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Labor Organizing as a Civil Right: Tep Royster on The Rick Smith Show
Imhotep Royster July 30, 2014

TCF labor intern Tep Royster joined joined The Rick Smith Show to talk about Tep’s article “Labor Organizing Is a Civil Right” and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison’s proposal to give workers the right to sue union busters who violate the right to organize. Listen below.

A Bill to Get the Labor Movement Back on Offense
Richard D. Kahlenberg, Moshe Marvit July 29, 2014

The Nation has mentioned TCF fellows, Richard D. Kahlenberg and Moshe Marvit, in an article about the Ellison-Lewis legislation.

For years, the American labor movement has been on the defensive as it has become harder and harder for workers to join or maintain a union. But some House Democrats are planning a dramatic counter-offensive: a bill that would make union organizing a civil right.

Representatives Keith Ellison and John Lewis plan to introduce a bill Wednesday that would make labor organizing a basic freedom no different than freedom from racial discrimination. That sounds like a nice talking point—but this isn’t just another messaging bill...

...Ellison told MSNBC, which first reported the bill, that he got the idea from a book by Century Foundation fellows Richard Kahlenberg and Moshe Marvit, titled Why Union Organizing Should Be a Civil Right. They argue that the First Amendment’s right to free association should clearly include one of the most crucial forms of association—banding together to push back against unfair treatment from employers.

Read the full article.

Blowing Our Diversity Advantage
Richard D. Kahlenberg July 29, 2014

TCF fellow, Richard Kahlenberg, has co-authored an article about the persistence of racial segregation in our public schools, for the Huffington Post.

As we mark the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, we are glad to see renewed interest in the issue of segregation, but discouraged about our societal failure to tackle it. Indeed, we have both recently written about the persistence of racial segregation in our public schools, and about the pernicious effects of associated concentrated poverty. BBA and EPI document the segregation of black and Hispanic children in high-poverty kindergarten classrooms. And Kahlenberg has written about new efforts to reinvigorate Brown by emphasizing socioeconomic integration through public school choice.

Perhaps the saddest aspect of this segregation is the waste of a precious American resource, one that could offer our children an important advantage over their peers in many other countries: diversity. We continue, for the most part, to treat the multiple languages spoken in schools from Los Angeles to Minneapolis as only a challenge for teachers, rather than the learning opportunity it could represent for classmates. We see only deficits for children who grow up in very challenging circumstances, rather than finding creative ways to help them share with their peers the resilience and creativity gained through those experiences.

Read the full article.

Is it worth spending to make workers happy?
Mark Thoma July 29, 2014

TCF fellow, Mark Thoma, has written an article about the benefits of employee satisfaction in an article for CBS News.

Numerous studies have found a correlation between employee satisfaction and company success. Does this mean happy employees are also the most productive workers? Should firms spend money to make workers happier with their jobs?

Answering these questions is trickier than it might seem at first glance. It could be that happier employees are more productivity and create higher profits, or could it be that working for a company that's very successful causes workers to be more satisfied with their jobs. Or perhaps companies that do well spend more on their employees, resulting in a higher level of job satisfaction.

Read the full article.

Strange bedfellows: Putin, the Chomskyite left and the ghosts of the Cold War
Thanassis Cambanis July 28, 2014

TCF fellow, Thanassis Cambanis, has been quoted in a Salon article about the discourse surrounding the Ukraine crisis.

One of the weirder side effects of the Ukraine crisis and the West’s heated confrontation with Vladimir Putin’s Russia has been the reappearance of all kinds of complicated ideological rifts and conflicts left over from the Cold War. It’s as if the disease that afflicted and divided the world between 1946 and 1991 went into remission for 20-odd years but was never cured; given the right combination of rising temperatures, demagoguery and widespread confusion, the virus woke up and spread in all directions.

Another way of looking at this question is that Cold War fever never abated in America but was diverted to other purposes, most notably the unsatisfying and amorphous “war on terror,” in which the goals, the tactics, the strategy and even the enemy were never entirely clear. In that context, the rise of a renewed Russian imperial power was almost a relief to the powers that be. It was like encountering a high school sweetheart who’s still looking foxy at the 20-year reunion dance.

Read the full article.

This Congressman Wants To Give You The Right To Sue Union Busters
Moshe Marvit July 28, 2014

TCF fellow, Moshe Marvit, has been quoted in a Huffington Post article about the Ellison/Lewis civil rights bill.

If your boss tramples on your right to organize in the workplace, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) believes you should be able to sue for damages in federal court. He plans to introduce a bill in Congress next week that would grant you that very right.

"Union busters are on the march and are aggressive," Ellison, a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told HuffPost. "I think the [legal] options that are offered by the current process are not adequate."

Under U.S. labor law, workers have relatively limited recourse in the face of union busting. When workers are fired for union organizing, they can file what's known as an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, the agency that enforces labor law. If the board pursues the charge against the employer, the worker can win back pay and reinstatement, but not the sort of damages associated with, say, sexual discrimination in the workplace.

Read the full article.

The world’s next nations: a brief guide
Thanassis Cambanis July 28, 2014

TCF fellow, Thanassis Cambanis, writes about independence movements taking place around the world, in a piece for The Boston Globe.

Surveying our violent and sometimes weird world, it might seem that things change only for the worse. Tensions between Moscow and Washington, with ripple effects across the globe? Check. Iranian ayatollahs fulminating against the Satanic West? Check. Israel and Palestine at war again? Check.

But one historically bloody rite of passage seems to have gotten a lot easier of late: the birth of a nation.

Read the full article.

Playing ball with public dollars
Amy Dean July 28, 2014

Al Jazeera America has published a piece by TCF fellow, Amy Dean, about taxpayer funding of sports venues.

Again and again the same old story plays out in sports stadiums across the country. Team owners in the NFL, MLB and NBA demand hundreds of millions of dollars in public assistance in order to build new venues. Sometimes they offer a carrot: a vague, far-off promise of jobs and future tax revenue. But often they offer only the stick: the threat that they’ll move their team elsewhere if a city or state government does not comply with their demand.

Years later, the promised economic benefits rarely materialize, and taxpayers are left nursing old wounds. Yet sports owners start the process all over again — demanding new rounds of subsidies and tax breaks … or else.

Read the full article.

Should the Fed have to play by a rule?
Mark Thoma July 24, 2014

TCF fellow, Mark Thoma, published a piece on the proposed Federal Reserve Accountability and Transparency Act for CBS News.

What if the U.S. Federal Reserve Board had to implement monetary policy according to a specific rule that would require specific policy actions depending on the circumstances?

That's the intent of a bill Republicans in the House of Representatives recently proposed. The Federal Reserve Accountability and Transparency Act would require the Fed to formulate and make public a monetary policy rule and provide added transparency about the reasons for the Fed's interest rate recommendations.

Read the full article.

BuzzFeed’s Favorite Business Stories From The New Yorker’s Newly Free Archives
Patrick Radden Keefe July 22, 2014

Buzzfeed has featured TCF fellow, Patrick Radden Keefe's article about Ecuador's fight against Chevron, in its list of favorite business stories from The New Yorker.

Ecuador fought Chevron in U.S. courts over environmental damage the country says was caused by oil exploration, but the only ones who lost were Ecuador’s lawyers.

See the full Buzzfeed list, and read Patrick Radden Keefe's full article.

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Events

Upcoming Events

Recent Events

2014 Intern Policy Forum Series
June 18, 2014 to July 23, 2014Calling all summer interns! Whether you’re in college, graduate school, or a recent grad, join The Century Foundation this summer for a series of stimulating conversations with experts across a wide variety of topics.
Lumina Ideas Summit: New Pathways to Higher Education Diversity
June 17, 2014 9:00 AM

This summit will reinforce the importance of racial and socioeconomic diversity in higher education, and identify new paths to achieving these goals relative to legal constraints recently determined by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The New Internationalism: Foreign Policy After Afghanistan and Iraq
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 from 8:00 AM to 1:30 PM (EDT)TCF fellow Michael Cohen joins other panelists to discuss foreign policy after the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The American Conservative with The American Prospect and the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies are hosting the event in Washington, D.C.
Educational Justice and the Integration of America’s Schools
Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 12 p.m.-2 p.m. TCF senior fellow Richard Kahlenberg joins the Shanker Institute for a panel discussion marking the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. Today, the promise of that historic decision remains unfulfilled. The progress made toward desegregating American schools has not simply stalled, but is increasingly being reversed across the nation. Today, New York schools are the most segregated in the nation.
Inequality Begins at Birth: Child Poverty in America
June 10, 2014 8:30 AM - 3:30 PMJoin TCF's newest fellow Jeff Madrick for a day-long event to discuss America's child poverty problem. The conference, Inequality Begins at Birth: Child Poverty in America, is sponsored by The Century Foundation’s Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative, the Roosevelt Institute and the Academic Pediatric Association. America’s child poverty rate, currently above 22 percent—the highest in the developed world—is one of the nation’s gravest social problems. On June 10, keynote speaker Senator Cory Booker and three panels of economists, policy experts, and child povertyactivists will come together to discuss solutions for helping the nation’s most vulnerable. Lunch will be provided. There will be a live web cast of the event. RSVP HERE.
Richard Kahlenberg speaks at National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development
May 27, 2014 11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.TCF senior fellow Richard Kahlenberg will give a keynote lecture for the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development. Hear from “best-in-class” general session keynote speakers and be inspired by their insights and advice. Gain valuable information from some of the brightest stars in education today as they share their experience and expertise.
FRONTLINE presents “United States of Secrets” feat. Barton Gellman
May 20, 2014 at 9:00 p.m.TCF senior fellow Barton Gellman is featured in the new FRONTLINE special, United States of Secrets. How did the government come to spy on millions of Americans? In United States of Secrets, a two-part series airing May 13 and 20, FRONTLINE goes behind the headlines to reveal the dramatic inside story of the U.S. government’s massive and controversial secret surveillance program—and the lengths they went to trying to keep it hidden from the public.
Degrees of Inequality: A Conversation with Suzanne Mettler and MSNBC’s Joy Reid
MAY 13, 2014 6:30 PM - 9:00 PMYou're invited to join TCF fellow Suzanne Mettler as she discusses her new book, Degrees of Inequality: How the Politics of Higher Education Sabotaged the American Dream with MSNBC's Joy ReidDegrees of Inequality dissects student aid policies and calls attention to the problems of rising tuition prices, high student loan debt, and weak employment prospects. Mettler outlines what has gone wrong with our system of education over the last thirty years—and what lawmakers on both sides of the aisle must do to bring about reform. RSVP here! This event is in collaboration with Cornell University.
Defying Injustice: Lessons from Defeating Apartheid to the Arab Spring
April 10, 2014 at 6:00 PMThis interactive dialogue, led by Gay McDougall, brings together scholars, researchers and activists from diverse social movements to consider how the fight against apartheid can inform current social movements. Join TCF senior fellow Michael Wahid Hanna and other panelists for this exciting event.
Neighborhoods with Concentrated Poverty with Paul Jargowsky, Patrick Sharkey, Ta-Nehisi Coates
April 10 at 2 p.m. ESTOn Thursday, April 10 at 2 p.m. ET, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and The Century Foundation will hold a discussion on the long-term and devastating impact growing up in high-poverty neighborhoods has on children, with leading experts TCF's Paul Jargowsky, NYU's Patrick Sharkey, Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic and Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. EPI Research Associate Richard Rothstein will moderate.
 

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