Who Ensures Liberty and Justice for All

The Lorax spoke for the trees. At the dawn of the American nation, Madison, Hamilton and Jay spoke for the Constitution. In the present age will the Tea Party be the primary voice to define the size, scope and purpose of government? The purpose of government – national or local – is to promote the

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Vacant Properties Compound the Forclosure Disaster

You don’t have to be a policy researcher to know intuitively that mortgage foreclosures and vacant and abandoned properties are a serious threat to the well-being of a neighborhood.  An increase in foreclosed properties in any neighborhood, especially a high concentration of properties in one neighborhood, creates an oversupply of housing stock (including low value

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Belief in Debt Relief?

Should forgiving student loan debt be the next federal bailout to stimulate our nation’s struggling economy?  Robert Applebaum, a New York lawyer and organizer of the aptly-named Facebook movement, “Cancel Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy,” thinks so.  While the title isn’t catchy, the words “cancel” and “debt” used in the same sentence is

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The Lives of the Next 100 Million

It’s regrettable that Joel Kotkin’s vision of America in 2050 is not more imaginative.  His rejection of the entire new urbanism agenda as a tool to accommodate the next hundred million U.S. residents ties his “cities of aspiration” to the automobile, to fossil fuels, to the large single family dwelling and to an expectation that

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Sustainability Program helps to move cities from ambiguity to action

Sustainability. Cities are talking about it, many are doing it, public is demanding it, businesses are embracing it, even the federal government is taking steps to support and incorporate it into and across their agencies. And while “it” has been rising in popularity (few would argue that they’d prefer to live in or lead an

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Back to school for immigrant parents

Schools can provide strong footholds for immigrant children in their new communities. Aside from access to critical learning opportunities, such as English as Second Language classes, they are able to become involved in sports teams, clubs, and other community activities that help ease the transition to life in a new place. Immigrant parents, however, do

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The Gulf Oil Spill: Economic Impact

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is shaping up to be one of the worst environmental disasters that has ever hit the United States.  What’s worse, being just five years after another devastating disaster, Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf Coast region is no doubt in grave danger as the oil continues to

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The Gulf Oil Spill: could local water supplies be affected?

The immediate damages resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are many: oil-soaked seabirds, warnings of seafood contamination and tar balls washing ashore. Damages to beaches are another prominent concern. Panama City Beach, Fla., hotels are fielding calls from would-be vacationers checking the status of beaches. The City of Destin, located in Florida’s panhandle, added

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Choose Your Neighborhood in Life and in Death

Land uses change.  Before you know it, the elementary school down the block is converted into loft condominiums, that run-down strip mall is replaced with an upscale shopping and entertainment destination, and the 40-acre family farm becomes eighteen 4,000 square foot McMansions.  But one land use is etched in stone for all eternity—the cemetery. Many

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