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Center for Economic and Policy Research;
In the absence of national paid leave laws, some states have responded by creating programs that provide partial replacement of lost wages when urgent health or family needs mean workers must miss work. The three states with the longest track records are California, which implemented paid family leave in 2004; New Jersey, which implemented it in 2008; and Rhode Island, which followed in 2014. All three have had paid medical leave to address a worker's own serious illness for 70 years or more. Today, six states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws that provide workers with paid family and medical leave. Despite the existence of these state laws, both awareness and usage — especially among workers in low-paid jobs and members of minority communities — have been low.This report examines a number of innovative projects in California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island designed to produce usable knowledge about what works — and what doesn't — in raising awareness among workers most likely to need paid family leave and least likely to know about it. It draws the lessons learned in the field and provides guidance to advocates in states with paid family and medical leave programs as they design interventions to address this challenge.
American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
"Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century" is the work of the US national and bipartisan Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship, convened by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. It presents 31 recommendations – across political institutions, political culture, and civil society – which are the product of two years of work and nearly 50 listening sessions with Americans around the country, which sought to understand how American citizens could obtain the values, knowledge, and skills to become better citizens. Collectively, the recommendations lay the foundation for an essential reinvention of the American democracy supported by the increasement of citizens' capacity to engage in their communities.
West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI);
The world is today confronted to a new threat; the novel Coronavirus infection (Covid-19). The virus first broke in China in November 2019, and has since swept across countries, overwhelmed health facilities and brought economies to their knees. As of 2nd June, 2020, the coronavirus is known to have infected more than 6 million people across the globe, claimed over 350 000 lives, and poses an existential threat to humanity.
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation's Madison Initiative (MI) seeks to strengthen U.S. democracy and its institutions in a time of political polarization. The goal is to help create the conditions in Congress in which its Members can deliberate, negotiate, and compromise in ways that work for most Americans. Launched in 2014, this nonpartisan initiative supports nonprofit organizations across the ideological spectrum—academic researchers, advocacy groups, think tanks, and civic leadership organizations—that seek to understand and improve the political system so that elected representatives are better equipped to solve society's greatest problems and in turn, earn public trust and support. The Hewlett Foundation's board authorized MI to make $15-20 million in grants per year from 2014 to 2021, for a total commitment of $150 million.
Bipartisan Policy Center;
This report documents the results of a nationwide study that the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology conducted in 3,119 individual polling places across the country to measure wait times at the polls during the 2018 midterms. It provides the type of fine-grained analysis of voters' reality as they waited to cast ballots that survey data cannot replicate.
The intended goal of this paper is to help guide policymakers, international financial institutions and development agencies in their design and implementation of public sector reform programmes in Iraq. It is worth emphasizing that Iraq's predicament is by no means exceptional, and this paper uses specific and relevant experiences from other countries to illustrate how to overcome obstacles to reform.
This report lays out the findings of a large-scale national survey of Americans about the current state of civic life in the United States. It provides substantial evidence of deep polarization and growing tribalism. It shows that this polarization is rooted in something deeper than political opinions and disagreements over policy. But it also provides some evidence for optimism, showing that 77 percent of Americans believe our differences are not so great that we cannot come together.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace;
In the past two years, the Russian public's appetite for change has increased considerably. A small but growing group of Russians blame President Vladimir Putin for the country's problems, and his capacity to deliver change is now being questioned. Yet the demands for change are taking very different forms, not only in open protests but also through latent discontent, and the public has not identified a specific alternative leader as a potential agent of change.In July 2019, the Carnegie Moscow Center and the Levada Center, Russia's main independent polling agency, conducted a third poll in two years asking 1,600 Russians about their readiness for change. The results show some striking new trends. A total of 59 percent of respondents—17 percent more than two years before—said that the country needed "decisive comprehensive change" (see Figure 1). The Russian publication of this research in November 2019 attracted a lot of attention from the media and political class. An answer came in January 2020 in a form of constitutional changes and the resignation of the government. In his annual address on January 15, Vladimir Putin said: "Our society is clearly calling for change. People want development. . . . The pace of change must be expedited every year and produce tangible results in attaining worthy living standards that would be clearly perceived by the people. And, I repeat, they must be actively involved in this process."
Brady United Against Gun Violence;
This report is intended to help state and local elected officials better understand the issue of crime guns, the "supply-side" approach to gun violence prevention, and the various ways a supply-side approach may be implemented at the local level. This report can also be used by members of the community and media as a guide to hold their elected officials responsible for enacting a comprehensive supply-side approach.
Center for Gun Policy and Research at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health;
There is a major flaw in federal firearm laws in the U.S. and in most states' laws; prohibited purchasers can acquire firearms from unlicensed private sellers without subjecting themselves to background checks and record-keeping requirements. Violent criminals and traffickers exploit this weakness with fatal consequences. This report discusses the need to improve background checks and handgun purchaser licensing laws which would result in reduced gun deaths.
Center for American Progress;
This report examines how the pernicious problem of partisan gerrymandering stymies efforts toward sensible reforms in several states—including North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia—despite strong public support for gun safety measures. These states provide some of the most extreme examples of gerrymandering: Even though Democrats won a majority of the statewide votes, control of the state legislatures remained with Republicans who, for the most part, have refused to allow meaningful debate on any commonsense gun safety measures. In each of these states, it is likely that, in the absence of partisan gerrymandering, the legislature would have enacted measures to strengthen gun laws—measures that could have saved lives.The report also puts forward a policy solution: States should require independent commissions to draw voter-determined districts based on statewide voter preferences. Implementing this policy would end partisan gerrymandering and increase representation for communities that have too often been shut out of the political system and also suffer the most from the lack of sensible gun safety legislation
Center for American Progress;
The current national debate about gun violence is largely focused on firearms: Who should have them? What types of firearms should people be allowed to have? Where and how can they be carried? How should they be sold? Certainly, these are all crucial questions that demand a sustained and serious analysis by policymakers at all levels of government. But often missing from the conversation about firearms are questions related to ammunition—namely, the role of easy access to ammunition and ammunition accessories in the epidemic of gun violence in the United States.This report discusses the gaps in the current law regarding commerce in ammunition and the easy availability of uniquely dangerous types of ammunition and high-capacity magazines to civilians in the United States. It then offers a series of policy solutions to address these gaps.