Category Archives: Immigration & Citizenship

Spotlight on Organizing and Immigration at Democratic National Convention

brownIn 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.”

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Filed under Elections, Immigration & Citizenship, Participation, Representation, Voting Rights

Ash Center’s 10th Anniversary Series Provides Direction for the Next Ten Years

200x200logoFBshareIn May, the Ash Center concluded its Challenges to Democracy public dialogue series with presentations by the 2015 Innovations in American Government Award finalists. Local government officials, students, and scholars gathered with the Innovation Award finalists for a nuts and bolts conversation on fostering innovation in government. This model of conversation—one that brings together people and ideas unlikely to otherwise connect, in an environment that encourages candid conversation on important yet difficult issues, with an emphasis on finding a way forward—was a true reflection of the Challenges to Democracy series. This post explores some of the series’ highlights and how it will carry forth in the Ash Center’s upcoming work. Read more about all events in the series including associated multimedia such as podcasts, media coverage, photos, and video recordings.
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Filed under #Hack4Congress, All Checks, No Balance, All the King's Men, All The Way, Cities, Dollarocracy, Expansion of Presidential Power, Future of Social Movements, Heart of Robin Hood, Immigration & Citizenship, Inequality vs Democracy, Innovation, Launch Event with On Point, Lawrence, Massachusetts, Nation of Devils, Participation, Technology, Voting Rights

Democracy and the Challenge of Affordability: Transatlantic Trends in Housing

logo 2This 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.
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Filed under Challenge of Affordability, Cities, Frontiers of Research, Housing, Immigration & Citizenship, Innovation

A Tepid International Response to the Rohingya Migrant Crisis

Derek-PhamIn 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.
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Filed under Democracy in Hard Places, Immigration & Citizenship, Myanmar, Students

Philadelphia Engages Young People in Dialogue on Community-Police Relations

courtneydsharpeIn 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

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Filed under Cities, Immigration & Citizenship, Participation, Policing, Youth

Exploring the Relationship Between Resources and Power with The Gettysburg Project

shutterstock_179267012This post summarizes a recent convening of The Gettysburg Project, a unique initiative of practitioners and scholars committed to revitalizing civic engagement led by Ash Center faculty Marshall Ganz and Archon Fung and others. As part of our ongoing coverage of The Gettysburg Project, we shared a summary of their fall 2014 convening as well as the first chapter of steering committee member Hahrie Han’s 2014 book How Organizations Develop Activists. We will continue to update Challenges to Democracy readers as The Gettysburg Project progresses! Continue reading

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Filed under Frontiers of Research, Future of Social Movements, Gettysburg Project, Immigration & Citizenship, Participation

At the Intersection of Urban Politics and Innovation

normaThis 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

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Filed under Cities, Immigration & Citizenship, Innovation, Students

Green (and Global) Citizenship: Essays in Ego Climate

murielThis 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.

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Filed under Environment, Immigration & Citizenship, In the News, Participation

Frontiers of Democracy Research: Is Today’s Anti-Immigrant Sentiment Always Racially Motivated?

jason aIn 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

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Filed under Expansion of Presidential Power, Frontiers of Research, Immigration & Citizenship, Representation

Exploring and Expanding Public Engagement through the Gettysburg Project

Angarita headshotThis post from HKS student Jennifer Angarita shares updates and reflections on the Gettysburg Project, a unique initiative of practitioners and scholars committed to revitalizing civic engagement. Professors Marshall Ganz and Archon Fung introduced the Gettysburg Project to students in the fall of 2013 in a session you can read about and view here, and we recently shared the first chapter of Gettysburg steering committee member Hahrie Han’s new book How Organizations Develop Activists. We will continue to update Challenges to Democracy readers as the Gettysburg Project progresses!

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Filed under Future of Social Movements, Gettysburg Project, Immigration & Citizenship, Participation, Representation

Can Local Innovations in Immigrant Integration Expand Our Notions of Democracy?

This post from Harvard Kennedy School student Isaac Lara recounts a recent panel discussion hosted by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation exploring local innovations in immigrant integration and how they might be expanding our notions of American democracy. Continue reading

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Filed under Cities, Future of Social Movements, Immigration & Citizenship, Innovation, Participation, Representation

Understanding How Communities Respond to Immigration

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

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Filed under Cities, Immigration & Citizenship, In the News, Lawrence, Massachusetts, Participation

Integrating Immigrant Communities: March 31 Panel Discussion in Lawrence, Mass

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

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Filed under Cities, Immigration & Citizenship, Lawrence, Massachusetts, Participation, Representation

Immigration Reform Stalled in Washington, Cities and Towns Taking the Lead Again

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

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Filed under Cities, Immigration & Citizenship, In the News, Participation, Representation

Can Hackathons Enable Cities to Better Engage Local Immigrant Communities?

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

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Filed under Cities, Immigration & Citizenship, Technology

In the News: A Different Kind of Debate over Immigration and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital

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

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Filed under Cities, Immigration & Citizenship, In the News, Participation