for
New York City. (2014): Ofce of the New York
Comptroller. The City of New York, Sept. 2014.
Web. Jan. 2015. <>.
v. NYC Open Data. NYC Open Data. NYC.
gov, Web. 8 Dec. 2014.

Green bonds are an immensely popular

option to both the financial savvy, and
environmentally savvy, and the City recognizes this. The New York City bond
market is very large, but there have been
little to no efforts to include green bonds

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Roosevelt Review

By Alicia Schleifman


Economic Development
Economic development is the quest for a productive and just economy: how do we balance the interests of consumers and rms? How do we nd stability in an increasingly global economy? Roosevelts
2014-2015 Economic Development Center approached these questions from a variety of angles--from
municipal parking policies, to oshoring IT jobs, to smart growth in urban centers. Our policies take us
from solving zoning issues in Northern Virginia all the way out to Silicon Valley, where we look at how
to responsibly harness new data-driven economies. All together, they make up a policy brief that not only
tackles todays economic problems, but actively predicts the future economic policy landscape. All that is
missing is the policy piece that you have yet to write.
-Jon Kroah, Simon Schwartz

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 44-45

hough offshore outsourcing of American

jobs has had a detrimental impact on our
economy, the information technology
sector will be among the hardest hit in
coming years if no action is taken to prevent further outsourcing. Princeton University economist Alan Blinder estimates
that 42 to 56 million total jobs in the
United States are at potential risk of being
outsourced, particularly those in the IT
and manufacturing industries. Lower-level positions are not the only ones at risk,
either; positions at all levels of IT staff are
moved abroad. Though outsourcing is endemic in the private sector, its effect on
the domestic workforce is large enough to
merit some form of governmental intervention. Outsourcing is a negative externality in the truest sense: a deal between
American and foreign companies has a
severely detrimental impact on the IT industry specifically and our regional and
national economies as a whole. This problem can be tackled on two fronts. Shortterm solutions may be considered to discourage outsourcing of IT jobs through
restrictive legislation and financial disincentivization. But outsourcing must also
be addressed through encouragement of
insourcing via modification of corporate tax laws and investment incentivization programs conducted in conjunction
with state governments.
Current Situation
A multitude of economic factors have
contributed to the rapid rise of the popularity of outsourcing, which most commonly means moving part of a businesss
operations abroad, to take advantage of
lower wages and other input costs. However, the most significant is the vast wage
gap between the United States and many
countries where jobs are most commonly outsourced, such as India, the Philippines, and China. These nations are typically those with loose labor, safety and
health regulations, so outsourcing does
not necessarily contribute to sustainable
growth there either. Further, though using
cheaper labor abroad may lower prices for

American consumers because outsourcing IT jobs is more efficient, the overarching damage to the IT workforce domestically indicates both its vulnerability and
its skill set inflexibility: workers laid off in
IT in the United States often have difficulty getting rehired elsewhere because they
are often trained for one specific vocation.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation estimates that businesses may
achieve 39% cost savings by moving noncore parts of their operations, namely, IT,
abroad. Corporations often receive large
tax cuts for moving jobs abroad through
loopholes in the corporate tax code for
moving expenses. The mass relocation of
millions of IT jobs in recent years to other countries speaks to this trend; Hackett
Group models predict that 1.5 million
jobs in IT will be eliminated by 2017 if
outsourcing continues at its current pace.
So far, the federal government has largely
failed to take any decisive action on outsourcing; most related legislation is passed
by individual states and thus has little impact, particularly in the IT sector. Further,
because so many workers within the IT
industry in the United States are trained
for one specific vocation, those who are
laid off often have difficulty finding skilled
work because of the specialization of skill.
Because of the lack of national-level outsourcing regulation and the clear financial incentive to move jobs outside of the
United states, the clear first step to reducing outsourcing is to establish legislation
that restricts outsourcing and encourages
investment in American workers; cooperation between legislators on both the state
and federal levels is key.


Outsourcing Information Technology Jobs

A Legislative Approach to IT Outsourcing

The problem must be addressed
through comprehensive legislation that
both disincentivizes outsourcing to other nations and encourages investment in
the American workforce. Another goal
of such legislation is to bring about equity between small and large companies
so that larger corporations cannot gain

4/10/15 3:03 PM

Potential Problems
Congress has blocked most proposals for any outsourcing legislation in the
past due to nearly-universal conservative
opposition; one notable example is President Obamas recent Bring Jobs Home
Act, which was deflected by Senate Republicans. For any bill on outsourcing
regulation to be politically feasible, it must
outline several measures against outsourcing yet keep the scale of each of its components in check. Trying to effectively end

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 46-47

outsourcing through aggressively restrictive legislation is unreasonable, and any

legislation with such a goal would not be
approved by such a divided Congress.
If outsourcing is to be addressed chiefly
through alterations of tax laws and institution of new federal investments and financial incentives, the primary initiative that
would take substantial time to implement
would be information technology vocational training programs. These would be
most effective if organized on the state or
local level depending on the needs of each
district, which means that introduction
of the programs would be a more gradual process. In the meantime, the other
suggestions laid out above are the most
effective for bringing about a reduction in
the numbers of IT jobs being outsourced,
which, in turn, would introduce increased
opportunity for our workers and more equity among companies with substantial IT
Patrick Thibodeau, Offshoring shrinks
number of IT jobs, study says, Computer World, March 21, 2012, http://www.
New York State Department of Labor, The
Offshore Outsourcing of Information Technology Jobs in New York State, September 2010,
Ackermann, Joachim, Au Yeung, Miles,
and van Bommel, Edwin. Better IT Management for Banks. McKinsey Quarterly,
July 2007.
White House, President Obamas Blueprint to Support U.S. Manufacturing Jobs,
Discourage Outsourcing, and Encourage
Insourcing, January 2012, https://www.

Its Getting Personal: A Call to Regulate the

Data Broker Industry Through
Economically Viable Reforms
By Allison Schlissel

ersonal data collection by private companies has been a relatively uncontroversial practice in years past. In the most
recent decades, however, this practice is a
cause of concern to many individuals due
to the advent of technologies that allow
for a more comprehensive compilation
of personal data. Because the data collection and aggregation industry lacks comprehensive oversight, pro-privacy groups
have called for government regulation of
such data broker companies. This policy
piece will explore the economic implications of such regulation in four parts.
The first part will discuss data broker
companies and their potential problems,
the second part will discuss the economic incentives to data mine, the third part
will discuss some possible regulations and
their economic impact, and the final part
will discuss potential policy solutions.
Ultimately, the data broker industry will
need to implement some reforms to stay
economically viable for everyone. However, the more difficult question to answer is
which policies will protect consumer privacy with as little damage to the multi-billion dollar Big Data industry as possible.
Part I: Brief Overview of the Data Broker Industry

works because of the change the practice

of data collection and aggregation by private companies, which is called database
marketing. Database marketing is the
collection, aggregation and brokerage of
personal data. Data brokerage companies specialize in the business of collecting and selling consumer information to
other companies or governments.2 Hence,
the dichotomy of active and passive data
collection is no longer relevant because
the information that consumers volunteer
for one purpose is used for another. The
continued use of this dichotomy is problematic because it has hindered industry
regulation and negatively affects some
Data broker companies have both
helped and hurt the average American
consumer. On the one hand, because of
data broker companies, Internet usage is
a more personalized experience. Advertising companies buy data from websites
that collect personal data, which in turn
creates more personal advertisements
for the user and leads to increased website profitability. These practices majorly
impact the Internet user experience, and
many times for the better.
One example of a large data broker company is Acxiom, located in Little
Rock, Arkansas. Acxiom creates consumer profiles based on over 1500 data points,
including children, age, race, education,
type of car, and stock portfolio. The company uses these data points to sort people
into predefined categories that predict
consumer behavior.3
On the other hand, there are potential problems as a result of data collection, aggregation, and brokerage. Among

The former way that companies

collected data can be classified in the dichotomy of active data collection and passive data collection. Active data collection
occurs when consumers voluntarily give
information to companies; passive data
collection involves companies collecting information that consumers did not
share voluntarily.1 This model no longer 2

Alice Marwick, How Your Data are

Being Deeply Mined, The New York Review
of Books 61(2014): 22 accessed October 24,



an additional advantage by outsourcing

IT operations to cut costs. A number of
potential key elements of a bill that could
accomplish this may include some of the
following suggestions.
Arguably the most significant in
the long term is state investment in IT-specific vocational training crucially both for
specific careers within the sector and for
broader IT-based skillsets. While focused
training for certain paths within IT is critical, a more general approach to this training would facilitate workers re-entry into
the IT workforce after being laid off. The
more versatile and adaptable their skillsets, the more likely it is that they will be
able to continue working in IT; this may
render these workers more attractive to
employers. Making this vocational education more widely available and accessible
broadens the pool of eligible IT workers
within the United States, which could also
spur growth of the sector domestically.
Alteration of the tax policies surrounding the IT sector and outsourcing
may also be critical. The loophole regarding companies overseas moving expenses negatively impacts growth of the domestic IT industry. As a result, lowering
the tax deduction for these expenses may
discourage moving jobs abroad. As a complement, providing tax cuts for the same
moving expenses - but in the opposite direction - could serve to drive movement of
jobs back into the United States. Beyond
this loophole, however, institution of punitive corporate income tax policies based
on a percentage of IT workers outsourced
may also serve as an effective financial incentive to keep jobs here. Awarding tax
credits to companies at the state and local
levels for setting up IT facilities may also
encourage development of infrastructure
to support growth of the sector as well.

Roosevelt Review


Natasha Singer, Mapping, and

Sharing, the Consumer Genome, New York
Times, June 16, 2012, accessed November 6,

4/10/15 3:03 PM

lion in revenue to the United States economy and more than 675,000 jobs.6 This
figure has risen in more recent years. Additionally, online advertising revenue generated $42.8 billion in the United States
and $117.2 billion globally in 2013.7 Many
data broker companies make staggering
revenues. For example, Acxioms 2014
revenues totaled $1.1 billion8 and contains
32 billion data records. Experian, a credit bureau specializing in marketing and
fraud protection services, generated $4.84
billion in 2014.9
Data collection and aggregation
is a booming industry that contributes
greatly, in monetary terms, to the American and global economy. Data broker
companies have an enormous incentive to
continue their practices, even if it s not in
the best interest of many American consumers. In addition to generating their
own revenue, private internet companies
become profitable by selling users personal data, which affects the viability of
the internet as a whole. Although further
regulations are greatly needed in this particular sector, it is important to consider
the economic implications of the regulations before their implementation.
Part III: Potential Regulations and their
Economic Impact

Many policymakers in favor of

regulating data collection, aggregation,
and brokerage by private companies
would like to ensure consumer privacy
and protection. However, it is important
to take into account the potential ecoPart II: Economic Incentives to Data nomic consequences of such regulations.
Data collection, aggregation, and
brokerage by private companies is a major
sector the American and global economy.
In 2012, Big Data contributed $156 bil-

Kashmir Hill, How Target Figured

Out a Girl was Pregnant Before Her Father
Did, February 16, 2012, accessed December
13, 2014,

Nathan Newman, How Big Data

Enables Economic Harm to Consumers, Especially to Low-Income and Other Vulnerable
Sectors of the Population Journal of Internet
Law: 18(2014), accessed February 20, 2015, pp.

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 48-49

Katy Bachman, Big Data Added
$150 Billion in Revenue to the Economy Last
Year, Adweek, October 14, 2013, accessed
February 20, 2015,

International Advertising Bureau,

IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report:
2013 Full Year Results, April 2014, http://

Bloomberg Business, Acxiom Corporation,
accessed February 18, 2015.
Experian, Key Financial Data,, accessed February 18, 2015.

For example, one study suggested that a

regulation proposed by Congress to restrict the exchange of data would jeopardize $110 billion in revenue and 478,000
jobs10. Although the study was conducted
by Direct Marketing Association (DMA),
a group opposed to strict data regulation,
it is still a significant study in that it brings
the issue of the economic implications to
light. Going forward, more studies should
analyze the economic impact of data regulation.
When devising a policy to regulate data broker companies that would
have the least economic impact but still
protect consumers, one model of potential policy solutions seems particularly
helpful. Noteworthy academics in this
field of study, Peltier, Milne, and Phelps
provide a useful model of three countervailing forces that influence and stop the
flow of improper information practices: top-down, bottom-up, and consumer
initiative. The top-down force is driven
by media coverage of privacy violations.
The federal government responds to these
violations with new legislation. The bottom-up force involves direct marketing
industry self-regulation and pro-policy
initiatives. Some examples of bottom-up
regulation are the Direct Marketing Association guidelines11, public privacy policies, and privacy seals. According to Peltier et al., bottom-up regulations are signals
that some database marketing companies
understand the importance of preserving
individual privacy. The last force is consumer initiative, which involves individuals refusing to comply with companies
requests for personal information. Examples of consumer initiative are refusing
information requests, opting out of direct
marketing lists, opting into no call lists,
abandoning online shopping carts, and
avoiding non-retail purchases.12 Although


Bachman, Big Data.

The Direct Marketing Association

(DMA) guidelines are a set of principles that
companies who belong to the DMA aspire to
adhere. For more information on the DMA
guidelines, the document can be found at http://

James Peltier, George Milne,
and Joseph Phelps, Information Privacy Research: Framework for Integrating
Multiple Publics, Information Channels,
and Responses, Journal of Interactive

it is difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of

the bottom-up and consumer driven forces in practice, these practices could be the
key to developing a responsible policy to
protect consumers and have minimal negative economic effects.
Part IV: Potential Policy Solutions

should be secure and accurate, and it is

the companies responsibility to ensure
that the data they collect are secure.14 Currently, there is no legislation that embodies all of these four principles as defined
by the FTC. To ensure that private data is
collected securely and used appropriately,
it is imperative that all four of these principles are incorporated in legislation that
pertains to both government surveillance
and private company collection and aggregation of personal data.
The most optimal policy solution would be for the DMA to construct
their own regulations using the above
FIP guidelines. In the meantime, three
practical measures can be taken to ensure
consumer privacy and safety without seriously disrupting the data broker industry: consumer access and opt out rights,
responsible data brokerage practices that
prohibit the sale of personal data to scam
companies, and data expiration.
First, consumer access to data
would be an important step in transparency and keeping companies accountable
for the data they collect. Most importantly, there should be an opt-out provision
for any individuals who do not wish for
companies to collect and/or use their personal data. Companies such as Acxiom are
already taking important steps to allow
consumers to access such information. Although mass opt-outs may jeopardize the
industry, it may also incentivize data broker companies to moderate the amount of
personal data they collect.
Second, there should be a prohibition against selling data to illegitimate
companies. Although this may seem obvious, selling data to scam companies occasionally occurs. For example, there is
a current congressional investigation involving nine of the largest database marketing companies resulting from a scandal
where one of the database marketing companies, Experian, sold sensitive consumer
data to an identity theft operation in Vietnam.15 Data broker companies must cease
engaging in unethical business practices

A top-down policy would be the

most effective policy, since data broker
companies have an enormous economic incentive to maintain their practices.
However, there should be at least some input from data broker companies to devise
a policy that would protect consumers,
yet do as little as harm as possible to the
multi-billion dollar data broker industry.
The most comprehensive current
law regarding information collection and
aggregation is the 1986 Electronic Communication Privacy Act (ECPA). The
ECPA, having been written in 1986, is outdated because technology has improved
far beyond what the law could have predicted in 1986.13 The ECPA is problematic
because the specific definitions in the legislation allow for a loophole with smartphones and its associated data.
One useful guideline for implementing future legislation is the Federal
Trade Commissions (FTC) Fair Information Practices (FIP) guidelines. The
FIP guidelines are a widely accepted set
of principles by both public entities and
private companies that define fair practices of collecting and aggregating data.
The four main components of the FIP are:
notice/awareness, choice/consent, access,
and integrity/security. For the notice and
awareness provision, consumers should
be informed about the companys data
collection practices. In regards to choice/
consent, consumers should have the option of how their data are being used
and the option to opt-out of data collection. For the access principle, individuals
should be able to view their own data and
contest inaccuracies. Lastly, for the integrity/security principle, the collected data
Marketing 23 (2009): accessed November 14
Peltier et al. Information Privacy
10, 2014, 192
Research, 196-197.


For an overview about the typical lag

between technology and technology legislation,
and the legal uncertainty that arises as a result of
technological change, read Recurring Dilemmas: The Laws Race to Keep Up With Technological Change, by Lyria Bennett Moses.

before earning the publics trust.

Last, and perhaps the most controversial policy solution, is to mandate
the expiration of data. In other words, the
data that data broker companies collect
should expire after a set period of time,
i.e. a year or two after collection. Data
expiration would result in companies no
longer building comprehensive profiles
of an individual and only using personal information in that snapshot of time.
Consequently, data broker companies
would still be allowed to engage in comprehensive searches, yet would remain at a
distance from the consumer by only using
their personal information collected from
a brief period. Although data expiration
would seriously impact the data broker industry, by federally mandating this policy,
no company would be at an informational
Part V: Conclusion
Data brokerage has revolutionized the way that internet companies remain profitable. In many respects, the data
broker industry has made positive contributions. However, these companies undeniably need regulation to remain tolerated by consumers. The optimal solution
would involve direct input from the DMA.
Until then, the above policy suggestions
are practical and should impose minimal
harm on the data broker industry.



many additional problems, two of the

most significant problems are personal
privacy issues and data discrimination.
Consumers can feel personally violated
when private companies abuse the information that they collect. For example, Target suffered from an infamous scandal in
2012 in which Target had discovered that
a teenage girl was pregnant before her father did. Target analyzed her purchasing
behavior and determined that she was
pregnant. The large retail company then
sent the teenager coupons related to prenatal care, which enraged her father. After
complaining to the local Target manager, the father found out that his teenage
daughter was pregnant.4
Data discrimination affects many
consumers, particularly, low-income consumers. For example, data broker companies compile lists of low-income and other
vulnerable population segments to sell to
both legitimate and scam companies. Even
legitimate companies use data discrimination to hurt low-income consumers. For
example, credit card companies can lower
a particular customers limit if he or she
has shopped at a store whose patrons typically have a poor repayment history.5
In light of the many problems associated with data collection, aggregation,
and brokerage, it is not surprising that
consumers and legislators have called for
industry reforms. However, a great hurdle
to industry reform will be the economic
incentives associated with data collection,
aggregation, and brokerage by private

Roosevelt Review


Natasha Singer, Senator Intensies

Probe of Data Brokers, New York Times, October 24, 2013, accessed November 6, 2014 http://

4/10/15 3:03 PM

By Jonathan Kroah


ow manure, gasoline, pesticide, denim

overallsfarms are decidedly un-sexy.1
Yet in 2012, 2.1 million farms operated
in the U.S., producing nearly $400 billion
worth of agricultural commodities (i.e.,
corn, cotton, milk, beef, and so forth).2
Given farms importance in the American
economy, agriculture and nutrition policies are major topics for policymakers. Every five or so years, Congress renews the
so-called farm bill, a complex omnibus
bill that simultaneously funds (1) the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
(SNAP, also known as Food Stamps),
which gives poor people money for food,
and (2) a tangle of regulations and support programs for American farms. The
latest farm billthe Agricultural Act of
2014allocates about $1 trillion to these
two areas of policy.3
Various farm support systems have
come and gone since the New Deal in
the 1930s and the War on Poverty in the
1960s, which together sowed the seeds
for the modern farm bill.4 For simplicitys
sake, we will examine three key farm support programs in the new bill that apply to
Jane (a hypothetical farmer from California): crop insurance subsidies, protection
against low prices or revenues, and sugar
trade regulations. We will also find some
serious flaws therein, and suggest a program for reform in 2018, when the current bill expires.

To mitigate losses that occur in such

conditions, Jane can buy insurance for
her crops. In a free market scenario, she
would purchase crop insurance policies
from private insurance companies, but
this is difficult in practice for two reasons.
First, farmers demand for insurance policies is highly inelastic,6 meaning that even
large proportional drops in the price of
insurance cause only small proportional
rises in the amount of coverage they want
to buy. Second, providing crop insurance
policies is very costly.7 This combination
of stiff demand and low supply results in
low levels of insurance coverage for Jane
and other farmers. In an effort to get more
farmers insured, the U.S. government subsidizes over 60% of the value of insurance
premiums (to boost the demand for insurance) and further subsidizes private insurers administrative & operating costs (to
boost the supply of insurance).8
However, as Jane insures more and
more acres worth of farming activity, it
costs the government more and more to
encourage her to insure additional acres,
given how inelastic her demand is.9 Thus,
the new farm bill requires her to pick one
of two additional safety net programs designed to prevent large swings in her incomeprovided she grows one or more
of the covered commodities listed in the
2014 bill.10 On the one hand, she could opt
USDA Economic Research Service. September
12, 2014. See Table 1: Exposure to Drought in

When Disaster Strikes

In early 2014, nearly all farms in Cal- 6
Keith Coble & Barry Barnett, Why
ifornia were exposed to severe drought.5 Do We Subsidize Crop Insurance? American

Some researchers have disagreed;

see Kenny Chesney, She Thinks My Tractors
Sexy (1999).

2012 Census of Agriculture USDA

Census of Agriculture. May 1, 2014. See Table
2. Market Value of Agricultural Products Sold
Including Landlords Share and Direct Sales:
2012 and 2007.

Journal of Agricultural Economics 95, no. 2

(2012): 499.


Ibid., 501.

Barry Goodwin & Vincent Smith,

What Harm Is Done by Subsidizing Crop
Insurance? Amer. J. of Agr. Econ.95,

no. 2
(2012): 489-90.
Joseph Glauber, The Growth of the

H.R. 2642, Agricultural Act of 2014:

Federal Crop Insurance Program, 1990-2011.
Cost Estimate. Congressional Budget Ofce.
Amer. J. of Agr. Econ. 95, no. 2 (2012): 484.
January 28, 2014.
PLC/ARC-covered crops are wheat,
Barry J. Barnett, The Last Farm
oats, and barleycorn, grain sorghum, long
Bill? Journal of Agricultural and Applied
grain rice, medium grain rice, pulse crops [dry
Economics 46, no. 3 (2014): 312-313.
peas, lentils, small and large chickpeas], soy5
California Drought 2014: Farms.
beans, other oilseeds, and peanuts. Agricultural

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 50-51

Graph generated with STATA. Price data hosted at: "Sugar and Sweeteners Yearbook Tables." USDA Economic Research Service. January 5, 2015.
For US prices, see Table 4U.S. raw sugar price, duty-fee paid, New York,
monthly, quarterly, and by calendar and fiscal year (original data from the
Intercontinental Exchange, Contract No. 14/16, duty fee paid New York. Average of nearest futures month for which an entire month of prices will be
For world prices, see Table 3bWorld raw sugar price, ICE Contract 11
nearby futures price, monthly, quarterly, and by calendar and fiscal year
(original data from the New York Board of Trade, Contract no. 11 nearby).
1996 USDA loan rate for raw sugar from GAO (2000), 13.


Uprooting U.S. Farm Support Programs

into Price Loss Coverage (PLC), which

pays her when the average price of the
commodity she produces falls below some
threshold (which is set by law).11 On the
other hand, she could select Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC), where support
payments kick in if either her countys
farming revenue or her own farms revenue12 falls below some threshold (calculated using a formula established in the bill).
For both programs, the dollar amounts of
the payouts are determined by somewhat
complex formulas.13
On their face, these policies seem sensible: Jane supplies essential goods to the
rest of the country, so the government
should ensure that she is insured against
disaster. Indeed, insurance subsidies have
played a growing role in farm bills since
the mid-1990s, and while they have successfully increased coverage for farmers,14
they have also created several problems.
In 2012, two economists estimated that
for every $1.00 that farmers themselves
pay out of pocket for insurance premiums,
they get $1.90 back in indemnity payouts.15 In other words, Jane tends to profit from her crop insurance policies with
these subsidies in place. To make matters
worse, the researchers reported statistically significant evidence that the recent
growth in insurance subsidies has bred
moral hazard by encouraging farmers to
plant on more acreage or alter farming
techniques, thereby assuming more risk.16
Finally, from a budgetary perspective, the
cost of these programs is concerning: it
has become the largest farm support program, with forecasted expenditures of $90
billion over the next decade.17
Since these policies make buying insur-

Roosevelt Review

ance profitable for farmers and may even

create more risk, Congress should make
one of two changes to the next farm bill in
2018. The first option is to limit how many
acres an individual farmer can insure at
subsidized prices: this would reduce Janes
incentive to take on additional risk, and it
Act of 2014. Pub. L. 113-79, 2.
would stem the growth of the programs
Price Loss Coverage or Agricultural costs. A second option is to eliminate
Risk Coverage? AgriBank. July 1, 2014: 4.
insurance subsidies altogether. While a
If Jane picks ARC, she must decide
deregulated market would face the aforewhether to hinge her safety net payments on her mentioned challenges of inelastic demand
countys or her own farms revenue. Ibid., 6.
and high costs for insurance companies,
Ibid., 5-6.
Jane (or someone she hires) could manage
Goodwin & Smith (2012), 490. The
her risk in other ways: for instance, some
number of acres insured rose by nearly 470%
economists have suggested trading opbetween 1981 and 2010. See also Coble & Bartions (contracts for the future right to buy
nett (2012), 502.
or sell a commodity at a certain price) or
Goodwin & Smith (2012), 490.
tapping the $19 trillion market for credit
Goodwin & Smith (2012), 495.
default swaps (contracts that allow parties
Brad Plumer, The $956 Billion Farm to share risk), 18 the latter of which is 167
Bill, in One Graph. The Washington Post,
January 28, 2014.


Options & CDS were suggested by

4/10/15 3:03 PM

Roosevelt Review


Sweet Child O Mine

Sugar comes from processing sugarcane or sugar beets. Since 1981, the government has offered loans to sugar farmers and processors at certain fixed rates,
set by law. If Jane borrows through this
avenue, her loan is collateralized with sugar, allowing her to either repay the loan
or default and surrender some quantity
of sugar to the government. But what if
the price of sugar falls below the interest
rate on the loan? In that case, it may cost
Jane less to default than to sell her sugar
and pay an interest rate that exceeds the
price at which she sold. If this happens,
then the government incurs a loss, since
it must store the sugar or sell it at a price
below the payment it would have received
on Janes loan. Therefore, to discourage
defaults, the government pumps up the
domestic price of sugar by limiting how
much foreign sugar can be imported at
low tariff rates.20 This strategy has worked:
as Figure 1 illustrates, the loan rate act as
a porous floor under the price of sugar in
the US, which has allowed American sugar producers to enjoy prices about 80%
higher than those on the world market
from 1989 to the present.21
Do these higher prices serve a
greater economic good? In 2000, economists from the US General Accounting
Office (GAO) examined the costs and
benefits of the sugar program in 1996 and
1998. They estimated that in both years
Goodwin & Smith (2012), 492. CDS market
size from: Derivatives Statistics. Bank for
International Settlements. December 7, 2014.
See Table 19: Amounts outstanding of overthe-counter (OTC) derivatives by risk category
and instrument.

combined, it conferred a $1.8 billion benefit to farmers and sugar processors (firms
that convert sugarcane or sugar beets into
raw sugar), but that higher prices inflicted $3.4 billion in costs on sugar users in
the U.S. (i.e., sugar refiners like Domino,
bakers and confectioners, and the Cookie Monster). Moreover, in response to
higher prices, many farmers grew surplus
sugar crops instead of other commodities.22 Thus, the GAO concluded that the
program was a net drag on the economy.
Given the clear distortions created by this
policy, Congress should make one of two
changes: the sugar program should be dissolved entirelywhich, according to the
GAO, would have benefited consumers
by between $1.4 and $3.3 billion in the
period they examined23or the loan rate
for sugar should be dropped below world
prices. In the latter case, sugar producers
could borrow at low rates, but the domestic sugar market would no longer suffer
from a distortive price floor.

2012 Census of Agriculture. USDA National

Agricultural Statistics Service. May 1, 2014.
Agricultural Act of 2014. Public Law 113-79.
Barnett, Barry J. The Last Farm Bill? Journal
of Agricultural and Applied Economics 46, no. 3
(2014): 311-19.
California Drought 2014: Farms. USDA Economic Research Service. September 12, 2014.
Coble, Keith, and Barry J. Barnett. Why Do
We Subsidize Crop Insurance? American Journal of Agricultural Economics 95, no. 2 (2012):
Glauber, Joseph. The Growth of the Federal
Crop Insurance Program, 1990-2011.American
Journal of Agricultural Economics 95, no. 2
(2012): 482-88.
Goodwin, Barry, and Vincent Smith. What
Harm Is Done by Subsidizing Crop Insurance? American Journal of Agricultural Economics 95, no. 2 (2012): 489-97.
Plumer, Brad. The $956 Billion Farm Bill, in
One Graph. The Washington Post, January 28,
Price Loss Coverage or Agricultural Risk Coverage? AgriBank. July 1, 2014.
Sugar Program: Supporting Sugar Has Increased Users Costs While Beneting Producers. United States General Accounting Ofce.
June 9, 2000.
Many economists have critiqued the Sugar and Sweeteners Yearbook Tables.
USDA Economic Research Service. January 5,
inefficiencies and distortions created by 2015.

the U.S. farm bill and called for drastic

reforms. As we have seen, insurance and
sugar involve perhaps the most egregious
policies: insurance subsidies incentivize
farmers to take on more risk than usual,
and trade restrictions have kept raw sugar
prices artificially high in the U.S., benefiting sugar producers while causing net
harm to the economy. While scrapping all
farm programs at once is at best unrealistic, Congress can focus on these two programs in 2018 in the name of stemming
the growth of the federal debt and refusing
to support particular industries at the expense of the general welfare.


In 2011, over 265 million acres were

insured in the [crop insurance] program, with a
total liability estimated at $114 billion. Glauber
(2012), 482.


Sugar Program: Supporting Sugar

Has Increased Users Costs While Benefiting
Producers. United States General Accounting
Office. June 9, 2000. 12. Note that the sugar
program the GAO analyzed was left unchanged
in the 2014 bill.


Authors calculation. See Figure 1 for

data sources.

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 52-53



GAO (2000), 5-6.

GAO (2000), 5.

Smart Growth: Tailored Infrastructure and

Transportation Strategies in the Greater
Washington Area
By Simon Shwartz

rban Sprawl is a problem. This is evident

both in my adopted city of New York and
Washington DC, which is much closer to
my actual home. In New York, and especially in Manhattan, space is at a premium
Columbia itself can certainly attest to
this. Thus, the continued urban development of the city must be a creative process,
maximizing utility for residents while fostering a community which businesses feel
is an opportunity to enter. In Washington
DC, unlike in New York City, there is actual space available to develop, this space
is a double-edged sword. While Washington does not have to deal with many of
the municipal space-related problems of
New York, the relative abundance of space
has allowed Washington-area developers to be careless with their projects. The
once-bucolic region of Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland are now best
known as Washingtons sprawling suburbia, dotted with inefficient and unimaginative strip malls.
Questions surrounding urban
development and smart growth largely depend on the specific community at
hand. But fundamentally, the role of urban planners adhering to smart growth is
to maximize efficiency and utility. Often
times, smart growth is a question of antiquation, in which` replacing outdated infrastructure and municipalities represents
the key to reinventing urban communities. In the case of planning for future
urban expansion, creative infrastructure
and municipality options often represent
a chance however costly to experiment
with new and improved forms of community development.
Defining Smart Growth and some of
the Advantages it entails
The standard definition of Smart
Growth is planned economic and community development that attempts to
curb urban sprawl and worsening envi-

ronmental conditions,1 which is certainly

true, but often invites a response along the
lines of, such planning sounds like a serious curtailment of potential profitability
for firms looking to occupy that location.
While it is true that Smart Growth development leaves no room for strip malls
and massive retail chain stores, when done
correctly, Smart Growth development
promotes powerful economic and social
advantages of other kinds. Such advantages include:
Shift in Traffic from Automobile traffic to Foot Traffic: At first glance,
strip malls may seem like an efficient way
to cluster retail locations, but while there
is efficiency in proximity, there is an incredible amount of inefficiency brought
on from congested traffic patterns. Developers tend to try mending congestion
by simply widening the highways, but
simple magnitude of traffic is not the entirety of the problem. Congestion stems
from traffic options the multitude of
exits, ramps, cross streets, traffic lights,
and parking lots that are necessary infrastructure in strip malls and other urban sprawl-type development. In smart
growth developments, where retail stores
are clustered around a main street or some
other distinct location with infrastructure
for foot traffic, the traffic congestion that
stems from traffic options ceases to be an
issue. The economic metric for this concept is a walkability score, or the degree
to which an area encourages walking for
recreational or functional purposes.2 Recent studies from the University of Arizona show that a communitys walkability
score correlates positively with the value
of commercial property.3


times larger than all crop insurance liabilities in 2011 combined.19 In other words,
without government support, Jane would
still have substantial insurance opportunities.

4/10/15 3:03 PM

for the rural locale, Marshall is able to

attract business in the form of tourists
who want to experience the region and entrepreneurs or small business owners who
want to take part in the Marshall brand
and make it clear to developers that any
development that take place in Marshall
needs to fit the smart growth vision.
Case Study: Greater-Washington DC
Background: Washington DC
has some unconventional building code
restrictions that prevent vertical construction - a 1910 act for example restricted the
height of any building to the width of the
adjacent street plus 20 feet5 - but throughout recent times the city has been creative
in many ways of expanding. Washingtons metro system opened in 1976 and by
1983 had expanded into the surrounding
counties of Fairfax VA and Montgomery
MD.6 This seemed to herald the coming of
economic and commercial growth in the
greater Washington DC area, and while
that did indeed occur, the smart growth,
mass transit infrastructure that was put
in place was not matched with the zoning
regulations that prohibited urban sprawl.
While increasing the ease of commute
into Washington, this growth also set off
the suburbanization that has swallowed
up many of the counties surrounding
Washington DC, and now threatens the
rustic landscape of north-western Virginia and southern Maryland.
Policy Proposal: A joint program
between Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, that raises the fare of
tolls on highways into and out of Washington DC, and uses the revenue to fund
urban renewal projects in the District.
Why it works for the District:
Washington has saw great success post-recession in urban renewal projects. For example, following the construction of Nationals Park in 20087, the area around the
Anacostia Waterfront, long considered
a remnant of an older, seedier Washing-

Primary Acts passed by U.S. Congress. Loislaw.

Metros Orange Line Begins Service
Today. The Washington Post. November 20,
1978. p. C1.

Ladson, Bill (December 18, 2007).
Reston Master Plan (PDF). Reston All Eyes on Nationals to Open Season. MLB
Museum. May 1962. Retrieved October 12,

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 54-55

Advanced Media. Retrieved December 18,


ton, saw a massive investment of capital

in an effort to create the type of destination branding defined above. The same
investment of capital could go to revitalizing other parts of Washington DC as
well, through projects such as renovating
the metro-rail and incentivizing entrepreneurs and small business owners to come
and claim Washington DC neighborhoods
for themselves.
Why it works for surrounding
states: Raising toll fares helps to reduce
traffic magnitude by forcing commuters to
carpool or use mass transit, and although
the revenue raised would not go back to
Virginia or Maryland directly, the policy
would be the first step in the process of
curbing Washingtons urban sprawl and
transitioning to a smart (re)development
of the region. There is economic benefit in this shift in development tactics as
well. Each metro hub has the potential for
smart growth; the potential to be a branded destination with easily accessible retail
options. These metro hubs would, in a
way, be following the Reston Town Center
model: simultaneously deriving economic
benefit out of creative development while
taking a stance against monotonous urban
Smart growth means many things to
many different communities. In Washington DC, it means supporting economic growth in efficient and aesthetically
pleasing ways. In Rural Virginia, it means
deriving economic growth from the preservation and marketing of a distinct cultural identity. In my adopted home of
New York, where horizontal space is at a
premium, perhaps the definition of smart
growth lies in finding the optimum way to
utilize the vertical space above. One point,
however, is clear everywhere: uniformity
is not the answer. Economic planning requires situational and background knowledge and a creative strategy to develop
the locale into the best version of itself,
instead of a reflection of the antiquated
development that came before it.

Public Parking in New York City: Where

the Rubber Meets the Road with Policy and
Participatory Democracy
The piece is an adaptation of a white paper that was rst published by the Roosevelt Institute on December 11, 2014. It was presented at the White
House to members of the National Economic and Domestic Policy Councils, and at public testimony to the New York City Council Transportation
Committee on March 5, 2015.

By Brit Byrd

ew York City has succeeded at urbanism

in many ways, but when it comes to curbside parking policy there is still room for
improvement. For such a highly walkable
and transit-serviced city, the price of parking on the street remains far too low and
serves as an informal subsidy to one of the
least efficient and seldom-used modes of
transit in the city: personal automobiles.
Only 22.7 percent of New Yorkers commute to work alone in a vehicle, and only
46 percent of households own a vehicle.
A more effective pricing scheme will increase parking space turnover, eliminate
unnecessary incentives for personal car
ownership, create safer streets for pedestrians, and generate revenue. One strategy creating better parking schemes is
increasing the cost of parking through
meter rates on arterial roads and through
yearly residential parking permits (RPP)
on smaller side streets.
The Problem: Congestion and Vehicle-Related Externalities
There are many reasons to discourage heavy use of personal vehicles
within New York City. Of course, the general negative externalities of vehicle traffic
and car ownership apply in New York City
just as much as anywhere else. Reducing
traffic congestion, air and noise pollution,
and traffic casualties, and encouraging
environmentally friendly urban development through transit-oriented development are all worthy policy goals in their
own right. Mayor Bill de Blasios administration has identified many of these goals
explicitly, most notably through the Vision Zero program, aimed at eliminating
pedestrian casualties entirely (estimated
by the Mayors office as 4,000 injuries and
250 deaths every year).
But traffic congestion is in fact an

even more insidious and damaging problem for New York City than suggested by
the traffic casualty figures highlighted by
the Mayors office. In a 2006 report, The
Partnership for New York City identified
a series of serious financial losses for the
metropolitan area due to traffic congestion, including:
$1.9 billion due to logistical, inventory, and personnel costs;
$4.6 billion due to unrealized business revenue;
$2 billion in wasted fuel and vehicle
37,000 to 52,000 fewer jobs due to lost
revenues and productivity.



Boosting Local Economies:

Smart Growth Projects such as mass transit, urban renewal and civic beautification
help to create a clear sense of destination
for a specific location, instead of melding into the monotonous urban sprawl
that surrounds most American cities today. Creating this sense of destination
helps to strengthen local economies by
providing the opportunity for the locale
in question to brand itself unique, apart
from the urban mass around it, and create a micro-culture that is distinctive and
enticing. One of the first examples of this
was Reston Town Center in Fairfax County Virginia.4 Reston brings together retailers and residential units, and binds them
with a distinct and aesthetically pleasing
infrastructure. Since its inception in 1962,
Reston has become a hub for commerce in
Northern Virginia over 50% of regional
venture fund stems from firms in Reston
and has managed to do so without blending into the urban sprawl that consumes
most of Northern Virginia.
Defining the Limits of Urban
Zones: Smart Growth communities are
not limited to subsectors of major urban
centers. In fact, it is suburban areas and
rural townships that perhaps have the
most to gain from smart growth. A fantastic case study is the town of Marshall Virginia. Originally settled in the 1750s, Marshall sits at exit 24, right off I-66, which
is the main thoroughfare through the urban sprawl that belts Washington DC to
the south and west. As urban sprawl has
crept closer and closer down I-66, citizens
of Marshall have scrambled to undertake
smart growth projects as a means of defense. Beginning in 2015, Marshalls Main
Street will be revitalized by replacing sidewalks and implementing new ones, and
burying power and transmission lines underground. Additionally, private investors
have worked to attract local entrepreneurs
to locations on and around Main Street
Marshall that will serve create a unique
brand, making Marshall a tourism hub for
those who want to experience the bucolic
region of Hunt Country Virginia, and the
greater Shenandoah. By creating a brand

Roosevelt Review

The case for a less car-oriented New

York City is not simply an aesthetic one.
Rather, the costs of added congestion are
very real and damaging to the metropolitan economy. Reconfiguring on-street
parking within the city will not only address this problem of congestion, but also
serve to generate revenue for the city to
help compensate for productivity lost to
traffic congestion.
The Mechanisms of Manipulating Supply
and Demand in Parking
It would be nearly impossible to discuss parking policy without mentioning
Donald Shoup, commonly referred to as
the rock star of parking policy over the
last half century. While much of Shoups
most famous work concerns mandatory
zoning parking requirements in Sun Belt
cities a plague New York City is largely
free from outside of some remaining mid20th century public housing regulations
Shoup brings a fundamental approach to
parking spaces as public rented space, and
parking as an individual activity subject to

4/10/15 3:03 PM

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 56-57

hour during business hours, in addition to

the cost of entering the congestion charge
A robust and explicit congestion pricing plan proposed by Mayor
Bloomberg, which would have assessed an
$8 charge for entering Manhattan below
60th Street during peak hours, suffered a
crushing political defeat in the New York
State Assembly in 2008. Contrary to previous city defeats in the state house, it was
downstate Democrats, rather than upstate Republicans, who proved to be decisive. Outer borough Democrats largely
opposed the bill, viewing it as Manhattan-centric and punitive of their more
car-dependent constituencies. In contrast
to the familiar story of stymied progress in
Albany, altering on-street parking prices
represents a viable policy alternative within the citys own purview that operates
along the same logic and with the same
goals as congestion pricing.
One group, MoveNY, led by traffic
engineer and writer Sam Schwartz, sometimes known as Gridlock Sam, is actively
campaigning for a plan that takes advantage of New York Citys dependence on
bridges and tunnels to achieve very similar goals as a congestion pricing plan,
although under a different name. In fact,
some transit advocates have even described MoveNYs plan as even better
than congestion pricing, perhaps in no
small part because it seems to be more
politically viable than congestion pricing ever was. However, the MoveNY plan
does not address administering on-street
parking within the city, instead focusing
on a more zonal approach administered
through Metropolitan Transit Authority-controlled bridges and tunnels. Thus,
there remains a need for an articulated
proposal for raising on-street parking
prices, regardless of the possible success
of such plans as MoveNYs. Just as in London, both policy tools can and should exist side-by-side. Both effectively use fees
to disincentivize traffic congestion and its
negative externalities. Moreover, readjusting on-street parking is an effective standalone policy that in some cases can almost
substitute for congestion pricing altogether. In fact, Speck maintains that in lieu of
more perfect and comprehensive congestion pricing schemes, a simple repricing
of downtown spaces and parking lots may

solve 90 percent of most cities parking

Conclusionthe demonstrative value of
parking as an example of where the rubber
of policy meets the road
Parking policy is an admittedly a tricky thing to get people passionate
about. It is a textbook example of a policy
topic you might hear mentioned on the
likes of Parks and Recreation to lampoon
the less glorious minutiae of local governance. Modern government, despite its
relatively large size, is often said to be invisible. While taxes, fees, and rent charged
by the government can be very apparent
to the individual citizen, the resources
they provide can all too easily slip into
the background of daily routine. However, parking, precisely because it is so quotidian, is not invisible and can serve as
a prime example of a kind of policy that
with the right adjustments can not only
achieve admirable policy goals, but also
encourage citizens to conceptualize the
relationship between public space, individuals, government, and its funds.
Reducing traffic congestion and
encouraging collaborative consumption
and mass transit are goals that all cities
should pursue. New York City is no exception, regardless of the fact that it already
ranks highly among North American cities in density, walkability, and transit use.
Cleaner, safer, and more efficient urban
settings are always possible and should
remain a policy goal of all municipalities.
Altering the pricing scheme for on-street
parking represents a step towards a better
New York City for all of its citizens. Although it is a modest first step, adjusting
parking policy in New York City can serve
as a functional public example of where
the rubber meets the road when it comes
to policy, politics, and the public space we
all inhabit.



market pressures of supply and demand. A

central tenet of Shoups theory on parking
is to remove market distortions such as
parking requirements and artificially low
on-street parking prices, so that parking
demand can once again behave according
to the principles of the free market.
This proposal reflects Shoups specific market-oriented contention that the
right price for curb parking is the lowest
price that keeps a few spaces available to
allow convenient access. Constructing a
parking scheme in this way mitigates two
negative consequences related to personal
vehicles: traffic congestion and air pollution, which are increased by drivers cruising for cheap parking. The phenomenon
of drivers circling around to find cheap
parking has been well documented. In one
study of six different urban sites, roughly
a third of traffic congestion consisted of
people searching for cheap on-street parking.
Charging for parking and driving
are proven method for controlling traffic
congestion, second only to comprehensive
congestion pricing schemes. The fundamental logic of raising parking prices and
congestion pricing plans is the same. Both
aim to reduce the demand for vehicular
traffic by raising the cost of each trip made
in a vehicle to the driver. Both tools seek
to manage congestion by altering demand,
rather than the supply of vehicle-related amenities, such as road and highway
mileage or parking spaces. The difference
is in the details, in which congestion pricing is a more comprehensive policy tool.
While raising on-street parking prices
increases the cost of driving through individually administered parking spaces at
the end of a single trip, congestion pricing
charges a fee for simply entering a defined
geographic zone, regardless of whether a vehicle stops and parks within it. A
notable example of congestion pricing is
Londons notorious plan, implemented
in 2003, which charges 11.50 (approximately $18) to drivers to enter the city
center between the hours of 7 am and 6
pm on weekdays. This plan exists concurrently with hourly parking charges for
on-street parking, which are administered
on a borough-by-borough basis. For instance, in the central borough of the City
of London, home of the financial district,
parking costs 4 (approximately $6.30) an

Roosevelt Review

In todays political climate, while there are a wide range of topics that have received national attention, education policy issues have been some of the most high prole and hotly debated. This years Education section
of the Roosevelt Review has covered some of the most important. First, we hear from Andrew Judson Stoughton
CC16, who exposes the injustices that adjunct professors face in terms of salary and workload, and the need
for government intervention. Next, Nicki Felmus CC18 boldly advocates for the repeal of the Common Core
standards in favor of less standardized teacher evaluations of students. Finally, Kunal Shah CC17 analyzes
President Obamas Americas College Promise Proposal, and proposes a better way to promote community college enrollment while improving the quality of education that students receive. We hope not just to convince, but
provoke thought in our community on these issues that will aect generations of students to come.
-Kunal Shah
4/10/15 3:03 PM

By AJ Stoughton

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 58-59

merican colleges and universities have

faced a significant labor problem in recent decades and continue to face it today. Though universities have grown in
price, size, and value, the wages that they
pay their professors have not. In fact, they
have for the most part decreased. Fewer
and fewer tenure track positions and tenured positions are available to professors
today. Instead, universities have begun
relying on adjunct facultyprofessors
hired on a per course basisto teach their
classes. In the face of increased costs and
pressures, this has allowed universities to
spend less money on teaching labor. It has
also greatly diminished the value of higher education in the United States, and will
continue to do so.
Many of adjunct professors live under
the poverty line as a result of the decrease
in tenure track positions. In turn, we see
reduced incentives for young talent to go
into academia. Without job security or
comfortable pay, talent will turn to other
professions, and will leave these positions
open to those with lesser abilities. As a
result, the long-term underpayment of
college professors will leave us with lower
quality professors teaching in our universities, and lower quality education for our
nations students. Weaker teachers mean
weaker education, which means a weaker
democracy and economy.
The rise of adjunct positions has shortterm consequences as well. The high rates
of turnover of faculty and courses in todays colleges result in shallower relationships between students and professors.
Low pay forces teachers to take on more
courses than they can effectively pay attention to, resulting in a lower quality of
education for our students.

untenable for many professors, and is degrading the quality of our academic institutions in the near term and long term.
The Numbers:

Including graduate students, approximately 76% of teaching positions in institutions of higher learning are adjunct1.
A majority of these professors are paid
in piece, meaning, usually, per credit
or some other equivalent unit of measurement. On average, adjunct professors in the United States across all fields
receive approximately $2,100 dollars per
three-credit course or its equivalent2. In
turn, the median income for an adjunct
professor is about $22,000, while the median salary for a full time professor settles in at about $47,000 dollars a year, an
increase of about 113%3. These numbers
also ignore the discrepancies in benefits,
as an overwhelming majority of full time
professors receive healthcare coverage as
well as other benefits like dental insurance
and 401 Ks, depending on the institution
and position. No such benefits extend to
adjunct positions. While $22,000 is well
over the federal poverty line for an individual, it is barely above the line for a family of three ($19,530), and is below the line
for a family of four ($23,350)4. Adjunct
professors who have families are often especially hard pressed.
A vast majority of adjunct professors
teach at more than one institution, with
the average number being two5. As a result, adjuncts spend a significant number
of hours and resources commuting, thus
digging into their earned incomes, their
earning potential, and the hours that they
can devote to their students. This makes
the quality of the education they provide
In short, the proliferation of adjunct worse, and promotes waste within the
positions is making life economically economy.

Universities cannot entirely get rid of

adjunct positions (nor should they). Nevertheless, the federal government should
require that all institutions that receive
federal funding restrict adjunct professors to 25% of their faculties. Reducing
adjunct positions to such a threshold will
force universities to increase the pay of a
significant number of faculty members
while maintaining enough flexibility of
educational institutions to use adjuncts as
necessary. Universities can still treat those
25% of positions as non-graduate student
adjunct positions. However, the federal
government must require that institutions
pay their adjunct professor at a rate as follows: the university in question must calculate the median income of an associate
professor in a given field, and prorate that
number to the median number of credits
taught per academic year, creating a dollar
amount per credit. Institutions can either
pay an adjunct professor this given number multiplied by the number of credits
said professor teaches, or it can pay them
$1,800 a credit. At $1,800 a credit, if a professor were to teach four three credit classes per academic year, a professor would
make $21,600, which firmly places adjunct professors above the federal poverty
line. Doing this will significantly improve
the pay grade of these adjunct positions
without undermining the financial stability of universities.
The portion of formerly adjunct positions must be filled with contracted work,
meaning they must be salaried rather than
paid in piece. Compensation must be at
least 75% of an assistant professor in a
tenure track in an equivalent field to the
worker in question earns. This will allow
former adjunct professors to earn more,
and will maintain the system of incentives
and demarcations that separate tenure
and non-tenure tracks. Contracts must
last a minimum of two years, and it must
have an option that the university can either pick up or deny after three semesters,
so that, if an institution of higher learning chooses to part with a given professor, they will have a semester of secured
income in which to look for other jobs.
Contracts of this sort will give professors
more job security, increase their wages,

In the event that a school refuses to

comply with these mandates, it will become ineligible to receive federal funding
of any kind. Schools will be able to petition
to be exempted from these mandates. To
become exempt, however, a school must
demonstrate absolute financial need, and
must negotiate with the federal government to establish a fair system of payment
that reduces adjunct positions as significantly as possible, and pays as fair wages as
possible. Implementing this policy would
create a special committee within the Department of Education designed to oversee the implementation and enforcement
of this law, and to negotiate and handle the
petition process for exemptions.


Roosevelt Review

quality of higher education in the United


The Just in Time Professor.
Democratic Staff of the House Committee
on Education and the Workforce. January



Federal Poverty Guidelines
U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services. 2015.
Segran, Elizabeth. The Adjunct
Revolt: How Poor Professors Are Fighting
Back. The Atlantic. 28 April 2014.


Providing for Our Professors: Reducing Adjunct Positions as a Means of Improving

Higher Education
DC Area

The Solution:

and provide a more stable workforce for

universities. Contracts of these lengths allow sufficient turnover for universities to
part ways with poor performers, and gives
professors enough security that they can
focus on their work without being overwhelmed by trying to teach too many
classes, or by chronic financial instability.

It is important that we find a solution

to this problem that both ensures the fiscal health of our institutions of higher
learning, and provides livable wages for
our nations professors. Raising wages and
increasing job security for adjunct professors is a critical step in the maintenance
and improvement of our nations system
of colleges and universities. Without it,
we will discourage talented students from
becoming teachers, reduce the quality of
our educators, and create less skilled and
less informed citizens for our democracy
and our economy. These solutions are a
way of modestly improving the financial
health and security of Americas professors. They should not negatively affect
the budgetary health of our nations colleges (though they will certainly change
budgetary priorities). Nevertheless, there
will be a system in place to ensure that this
program does not lead to the unnecessary
decline of any of our nations institutions.
As a result, this program of action would
be an effective way of increasing the wages of professors and in turn improving the

4/10/15 3:03 PM

By Kunal Shah

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 60-61

n the third season of Beau Willimons

epic television series House of Cards, we
see President Frank Underwood attempt
to cement his legacy in American history
by proposing a program named America Works, in which Social Security benefits would be cut and federal emergency
funds depleted to provide jobs to all unemployed Americans by subsidizing their
wages. We see Underwood pilot the program in Washington, D.C., and more than
40,000 formerly unemployed citizens gain
minimum wage jobs, and the unemployment percentage dips. But when we gain
our unique insight into the mindset and
dialogue of Underwood and his advisors
during the implementation of this plan,
we realize that the politicians overseeing
America Works are not attempting to
truly give Americans sustainable employment or a platform for long term career
growth. Instead, we only see the Underwood administration care about the numbers: the change in the unemployment
rate and the number of people who were
employed at the time. Underwood recites
these numbers frequently as he campaigns
for reelection and promotes expansion of
the plan; these numbers are a fuel for his
legacy, for the politics in Washington, and
not much else. Numbers, not the improvement of lives, where what took priority for
the administration and the people.
Id like to think that American politics
and President Barack Obamas administration are not as Machiavellian and
detached as what is depicted in House
of Cards. However, when we look at the
Presidents recently announced Americas College Promise proposal to promote free community college tuition to
millions, one cannot help but evoke an
image of D.C. politicians playing a numbers game for the sake of the election cycle. There is a lot to like in this proposal,
in that the frequently overlooked issue of
community college education has been
brought to national attention, and such an
effort can be an impetus for individuals to
enroll in community college, further their
education, and increase their wealth potential. But the simple proposal of easing

the monetary burden community college

students face is not enough to distinctly
improve their education and allow them
opportunities to find better jobs. Instead,
it may be simply throwing a cold shoulder to issues in the actual development of
students and the translation of education
into success, and instead focusing on the
potentially higher number of students
that will now attend community college as
a statistic that can be touted in the 2016
election cycle. Nevertheless, The Americas College Promise proposal, or ACPP,
may be a viable first step in our reformation of the community college system. We
must first explore the plan, the benefits
that it provides, and who receives these
benefits. Then, we must explore the viability of the plan in making the impacts
that it claims it will, and finally explore
potential policy changes and new policy
measurements that will bring us closer to
our desired goal of more education for all
Americans, regardless of socioeconomic
status or age.
In January of 2015, President Obama
announced the ACPP in a televised statement. The basic tagline was providing free
community college to all Americans who
desired it. The provisions for such free tuition are: maintenance of a 2.5 GPA as a
half-time student, steady progress toward
completing their program, and a household annual income of below $200,0001.
The official statement dictates that the
average tuition of community college is
$3,800 a semester, and 75% of this tuition
would be covered by the federal government, and the remaining 25% covered by
the statei. The program would also create
the American Technical Training Fund,
which would award programs that have
strong employer partnerships and include
work-based learning opportunities, provide accelerated training, and are scheduled to accommodate part-time work.i
This program was created so that high-potential students could receive the training
necessary to undertake middle class jobs
in growing technology, energy, and manufacturing fields, to name a few. The White
House estimated that the ACPP would

with the ACPP, there may be a better way

to allocate resources in the short term to
improve community college in the long
As previously mentioned, although
many students will still face financial burdens that prevent them from continuing
their community college education, enrollment will likely increase with the passing of this plan. Increased enrollment in
the short term will prove to be extremely
problematic for community colleges, as
well as for the students themselves. For
the community colleges, increased enrollment will lead to overcapacity that will be
difficult to accommodate. Over the past
decade, the amount of money spent per
student by community college has decreased by about 5%; at the same time,
the average cost of tuition has increased
by 40%5. This is due to the fact that community college funding in most states has
decreased by at least 10%6. Higher enrollment in community colleges due to the
ACPP would likely decrease the amount
spent per student by the community colleges; at the same time; the tuition costs
for the school likely would be difficult to
increase, since states would be covering
25% of the tuition and the federal government the rest, and governments would not
want tuition costs to increase because they
are footing the bill. 84% of community
college students are in the bottom 80%
of household income; the government
would be covering tuition for all of these
studentsv. This leads to magnanimous
problems for all parties involved. For the
federal government, assuming the statistics above are true and there are at least 7.7
million students enrolled in community
college, they would be paying $17.6 billion a year in covering tuition; this is 75%
higher than the $10 billion a year federal
spending the White House estimated for
the first 6 years of the plan. The state government would be caught between paying
hundreds of millions to billions in student
tuition, and face pressure in expanding
community colleges to accommodate increased enrollment. Community colleges
themselves would face immense pressure
immediately in the allocation of already
limited resources, and students would receive a lackluster education that would be
unlikely to prevent them from dropping

If cost is going to continue to be a burden for

those who are on the margins of attending community college, but at the
same time the expected
amount of enrollment in
community college will
increase with the ACPP,
there may be a better way
to allocate resources in
the short term to improve
community college in the
long term.

Fullling Americas College Promise

cost an estimated $60 billion over the next

10 yearsi.
Regardless of the overall impact that
such a proposal would have on community college education and its quality, the
ACPP would certainly allow low-income
students to receive more aid for their
community college education. The ACPP
would operate in addition to current Pell
Grants offered to the lowest income students in the United States; consequently,
students would apparently receive the
same amount of Pell Grant aid, and use
such aid towards costs external to tuition, such as textbooks, supplies, and living costsi. Considering that the average
full cost of attending community college
hovers above $16,000, the maximum Pell
Grant of $5,700 in addition to tuition coverage by the ACPP would help low income
students a significant amount2. Low-income dependents earn on average $21,000
a year, and low-income independents
$2,000; a new net price to between $5,000
and $6,000 would help these low-income
students significantly, letting them take
federal loans and/or work minimally to
meet the costs of schoolii. However, this
fiscal analysis shows us that President
Obamas plan to make community college
Free for those who need it would not
truly live up to that expectation immediately; consequently, students may continue to leave community college within the
first two years of attending for the same
reasons as they have been; short term
gains of a full time job outweigh the long
term potential of receiving an Associates
or Bachelors degree3. This is a problem
not only for recent high school graduates
who see the appeal of dropping out of
college to work; this especially applies to
adult students, who not only have difficulty in even meeting the half-time student
requirement of the ACPP and Pell Grants,
but who are more likely to have dependents, and consequently have more incentive to drop out of community college to
work full time4. Thus, while this may be a
step in the right direction in alleviating the
burden on community college students in
terms of costs, it may not be the right first
step. If cost is going to continue to be a
burden for those who are on the margins
of attending community college, but at the
same time the expected amount of enrollment in community college will increase

Roosevelt Review

4/10/15 3:03 PM


ties of accommodating the ACPP for all

parties involved, we must take a look at
one of the major socioeconomic groups
that would be impacted by this policy: the
middle class. The program extends to all
those who have a household income of below $200,000 a year; this means that middle class families would also receive free
tuition by attending community college.
In theory, this is an effective idea; middle
class students on the margin of attending
community college and a four year university may choose to attend community college due to free tuition, and the quality of
students in community colleges may improve, allowing the atmosphere in which
all students study and grow to improve as
well. However, with the ballooning costs
to the state and federal government as a
result of this plan, community college
costs external to tuition may increase
significantly; books, supplies, and other campus costs outside tuition may rise
significantly, and middle class students
who do not receive Pell Grants would not
have support in paying for such supplies.
Moreover, with the increased enrollment
and decreased resources of community
colleges after the ACPP, the gap in quality
between two and four year colleges would
likely increase, leading to middle class students paying a premium for four year colleges in order to avoid community college,
as many do now. Thus, the expectation
that more middle class students would
enroll in community college would likely
not be met.
A solution to the lack of preparation
that state governments and community colleges may have in accommodating
the ACPP would be to change the way in
which the $60 billion is allocated for community colleges. This federal funding,
and ideally more, should first be allocated
towards improving community colleges
in terms of infrastructure, quality of instruction and materials provided, classes offered, and vocational and technical
training. Programs such as the American
Technical Training Fund should be kept
and fostered, so that community colleges
can become more appealing options to the
middle class and potentially upper middle
class students. Improving community
colleges through funding and increasing
the number of programs available would

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 62-63

such a school as opposed to a four year

university, but also make community colleges more socially acceptable options for
students who may otherwise go to a four
year institution. One may ask how this
would help low-income students. Ideally,
funding for community college tuition in
the short term and long term would not
be dedicated for all students with a household income below $200,000, but especially for students of low income, so that
low income students could receive free tuition. The middle class students who were
being appealed to with free tuition would
now pay to attend community college due
to their inherent appeal; tuition fees could
be used for improving the schools, as well
as a stream of income to help financial aid
programs for those of low income. Moreover, the opportunity cost of attending
college as opposed to taking a job would
decrease for low income students; community colleges becoming more appealing
would lead to low income students better
understanding the importance of their
postsecondary education, and as a result
would be less likely to choose working
in the short term over school, improving
long term education and wages.
The improvement of community college education should not just be about
trying to increase the amount of enrollment for short term election cycles and
success stories; it should be about improving the institutions themselves such
that the stigma surrounding community
colleges changes, the schools themselves
become more appealing to all, and the
colleges actually help students improve
their job potential and provide quality instruction. The most prestigious universities in America are the best providers of
financial aid for low-income students due
to endowments and tuition from successful graduates and high-income students
respectively; a similar system would be
the best fit for those who need an education most, and truly emphasize the community aspect of community colleges in

Goldrick-Rab, S. (2015) Frequently Asked Questions About President
Obamas Free Community College Proposal. Wisconsin Hope Lab
Goldrick-Rab, S. & Kendall, N.
(2014). College Board data on net price
shows similar but inappropriately counts
tax credits as equivalent to grants in computations, understating the net price
Hout, M. (2012). Social and Economic Returns to College Education in the
United States. Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 38: 379-400.

Roosevelt Review

Say No to Common Core

By Nicole Felmus

n late August of 2014, Oklahoma voted

with a large majority to repeal the Common Core standards from their education
curriculum. The state of Oklahoma was
then faced with a backlash from Arne
Duncan, the US Secretary of Education.
His action was to lift the states No Child
Left Behind Waiver, since the state of
Oklahoma did not create a replacement
for the Common Core. Indiana repealed
the Common Core on the same day as
Oklahoma, yet they did not receive the
same backlash from the federal government.1 Moreover, most of the 45 states
that adopted the Common Core spent
2014 reviewing the standards the legislation presents and debating whether or not
to repeal the guidelines from their curriculum.2
If Common Core is one of the most
contested topics among the states that
adopted it in 2010, it must, therefore, be
revisited. If found to be ineffective, Common Core standards should be repealed.
Since this is the standard in most states,
there should be a five year allotment time
for states currently using the Common
Core to stop the practice, allowing time
for the creation of new standards, better
for the well being of the students and more
suited to create normalized standards in
public schools from the east coast to the
west. These standards would not be based
on standardized test scores, but rather
teacher evaluations of students along with
pre-test and post-test results to see how
students improve in a year.
In order to fix the detrimental legislation, its fundamental problems must be
addressed. Common Core was created to
provide understanding of what students
should learn in certain grades. This was
used to help in calculating grants for Race
to the Top, Obamas education plan to push
students towards higher achievement on
standardized tests. While many argue
that Common Core is amiss due to its infringement by the federal government on
states rights, one of the main problems is
that the standards are linked to standardized testing. Based on students scores on
these standardized tests depends upon

whether they move up to the next grade

or graduate.3 But this does not only affect
studentsteachers also bear the burden
of these standardized tests. If students do
not perform to the standardized tests, a
teacher can be punished or their job may
be put in jeopardy.4 Another one of its
large problem is that the Common Core
was created in the opposite direction that
children grow. Its creators began at 12th
grade and worked their way down to kindergarten, disregarding much of the research presented to the committee on how
children develop and learn.5 In addition,
the standards written in this legislation
are inconsistent with childrens psychological development, especially for grades
kindergarten through three. Although
five hundred early childhood experts,
pediatricians, psychologists, researchers, and teachers found these standards
to be developmentally too challenging
for children between the ages of 5 and 9,
they were kept in the legislation. These
lessons include the breaking down and
composing of numbers between eleven
and nineteen into ten ones and some
further ones. Not only are the expectations for counting off, but also the literary
standards are precocious for a standard
five year old. The section on math is confusing and often attempts to dictate how
teachers teach in confusing terms. For
example, the first grade curriculum states
that students should be able to use strategies such as counting on, making ten.
Example, eight plus six equals eight plus
two plus four equal ten plus four equal
14, decomposing the number leading to a
10. Consequently the high standards the
legislation presents forces many students
to face repercussion for not succeeding on
the standardized tests, such as staying in
third grade until the reach the third grade
reading level and the possibility of being
placed in remedial classes. Due to this,
graduation rates are expected to plummet
from seventy-five percent to fifty-three
Since forty-five states subscribe to the
Common Core standards, the legislation
affects everyone.7 It affects the students


In the midst of discussing the difficul- not only increase the appeal of going to proposal-tuitio

4/10/15 3:03 PM

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 64-65

that have adopted the standards. Tennessee, a state that abides by the Common
Core standards, has looked into repealing
Common Core and instituting their own
standards; the estimated price tag for the
Volunteer State Standards, Tennessees
proposed standards, is $4.2 million. Concurrently, Oklahomas estimate to replace
the Common Core standards was approximately $1.24 million. Assuming Common Core standards affect 44.55 million
students in 45 states, then revisiting the
Common Core would cost $3 per student,
a small fraction of the $11,000 the United
States spends on a singly student already.10
Therefore, a new set of standards is not
only suggested, but also mandatory in order to create a better-educated public. A
new set of standards with make students
more prepared for college or the jobs they
enter after they graduate from high school.
The United States has the ability to avoid
the expected plummeting of high school
graduation rates if it takes action quickly. By creating a program that is easier
for teachers, they will be better equipped
to teach in their classroom for the benefit
of their students. Under new legislation,
children will not be discouraged if they
are not at the grade level ready and they
will be encouraged to succeedno longer
will over half of students be considered
failing. Teachers jobs will not rely on
the scores their students obtain, as this is
not an objective way to grade a teacher. It
is possible to fix our education system, but
it must start with the termination of the
Common Core standards.
Emma, C. (2014, August 29).
Common Core repeal costs Oklahoma
its NCLB waiver. Retrieved January 31,
2015, from
Turner, C. (2014, December 30).
Common Core Repeal, The Day After. Retrieved January 31, 2015, from http://www.
Are the Common Core Standards
a Good Idea? (n.d.). Retrieved January 31,
2015, from

Are the Common Core Standards
a Good Idea? (n.d.). Retrieved January 31,
2015, from
Debate: Should Schools Embrace
The Common Core? (2014, September 19).
Retrieved January 31, 2015, from http://
Debate: Should Schools Embrace
The Common Core? (2014, September 19).
Retrieved January 31, 2015, from http://
Turner, C. (2014, December 30).
Common Core Repeal, The Day After. Retrieved January 31, 2015, from http://www.
Meador, Derrick. Impact of the
Common Core Standards. About Education., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2015.
Seman, Sarah J. The Case
Against Common Core., 2 Sept. 2014. Web. 18 Mar.
Tatter, Grace. Cost of Implementing New Standards Would Be High,
Say Experts and Educators. Chalkbeat
Tennessee. Chalkbeat, 05 Mar. 2015. Web.
20 Mar. 2015.

Energy &


who are pressured into performing highly

on standardized tests, the teachers who are
unsure about the unclear standards and
how to teach them, the parents who must
help their children through the stressful
process, and the politicians and school administrators who have spent days debating the topic. Therefore, Common Core
needs to be revisited to see if it achieves
the goals it was created to meet, equalizing education and improving the nations
math and reading scores.
Repealing Common Core and replacing it with a better-suited alternative
will alleviate pressure for all parties concerned with the issue. For students, abolishing the Common Core will create an
even larger impact. If we were to be rid
of the Common Core and to create new
legislation, we could create better, more
informed standards. This can be guaranteed by paying attention to decades of research focused on how children learn and
develop. Starting from kindergarten and
working towards twelfth grade, ideal performance levels would be developmentally sound for the age group. The math
curriculum could be rewritten in a more
comprehensible way for teachers and students. Students in middle and high school
who were shocked by the new Common
Core teaching style and standards will be
able to return to a better known classroom
setting. With the implementation of the
new standards, tests difficulty is expected
to increase, causing trouble for many currently struggling students.8 Teachers can
spend more time with students, teaching
them how to read in order to get every
child on grade level, instead of just moving them into remedial classes or forcing
them to spend three years in third grade.
Similarly to the Common Core, states
would choose to subscribe to the new
standards and would be given three years
to implement them into the curriculum.
These guidelines on student preparedness
would not include certain lessonsthat
will be up to the teachers and schools to
decide how they instruct their classrooms.
Hence, Congress would need to allocate funds for the research and the writing
of the new legislation as well as a stimulus package for states that subscribe to
the new law. Currently, under Common
Core, the federal government has given
$4.35 billion dollars to the forty-five states

Roosevelt Review

Energy & Enviroment

In the past year, Climate Change has dominated all things energy and the environment. Weve seen hundreds
of thousands of people worldwide attend the Peoples Climate March, with over 100,000 protesters in New
York City alone. Americans want action on climate change, and they want to be pioneers of clean tech. However,
there is an entirely dierent picture being painted on Capitol Hill. Weve seen budget cuts to the United States
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), inability to pass an infrastructure bill, and a strong opposition to any
international emissions agreements. Once the party that brought humankind to the moon, the modern day GOP
has failed to respond to Americas next new frontier: clean energy.
At the same time, the Executive Branch has made great strides: programs like the Clean Power Plan and
EPAs continual tightening of vehicle emissions standards show that action can be taken. However, we must act
faster and with a much broader scope. In this years Energy & Environment section, we have presented several
suggestions on how to change the status quospecically through reforms in nuclear energy nancing, solar
energy nancing, banned pesticides regulation, and how we look at the legal system in combating climate change.
-Samuel Place

4/10/15 3:03 PM

By Charles Harper

Energy &
Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 66-67

esticides are manmade chemicals that

are used to kill weeds, insects, fungi and
other pests. One of the first pesticides
was DDT, first used extensively to fight
insect-spread diseases like Typhus and
Malaria in World War II. Soon, pesticides
like DDT were used on farms to control
agricultural pests, allowing larger yields
and more food production. Between 1947
and 1949, the budding chemical industry
invested $3.8 billion into expanding its
production facilities.1 DDT and other carbon-based pesticides became increasingly
common until the devastating environmental and health consequences of such
pesticides started to come to light in the
1960s. Besides killing insects, these pesticides were killing insect-eating birds and
running off into rivers and lakes, killing
huge numbers of fish and aquatic animals;
furthermore, these pesticides were proven
to cause cancer, diabetes, nerve damage,
and even death in humans exposed to
them either directly or through residue
remaining on food.2 Although DDT and
the most toxic pesticides have since been
banned outright in the US, many other
pesticides remain in use in America. Only
pesticides registered with the Environmental Protection Agency are allowed to
be sprayed on crops in America.3 Every
registered pesticide has a tolerance or
limit of how much residue can remain on
food before it is deemed unsafe for consumption. Extremely dangerous or new
chemicals are not registered with the EPA
and cannot be used in the US.
A problem arises, however, with exports of unregistered pesticides. Currently, American companies are allowed
to produce as much of a banned, unregistered pesticide as they like, as long as
it is for export. Between 2001 and 2003,
the United States exported nearly 1.7 billion pounds of pesticides and nearly 28
million pounds of those pesticides were
products forbidden in the U.S.4 Under
the international Rotterdam Convention,
a company exporting an unregistered pesticide is required to receive written con-

sent from the importing country before

the pesticide is allowed to be sold.5 America has signed the convention, but it has
not been ratified by Congress; the EPA,
however, still follows its provisions.6 This
Prior Informed Consent is supposed to
ensure that a country knows what it is doing when importing dangerous pesticides,
but many of these importing countries are
less-developed and have neither the scientific knowledge and the necessary health
regulations nor the required bureaucracy in place to make effective decisions.7
These developing countries have minimal
or non-existent protections to ensure that
these pesticides are applied and disposed
of properly or that affected food will not
poison the consumer. The World Health
Organization estimated in 1990 that up
to 25 million workers in developing countries suffer from pesticide poisoning every year.8 Often unaware of the dangers,
citizens of these countries misuse the
chemicals we sell them: from Thai farmers testing the potency of chemical mixtures by licking a finger dipped in the mixture to villagers in Ghana who poured a
poisonous chemical into their lake so that
fish would float to the top and could be
harvested more efficiently or using empty pesticide containers for food and water
storage.9 Even though developing countries use only 25% of the pesticides produced worldwide, they experience 99% of
the deaths.9
If the poisoning of workers and consumers in developing countries werent
enough, the poisonous pesticides we sell
abroad are coming back to America via
residue on imported food. The U.S. imports 25% of its food from other countries,
many of which use pesticides banned in
America.11 The dangerous chemicals we
sell to make a quick buck are coming back
to us in what is often described as a circle
of poison. Out of all of the shipments of
food imported in 1989, the FDA only conducted 10,719 tests; of these, 3% of samples contained violations, most of which
were for pesticides banned in the U.S.12

Many countries look to the United States

as a world leader in science and technology; the creation of an office to educate and
advise other countries would also reduce
their usage of dangerous pesticides produced in countries other than the U.S.
The United States, despite signing the
Rotterdam Convention in 1998, has yet
to ratify it in Congress. One of only eight
countries not to have done so, the United States should ratify it so as to promote
Prior Informed Consent (PIC) in more
countries worldwide.15 Although the U.S.
will no longer export the most dangerous
of the pesticides on the list, ratifying the
treaty would show that the U.S. is acting
in good faith to reduce the usage of dangerous pesticides and hopeful promote
more countries to ratify the treaty. As a
country that has ratified, America would
have more influence as to which pesticides
are covered under PIC and could promote
the banning of exporting dangerous pesticides to other signatories of the treaty,
reducing the amount of the most toxic
pesticides available to even the countries
that would give consent for their import.
Developing countries all over the world
are suffering from environmental destruction and poisoning of citizens due to extremely toxic pesticides sold to them by
the United States. With such a poor image in so many countries already, from a
marketing perspective, it does not make
sense to associate Made in the USA with
sickness and death.16 Rather than contributing to the problem, the U.S. could take
the lead in promoting health and wellness
worldwide by helping educate and assist
developing countries to reform their pesticide regulations to an acceptable level.
Although deaths are bad enough, destruction of the global environment hurts not
only Americans but also organisms of every species, today and far into the future.
Pesticide export reform is a necessity to
protect all citizens of the Earth, at home
and abroad.

Currently, American
companies are allowed
to produce as much of
a banned, unregistered
pesticide as they like,
as long as it is for

Energy &

Ending the Exportation of Banned


This means the vast majority of imported

food goes untested and banned pesticides
are consumed by Americans relatively frequently.
It is unacceptable that the United States
allows companies to supply carcinogens
and poisons to unaware foreigners; however, it is not the only country that exports these most dangerous of toxins. An
effective policy solution should not only
ban export from the U.S. but also attempt
to limit production in other developed
countries; a successful policy should also
provide education and support to developing countries to discourage their import of dangerous pesticides and promote
proper usage of pesticides they do import.
The simplest part of this process is banning the production of all non-registered
pesticides in the United States. Whether
they have been registered and unregistered, banned, or simply never been considered for registration, all pesticides that
are not registered by the EPA for domestic
use would be banned for export as well. A
problem of enforcement arises that could
be solved by allowing any citizen to file a
lawsuit against the producing company
even if he or she is not directly affected by
the production. This way, environmental
watchdog groups and socially and environmentally conscious people could ensure this ban is followed with little cost to
the taxpayer. Any penalties levied against
chemical companies could be used to help
fund the next part of the proposal.
A new office of the EPA should be created to help other nations transition to safer
and more sustainable agricultural practices. This office would disseminate information to current importers of restricted
chemicals about pest-control alternatives
such as less toxic and more easily degradable pesticides, crop rotation, and the
production of more disease-resistant crop
strains to name a few.13 More knowledge
about chemicals labels and the importance of Pre-Harvest Intervals, the necessary wait time between spraying crops
and harvesting them, would also improve
safety if spraying is necessary.14 This office
would also help foreign governments to
establish comprehensive regulations concerning pesticide usage and tolerances in
food and advise them in the formation
of an effective bureaucracy to this effect.

Roosevelt Review

4/10/15 3:03 PM

1. Ganzel, Bill. "The Dawning of the

Chemical Age for Pesticides during the
1940s." Wessels Living History Farm.
Accessed February 2, 2015.

14. Galt, Ryan. "Regulatory Risk and

Farmers' Caution with Pesticides in Costa
Rica." Transaction of the Institute of British
Geographers 32, no. 3 (2007): 377-94.
Accessed February 2, 2015. JStor.

2. "Pesticides: Children's Health and the

Environment." World Health Organization.
July 1, 2008. Accessed February 2, 2015.

15. "Status of Ratications." Rotterdam

Convention. January 1, 2010. Accessed
February 2, 2015.
16. Albers, Nancy, and Betsy Gelb. "Haz3. "Import and Export Trade Requireardous Exports: An Update and a Framements." March 25, 2013. Acwork for Policy." Journal of Public Policy
cessed February 2, 2015.
& Marketing 10, no. 2 (1991): 130-44.
4. Peeples, Lynne. "Lead Paint, Other Toxic Accessed February 2, 2015. JStor.
Products Banned In U.S. Still Exported
To Unsuspecting Customers Abroad." The
Hufngton Post. March 25, 2013. Accessed
February 2, 2015.
5. "Export Notications: Overview."
Rotterdam Convention. January 1, 2010.
Accessed February 2, 2015.

Energy &

6. "Import and Export Trade Requirements." March 25, 2013. Accessed February 2, 2015.
7. Albers, Nancy, and Betsy Gelb. "Hazardous Exports: An Update and a Framework for Policy." Journal of Public Policy
& Marketing 10, no. 2 (1991): 130-44.
Accessed February 2, 2015. JStor.
8. "EPA06: Stop the Export of Banned
Pesticides." National Partnership for Reinventing Government. Accessed February 2,
9. Pesticides: Children's Health and the
Environment." World Health Organization.
July 1, 2008. Accessed February 2, 2015.
10. Albers, Nancy, and Betsy Gelb. "Hazardous Exports: An Update and a Framework for Policy." Journal of Public Policy
& Marketing 10, no. 2 (1991): 130-44.
Accessed February 2, 2015. JStor.
11. "EPA06: Stop the Export of Banned
Pesticides." National Partnership for Reinventing Government. Accessed February 2,
12. Ibid.
13. Helsel, Zane. "Energy and Alternatives
for Fertilizer and Pesticide Use." In Energy
in Farm Production, edited by R.C. Fluck,
177-201. Vol. 6. Amsterdam: Elsevier,

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 68-69

Roosevelt Review

The Nuclear Option

By Andrew Ascenio

he US consumes a lot of fossil fuels. Both

Democrats and Republicans agree that
the USs current energy strategy has some
major issues. Coal and natural gas release millions of tons of carbon into the
atmosphere every year contributing the
ever-growing problem of climate change.
But even those who choose to hide their
heads in the sand in regards to the global
warming issue are forced to acknowledge
that there are a finite amount of fossil fuels on earth. Even with the USs large coal
deposits and increased oil production
brought about by new fracking techniques,
dips in electricity producers expenses are
outliers on what has been, and will continue to be, a steady increase in the price
of fossil fuels. For the past few decades the
US government has been providing massive subsidies for fledgling solar and wind
industries, and these subsidies have been
extremely effective wind is the source of
over 4% of the USs electricity and made
up 30% of new production in 2013 thanks
in large part to subsidies that have been
in place since the mid-nineties1. But another source of long term clean energy
has largely been ignored when determining Americas long term energy strategy:
nuclear power. A combination of federal
subsidies to nuclear power and a more
streamlined approach to the establishment of new nuclear facilities would increase the USs energy independence and
decrease carbon emissions with only a minor impact on consumers.
If the US were to shift its focus
to nuclear, it would not be the first nation to do so. The oil price shock caused
by OPEC in the early 1970s convinced
French policy makers to end reliance on
foreign oil by committing to building 56
nuclear power plants across the country2.
American wind power reaches
major power generation milestones in
2013. (2014, March 5). Retrieved February 28, 2015, from
Palfreman, Jon. Why the
French Like Nuclear Energy. PBS. PBS.
Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <

This commitment paid off, and in 2013,

75% of all electricity in France was generated from nuclear power3 (compared to
19% nuclear generation in the US4). This is
an impressive figure offering clear proof
that nuclear power is viable as the primary
source of generation for a large scale electric grid. In 2013, the average price of electricity for households in France was 0.147
Euros per kWh (kilowatt hour)5 which is
around 25% lower than the EU average.
Along with keeping electricity costs low
at home, Frances nuclear energy sector
earned over 3 billion Euros last year in energy exports6. One of the reasons France
has had such success going nuclear is that
each generation of nuclear reactors is built
using one standard model. This policy, or
a similar one to it, would greatly benefit
the USs development of a strong nuclear
sector (currently all reactor proposals submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Committee are unique in design)7 and will be
discussed in depth later in this proposal.
In addition to cost concerns, many of
Nuclear Power in France.
World-Nuclear. World Nuclear Association, 14 Nov. 2014. Web. 26 Jan.
2015. <
Nuclear Power in the USA.
World-Nuclear. World Nuclear Association, 1 Jan. 2015. Web. 26 Jan.
2015. <
European Commission. Half
Yearly Electricity and Gas Prices. Eurostat: Office of Publication for the European Communities, 2014.
Nuclear Power in France.
World-Nuclear. World Nuclear Association, 14 Nov. 2014. Web. 26 Jan.
2015. <
Tomain, J., & Cudahy, R. (2011).
Nuclear Power. In Energy law in a nutshell (2nd ed.). St. Paul, Minnesota: West.

Energy &



4/10/15 3:03 PM

Nuclear Power in the USA.

World-Nuclear. World Nuclear Association, 1
Jan. 2015. Web. 26 Jan. 2015. <http://www.>.

United States Nuclear Regulatory Committee. Backgrounder on the
Three Mile Island Accident. Washington: US
Government Publishing Ofce, 2014.


Nuclear Power in the USA.

World-Nuclear. World Nuclear Association, 1
Jan. 2015. Web. 26 Jan. 2015. <http://www.>.

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 70-71

their subsidy to sell at prices nuclear power producers cannot compete with11. At
the end of 2013, Congress allowed these
subsidies to expire, although they will remain at least partially in effect for another decade. Wind energy production has
increased twentyfold since 2000, but this
growth has oftentimes been at the expense
of nuclear power. This cannot be the case
moving forward. Increasing the profitability of one carbon clean source of energy
so that it can simply take up the market
shares of another accomplishes nothing.
Its important to remember that combined
wind and nuclear electricity output contributed only 992 TWh compared to 2,867
TWh produced by fossil fuels12. This is the
market share we need nuclear power to
start controlling. A $15 per kWh subsidy
to nuclear power would put it on an even
footing with the artificially reduced wind
prices and would ensure profitability of
nuclear reactors immediately upon completion.
But the viability of nuclear energy cannot be ensured by subsides alone.
The massive transaction costs associated
with building new reactors need to be
addressed if nuclear power is to become
the central component of the USs energy strategy, and these transaction costs
are not entirely momentary. The process
of obtaining site permits and design certifications from the NRC has taken more
than a dozen years for some potential nuclear investors13. And of course there are
quite a lot of monetary transaction costs.
Startup costs of plants routinely increase
by factors of 2 to 5 from the planning
phase to completion of nuclear facilities,
and the initial cost projections are in the
hundreds of millions to begin with14.

These costs make nuclear extremely unattractive to the private sector, and the failure of the 2005 Energy Policy Act to produce any new reactors makes clear the fact
that loan guarantees and production tax
credits will not be enough to stimulate our
nuclear industry15. If nuclear is to have a
chance of succeeding in the US, the NRC,
in cooperation with the private sector,
needs to create a single standardized reactor design and create a fast track approval
process for potential investors who adopt
it. The Federal government would also
need take responsibility for constructing
the first few prototype reactors or at the
very least provide strong financial support to the initial private sector groups.
The first few reactors will need this support because of the construction pitfalls a
new design inevitably must face, but as the
industry gains experience with each new
reactor completed, construction costs will
Wind, solar, and thermal energy production are seen as the future of the
USs electrical grid. Nuclear energy, on the
other hand, is a technology already proven to be an effective source of clean electricity, and it would therefore be a huge
mistake to push it aside in favor of the
aforementioned three. The smart choice
going forward is a grid at least primarily
composed of nuclear energy supplemented by the other carbon clean sources of
energy. Uranium may be a nonrenewable
resource, but investment in the fission reactors of today can only bring us closer to
the fusion reactors of tomorrow the true
solution to humanitys energy problem.

Philips, Matthew. Wind Energy
Companies Prepare for Tax Credits End.
Bloomberg Buisnessweek 9 Jan. 2014, Energy
sec. Bloomberg L.P. Web. 27 Jan. 2015.

Nuclear Power in the USA.
World-Nuclear. World Nuclear Association, 1
Jan. 2015. Web. 26 Jan. 2015. <http://www.>.

By Samuel Place

n the last five years, solar energy has

grown 418%. Yet, it only amounts to about
one percent of Americas energy portfolio. Those optimistic about green energy
are quick to point out that both the cost
of producing solar panels has declined
dramatically (around 80% in five years),
and that demand will continue to rise. Of
course, this is true, and it will only be a
matter of time until solar becomes a major player in the energy sector. Solar is in
a unique position, being one of the only
energy sources that gets support from
liberals and conservatives alike. In the
last couple of years, a Green Tea Coalition has established footholds in deep
red states like Georgia and Arizona. This
peculiar assortment of tea partiers and
environmentalists has come together to
promote net-metered photovoltaic (rooftop and residential solar panels) -- an
energy source thats both green and decentralized1. However, this method faces
a number of barriers, which will need to
be addressed in order for solar energy to
become competitive with fossil fuels.
When looking at solar growth rates
from 2010 to 2013, the largest gains have
come from utility photovoltaic (i.e. a field
with hundreds of solar panels) and net
metered photovoltaic (residential solar).
Based on these growth rates, it looks like
residential solar is already falling behind
utility photovoltaic as the leading solar
energy option, and it will continue to do
so2. There are a number of reasons for this
declining growth rate, and it has severe
long-term consequences for solar energy
over the coming decades.
One of the biggest problems with residential solar is the cost of purchasing the
panels themselves. Fortunately, the private sector has stepped up by offering 10
to 20 year lease programs, which include
the costs of installations and maintenance
of solar panels. This is successful in affluent residential areas, like Long Island and


Davis, L. (2012). The Journal of

Tomain, J., & Cudahy, R. (2011).
Nuclear Power. In Energy law in a nutshell (2nd Economic Perspectives. Journal of Economic
Perspectives, 26(1), 49-66.
ed.). St. Paul, Minnesota: West

the Greater New York region. In California, solar panels are oftentimes included
in development designs when constructing houses, thus the cost is included in the
price of the house. Another -- and arguably the most crucial -- method is through
property assessed clean energy (PACE)
PACE financing allows users to pay
for solar panels through an assessment
on their property taxes. By spreading out
payments for up to 20 years, it provides
the most reasonable option for those who
want to own their solar panels without
upfront costs3. Since the payments are
included in an assessment on the owners property taxes, the cost can easily be
transferred to a new owner of the property.
This option can be applied to residential,
industrial and commercial property, thus
its a major staple in the aforementioned
net-metered photovoltaic sector. Right
now, we are seeing major expansions on
the state level for industrial and commercial PACE financing. States like California
and Connecticut have started programs
like c-PACE that focus entirely on commercial properties, with great successes4.
However, the Federal Housing Finance
Authority halted the residential aspect of
the program.
In 2010, the FHFA cited concerns
over the senior lien status of residential
PACE, and declared that it would prohibit
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from purchasing mortgages from properties that
enacted PACE5. Lien status is a legal term
that defines the explicit right for a creditor to sell collateral property of a debtor if
they violate loan contract obligations. So,
for example, assume that a homeowner
files bankruptcy. Since there are outstanding debts that have not been paid, lien status is enforced. Lien status forms a hierar-

4 pace
fellows-ght-for-solar-power-in-sunshine-state/ 5


Tomain, J., & Cudahy, R. (2011).

Nuclear Power. In Energy law in a nutshell (2nd
ed.). St. Paul, Minnesota: West.

Picking up the PACE for Rooftop Solar

Energy &

Energy &

those against nuclear energy are quick

to point out its perceived dangers. Most
Americans are point to failures at Three
Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima;
however, the publics fear of nuclear power
does not align with realistic dangers that
exist in the nuclear sector.
In March of 1979, a nuclear reactor on
Three Mile Island suffered a partial meltdown. The incident is considered the most
serious in US history, and the resulting
backlash in public opinion following the
meltdown helped to effectively end expansion in the nuclear energy sector (no
nuclear reactors were constructed until
2013)8. This backlash to the meltdown was
completely out of proportion, especially
when the actual details of meltdown are
examined. Although extensive damage
was done to the facilitys reactor, Three
Mile Islands containment building remained intact preventing any significant
damage. Half a dozen government organizations and independent groups have investigated the impact on the surrounding
area, and the radioactive leakage has been
universally agreed upon as negligible.9
The safety protocols in place were already
enough to prevent any damage as a result
of a meltdown, and the new safety standards put in place after the Three Mile incident have made US nuclear reactors the
safest in the world.
Nuclear power is a viable source
of clean electricity that does not need to
be feared, but in current market conditions, it is unrealistic to expect nuclear
power production to expand. For the
majority of the last two decades the US
government provided a $22 per kWh subsidy to wind energy companies. In some
regions of the US, electricity prices have
fallen to as low as $35 per kWh,10 and
wind producers have taken advantage of

Roosevelt Review

4/10/15 3:03 PM

Roosevelt Review

By Daniela Lapidous

Energy &

chy, where outstanding taxes are collected

first, followed by mortgages, followed by
any other outstanding debts. Since PACE
financing is an assessment of property
taxes, they are included in the outstanding taxes bracket, thus they have first-lien
status with priority over mortgages. In a
worst-case scenario where another housing bubble was to burst, the FHFA claims
that PACE would be disastrous for Fannie
and Freddie. In response to this decision,
California Governor Jerry Brown sued the
FHFA, and the process went to the courts.
Over the next three years, a series of court
cases ultimately upheld the FHFAs right
to not finance residential homeowners
that use PACE financing. In December of
2014, new FHFA Secretary Mel Watt solidified the departments original stance6:
In issuing this statement, FHFA wants
to make clear to homeowners, lenders,
other financial institutions, state officials,
and the public that Fannie Mae and Freddie Macs policies prohibit the purchase
of a mortgage where the property has a
first-lien PACE loan attached to it. This

restriction has two potential implications

for borrowers. First, a homeowner with
a first-lien PACE loan cannot refinance
their existing mortgage with a Fannie Mae
or Freddie Mac mortgage. Second, anyone wanting to buy a home that already
has a first-lien PACE loan cannot use a
Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan for the
purchase. These restrictions may reduce
the marketability of the house or require
the homeowner to pay off the PACE loan
before selling the house.
With FHFA willing to actively fight
PACE and its first-lien status, this presents
a great difficulty for residential PACE.
However, there are several things that
could be done to alleviate this barrier.
Since the FHFA is a federal entity, it
would make the most sense to combat
this on the federal level was well. The most
obvious solution is for Congress to enact legislation that requires the FHFA to
adopt residential PACE. However, given
the agenda of our current congressional
leaders, this is a highly unlikely scenario. With that in mind, I would encourage
the Obama Administration to issue an
executive order reeling back FHFAs ban on mortgaging houses with residential
Pages/Statement-of-the-Federal-Hous- PACE. As we have seen over the last severing-Finance-Agency-on-Certain-Super-Prial months, the current administration has
successfully used the executive order to

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 72-73

act productively and effectively, especially when other aspects of the government
have failed to do so.
If we want to truly developed renewables in this country, it needs to become
a bi-partisan issue that can be seriously
debated on the national level. With movements like the Green Tea Coalition, it has
become clear that residential rooftop solar is a key area where both conservatives
and progressives can come together. Thus
all financial mechanisms to enact residential solar must be utilized in order to both
preserve this coalition, and promote clean
energy. Liberalizing residential PACE financing can do this.

014 was the hottest year ever recorded, according to the World Meteorological Organization of the United Nations. There is
no time to waste in formulating a binding
global accord for fossil fuel emissions reductions, and all eyes will be on the parties negotiating for a deal in Paris at the
end of 2015 during the 21st Conference of
the Parties. However, no agreement will
be effective without legal and financial enforcement mechanisms. Before a wave of
implementation legislation hits in the
United States, it is worth posing the question: can and should the law constitute the
basis of the major changes that American
society needs to address climate change?
So far in US history, the majority
of environmental protections have indeed
been legislated by Congress and overseen
by the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), as opposed to being spurred by behavioral changes inspired by business,
non-profits, or individuals. One major example is the Clean Air Act, which will be
used to limit GHGs emitted by factories
after a reinterpretation issued in 2009 and
underlies the Corporate Average Fuel
Economy (CAF) standards that have
been regulating vehicle emissions since
1975. A study conducted at the University
of Leeds in 2014 shows that, globally, it is
government attitudes that lead businesses
to concern themselves with environmental changes rather than the other way
How accessible of a tool is the law
to the average citizen who cares about the
environment? Paths to influence include
directly voting for politicians or propositions, collecting signatures and presenting
ballot referenda, using social movements
to pressure legislatures, or strategically
breaking laws. Finally, one can use a lawsuit to try to enforce a law. The Clean Air
Act was the first American environmental
law that had a citizen suit clause that
permits individuals to sue for enforcement purposes. A lawsuit can also attempt

to give a new sense to a law or legal concept. For example, Alec Loorz sued the
government at the age of 16 in 2011, in an
(ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to apply
public trust doctrine to the protection of
the atmosphere. In another example, since
November 2014 at Harvard, a group of law
students in the national fossil fuel divestment movement is in the process of suing
the university for mismanagement of
charitable funds because the endowment
is invested in the fossil fuel industry.2
There is a specific conceptual obstacle when it comes to suing in the name
of the environment: the concept of standing. Standing refers to a set of three conditions necessary to fulfill a lawsuits intention of resolving a controversy and
administering recourse: injury-in-fact,
causation, and redressability. These elements essentially require that the party
seeking to sue must personally have suffered some actual or threatened injury
that can fairly be traced to the challenged
action of the defendant and that the injury
is likely to be redressed by a favorable decision.3 The goal is to separate judicial
and legislative powers, and each element
presents its challenges for environmental
cases. The harm has to be actual or imminent rather than conjectural or hypothetical; meanwhile, the impacts of
GHGs on the environment and society are
often conceptualized as being at least a decade into the future. Moreover, the harm
has to directly affect the human defendant, a rather bizarre standard to maintain
when considering a law that concerns the
protection of nature. As Harvard Constitutional Law scholar Laurence Tribe
writes, By articulating environmental
goals wholly in terms of human needs and
preferences, [the environmentalist] may
be helping to legitimate a system of discourse which so structures human thought
and feeling as to erode, over the long run,

Energy &

The Role of Law in Fighting Climate Change


4/10/15 3:03 PM

Roosevelt Review

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 74-75

of the planet. Stoddard writes that lawsuits

are effective at highlighting problems
but are often ineffective at the long-term
resolution of issues with deep cultural
roots, for they focus on rules rather than
the culture that sustains those rules, and
as a result frequently fail to engage or connect with the public (Stoddard 985).
Nevertheless, the nature of the
climate change problem is that there is a
deadline dictated by science, a limit to the
level of GHGs in the atmosphere that will
allow for the continuation of life on Earth
(let alone a 2C warming limit that is referenced in global accords). Maybe a law
that is rule-shifting will be enough to
halt the growth of GHGs in the atmosphere for now and further social transformation
There are multiple critiques of the
idea that the law should constitute the
base of climate change strategy. One
comes from an environmental justice perspective, which underlines that we all have
the right to have a safe and healthy environment, without regard to race, class, or
gender. For example, an investigation by
the National Law Journal in 1992 found
that the penalization of pollution by the
government was stronger for infractions
committed in primarily white communities than in communities of color. The average penalty applied in the former was
$335,566, in comparison to $55,318 in the
latter.5 It can be argued that the laws that
exist do not sufficiently protect communities of color, and that those to come will
only serve to exacerbate the discriminatory effects of environmental damages. A
second critique comes from an anticapitalist perspective: the legal system supports an economic system that is fundamentally
sustainability of our world. In his study of
seventeen radical environmental activists,
sociology of law professor Erik Fritsvold
puts forth a new conception of legal consciousness that he calls Under the Law
it views the law as the protector and defender of a social order that is fundamentally illegitimate (Fritsvold 799). For
these activists, the normal pathways such
as departments in charge of executing legislation are maintained by the government
in order to slow or prevent change at the

The law has been up to this point

the most effective tool to reduce GHG
emissions on the national level in the
United States. However, it seems historically dependent on the political atmosphere and desires of Congress with little
accommodation for the views of the general population. Neither is it necessarily
the most effective tool for changing cultural attitudes about the urgency of climate change or consumption practices. In
November 2013, 63% of Americans stated
that they believed climate change is a real
issue, but only 5% believed that mankind
is capable of reducing it.6 That may reflect
a particular attitude towards the power of
the law. Furthermore, certain legal standards have to be revised and made more
relevant to the real social hierarchies and
scientific data on climate change that exist. Until a revision of standing doctrine
occurs to accommodate cases on behalf of
the environment, the capacity of individuals and NGOs to make sure environmental laws are enforced to their fullest capacity will continue to be impeded. We
desperately need such a revision, so long
as our elected authorities continue to stall
on meaningful emissions reduction legislation in the face of growing public consensus for action.
Fritsvold, Erik D. Under the Law: Legal
Consciousness and Radical Environmental
Activism. Law & Social Inquiry 34.4
(2009): 799-824. NERL Wiley-Blackwell.
Mank, Bradford. Standing for Private
Parties in Global Warming Cases:
Traceable Standing Causation Does
Not Require Proximate Causation
(2012). Faculty Articles and Other
Publications. Paper 214. http://scholarship.
Stoddard, Thomas. Bleeding Heart:
Reections on Using the Law to Make
Social Change. NYU Law Review 72.5


Energy &

the very sense of obligation which provided the impetus for his own protective efforts (Benzoni 350). In terms of causation,
it is difficult to blame a single company or
government for the problem of global climate change. In the same way, an end to
certain unsustainable practices by a business or country will not solve the entire
problem, which puts the possibility for redress in a precarious position.
This conception of standing can
be retraced to an important case heard by
the Supreme Court in 1992: Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, in which the court
ruled that a group of conservation organizations did not have standing to contest
certain regulations under the Endangered
Species Act of 1973. Judge Antonin Scalia
described his interpretation of standing
principles in the majority opinion, which
set a precedent for the rejection of several
environmental cases that followed. Essentially, standing doctrine can only be revised by court decisions.4 In Massachusetts v. EPA in 2007, the Supreme Court
judged that the state of Massachusetts had
standing to contest the (lack of) GHG regulation by the federal government, despite
the diffuse nature of the problem, because
a state has special solicitude in our analysis of standing (Mank 871). Thus, the reinterpretation of the doctrine seems
somewhat arbitrary, and it is a process that
is neither quick nor accessible to the public.
More generally, there is a body of
work that interrogates the role of the law
as a tool for social change. In an essay in
the NYU Law Review at the end of his career as a public interest lawyer, Professor
Thomas Stoddard underlines the difference between a new law that is rule-shifting versus one that is culture-shifting.
When he references the Civil Rights Act of
1964, a culture-shifting law, he says that
it was the decade of debate at school, at
home, and in the community on the subject of race that gave moral power to the
law. In the same way, the decades of debate
since the conception of the term sustainable development in the 1980s and 1990s
will hopefully give moral legitimacy to a
global accord for GHG reduction and will
make our societies responsive to the needs

Healthcare may not be the most widely appealing aspect of policy to consider, but how laws and leaders respond
to the health needs of citizens is one of the most vital concerns of any nation. Due to the forces of technology and
globalization, as well as a growing emphasis on civil rights and liberties, the relationships between people and government have radically shifted when it comes to decisions about health. From national care demands in Qatar to decriminalization to a growing pushback against mandatory vaccinations, our writers have sought to improve this relationship
through policy. A nations success depends on the health of its citizens, and Healthcare has suggestions for healthier,
happier lives for all.
-Alexandra OKeefe and Leah Reiss

4/10/15 3:03 PM

By Alexandra OKeefe

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 76-77

he United States is currently suffering

from the worst measles outbreak in almost 20 years.1 Measles was eradicated in
the United States in 2000, but recent resurgences of the disease, mainly through
multi-state outbreaks, have put health and
government officials on the alarm.2 664
cases were reported in 2014, the highest
number in decades, but 2015 appears as
a formidable rival - between January 1
and February 27 alone 170 cases of measles have been reported in 17 states and
the District of Columbia.3 The epicenter
of the virus is believed to be an unvaccinated eight-year-old who visited Disneyland and infected other unvaccinated
The resurgence of an essentially wipedout disease is largely attributed to the
anti-vaccination movement, which encourages people not to opt out of routine
vaccinations for their children, citing disproven health risks of vaccines or growing from mistrust of the true purpose of
large scale, government run vaccinations.
These anti-vaxxers endanger their own
children and those around them by compromising the herd immunity of a community, which relies upon a large percentage of the population to be vaccinated in
order to minimize the chances that individuals who cannot be vaccinated gen-

erally infants or those who compromised

immune systems will contract the disease. Adherents to this movement, which
is grounded in fear rather than science,
are resistant to pleas to adhere to normal
vaccination schedules. These include evidence presented on the overwhelmingly
positive effects of vaccines and the urging
of their pediatricians, federal agencies and
public officials, including the President, to
get your kids vaccinated.
In light of the present - and looming
- dangers of voluntary un-vaccination,
some have urged to make vaccinations
mandatory for all citizens. But can the
government really force people to vaccinate their children? Although the benefits
of vaccines certainly outweigh the risks,
and the horrible effects that anti-vaxxers
claim have found no evidence in repeated scientific studies, side effects do exist,
and in rare cases can be very harmful to
individuals. Some people who claim religious rights not to use modern medicine,
including antibiotics and organ donation,
extend their abstention to vaccination.
Some distrust the government, or Big
Pharma, and refuse vaccines as an extension of the mentality behind exclusively
organic food or Waldorf schools. Others
are simply unsure. Few people today are
familiar with the ravaging effects of the
Oft, Paul A. What Would Jesus Do diseases vaccines guard against, and are
therefore hesitant to vaccinate their chilAbout Measles? The New York Times. The
New York Times, 09 Feb. 2015. Web. 24 Mar.
dren when the issue has become debat2015.
able in the public sphere and there are no
Disneyland Measles Outbreak:
felt consequences for abstaining. How do
Should You Be Concerned? Shot of Prevenwe ensure the health of all individuals,
tion. N.p., 22 Jan. 2015. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.
especially children, while guarding civil
Measles Cases and Outbreaks.
liberties? Although I personally believe
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
all vaccines recommended by the Center
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 09
for Disease Control should be adminisFeb. 2015. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.
tered to every individual physically able
Disneyland Measles Outbreak:
to receive them, I will focus on tactics to
Should You Be Concerned? Shot of Prevenpromote usage of the Measles, Mumps
tion. N.p., 22 Jan. 2015. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.

movement boycott the MMR vaccine because of a perceived link between this vaccine and autism. In 1998 a study conducted by British surgeon David Wakefield
linking the MMR vaccine to increased
rates of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
was published in The Lancet, a prestigious
medical journal.10 This study has since
been discredited due to ethical violations,
including financial conflicts-of-interest,
and procedural errors, and Wakefield has
had his medical license revoked.11 Several
other major studies have been unable to
find a link between vaccination and ASD.12
Inactive ingredients in vaccines have also
been studied as potentially harmful, especially thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative used to prevent contamination of
multidose vials of vaccines.13 Yet a study
by the Institute of Medicine was unable to
find a connection between thimerosal and
Some anti-vaxxers also contend
that commonly vaccinated-against diseases are not serious and that not vaccinating
is allowing ones child to develop a healthy
immune system.15 This, too, has been refuted by health professionals. One possible explanation of how concepts such as
these have proliferated is that few people
alive, including doctors, have encountered
many of these reemerging diseases, such
as measles, and lack a memory of how de-

Medical Information and Anti-Vaxxer

Most of the resistance to vaccinating
has come from an improper understanding of what a vaccine is and its effects. A
vaccine is a dead or weakened strains of a
virus introduced to a persons body in order to stimulate their immune system to
produce antibodies to a specific disease,
thereby protecting the person from future exposure to that disease.5 The MMR
vaccines is a single needle injection, ideally administered when a child is 12-15
months old (though viable for children 12
months to 12 years old) and often at the
same time as the varicella (chickenpox)
vaccine.6 Most children do not experience
any side effects; rare risks include pain
where the shot is given, fever, a mild rash,
swelling of the neck or cheek, or allergic
reactions.7 Studies show that recipients of
the MMR vaccine have a slight 1 out of
3000-4000 children though increased
risk of experiencing febrile seizures within 8-14 days after vaccination.8 This risk is
compounded when the MMR vaccine is
administered with the varicella vaccine,
and increases with the age of the child, so
Novella, Steven. The Lancet
doctors encourage vaccination as soon as 10
Retracts Andrew Wakeelds Article Scichildren are able.9
Many members of the anti-vaccination ence-Based Medicine. The Lancet Retracts

Measles, Mumps, and Rubella
(MMR) Vaccine. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, 17 Feb. 2015. Web. 20 Mar. 2015.


Barlow WE, Davis RL, Glasser

JW, Rhodes PH, Thompson RS, Mullooly JP,
Black SB, Shineeld HR, Ward JI, Marcy SM,
DeStefano F, Chen RT, Immanuel V, Pearson
JA, Vadheim CM, Rebolledo V, Christakis D,
Benson PJ, Lewis N. The risk of seizures after
receipt of whole-cell pertussis or measles,
mumps, and rubella vaccine. New England
Journal of Medicine 2001;345(9):656661.

Measles, Mumps, and Rubella

(MMR) Vaccine. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention, 17 Feb. 2015. Web. 20

Mar. 2015.


The Right to Life:

A Liberal Paternalist Approach to Promoting Vaccination Without
Compromising Civil Liberties

and Rubella, or MMR, vaccine, for the

sake of space and because of its especially
controversial status among anti-vaxxers
and the notable resurgence of measles in
the United States. This argument can be
extended, however, to all vaccines.

Roosevelt Review

Andrew Wakeelds Article Science-Based

Medicine. Science-Based Medicine, 3 Feb.
2010. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.



DeStefano F, Chen RT. Negative association between MMR and autism. [Commentary] Lancet1999;353(9169):19871988.

Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17
Mar. 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.
McCormick, Marie. Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism


- Institute of Medicine. Immunization Safety

Review: Vaccines and Autism - Institute of
Medicine. Institute of Medicine of the National
Academies, 14 May 2004. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

Disneyland Measles Outbreak:

Should You Be Concerned? Shot of Prevention. N.p., 22 Jan. 2015. Web. 24 Mar.


4/10/15 3:03 PM


Proposed Solution
My strategy is grounded in liberal paternalism, a philosophy that seeks not to
eliminate choice, but to structure the system in such a way as to make the desirable
choice easier or more obvious to choosers.19 In this scenario, the desirable choice
is protecting ones child from preventable
diseases by administering the MMR vaccination, and it would be more widely
chosen if it became more difficult to opt
out of than it is today. In the United States,
the CDC issues a recommended vaccination schedule for children to all states, but
implementation of these schedules in the
form of law is up to the discretion of the



Community Immunity (Herd

Immunity). Community Immunity (Herd
Immunity). N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2015.



state, and thus varies across America. Although they specific vaccines and number
of doses vary state to state, all require at
least one dose of the MMR before entering
kindergarten (with the exception of Iowa,
which requires immunization against
measles and rubella but not mumps).21
However, parents can seek exemptions
for their children that come from three
different classes: medical, religious, and
philosophical or personal belief. All states
grant medical exemptions, which are acquired when a child is physically unable
to receive a vaccine and require a doctors
note, but 46 states and the District of Columbia also allow religious exemptions,
and nineteen states allow philosophical
exemptions as well.22 Requirements for religious and philosophical exemptions vary
by state but often require no more than a
signed statement from a parent or guardian attesting to their religious or personal
objection to one or more vaccines.23
This simple process does not create a
substantial barrier against opting out of
vaccinations, making it easy for those unsure about vaccinating to forgo this lifesaving medical treatment. In order to ensure that the requisite number of children
is vaccinated, I propose that states should
instead construct administrational labyrinths to restrict these exemptions. For
religious exemptions, this could include a
signed affidavit from an individuals pastor
or spiritual leader affirming their sincere
religious opposition to vaccination and an
explanation of how this belief is sourced
in the founding documents of the individuals faith, which some states already
require.24 Individuals seeking both kinds
of exemptions would have to provide a
detailed explanation for their decision to


Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, 26 Feb. 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.


Vaccination Requirements for All

Grantees, for MMR-Measles, Mumps, Rubella
and Kindergarten. School and Childcare Vaccination Surveys. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, 21 July 2011. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.

School Exemptions Allowed.

School and Childcare Vaccination Surveys.


Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 21

July 2011. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.

NVIC Vaccine Law Information.
Sunstein, Cass, and Richard Thaler.
National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC).
Libertarian Paternalism Is Not An Oxymoron.
N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.
University of Chicago Law Review (n.d.): n.
pag. Web. 9 May 2003.
Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 78-79

Roosevelt Review
exempt and proof that they understood
the risks and dangers of not vaccinating
their child, including documentation that
they had spoken with their childs pediatrician about vaccination or participation
in a class on vaccination and basic immunology sponsored by the state. Partially in
response to recent outbreaks, many states
have proposed legislation to limit religious
and philosophical exemptions in February
2015.25 Minnesotas proposed House Bill
393 and State Bill 380 create barriers of entry by requiring parents to submit a signed
certificate of exemption containing specification of the exempted vaccine(s) and
explanation, a statement from physician
that they have discussed risks and benefits
with parent and an acknowledgment that
the child may be prohibited from school
during an outbreak.26 These measures
make it more likely that only those with
extreme beliefs and dedication will opt
out of vaccination. Others have proposed
to outlaw exemptions entirely, including
California SB 277, which would eliminate
the personal belief exemption, and Vermont H 212, which would remove both
religious and philosophical exemptions.27
For the sake of preserving individual liberty and religious freedom, I do not
endorse a flat elimination of non-medical
exemptions. I do believe, however, that
states should reserve the right to vaccinate
at-risk children against the wishes of their
parents or guardians during outbreaks in
order to preserve herd immunity in unprotected populations, as might result
among isolated religious communities.
This precedent was set during a measles
outbreak Philadelphia in 1991, when public health officials obtained permission
to temporarily make the children of attendees of two fundamentalist Christian
churches, Faith Tabernacle Congregation
and First Century Gospel Church, wards
of the state in order to vaccinate them and
return them to their parents.28 Despite a

statute allowing religious exemption from

vaccination in Pennsylvania, this action
was upheld by the court and further legitimized by the American Civil Liberties
Union refusal to represent the pastor of
the Faith Tabernacle Church.29
It is undeniable that widespread vaccination has saved countless lives and led to
the essential eradication of diseases that
have plagued humanity for millennia. It
is also undeniable that the benefits of vaccines, on an individual and societal levels,
far outweigh the risks. Yet the freedom of
an individual to oppose vaccination for
themselves or their child, especially due
to practice of their religious faith, can also
not be denied in the United States. A liberal paternalist approach that focuses on
creating barriers of entry for religious and
philosophical exemptions, with the safeguard of state mandated vaccination in
times of acute risk, helps to ensure that
enough children will be vaccinated to
maintain herd immunity without sacrificing the civil liberty of bodily autonomy.


structive they can be.

Others may incorrectly assume that
they dont need to vaccinate their child
in order for her or him to be protected
because they can rely on herd immunity, the phenomenon in where if between
92%-94% of the population is vaccinated,
the likelihood that a disease will be able
to spread within a population drops to
negligible levels and protects all members
of society.17 When all members of society who can physically be vaccinated are,
herd immunity protects the members of a
population who cannot be vaccinated - for
example, babies too young to receive the
vaccine or people with autoimmune diseases.18 Yet when too many healthy children are not vaccinated, this protective
shield dissipates. This is a classic example
of the free-rider problem inherent to
collective action, in which participants try
to receive the benefits of an action - in this
case, the limited spread of disease - without assuming its costs - perceived pollution of their childrens bodies.
The necessity of maintaining herd immunity for those who can physically not
be vaccinated is the reason why choosing
not to vaccinate ones children steps outside the bounds of personal liberty and
into the realm of public safety.



SCHOOL IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS. National Conference of State Legislatures. N.p., 3 Mar. 2015. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.



Oft, Paul A. What Would Jesus Do

About Measles? The New York Times. The

New York Times, 09 Feb. 2015. Web. 24

Mar. 2015.

4/10/15 3:03 PM

Roosevelt Review
"Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)
Vaccine." Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, 17 Feb. 2015. Web. 20
Mar. 2015.
Barlow WE, Davis RL, Glasser JW,
Rhodes PH, Thompson RS, Mullooly JP,
Black SB, Shineeld HR, Ward JI, Marcy
SM, DeStefano F, Chen RT, Immanuel V,
Pearson JA, Vadheim CM, Rebolledo V,
Christakis D, Benson PJ, Lewis N. The
risk of seizures after receipt of whole-cell
pertussis or measles, mumps, and rubella
vaccine. New England Journal of Medicine 2001;345(9):656661.


"Libertarian Paternalism Is Not An Oxymoron." By Cass R. Sunstein, Richard H.

Thaler. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.
"Vaccination Requirements for All Grantees, for MMR-Measles, Mumps, Rubella
and Kindergarten." School and Childcare
Vaccination Surveys. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, 21 July 2011. Web.
24 Mar. 2015.
"School Exemptions Allowed." School and
Childcare Vaccination Surveys. Center for
Disease Control and Prevention, 21 July
2011. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.
"NVIC Vaccine Law Information." National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC).
N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 80-81

Oft, Paul A. "What Would Jesus Do

About Measles?" The New York Times.
The New York Times, 09 Feb. 2015. Web.
24 Mar. 2015.
Sunstein, Cass, and Richard Thaler. "Libertarian Paternalism Is Not An Oxymoron."
University of Chicago Law Review (n.d.):
n. pag. Web. 9 May 2003.
"Community Immunity ("Herd Immunity")." Community Immunity ("Herd Immunity"). N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2015.

Centers for Disease Control and PrevenDeStefano F, Chen RT. Negative association. Centers for Disease Control and Pretion between MMR and autism. [Commen- vention, 26 Feb. 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.
tary] Lancet1999;353(9169):19871988.
"Disneyland Measles Outbreak: Should
McCormick, Marie. "Immunization Safety You Be Concerned?" Shot of Prevention.
Review: Vaccines and Autism - Institute of N.p., 22 Jan. 2015. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.
Medicine." Immunization Safety Review:
Vaccines and Autism - Institute of Medi"Measles Cases and Outbreaks." Centers
cine. Institute of Medicine of the National for Disease Control and Prevention. CenAcademies, 14 May 2004. Web. 23 Mar.
ters for Disease Control and Prevention, 09
Feb. 2015. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.
"Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism." Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17
Mar. 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.


MENTS." National Conference of State

Legislatures. N.p., 3 Mar. 2015. Web. 24
Mar. 2015.

The Gulf Cooperation Council:

How Reforming GCCs Mandatory Health
Care Services Will Lead to
a More Sustainable Middle East
By Rana Abuhilal

he Gulf Cooperation Council is a political and economic alliance of six Middle

Eastern countriesSaudi Arabia, Kuwait,
the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. The predominant factor
bringing health care conversations to the
forefront in the Middle East continues
to be population growth. As more GCC
countries rely on expatriate workforces
in their economic and development sectors, population numbers are drastically
increasing in the region.1
GCC Population Growth

The size of GCCs population will increase at a compound annual growth rate
(CAGR) of around 3.0 percentone of
the highest in the world. Long term, the
population growth will turn to 1.8 percent
CAGR. As a result, the total GCC population in 2025 will be almost twice the size
it is today. 2 As the GCC expatriate population continues to increase, so will the
demand for health care, which will prove
to be a long-term financial challenge for
the region.
McKinsey & Company in a recent
report estimates that total health-care
spending in the region will reach $60 billion in 2025, up from $12 billion today.
In fact, no other region in the world faces
such rapid growth in demand with the simultaneous need to realign its health-care
systems to be able to treat the disorders
of affluence. 3
II. GCC Health Care

Mourshed Mona, Viktor Hediger,

and Toby Lambert, Gulf Cooperation Council
Health Care: Challenges and Opportunities
(McKinsey & Company).

In the past 25 years, GCC governments have made substantial investments

in health-care infrastructure by building
hospitals, clinics, and promoting a more
modern approach to tackling infectious
diseasessuch as malaria and measles,
which were once widespread in
the region. In the next 20 years, treatment demands are predicted to rise in the
GCC by 240 percent. In particular, cardiovascular disease will experience a steep
increase (419 percent), as will diabetes-related diseases (323 percent). 4
Financing Health Care
The GCC governments currently provide the majority of health-care financing
today at approximately 75 percent. To lessen the government burden, all GCC countries have recently passed, or are in the
process of passing, sweeping health-care
insurance legislation. For example, Saudi
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have
already passed laws requiring employers
to purchase private health insurance for
their expatriates. 5
Why this is important:
Petrodollars will not always be a plausible financing option for long-term sustainability, and the GCC will need to seek
private-sector investment to continue
to support its efforts, and to finance the
health care system in the future. Furthermore, the GCC governments appear to be
taking further initiatives to prepare for a
post petrodollar-reliant region, which has
lead to incredible National Vision development projects in states such as Qatar
and Kuwait.
GCC National Visions
As Qatar prepares to host one of the

Mona, Hediger, and Lambert, Gulf

Cooperation Council Health

Mona, Hediger, and Lambert, Gulf

Cooperation Council Health



Mona, Hediger, and Lambert, Gulf

Cooperation Council Health
Mona, Hediger, and Lambert, Gulf
Cooperation Council Health

4/10/15 3:03 PM

Roosevelt Review

Gender Disparities in Clinical Trials


most anticipated events in the world

the 2022 FIFA World Cup Gamesa new
kind of international spotlight will shine
on the Gulf states, providing these nations
an opportunity to showcase their national visions for a more sustainable region.
Qatars National Development Strategy
will contribute to the countrys efforts
by focusing on such areas as healthcare,
sports, infrastructure, culture, security
and public safety, and the environment.
This prospective milestone is recorded on
the State of Qatars website:
...the National Development Strategy
will allow Qatar to show the world what
it is capable of and to organize an event
that remains etched in peoples minds for
many decades to come. 6
National Visions similar to Qatars are
coming to fruition all over the region.
However, Hamad Al-Marzouq, Chairman of Ahli United Bank and the Kuwait
Banking Association, said the impact of
Kuwaits National Development Plan on
banks has so far been very limited. Kuwait lacks a long-term strategic vision and
relying mainly on oil is really quite dangerous, he said. The development plans
implementation was ineffective, he was
reported to have said later in an e-mailed
statement.7 More than ever, it is essential
that these development projects account
for private sector companies, such as
banks, to invest in health care services as

states move forward.


Proposed Solutions
As the GCC prepares to address the
substantial rise in overall health-care demand and costs, as well as the challenges
presented by patients seeking better care,
they must turn to private sector intervention for help with finances and provisions.
Each GCC government should first allow
their citizens to choose from private as
well as public health care services, then
independent regulatory bodies must be
established to define and enforce quality
standards for public and private providers
In order for a private-sector solution to
work, the GCCs current system of healthcare delivery must be changed. While
public health care is generally free in the
GCC, patients currently are required to
pay for private treatment themselves, and
expatriates only pay a fraction of what it
actually costs the government to provide
care. In correlation, private facilities not
reimbursed or subsidized by the government therefore have fewer patients and
lower revenues than they might otherwise
I believe the most productive approach
to these national visions can be achieved
only by seriously addressing reform provisions in GCC health care. By sharing
State of Qatars Ministry of
Development Planning and Statistics: Plan- the cost of healthcare services with private
sector companies, the GCC can properly
ning Sector.
allocate funds to other sectors in these
Fiona Macdonald, Kuwait to
anticipated long-term development projSpend as Much as $17.5 Billion on 2013
ectsultimately leading to a more susPlan, Bloomberg Business.

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 82-83

tainable Middle East.

The Cooperation Council for the Arab
States of the Gulf: Secretariat General.
The Economist. Health Care in the Middle
East: Evolution and Reform.
The GCCs Insurance Mandate: How a
Healthcare Policy Shift Affects Stakeholders. Booz & Co., 2009.
Macdonald, Fiona. Kuwait to Spend as
Much as $17.5 Billion on 2013 Plan.
Bloomberg Business. http://www.
Mona, Mourshed, Viktor Hediger, and
Toby Lambert. Gulf Cooperation Council
Health Care:
Challenges and Opportunities. McKinsey
& Company.
State of Qatars Ministry of Development
Planning and Statistics: Planning Sector.

he pharmaceutical industry has a gender

problem.1 The World Health Organization
has reported that doctors are more likely to diagnose depression in women versus men, even when they score similarly
on standardized measures of depression,
or report the same symptoms. Further,
women are 50% more likely than men to
be prescribed medication by their doctor,
even to treat the same condition.2 This
imbalance in diagnosis and prescription
leads to several issues like over-medication and prescription drug abuse, which,
while present in both women and men,
affect women significantly more than they
affect men.
Why does this imbalance exist in the
first place? Women and men are treated
very differently in the process to gain approval for prescription drugs. The problem begins before humans even enter the
equation for clinical testing, as pharmaceutical products are tested on both live
animals and non-human animal cells
and tissue. However, there are currently
no regulations regarding the gender of
animals tested for drugs.3 When humans
enter the testing process, the major consideration taken with regards to the way
gender is treated in the use of pharmaceutical products is whether or not a woman
is pregnant.4 This merely serves to subdivide women as a group, not to understand how women may react differently
to certain pharmaceutical treatments
than men. To be sure, it is imperative that
medical science clarifies how medications affect pregnant women differently
than non-pregnant women, but potential
gestational status is not the only biological factor that differentiates women from
This phenomenon has serious implications for how women are treated by their
doctors. Conditions that create major
problems for women may be underplayed
or even mistreated due to insufficient information and inaccurate perceptions.
For example, sex distribution in cardiovascular device trials is 67% male.5 There
is a common misconception that cardiovascular disease is much more of a signif-

icant problem for men than for women.

However, it is actually the major cause of
death for women aged 65 years and older.6
Past Action
Though not at ideal levels, the current
status of womens representation in clinical trials has improved significantly since
additional FDA guidelines were published
in 1993. The Guideline for the Study and
Evaluation of Gender Differences in the
Clinical Evaluation of Drugs was enacted
in response to a backlash against historical reluctance to include women in clinical trials.7 Concerns were expressed that
the trials process at the time did not adequately study the effects of pharmaceutical products in women, so the regulation
recommends that trials include enough
women to detect sex differences. However, this measure is not legally binding. Two
other regulations were passed in 1998 and
2000, which respectively require data acquired to be presented separately for men
and women, and may halt certain research
programs if either men or women are excluded from trials solely based on their
reproductive potential. These two regulations, while they do carry the force of law,
do not mandate a specific proportion of
women that must be included in clinical
trials, and are regularly not enforced in
practice. 8


By Leah Reiss

Proposed Solution
First and foremost, adequate sex distribution to account for differences in drugs
affects on women versus men must occur,
starting with animal trials. This can easily
be implemented by requiring researchers
to record the sex of the animal subjects
at trial. Part of the problem is that the
availability of demographic data for clinical trial participants is often unavailable.
Therefore demographic data, including
gender, must be recorded for all clinical
trials involving humans. This is a simple
step towards appropriate representation of
women that should not require a significant uptick in financial or labor costs.
The previously implemented guidelines are well intentioned, but ultimately

4/10/15 3:03 PM

and 16% of the population respectively,

but only 5% and 1% of clinical trials respectively. 11 Additionally, the way society
understands gender has changed so much
in the past few decades. What was once
thought of as a polarizing characterization
of the entire human population into two
groups is now shifting towards more of a
conceptual gender spectrum. The industry must make several changes in order
to fix these disparities so that we can have
a more comprehensive understanding of
the way drugs interact with different biological factors to produce different effects.
Finally, this proposal only attempts to
combat the problem from the pharmaceutical and drug treatment angle. However,
there are other factors that contribute to
the difficult relationship between women
and pharmaceuticals that take root in an
earlier stage of the process. According to
the National Institutes of Health, women
are twice as likely to have anxiety as men
and 70% more likely to have depression
than men.12 These figures hint at a deeper issue surrounding women and mental
health problems that involves both psychological, and sociological components.
Mandating that women have access to
drugs that are properly tested will not necessarily change the fact that they are more
likely to suffer from mental health disorders, but it will help to ensure that the
drugs they use to help them manage their
medical conditions are effective and safe.
Note: The terms sex and gender
are often used interchangeably in scientic
literature and popular speech. The two do have
separate denitions relating to biological differences (sex) versus social differences (gender).
Biological factors are generally the most relevant for clinical studies, but for the purpose of
this piece, I will use both terms in recognition of
the fact that many of the practical implications
of the issue are more socially relevant to gender
Gender and womens mental health,
World Health Organization

Will Dunham, Lawmakers push
bill to end sex bias in medical studies,
Next Steps
Reuters. June 17, 2014. http://www.reuters.
The gender disparity in clinical trials com/article/2014/06/17/us-usa-health-genderis not the only problem with the phar- idUSKBN0ES34620140617

maceutical system. Currently, African

Americans and Hispanics represent 12%

US Food and Drug Administration,

Participation of Females in Clinical Trials and

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 84-85

The Society for Womens Health
Research and the US FDA Ofce of Womens
Health, Dialogues on Diversifying Clinical
Trials, Washington, DC: 2011. http://www.fda.
A.H.E.M Mass and Y.E.A. Appelman, Gender Differences in Coronary
Heart Disease, Netherlands Heart Journal.
US FDA, Evaluation of Gender Differences in Clinical Investigations Information
Sheet, last updated June 25, 2014. http://www.
US General Accounting Ofce,
Women Sufciently Represented in New Drug
Testing, but FDA Oversight Needs Improvement, July 2001.
US General Accounting Ofce,
Women Sufciently Represented in New Drug
Testing, but FDA Oversight Needs Improvement.
US Department of Health and Human
Services, Evaluation of Sex-Specic Data in
Medical Device Clinical Studies, August 22,
The Society for Womens Health
Research and the US FDA Ofce of Womens
Health, Dialogues on Diversifying Clinical
Will Dunham, Lawmakers push bill
to end sex bias in medical studies.

Roosevelt Review

Drug Policy in America: An Educational

By Lauren Tomasulo

arijuana education is an oft-neglected

facet of health education of children and
young adults in this country. It should be
approached from a similar approach as
alcohol. The United States has long implemented measures that educate people
how to engage in behavior related to alcohol that minimizes harm and enhances
safety. This is the sort of realistic education that should be used in parallel with
marijuana decriminalization laws, which,
together, would create the most effective
drug policy.
Often many people argue for the legalization of marijuana rather than decriminalization. It is important to note the
consequential differences between legalization and decriminalization. Marijuana
legalization would not allow the government to manage the supply of marijuana,
yet decriminalization allows for better
public education and fewer unnecessary
arrests that ruin the lives of many people. Under decriminalization, the sales of
all illicit drugs remain criminal offenses.
However, as drug research expert and
professor Carl Hart at Columbia University explains, decriminalization still sends
the message that society is still concerned
about drug use.1 As a result, decriminalization ensures that society will issue infractions for engaging in drug use behavior.
Decriminalization could also be used
as a tool to increase state, and potentially, federal revenue. The war on drugs is
not only costly, but also leads to many
arrests that can be considered unwarranted and unnecessary. Drug related arrests
allow the government to infringe upon
the civil liberties of those convicted. Public housing, voting, are just some of the
public privileges that are revoked upon a
drug-related arrest and felony label. Furthermore, the United States has 5% of
the worlds population and 25% of the its

Lecture given by Professor Carl Hart

at Columbia University.

criminals.2 47.5% of all drug-arrests are

marijuana-related.3 The billions of dollars
poured into the drug war would benefit society if we instead channeled those
funds towards education about drugs and
infrastructure, the latter of which has experienced a significant decline in the past
decade.4 Marijuana decriminalization is
incredibly financially viable. A 2009 report by the Capitols Office of Fiscal Analysis explained that, decriminalization
could save the state [of Connecticut] up to
$11 million and generate $320,000 annually in revenue from fines.5 Furthermore,
converting possession into an infraction
eliminates the requirement for the state to
appoint a public defender for defendants
who cannot afford counsel.6 Thus, money is not only saved, but revenue is also
generated through the decriminalization
of marijuana. This revenue could then be
utilized towards the education and rehabilitation of the community.
In New York, marijuana has been decriminalized since 1977. Possession of
small amounts of marijuana has been a
civil violation (a misdemeanor). However, it remains a misdemeanor to possess
marijuana in public. This has led to issues
with enforcement, as about 50% of those
arrested in New York City for marijuana
are African-Americans.7 Furthermore,
police intimidation remains an issue,



insufficient to solve the problem. While it

is true that overall representation of women has risen significantly since the 1993
guidelines were enacted, the more specific
breakdown shows that the representation
is not equal across stages of trials, and that
the data is often skewed by lack of availability of the demographic information
for trial participants in several stages. The
first step of mandatory data collection will
help to alleviate this because serious imbalances will be caught more easily. Care
must be taken to maintain womens participation at all stages of drug testing, not
just at one level, so that any differences
may be observed at all stages of the drugs
Gender breakdowns are set by a combination of guidelines, which are more specific but not legally enforceable, and regulations which, though legally binding, are
much less specific and often unenforced in
practice.9 Further, there is no agreed upon
proper sample size of women that is sufficient for sex-specific claims.10 While it
may be the case that there is no one percentage that will be sufficient in all cases,
there must be a set minimum put in place,
with the possibility for exemption if and
only if the company submits a proposal
with full explanation as to why the inclusion of the required proportion of women
is unfeasible for that particular test. Additional regulations must be put in place
that mandate all clinical trials include sufficient percentage of women to ensure that
gender differences are accounted for at all
stages of trial testing. These must all be
legally enforceable, and enforced in practice. Finally, there must be consequences for any pharmaceutical company that
does not comply with these regulations.
These could take several potential forms,
most likely either a fine, or a suspension of
privileges such as the companys ability to
pay an extra fee to expedite reviews of all
of its drugs. Any drug for which the testing process does not include the requisite
percentage of women will not be permitted to pass the FDAs review process and
clinical trials will have to be re-started.

Gender Analysis of Data in Biologic Product

Applications, last updated January 29, 2015.

Joe Klein, Why Legalizing Marijuana Makes Sense, April 16, 2009,,9171,1889166,00.html.



Greater Focus Needed to Achieve a

More Competitive Infrastructure, Inforum Report to the National Association of Manufacturers,

Lecture given by Professor Carl Hart
at Columbia University.

4/10/15 3:03 PM

Mayor Bloomberg Announces New
Marijuana Policy,, February 2,
Lecture given by Professor Carl
Hart at Columbia University.
Christopher Mathias, New York
Could Decriminalize Pot for More than
Just White People,,
July 9, 2014, http://www.hufngtonpost.

to rethink how were operating the drug

As President Obama himself highlighted in 2004, the war on drugs has failed
to achieve its aims of producing a drugfree America. It has not effectively reduced drug use in America. There are still
2.5 million people who use drugs for the
first time each year and this has been fairly
constant throughout. This is demonstrated through the National Survey on Drug
Use and Health (NSDUH). In 1980, there
were 3 million new marijuana users and
in 2011, there were 2.6 million new marijuana users.13 The billions of dollars spent
per year do not justify this slight decrease
in marijuana users that could easily be attributed to other factors. Drug use peaked
in the 1970s and then started to decrease
and has remained relatively stable despite
all the money spent. In fact, drug use was
already declining once the war on drugs
was initiated.
We can examine Portugal as a case
study, since it has already decriminalized
all drugs. There are no criminal penalties
associated for use, possession, or acquisition for all illicit drugs for quantities up
to a 10 day supply (a somewhat subjective
quantity that is determined based on the
persons use).14 The accused meet with a
board called the Commission for the Dissuasion of Drug Addiction consisting of
a social worker, physician, and psychologist who then collectively determine if
he or she should be recommended treatment and/or fined.15 Since incarceration
is more expensive than treatment and
the state gets funds from fines, this policy
generates money.16 A report funded by the


Bernd Debusmann, Obama and

the Failed War on Drugs,, April
16, 2012,


Lecture given by Professor Carl Hart

at Columbia University.

Michael Specter, Getting a Fix:
Portugal Decriminalized Drugs a Decade
Ago, What Have We Learned?, October 17, 2011, http://www.
Aaron Blake, Rand Paul: Dont Send ting-a-x.
Kids to Jail for Drug Crimes, Washingtonpost.
com, March 24, 2013, http://www.washington16
Joe Klein, Why Legalizing
Sense,, April 16,
Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 86-87

Cato Institute found that illegal drug use

by teenagers in Portugal had decreased
since the enactment of decriminalization
of the possession of drugs.17 It also found
that the rates of HIV infections caused
by contaminated needles had decreased,
while the rates of those seeking treatment for drug dependence increased.16
The result was that drug- induced deaths
decreased and drug use rates similar,
or slightly better, than other European
countries.18 America has one of the highest rates of cocaine and marijuana use in
the world, which suggests that the stringent policies that accompany the war on
drugs is not the most effective method
for decreasing drug use and promoting
the safety of society.19
Many detractors of decriminalization
argue that such policies would inadvertently create the reverse effect: that is,
increase, rather than decrease, the rate
of drug use among the population. However, as evidenced by Portugal, it is clear
that the rate of drug use did not increase
at all. Although there may be some debate
about whether the decline in drug-use
can be attributed to the policies or to the
natural cyclic pattern of drug use increasing and decreasing, it is certainly untrue
that decriminalization in Portugal caused
more people to use drugs.20 Instead of labeling drug users as criminals, Portugal
has taken a more pre- emptive approach
and labeled them as those afflicted with a
disease (similar to the approach Alcohol
Anonymous takes towards alcoholism).21
This approach treats drug use as a public
health issue rather than a legal issue that is
resolved through punishment. Essentially,
decriminalization is a far more humane,
cheaper, and effective method than a rigid, detrimental philosophy of criminalization.
Harm reduction can be enabled
through realistic education. Humans have
always and will continue to use psychoactive compounds to alter their consciousness. This is precisely why the Drug Abuse


Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) program

enacted in 1993 proved to be completely ineffective.22 The failure of the Just
Say No campaign was highlighted by an
article published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology which
deconstructed many claims of efficacy of
the program. Instead, this article, entitled Project DARE: No Effects at 10-Year
Follow-Up showed that those who had
DARE classes, at age 20, were no less likely
to use many drugs (including marijuana)
than those who had not taken such classes.
Instead of trying to reduce the demand of
drugs with the war on drugs propaganda,
we should instead teach people to live in a
world that necessarily includes these psychoactive compounds.23 It is statistically
infrequent to die from a heroin overdose
alone, where the only drug ingested is
heroin. The cause of death is often heroin
in combination with sedatives (usually alcohol), as shown by the 2010 Drug Abuse
Warning Network (DAWN) Mortality
Data 13,000 out of the 17,000 deaths from
all opioids due to drug combinations.24
Thus, it is imperative that we teach people not to consume alcohol while using
heroin. This is not currently being taught
because of the drug atmosphere.
Because of the emphasis on the criminalization and harmful effects of drugs,
the prevailing attitude is one that is not
consistent with facilitating the public
health of our society. Politicians have
been adverse to increasing the availability of naloxone, an opioids antagonist that
blocks the mu receptor and thus reverses
the fatal respiratory depression caused by
an opioid (such as heroin). By increasing
the availability of naloxone, the prevalent view is that it will convey to society
that opioid (or specifically, heroin) use is
acceptable behavior.25 It is simply unacceptable that people are unnecessarily dying from overdoses because the antidote
is not widely available. The drug war has
interfered with our ability to protect our
There are multiple alternatives to ensure societys safety other than legalization. By focusing on decriminalization,
Lecture given by Professor Carl
Hart at Columbia University.

drug education, and the way we enforce

these policies, we can eliminate the racist effects of such policies while protecting the publics safety. By changing drug
policy without legalization, we can ensure
that the way we police these issues and
implement more practical, beneficial drug
education that focuses on reducing harm
associated with drugs rather than the unrealistic, erroneous perspective about the
pathology of drugs.



leading to many arrests even though decriminalization occurred over three decades ago. Mayor Bloomberg recognized
that criminalizing youth of color for carrying small amounts of marijuana was
economically infeasible and announced
a new police policy that stipulated that
there will be no overnight jail stays for
those arrested for marijuana in New York
City.8As of January 1, 2011, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law that
in California there will be no arrest, no
court appearance, and no criminal record
for those who possess less than an ounce
of marijuana.9 Low-level pot possession is
the primary cause of arrest in New York
City and given its discriminatory nature,
New York should enact The Fairness and
Equity Act that has been proposed to remove the misdemeanor status.10 This act
would ensure that policing would not be
racially charged, as all forms of possession
of marijuana would be decriminalized.
Prominent politicians have voiced
their opinions on this controversial
and complex issue. Rand Paul, who is a
self-described Libertarian Conservative,
supports decriminalization instead of legalization, since the latter may instead
encourage people to do drugs.11 President Barack Obama voiced his opposition
to both legalization and decriminalization of drugs, although he has supported
the decriminalization of Marijuana in the
past at a debate in 2004 at Northwestern
University: The war on drugs has been an
utter failure. We need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws. We need

Roosevelt Review

4/10/15 3:03 PM

"Today, ahead, though dimly yet, we see, in vistas, a copious,

sane, gigantic ospring. For our New World I consider far less
important for what it has done, or what it is, than for results
to come."
- Walt Whitman, "Democratic Vistas"

Roosevelt Insitute Journal Draft V.indd 88

4/10/15 3:03 PM