Monday, May 19, 2014

Cities as cradles of progressivism?

Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia once said that there is no Republican or Democratic way to pick up garbage, and he’s still largely right. Most mayors focus much more on service delivery than ideology. There is just too much to do on any given day for mayors to indulge in the hyper-partisanship that dominates Washington and the nation’s state capitals.

 However, some believe that ideology is on the rise in American cities. Recent columns by the Washington Post’s EJ Dionne and Harold Meyerson and Tom Edsall from the New York Times have identified a trend among city officials to implement, at the local level, what they see are distinctly leftwing policies such as raising the minimum wage.

 The first question that should be asked about this trend is why is it happening now?

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Green Conservatism

Writer and philosopher Roger Scruton argues that conservatism is far better suited to tackle environmental problems than either liberalism or socialism.

Chaired by Matthew Taylor, chief executive, the RSA.

Listen to a podcast of the full event including the audience Q&A:

Jane Jacobs: "The Death and Life of Great American Cities."

Michael Lewis discusses Jane Jacobs and "The Death and Life of Great American Cities."

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Urban Republican of the Month - George McDonald

George McDonald, is the founder of The Doe Fund, a nonprofit organization in the United States that provides paid transitional work, housing, educational opportunities, counseling, and career training to people with histories of homelessness, incarceration, and substance abuse. Graduates of The Doe Fund’s flagship Ready, Willing & Able "work first" program secure permanent housing and employment and become taxpaying members of their communities, fulfilling the group’s mission to break the cycles of homelessness, addiction and criminal recidivism.

George McDonald, founder of The Doe Fund, was working as a garment industry executive when he became conscious of New York’s growing homeless population. He was motivated to do something about it by the teachings of his Catholic school education stressing the importance of community service and supporting those who are less fortunate.

In 1985, a homeless woman known only as "Mama"—whom George McDonald had fed and befriended—died of exposure, the result of spending the night on a concrete sidewalk after being ejected from Grand Central Terminal on Christmas Eve by Metro-North police, despite her pneumonia and the freezing temperatures outside. The incident drove George McDonald to redirect his executive career to focus on providing the homeless with a way off the streets. He created the organization he called The Doe Fund in honor of “Mama Doe.”

The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research awarded the William E. Simon Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Social Entrepreneurship to George McDonald in 2008 for his work-based programs to reduce homelessness and criminal recidivism. The institute credited George McDonald with “changing the way the problem of homelessness is understood, going far beyond the provision of shelter to help former street people and prisoners regain their self-respect and become productive citizens.

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