In light of this week’s Democratic National Convention, Heath Brown, Assistant Professor of Public Policy at City University of New York, shares research findings from his forthcoming book Immigrants and Electoral Politics: Nonprofit Organizing in a Time of Demographic Change which explores the role of nonprofits that represent immigrant communities in U.S. politics. Below, Brown presents some highlights of what he has learned about the work of Dreamer and DNC speaker Astrid Silva, and the work of leaders at similar organizations, which often reflects “a vision for democracy that is consistent with full and active participation of all Americans, citizens and non-citizens, those in the country with documentation and those without.”
This post kicks off a second round of blog postings that explore affordable housing as a challenge to the health of democracy in cities and major urban areas. These new posts—three interviews exploring the political trajectories of affordable housing in London, Paris, and New York—are edited by Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor of Public Policy Quinton Mayne, who also writes the introductory post below.
In this post, originally published by the Kennedy School Review, HKS student Derek Pham comments on the regional and international response to the persecution and emigration of Rohingya refugees, a Muslim minority in Myanmar. “The Myanmar Government refuses to recognize them as one of the country’s ethnic groups and instead views them as illegal migrant Bangladeshis,” Pham writes. “Bangladesh does not recognize them as well and has refused to accept the newest refugees. The Rohingya thus remain stateless.” Pham neatly ties together historical, political, and humanitarian perspectives and suggests promising solutions. To read more about Myanmar, visit the Ash Center’s Myanmar Program, which works to deepen our understanding of the development and democratic governance challenges facing Myanmar.
In this post, originally published by MBK Philly, Harvard Graduate School of Design student Courtney D. Sharpe recaps the latest in a series of efforts by My Brother’s Keeper Philadelphia and city agencies to engage youth in a dialogue on community-police relations. The one-day summit, attended by over 200 young people, and subsequent roundtable in City Hall were intended as platforms for youth, especially youth of color, to be able to share their stories and offer suggestions for ways that police and the community can adapt behaviors or policies to work better together. Sharpe is working with My Brother’s Keeper Philadelphia this summer as an Ash Center Summer Fellow. Read more about My Brother’s Keeper Philadelphia, the local affiliate of a national effort launched by President Obama to tackle the opportunity gaps for boys and young men of color. Continue reading
This post was originally published on the Harvard Kennedy School Admissions Blog. Norma Torres Mendoza, a Master in Public Policy candidate concentrating in Business and Government, reflects on her work this summer in the City of Houston as an Ash Center Summer Fellow in Innovation as well as a Harvard University Presidential Fellow for Public Service. Continue reading
This post explores themes of global citizenship and Green politics. HKS Adjunct Professor of Public Policy Muriel Rouyer collected personal narratives from students in her course, “Green Politics and Public Policy in a Global Age,” which reflect the challenges of navigating personal, moral and political values in the increasingly global collective action problem of Green citizenship. These vignettes show a different kind of Challenge to Democracy, one which transcends national borders and defies unilateral action.
In his paper (When) Race Matters: The Effect of Immigrant Race and Place on Support for Immigration Restriction, Ash Center Post-Doctoral Democracy Fellow Jason Anastasopoulos explores triggers of “racial threat.” He posits that several factors, including skin color and geographic proximity, induce racial threat and suggests the long-term implications of these factors on support for anti-immigration laws. The paper is part of a series of Ash Center Workshops on Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity (WIRE), a bi-monthly seminar style forum for Harvard and Boston area researchers and students working on topics of immigration, race and ethnicity from a diverse variety of perspectives. This semester’s workshop themes include Experiments on Race, Immigration, and Public Policy; Economic Impacts of Immigration and Immigration Policy; and Ethics of Immigration and Immigration Policy. Continue reading
This spring, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation co-hosted a town hall discussion on integrating immigrant communities in Lawrence, Massachusetts as part of its Challenges to Democracy Series. The series is exploring the challenges posed by immigration and how communities are working to find solutions to such. Part of this broader discussion about immigration and democracy comes from the perspective of social scientists, while some of it comes from having conversations similar to the Lawrence meeting to learn about the challenges and opportunities posed by changing populations.
Below is an account of the key themes and ideas from the discussion, which was moderated by WBUR journalist Asma Khalid and featured four Lawrence residents active on the issue. Long-time advocate for Lawrence and community development Bill Traynor and Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera welcomed the audience of almost 200 people, with Professor Archon Fung providing concluding remarks. Continue reading
On March 31, the Ash Center is co-hosting a panel discussion addressing the topic of immigration from a local perspective. Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera will begin the discussion moderated by WBUR’s Asma Khalid.
By Maisie O’Brien
As Washington’s continued partisan gridlock has cast great doubt on the likelihood of passing comprehensive immigration reform in the near term, attention is turning to local initiatives – particularly as cities and states seek innovative ways to integrate immigrant communities into political and civic life. Continue reading
Immigration policy and paths to citizenship are hotly contested topics on the national stage, yet immigration is most often experienced locally. As shown by the recent news reports below, cities like Hartford, CT and towns like Oakley, CA are on the front lines of some of the most important questions and tensions related to immigration.
How, for example, does the integration of local immigrant communities challenge our notions of justice and equality? How far should we extend civil and political rights, for example, to immigrants with or without authorization; and what responsibilities should we expect in return? Continue reading
Below is a recap of the America’s Datafest hackathon hosted by Harvard Kennedy School students on November 2, 2013. Hackathons are an increasingly popular mechanism for cities to engage local computer programmers and tech entrepreneurs in designing new apps or other innovations that serve a public purpose. Alison Flint, a Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) student and co-chair of the HKS Tech4Change student group, explores both the promise and practical challenges of hackathons. Part of the Challenges to Democracy series, Datafest combined two of the challenges we will focus on: immigration and technology. Continue reading
The Washington Post editorial board weighed in on a Council of the District of Columbia measure to extend voting rights to D.C. residents who are not U.S. citizens. The Post later published a response to their opposition to the bill from a representative from FairVote’s Promote Our Vote initiative.
From the Post:
Under a law signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996, it is a crime for noncitizens to vote in a federal election. Similarly, no state permits voting by green-card holders, as legal permanent residents are known. There is no logic to justify at the local level what is expressly forbidden at the state and federal levels. Continue reading