Critical Value is a podcast from the Urban Institute that explores issues of significance for research, policy, and people. We talk with experts and highlight the best available data and evidence to elevate the debate on topics that matter.
How to Build Vaccine Confidence
Vaccines work -- but they only work if people get them. How can communities make sure that as many of their residents get vaccinated as possible? Host Justin Milner talks with Urban Institute researcher Leandra Lacy; Luis Garcia, director of technology and analytics at El Buen Samaritano; and Treshika Melvin, advocacy, training, and power building director at Springboard to Opportunities
07/07/2022 • 24 minutes 12 seconds
How to Build Vaccine Confidence
Vaccines work, but only if people get them. How can communities make sure that as many of their residents get vaccinated as possible? Host Justin Milner talks with Urban Institute researcher Leandra Lacy; Luis Garcia, director of technology and analytics at El Buen Samaritano; and Treshika Melvin, advocacy, training, and power building director at Springboard to Opportunities, about how to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence, especially in areas where racial and ethnic disparities exist. This episode was produced with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Related Links: <a class="c-link" tabindex="-1" href= "https://www.urban.org/projects/partnering-vaccine-equity" target= "_blank" rel="noop
07/07/2022 • 0
How Community Development Can Promote Equity
Equitable community engagement and development can seed systems change that supports long-term health and well-being within communities. Host Justin Milner talks with Urban Institute researcher Laudy Aron; Maggie Super Church, vice president for healthy and resilient communities at the Conservation Law Foundation; Vedette Gavin, senior research consultant at the Conservation Law Foundation; and Robyn Gibson, resident researcher and site coordinator for the Healthy Neighborhoods Study, about what equitable community engagement and development looks like in practice. This episode was produced with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Related Links: Blame
01/06/2022 • 26 minutes 19 seconds
How the Safety Net Can Better Serve Young People
All young people need support and a runway to independence to develop into thriving adults. For those without this support, that’s where public safety net programs come in—but the safety net has substantial gaps and barriers that make access challenging for young people. Host Justin Milner talks with Urban researcher Heather Hahn, young people who’ve interacted with the safety net, and employees at youth-serving organizations to understand how to improve safety net programs for 14-to-24-year-o
08/03/2022 • 23 minutes 26 seconds
Policy Lessons from Abroad to Inform Pandemic Recovery
As the nation aims to recover from the pandemic, policymakers have the opportunity to implement policies that build toward a more inclusive, equitable society. Host Justin Milner talks with Urban Institute researcher Kimberly Burrowes; Jon Kher Kaw, senior urban development specialist at the World Bank; Ernesto Falcon, senior legislative counsel at the Electronic Frontier Foundation; and Richard Sewell, deputy director for digital infrastructure for the Welsh government, about how innovative policies and programs from abroad could inform initiatives in the United States. This episode was produced with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Related Links: <span data-c
26/01/2022 • 26 minutes 45 seconds
How Apprenticeships Can Help Diversify the Tech Workforce
Registered tech apprenticeship programs create vital pathways for diverse candidates to enter the tech industry, supplying companies with needed talent while advancing the crucial industry goals to cultivate an inclusive tech workforce. Host Justin Milner talks with Urban Institute researchers Diana Elliott and Fernando Hernandez-Lepe; apprentices Chrystal Yeoman and Jed Beddo; and Sarah Boisvert, founder and CEO of Fab Lab Hub and New Collar Network in Santa Fe, New Mexico, about common challenges stakeholders face when developing tech apprenticeships, how tech apprenticeships can address skills and opportunity mismatches between employers and workers, and how apprenticeships can increase diversity in the t
18/11/2021 • 22 minutes 58 seconds
The Books, Podcasts, and TV Shows That Are Getting Us through the Pandemic
It’s been 17 months since the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed our lives. It has been difficult, but we have found some outlets helped us reflect on, and even escape, our current reality. On this episode with guest host Jacinth Jones, you’ll hear from Urban staff about the books, miniseries and podcasts that have been getting them through since March 2020. Related Links: WandaVision, The Death of Vivek Oji, <a class="c-link" href= "https://britbennett.com/the-vanishing-half" target="_blank" rel= "noopener noreferrer" data-sk="tooltip_parent
01/09/2021 • 18 minutes 14 seconds
How Do Effective School Principals Drive Impact in Education?
A lot of the conversation around improving education outcomes centers the effectiveness of teachers, but how important are principals in shaping students’ direction and success? Host Justin Milner talks with Constance Lindsay of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Urban Institute, Michele Shannon of the Leadership Academy, and Kerensa Wing, principal at Collins Hill High School, about who principals are, how their role has changed, how they can be as effective as possible, and how they can advance equity in our school systems. Related Links: <a href= "https://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Documents/How-Principals-Affect-Students-and-Sch
14/07/2021 • 19 minutes 52 seconds
Lifting Millions of Kids Out of Poverty
The recently passed American Rescue Plan Act could reduce poverty among families with children by half. How will this work, and why is it a big deal? Host Justin Milner talks with tax policy expert Elaine Maag and Gaynell Brady and M.A. Sheehan from the Lower 9th Ward Homeownership Association in New Orleans about the expansion of the child tax credit and ways to ensure all families benefit from it.
06/05/2021 • 20 minutes 26 seconds
Public Leadership in the Time of COVID
The country has now spent a year dealing with the effects of COVID-19 and the pandemic has brought an array of unprecedented challenges for public leaders. Host Justin Milner speaks with Philadelphia Councilmember Kendra Brooks, King County, Washington Executive Dow Constantine, and Pueblo, Colorado Mayor Nick Gradisar on how they worked to support their communities and how they envision the road to recovery.
31/03/2021 • 23 minutes 29 seconds
Teaching Kids How to Give
Nearly a year into the pandemic, the definition of ‘giving’ has been expanding and the idea of philanthropy at multiple levels is more salient than ever. As we think about developing a culture of giving, it is important to start at the beginning and look at how we learn about charitable giving as kids. Host Justin Milner speaks with Shena Ashley, the vice president of Urban's Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, Alison Body, a lecturer in philanthropic studies at the University of Kent, and Amy Neugebauer, executive director and founder of The Giving Square, to discuss how children develop their philanthropic identity.
24/02/2021 • 21 minutes 30 seconds
How to Make Research More Inclusive
Research organizations are increasingly thinking about how to make their research more inclusive. Community-based participatory research is an approach engages people who would normally be research subjects as full partners in a research project, from beginning to end. In this episode, we will hear about a truly inclusive project called Promoting Adolescent Health and Safety, or PASS, in southeast Washington DC. You will hear from four PASS participants, facilitators Stan Hamilton and Dannielle Hamilton and Urban Institute senior research associate Elsa Falkenburger about how PASS centers lived experiences and community expertise. Related Links:
01/02/2021 • 19 minutes 6 seconds
Native Communities and COVID-19
How are American Indian tribes and Native communities faring during the COVID-19 pandemic? Host Justin Milner speaks with Lukaya Williams of the White Mountain Apache Housing Authority, Joe Cushman and Justine Capra of the Nisqually Indian Tribe’s planning and economic development department, and Nancy Pindus, senior fellow at the Urban Institute. Related links: White Mountain Apache Tribe White Mountain Apache Housing Authority Nisqually Indian Tribe, Department of Planning and Economic Development Emerging Stronge
17/12/2020 • 22 minutes 59 seconds
How Technology Can Improve Government
Technological advancements continue to redefine how the world operates. How can government take advantage of technological innovations to improve their services and help American citizens? Host Justin Milner speaks with Amanda Renteria, CEO of Code for America, and Urban Institute data scientist Alena Stern about how government can put real people at the center of policy design to better meet the needs of vulnerable Americans.
03/12/2020 • 21 minutes 44 seconds
Why Representation Matters in Research
What happens when researchers come from the communities they study? Host Justin Milner speaks with two Latina researchers at different points in their career—one at the pinnacle, and one who is just starting her journey. Both have similar upbringings that influence their motivations and work to this day. Together, their stories show why representation in research matter. Related links: Latinx Communities in America How Social Scientists Can Incorporate a “Latinx Lens” in Their Work Marta Tienda Biography Clara Alvarez Caraveo Biography
16/11/2020 • 19 minutes 40 seconds
How the Federal Government Can Support Opportunity For All
What role can the federal government play to ensure that all families live in neighborhoods that support their well-being and their children’s ability to thrive? Host Justin Milner discusses ideas around zoning and the Housing Choice Voucher Program with Urban researchers Solomon Greene and Martha Galvez, NYU’s Ingrid Gould Ellen, and Sarah Oppenheimer of Opportunity Insights. Related links: Breaking Barriers, Boosting Supply: How the Federal Government Can Help Eliminate
29/10/2020 • 26 minutes 43 seconds
What Does COVID-19 Mean for the Future of Latino Entrepreneurship?
Over the past decade, the number of Latino entrepreneurs increased 34 percent—compared with just 1 percent for all business owners in the US, but the pandemic may affect that growth. How might COVID-19 affect Latino entrepreneurship, and what can we do to help ensure an equitable recovery? Host Justin Milner discusses trends with Marlene Orozco, lead research analyst with the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, business owner Josh Melendez from Crossfit Be Someone, and Urban Institute researcher Jorge González. Related Links: Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative The Pandemic Is Threatening Latino Entrepreneurship, but Local Leaders Can Help Crossfit Be Someone <a href= "https://www.urban.
15/10/2020 • 22 minutes 15 seconds
Better Supporting Working Families with Kids in the Time of COVID
The dramatic shift to online learning has many families struggling to balance work and virtual learning, especially parents who aren’t able to work from home. Host Justin Milner speaks with Urban Institute researchers, Megan Gallagher and Gina Adams, and Melissa Hicks, director of the Albina-Rockwood Promise Neighborhood about how remote learning has presented major challenges for students and parents and what can be done to support working parents with school-age children. Related Links: Mapping Student Needs during COVID-1
07/10/2020 • 21 minutes 51 seconds
Why Charitable Giving and Philanthropy Matters Today
14/09/2020 • 25 minutes 5 seconds
Why Closing the Digital Divide Matters
Technology has transformed nearly every aspect of our lives, but technological innovations don’t always benefit everyone equally. And COVID-19 has revealed that this digital divide is even greater than we thought. Host Justin Milner speaks with Urban Institute researcher Alena Stern, chief information officer of Atlanta Gary Brantely, and Miguel Gamiño Jr., executive vice president for Global Cities at Mastercard, about why cities should care about tech equity and how they can achieve it. Related links: The Equity Imperative <li data-leveltext="" data-font="Symbol" data-listid="1" aria-setsize="-1" data-aria-posinset="2" data-aria-l
09/07/2020 • 22 minutes 52 seconds
What We’re Reading (and Watching) to Help Reflect on Race, Power and Privilege
This week’s New York Times list of best-selling books shows a country reading all about race and racism. On this episode, Urban offers its own reading (and watching) list. You'll hear from Urban staff about the books, movies and documentaries they are reflecting on to contextualize anti-racism, structural racism, police brutality and privilege in this moment. Links to all the recommendations can be found at: https://www.urban.org/criticalvalue
25/06/2020 • 23 minutes 36 seconds
How Can We Alleviate Food Insecurity During the Pandemic?
The pictures speak to the growing challenge of food insecurity in America: miles-long lines of people in cars waiting to receive emergency rations of food supplies. In the latest in a series of episodes on the pandemic, host Justin Milner speaks with Urban senior fellow Elaine Waxman and Jodi Tyson of Three Square Food Bank in Nevada about the rapidly increasing food insecurity levels for millions of Americans, lessons policymakers can learn from the Great Recession, and the ways food banks are stepping up as a critical frontline response to meet the high demand of food insecure people. Related Links: Three Square Food Bank Many Families Are Struggling to Put Food on the Table. We Have to Do Mo
22/05/2020 • 22 minutes 24 seconds
How Can We Address Historic Unemployment Rates?
Since March 21, more than 30 million people have sought unemployment benefits—nearly one of every five workers. And the April jobs report coming out tomorrow will likely tell an even more distressing story of how the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting unemployment rates, job losses, and earnings. So what should we do? Host Justin Milner asks researchers Greg Acs, Jesse Jannetta, Heather Hahn, and <a href="https://www.urban.org/author/shena-ashley" target="_blank" rel="noopener" aria-des
07/05/2020 • 24 minutes 56 seconds
Empowering the Next Generation through Higher Education
In the latest episode of Critical Value, Host Justin Milner speaks with former Urban Institute Board Member Freeman Hrabowski about how to make education more accessible, affordable, and effective for students of all backgrounds. Recognized by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in 2012, Hrabowski has served as the president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, for 27 years. He has led UMBC to new heights as a national leader in STEM education and in graduating students from diverse backgrounds. Related Links: The Empowered University: Shared Leadersh
22/04/2020 • 23 minutes 4 seconds
How Can We Minimize Coronavirus Risks in Prisons and in Jails?
Jails and prisons are ripe for rapid transmission of the coronavirus, putting residents, corrections staff, and the broader community at risk. In the latest in a series of podcast episodes on the pandemic, host Justin Milner talks to Brie Williams, physician and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, Johnny Perez, director of the US Prisons Program for the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, and Urban Institute policy associate Bethany Young. Related Links: How Should Prisons and Jails Prepare for COVID-19? <a href= "https://www.urban.org/features/prison-research-and-innovation-initiative" target="_bla
14/04/2020 • 22 minutes 22 seconds
How Will the Coronavirus Spending Bill Provide Support During the Pandemic?
The $2 trillion economic relief package passed last week is larger than any other plan of its kind in modern history. Who does it help and how? In the latest in a series of podcasts on the pandemic, host Justin Milner talks to the Tax Policy Center’s Mark Mazur, and Urban’s Jack Smalligan and Wayne Vroman about what’s in the law and how it provides support payments to Americans and expands unemployment insurance. Related Links: The COVID-19 Relief Bill Improves Access to Unemployment Insurance, but Further Steps Could Fill Remaining Gaps <a href= "https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox/how-will-coronavirus-stimulus-bills-individu
31/03/2020 • 19 minutes 15 seconds
How Can We Alleviate Economic Insecurity During The Pandemic?
The coronavirus is already having widespread, dramatic effects on our economy – particularly those who are the most financially vulnerable. In the second in a series of podcasts on the pandemic, host Justin Milner speaks with Urban’s Donald Marron and the Tax Policy Howard Gleckman about the economic impact of the pandemic and the most powerful economic solutions we can use to respond. Related Links: <span style="fon
20/03/2020 • 18 minutes 47 seconds
How can we address housing insecurity during the pandemic?
The coronavirus poses a particular threat to people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity. In the first of a series of podcasts on how the pandemic will affect vulnerable populations, host Justin Milner speaks with Mary Cunningham, vice president of the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center and researcher Samantha Batko about how the pandemic impacts those experiencing homelessness, those on the edge of becoming homeless and what policymakers can do to help. Related Links:
19/03/2020 • 19 minutes 40 seconds
Can the Research Process Be Hacked?
Research can take months—even years—to complete before publishing a final product. Is it possible to accelerate the research process? Recently, Urban researchers looked to hack the process by completing a research project in just one day. Host Justin Milner speaks with Christina Stacy and Brett Theodos to discuss their findings and the advantages and disadvantages that come with speeding up the research process.
05/03/2020 • 18 minutes 6 seconds
Sin Taxes Are Sweeping the States!
Alcohol, gambling, cigarettes, and much more—states are implementing “sin taxes” on a range of activities and behaviors these days. Host Justin Milner talks with Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center researchers Richard Auxier and Lucy Dadayan about how states are experimenting with sin taxes and key things policymakers should keep in mind when implementing them. Related links: State and Local Finance Initiative Data Subscriptions Are States Betting on
12/02/2020 • 18 minutes 23 seconds
How America Spends through the Tax Code
At $1.4 trillion per year, tax expenditures are an enormously important way our government spends money. But these provisions in the tax code, like the home mortgage interest deduction and the earned income tax credit, often receive less scrutiny than direct spending for programs like Medicare or Social Security. Speaking to host Justin Milner, Institute fellow Frank Sammartino and codirector of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center Eric Toder explain how tax expenditures work, who they benefit, and why taxpayers should pay more attention. Related Links: TPC Launches a New R
29/01/2020 • 17 minutes 30 seconds
Top of Mind: Exciting New Research Ideas for 2020
We're starting off the year with a new segment called "Top of Mind" exploring compelling research topics that will be a big deal in 2020. Host Justin Milner speaks with Urban's Vice president, Marge Turner, researchers Carlos Martín and Solomon Greene, and chief data scientist Graham MacDonald to get a sense of what top of mind for their work in the coming year.
16/01/2020 • 19 minutes 22 seconds
Creating A Culture of Giving (Redux)
Year-end giving is a big deal to nonprofits around the country—but the landscape of charitable giving is changing, as technology and social media in particular are making giving easier than ever. In a rerun of a 2018 episode, host Justin Milner sits down with Shena Ashley and Brice McKeever of Urban's Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy to talk about creating a culture of giving that educates and engages everyone around the issues they're most passionate about.
19/12/2019 • 20 minutes 11 seconds
Elevate the Debate: How to Drive Fact-Based Policy Conversations
In a crowded and chaotic media environment, it can be hard for facts and data to break through and inform the important policy conversations that affect people’s everyday lives. Host Justin Milner talks with Urban’s chief communications officer Bridget Lowell, senior researcher and dataviz expert Jon Schwabish, and strategic communications director Kate Villarreal about how researchers and nonprofit leaders can become expert communicators and shapers of today’s
06/12/2019 • 19 minutes 53 seconds
#42 Youth Apprenticeship: Connecting High School Students to Work-Based Learning
Youth apprenticeships can expand career options, strengthen the nation’s workforce and promote economic mobility. Host Justin Milner discusses youth apprenticeship programs with Urban researchers Robert Lerman and Diana Elliott; Darla Burton, Wisconsin’s State Youth Apprenticeship Program Coordinator; and Kevin Yonker, winner of West Central Georgia’s Youth Apprenticeship Program.
14/11/2019 • 20 minutes 55 seconds
How Foundations are Looking to Increase Impact
Institutional philanthropy is in a remarkable era of expansion and experimentation. Foundations are looking to increase their impact in innovative ways and also contending with the implications of their increasing influence. Host Justin Milner speaks with Arnold Ventures President Kelli Rhee, Hudson Webber Foundation President Melanca Clark, Center for Effective Philanthropy President Phil Buchanon and Urban researcher Ben Soskis to survey the emerging landscape.
04/11/2019 • 22 minutes 34 seconds
How Workforce Systems Improve Access to Skills and Jobs
Even in a strong economy, not everyone has access to jobs that pay well. And sometimes there are disconnects between the skills employers need and the training people receive. One way cities are tackling this challenge is through their local workforce system: a network of services, organizations, and programs that work to support job seekers, current workers, and employers. Host Justin Milner talks with Urban researcher Amanda Briggs, Atlanta CareerRise founder Cinda Herndon-King, and JPMorgan Chase’s head of Workforce Initiatives, Global Philanthropy, Jennie Sparandara about how local leaders, philanthropists, and researchers are driving change through workforce systems. Related links: Local Workforce System Guide Changing Workforce Systems: A Framework for Describing and Measuring Systems Change <a href="http://www.atlantacare
18/10/2019 • 25 minutes 23 seconds
Measuring the Latinx ‘Tsunami’ and its Impact on the US
The United States is home to over 50 million of Hispanic/Latinx origin. Host Justin Milner talks with Urban’s Chief Methodologist Rob Santos and Matt Barreto, a political scientist from UCLA and co-founder of the polling and research firm Latino Decisions, about Latinx identity and how to accurately collect data to reflect their presence, particularly in the 2020 Census.
03/10/2019 • 24 minutes 17 seconds
Ripple Effects of our Shifting Immigration Policies
A new policy could have huge effects on who gets the chance to walk down the path to US citizenship – and who doesn’t. Host Justin Milner discusses how just the possibility of the ‘public charge rule’ is changing the daily lives of immigrant communities with Mary’s Center President and CEO Maria Gomez and Urban researchers Hamutal Bernstein and Dulce Gonzalez. Related links: Mary’s Center One in Seven Adults in Immigrant Families Reported Avoiding Public Benefit Programs in 2018 Adults in Immigrant Families Report Avoiding Routine Activities Because of Immigration Concerns <a href= "https://www.urban.org/research/publica
18/09/2019 • 23 minutes 27 seconds
Artificial Intelligence + Government
Artificial intelligence is becoming more and more prevalent in our daily lives – from facial recognition and public security to resume reviews and hiring. To kick off Season 2 of Critical Value, host Justin Milner has a live conversation Dr. Vivienne Ming, a neuroscientist and co-founder of Socos Labs, about the opportunities and challenges that AI may present in the coming years.
04/09/2019 • 19 minutes 24 seconds
Your Summertime Reading List!
Hey y’all, as the Fresh Prince once said, it is now: summer, summer, summertime! And what better way to take advantage than a dive into our summer reading list made just for you? On this episode, you’ll hear from various Urban staff about the books that can keep you company during these sunny summer days. Take a peek at the list below to see what nonfiction and fiction novels are the most compelling reads of the season (according to us). Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Government Segregated America Racing to Justice: Transforming Our Conceptions of Self and Other to Build an
05/08/2019 • 17 minutes 53 seconds
Raising the Income Floor for American Workers
Despite a growing economy, financial instability and economic anxiety have many Americans in a financial rut. Host Justin Milner talks with Chris Hughes of the Economic Security Project and researchers Elaine Maag and Len Burman from the Tax Policy Center about expanding and redesigning the Earned Income Tax Credit to provide a basic level of economic security for all working individuals. Related resources: Economic Security Project Tax Policy Center Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit: The Economic Security Project’s Cost-of-Living Refund A Universal EITC: Sharin
22/07/2019 • 20 minutes 42 seconds
The Gathering Storm of Student Loans
It’s no secret that our nation’s total student loan debt has grown exponentially in recent years. Why is overall debt increasing? When is taking on student loan debt a good idea? And what are some emerging proposals to fix our growing debt balance? Host Justin Milner talks with Urban Institute researcher Matt Chingos about the balance of access to higher education and risk that comes with student loan borrowing.
26/06/2019 • 18 minutes 38 seconds
Research in the Next 50 Years
The Urban Institute recently marked its 50th birthday. To celebrate, we hosted an event thinking about the role of research to support changemakers for the next five decades. Host Justin Milner talks with Urban Institute president Sarah Rosen Wartell and preeminent leaders from different sectors about key challenges facing our society and the way forward. Related links: Next50 Changemaker Forum
11/06/2019 • 22 minutes 8 seconds
Bold Solutions to Improve Financial Well-Being
What policies could better lead to financial security for all Americans? Host Justin Milner discusses airhorn-worthy solutions like universal basic income, guaranteed jobs, and revamping social insurance with researchers Caroline Ratcliffe and Caleb Quakenbush. Related links: Next50 Catalyst Brief: Financial Well-Being
20/05/2019 • 21 minutes 32 seconds
Lifelong Learning in a Changing Labor Market
The class of 2019 is facing an ever-changing job market. How can we best prepare people with the skills they’ll need to join the workforce of tomorrow? And how do we figure out which skills employers actually want? Urban Institute researcher Shayne Spaulding and host Justin Milner discuss a reimagined postsecondary education and training system that would provide people with what they need throughout their entire working lives. Related links: Next50 Catalyst Brief: Lifelong Learning
06/05/2019 • 17 minutes 56 seconds
What is Philanthropy’s Role in Cities?
What role can philanthropy play in making cities more equitable, so that people have a real say in how dollars flow into their communities? Host Justin Milner discusses philanthropy’s increasingly central role with Rip Rapson, president of the Kresge Foundation. Related links: The Shared Prosperity Partnership
22/04/2019 • 20 minutes 28 seconds
How Denver Is Breaking the Homelessness-Jail Cycle, Part 2
Denver, Colorado adopted an uncommon approach, called pay for success, to address chronic homelessness. In the second of two episodes, host Justin Milner discusses how this collaborative project is playing out on the ground – and explores the evidence to see if it’s working. Related links: Starting with Stability: How Denver Is Breaking the Homelessness-Jail Cycle
03/04/2019 • 19 minutes 21 seconds
How Denver Is Breaking the Homelessness-Jail Cycle, Part I
Denver, Colorado is tackling chronic homelessness in an innovative way. The city is bringing together service providers, city officials, and others to focus on a single goal: getting people who are chronically homeless into housing and off the streets for good. In the first of two episodes, host Justin Milner takes a close look at this unique approach. Related links: Starting with Stability: How Denver Is Breaking the Homelessness-Jail Cycle
20/03/2019 • 20 minutes 54 seconds
The Green New Deal
If you have been listening to the news lately, three words may have jumped out at you: Green New Deal. So what’s it all about? In this episode, host Justin Milner talks with Urban Institute experts Carlos Martín and Christin Durham about what we know and don’t know about this proposal and how the evidence can play into the discussion. Related links: “A Green New Deal” sets a high bar for environmental economic change and justice
11/03/2019 • 17 minutes 54 seconds
The Wealth Gap (Redux)
The US economy seems to be in good health, but wealth inequality is something we continue to talk a lot about these days. In a return to an episode from last year, host Justin Milner talks to Urban Institute expert Signe-Mary McKernan about the growing gap between rich and poor and the difference between wealth and income.
21/02/2019 • 18 minutes 3 seconds
The First Step Act
In late 2018, Congress passed the first major criminal justice reform legislation in nearly a decade. So what is the First Step Act, and how will it impact the federal prison population? Host Justin Milner talks with researchers Nancy La Vigne and Julie Samuels from Urban’s Justice Policy Center and Matthew Charles, who has spent years studying sentencing law and is one of the first people to be released from prison thanks to the First Step Act.
07/02/2019 • 23 minutes 49 seconds
How Secure Is Employment at Older Ages?
People are now working longer and later in life – but new research shows that older workers are increasingly pushed out of longtime jobs. Host Justin Milner sits down with retirement expert Richard Johnson and ProPublica contributing reporter Peter Gosselin to talk about the landscape of the labor market and barriers facing older workers. Related links: How Secure Is Employment at Older Ages? If You’re Over 50, Chances Are the Decision to Leave a Job Won’t be Yours
24/01/2019 • 16 minutes 34 seconds
Rethinking Long Prison Terms (Redux)
Over the past few decades, people have been spending more time in prison, and the lengthiest prison terms have been getting even longer. In a return to our first-ever episode, host Justin Milner sits down with researcher Ryan King to discuss the policies behind the problem. This episode features the voices of people who have served long prison terms, through audio excerpts from Urban’s interactive feature “A Matter of Time.”
04/01/2019 • 17 minutes 56 seconds
Creating A Culture of Giving
Year-end giving is a big deal to nonprofits around the country -- but the landscape of charitable giving is changing, as technology and social media in particular are making giving easier than ever. Host Justin Milner sits down with Shena Ashley and Brice McKeever of Urban's Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy to talk about creating a culture of giving that educates and engages everyone around the issues they're most passionate about. Related links: On Track to Greater Giving The
19/12/2018 • 20 minutes 12 seconds
How Neighborhood Gun Violence Impacts Communities
Neighborhoods with high rates of gun violence also tend to be dealing with high rates of poverty and limited opportunity – and these systemic challenges can have long-term impacts. Host Justin Milner talks with researchers Jocelyn Fontaine and Elsa Falkenburger about the challenges facing communities that struggle with gun violence, and a starting point for creating policies that are community-driven and trauma-informed. Related links: “We Carry Guns to Stay Safe”: Perspectives on Guns and Gun Violence from Young Adults Living in Chicago’s West and South Sides Six things we learned from young adults experiencing gun violence in Chicago Trauma-Informed Com
05/12/2018 • 19 minutes 5 seconds
The Amazon Opportunity: Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity
This week’s Amazon HQ2 announcement represents a unique opportunity for the Washington region. Host Justin Milner talks with Urban Institute president Sarah Rosen Wartell and senior vice president Margery Turner about how best to take advantage of the moment and catalyze collaboration across the DC region to ensure inclusive growth that benefits all people across the income spectrum. Related links: What HQ2 could mean for the Washington region’s housing market, in 7 charts Amazon’s HQ2 can inspire action on region's housing challenges
14/11/2018 • 19 minutes 58 seconds
Thinking Big about Big Data
The idea of “big data” can seem daunting -- but it has the potential to solve some of the big problems facing our country. Host Justin Milner speaks with Graham MacDonald, Khuloud Odeh, and Jessica Kelly from Urban’s tech and data team about how big data is analyzed and interpreted and how it can help inform the world we live in for the better.
08/11/2018 • 15 minutes 26 seconds
Credit, Savings, and Financial Well-Being
The US is the wealthiest country in the world, but many Americans are still struggling to make ends meet. How can building credit and saving money lead to greater opportunity? Host Justin Milner speaks with Urban Institute Nittoli fellow Ricki Lowitz and senior fellow Caroline Ratcliffe about the path to good financial health. Related links: What is the Cost of Poor Credit? Busting credit myths can help low-income Americans strengthen their financial health Thriving Residents, Thriving Cities: Family Financial Security Matters for Cities
25/10/2018 • 17 minutes 51 seconds
Don’t Give Up on Homeownership Just Yet
These days, it can seem like buying a home is becoming increasingly impossible for young people. But homeownership still matters when it comes to building wealth, and there are supports out there to help. Host Justin Milner talks with housing finance policy expert Laurie Goodman and communications expert Sheryl Pardo to break down the major obstacles to homeownership. Related links: Barriers to Accessing Homeownership Down Payment, Credit, and Affordability - 2018 Access and Affordability: Interactive map and research on 3 barriers to homeownership <a href= "https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/more-19-million-millennials-31-us-cities-are-ready-become-homeown
10/10/2018 • 20 minutes 14 seconds
How to Spend Bezos’s $2 Billion
With the creation of the Bezos Day One Fund, Amazon’s founder committed $2 billion to alleviate family homelessness and create and operate preschools in low-income areas. Host Justin Milner speaks with experts Mary Cunningham and Erica Greenberg about how to move the needle when addressing these two critical areas of need. Related links: Four ways Jeff Bezos’s $2 billion could make the biggest impact on homelessness among children and families What areas could benefit most from Jeff Bezos’s preschool initiative? 10 Characteristics of Infants and Toddlers <a href= "https://apps.urban.org/featur
26/09/2018 • 17 minutes 44 seconds
Opportunity Zones and Community Development
Opportunity Zones have the potential to make a huge economic impact on disinvested communities across the country. Host Justin Milner speaks with researchers Brett Theodos and Brady Meixell on how this brand-new economic development initiative works, and how we’ll know if it’s truly successful.
12/09/2018 • 14 minutes 57 seconds
'The Children Are Our Future': Trends in Public Spending on Kids
Evidence shows that investing in children today can decrease poverty for the next generation of adults. Host Justin Milner speaks with researchers Heather Hahn and Cary Lou about the federal government’s current spending on kids, future projections for this spending, and what that means for America’s children.
15/08/2018 • 16 minutes 21 seconds
How are lawmakers using evidence-based policymaking to ensure that taxpayer resources fund the most efficient and effective interventions? Host Justin Milner speaks with experts Demetra Nightingale and Ron Haskins about making decisions and crafting policy based on what’s been proven to work.
25/07/2018 • 17 minutes 46 seconds
Amazon and Economic Development
As Amazon conducts its search for a new corporate headquarters, cities are offering huge tax incentives to win over the retail giant – and ultimately stimulate local development. But are these tax incentives truly effective? What tradeoffs are state and local governments making in these deals? Host Justin Milner speaks with state and local finance researcher Megan Randall to get a full picture of the economic and social effects of winning an Amazon bid.
09/07/2018 • 22 minutes 18 seconds
The Geography of Opportunity
In the US, where we live determines a lot about our lives – from the quality of education to the types of work opportunities available. How did we develop such wide disparities in access to opportunity? And what can we do to better support upward mobility in all communities? Host Justin Milner talks with urban policy and development experts Margery Turner and Solomon Greene about the status quo and how we can change it.
20/06/2018 • 28 minutes 2 seconds
Mobility from Poverty
How can we dramatically increase mobility from poverty in the United States? Nisha Patel, executive director of the US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty at the Urban Institute, has spent the past few years trying to answer this question. Host Justin Milner chats with Nisha about her research and what kinds of interventions are possible to make real, lasting progress against persistent poverty in America.
06/06/2018 • 20 minutes 20 seconds
How Cities Can Promote Inclusive Growth
Economic growth doesn’t affect everyone in a city equally. Some populations experience great prosperity, while others get left out. But what if that’s not the narrative we have to buy into? Host Justin Milner speaks with Erika Poethig, head of the Urban Institute’s Research to Action Lab, about a new path forward for cities called “inclusive recovery.”
23/05/2018 • 21 minutes 16 seconds
Mapping Police Violence: A Q&A with Samuel Sinyangwe
If you don’t know Samuel Sinyangwe’s name, you definitely know his work. He is one of the creators of Mapping Police Violence, the most comprehensive database of people killed by police in the US since 2013. In this live conversation with Urban Institute staff, Sinyangwe discusses his approach to activism and research.
09/05/2018 • 29 minutes 48 seconds
Treating the Opioid Crisis
The opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crisis in American history, and it demands a multifaceted response. This week, we focus on one crucial facet: medical treatments for opioid addiction, including buprenorphine and methadone. These drugs are proven to help people in recovery—so why aren’t they reaching everyone who needs them? Host Justin Milner talks to health policy expert Lisa Clemans-Cope about the evidence behind these treatments, the barriers to access, and the evolution of the opioid crisis. Click here to view a collection of Urban Institute research on the opioid crisis.
25/04/2018 • 21 minutes 32 seconds
The Fair Housing Act at 50
April 11 marks the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, which banned race-based housing discrimination in America. Yet today the goals of this landmark civil rights law remain largely unrealized, and the gap between black and white homeownership persists. This week, host Justin Milner talks to housing finance policy expert Alanna McCargo about why black homeownership has stalled and what can be done about it. For more information about housing disparities, see these recent Urban publications: Are gains in black homeownership history? A closer look at the fifteen-year drop in black homeownership Mapping the black homeownership gap
11/04/2018 • 18 minutes 3 seconds
Tax and Transfer
It's that time of year again. With the April 17 filing deadline fast approaching, we take a closer look at the transfer of benefits through the US tax system. Host Justin Milner talks to tax policy expert Elaine Maag about how the American household has changed, how the tax code hasn't, and what families can expect from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
28/03/2018 • 17 minutes 49 seconds
The Wealth Gap
The US economy seems to be in good health, but wealth inequality hasn't improved in the past 50 years. Host Justin Milner talks to Urban Institute expert Signe-Mary McKernan about the growing gap between rich and poor and the difference between wealth and income.
14/03/2018 • 17 minutes 35 seconds
What the New Tax Law Means for Businesses
The recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made dramatic, permanent changes to business taxation. Host Justin Milner chats with Mark Mazur, director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, to understand how businesses are affected by the new law.
28/02/2018 • 13 minutes 47 seconds
On Monday the President released his much-anticipated budget request to Congress for 2019, and just last week he signed a budget deal from Congress that set spending levels for the next two years. How do these two items interact, and how will they affect government spending? Host Justin Milner speaks with three Urban Institute experts to unpack all the moving parts.
14/02/2018 • 19 minutes 3 seconds
What Is Single-Payer?
Support for single-payer health care is at an all-time high in the US. But what does it mean to have a single-payer system, and how would it work? Justin Milner talks to health policy expert Linda Blumberg about the details and trade-offs that would matter most in a single-payer plan.
31/01/2018 • 13 minutes 25 seconds
Preparing for Disaster
From the hurricanes in Puerto Rico and Texas to the wildfires in California, the US faced disaster after disaster in 2017. Host Justin Milner sits down with Carlos Martín, an Urban Institute senior fellow, to discuss why these devastating events are happening so often and how federal, state, and local governments can better prepare for them.
17/01/2018 • 16 minutes 8 seconds
Rethinking long prison terms
Over the past few decades, people have been spending more time in prison, and the lengthiest prison terms have been getting even longer. Host Justin Milner sits down with Ryan King, an Urban Institute senior fellow, to discuss the policies behind the problem.
03/01/2018 • 16 minutes 50 seconds
A preview of our brand new podcast, with host Justin Milner and Urban Institute president Sarah Rosen Wartell.