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COVID: Arguing About the Invisible

Stephen Maurer, Adj. Em. Prof. of Public Policy | May 7, 2020

Democracies are only as good as voters’ ability to see and judge for themselves. That’s why we’re at our best when citizens experience the issues firsthand. Like the economy. Political strategists have made a fortune telling clients “It’s the Economy, Stupid.” And they’re right. After all, most voters are bound to know someone who’s out … Continue reading »

The clash over shelter-in-place rooted in slavery

john a. powell, director, Othering & Belonging Institute | May 4, 2020

The frightening demonstrations occurring outside state capitol buildings across the country in which right-wing hardliners are demanding governors lift shelter-in-place orders present a danger that goes far beyond immediate public health concerns. What we’re witnessing in fact threatens to dissolve whatever social cohesion we’ve managed to maintain as a country and ignite a new civil … Continue reading »

The COVID Crisis: What Next?

Stephen Maurer, Adj. Em. Prof. of Public Policy | April 24, 2020

This past month Americans did something great and good and remarkably non-partisan. We changed the COVID disease’s infectivity – the dreaded “R0”. And we did it by an act of will. Very few politicians or journalists will admit this. The habit of finding fault – or more precisely, rival political parties to blame – is … Continue reading »

If immigrants are not protected from COVID-19, everyone will suffer

Irene Bloemraad, professor of sociology | April 21, 2020

Even though the virus is blind to people’s citizenship or visa status, immigrants can be especially vulnerable to infection, serious illness, financial hardship, and hateful discrimination. To mitigate the dangers that immigrants face — and the repercussions for everyone in the United States — we need more public-private partnerships.

Is California a nation-state?

Henry Brady, dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy | April 17, 2020

Of all the American states, California is best-equipped to be a country by itself with its large territory delimited by ocean, mountains, and desert, and it has a disproportionate impact on the rest of the world as the fifth largest economy.

Bernie, Jesse and the Democratic Party

Charles Henry, professor emeritus, African American studies | April 10, 2020

I recently had an exchange with a Bernie Sanders supporter who had read my book on Jesse Jackson’s two presidential campaigns. It forced me to think of the similarities and differences between Jackson’s efforts and those of Sanders. The similarities are fairly obvious. Both ran campaigns to force the Democratic Party to shift to the … Continue reading »

As millions of students turn to online education, the FCC must implement bold changes to close the digital divide

Brandie Nonnecke, Founding Director, CITRIS Policy Lab | April 1, 2020

With confirmed cases of coronavirus on the rise in the US, over 100,000 schools have closed, disrupting the education of over 55 million students. While many schools are turning to online instruction, the millions of students who fall into the “homework gap”— those who lack broadband access at home — risk falling further behind their … Continue reading »

The Supreme Court could work remotely during coronavirus crisis – and build rapport with citizens

Erwin Chemerinsky, Berkeley Law dean | March 20, 2020

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court announced that it was postponing the oral arguments scheduled for the weeks of March 23 and March 30 due to the coronavirus. But there was another alternative: It could have conducted the proceedings by remote technology and allowed the public to watch. There is precedent for postponing oral arguments. On … Continue reading »

With Barr as his enabler, Trump has out-Nixoned Nixon

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | February 18, 2020

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it sometimes rhymes,” Mark Twain is reputed to have said. My first job after law school was as an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. I reported for work September 1974, just weeks after Richard Nixon resigned. In the years leading up to his resignation, Nixon turned the Justice … Continue reading »

Didn’t vote? You’re in the majority

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | January 30, 2020

If I asked you to name the biggest political party in the United States, what would be your answer? You probably have two guesses that come to mind: the Democratic party or the Republican party. Well, it’s neither. It’s the party of Non-Voters. Let’s look at the last presidential election: 100 million Americans who were … Continue reading »

And the award for ‘most dangerous politician in my lifetime’ goes to …

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | December 3, 2019

He’s maybe the most dangerous politician of my lifetime. He’s helped transform the Republican Party into a cult, worshiping at the altar of authoritarianism. He’s damaged our country in ways that may take a generation to undo. The politician I’m talking about, of course, is Mitch McConnell. Two goals for November 3, 2020: The first … Continue reading »

The bizarre smear against impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman

Robin Lakoff, professor emerita of linguistics | November 25, 2019

Now that the impeachment hearings are over, at least for the foreseeable future, I have been reflecting on the curious behaviors of the minority members of the House Intelligence Committee. Two stand out in my mind: the repeated argument that most of the witnesses were unreliable because all of their knowledge was second-hand; and the … Continue reading »

The Supreme Court is about to determine the fate of 800,000 ‘Dreamers’

Erwin Chemerinsky, Berkeley Law dean | November 4, 2019

On Nov. 12, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a trio of cases involving whether President Donald Trump acted impermissibly in rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The cases—Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, McAleenan v. Vidal (previously Batalla Vidal v. Nielsen) and Trump v. NAACP—likely will determine the … Continue reading »