ENGAGING IDEAS - 11/16/2018

Every week we curate stories and reports on complex issues. This week: Democrats' new goal - strengthening democracy at home. Exploring the impact Amazon will have on New York's inequality problem. Lessons about philanthropy and civic engagement from Philadelphia.


Twitter Is Not the Echo Chamber We Think It Is (MIT Sloan)
Recent research challenges conventional wisdom about how users share information on the social platform.
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Democrats Say Their First Bill Will Focus On Strengthening Democracy At Home (NPR)
Party leaders say the first legislative vote in the House will come on H.R. 1, a magnum opus of provisions that Democrats believe will strengthen U.S. democratic institutions and traditions. Continue Reading

Will the Left Go Too Far? (The Atlantic)
For the third time in a century, leftists are driving the Democratic Party'sagenda. Will they succeed in making America more equitable, or overplay their hand? Continue Reading


Amazon HQ2 won't help New York's massive inequality problem (Curbed New York)
The corporation is set to receive more than $2 billion in public subsidies while its neighbors rely on food stamps.Continue Reading

Northern Virginia property owners are delighted Amazon HQ2 is moving in. Renters, first-time buyers and low-income residents aren't.(Washington Post)
Anticipation that the online retail giant would openits new headquarters inthis Northern Virginia neighborhood of hotels, high-rise condominiums and office buildings set off a flurry of real estate speculation - even before theofficial announcementfrom Amazonon Tuesdaymorning.Continue Reading

After wrangling with Amazon, Bernie Sanders has set his sights on Walmart (Business Insider)
Bernie Sanders clashed withAmazonover its minimum wage - and prevailed. Theonlineretailerbumpedits minimum wage up to $15 an hour. But the senator from Vermont isn't finished wrangling with major companies over wages. The Washington Postreportedon Wednesday that Sanders and California representative Ro Khanna are introducing legislation - the "Stop Walmart Act" - to compelWalmartto boost its minimum wage to $15 an hour. Continue Reading


25 newsrooms have attempted to bridge divisions - in person. Here's what they've learned (Nieman Lab)
"Whenever you have an individual interaction, a lot of the bluster, a lot of the generalizations, a lot of the group identifications fall away," one participant in Pennsylvania said."Continue Reading

PA MENTION - New Yorkers Decided They Want More Democracy, But What Does That Mean? (Gotham Gazette)
On Election Day, New Yorkers passed three ballot measures intended to strengthen local democracy. One of the approved plans is for the city to create a Civic Engagement Commission that will have several key responsibilities, including a new citywide participatory budgeting (PB) program, assistance to city agencies and nonprofits for their engagement efforts, and support to community boards to make them more participatory and representative of the communities they serve. Continue Reading

What It Takes: From Philadelphia, Lessons About Philanthropy and Civic Engagement (Inside Philanthropy)
Recentresearchconducted by New America colleagues and I looks at this massive, long-terminitiativeto revitalize Philadelphia's civic engagement ecosystem, and its successes and challenges so far. One of the initiative's goals is to invest in parks, recreation centers, and libraries as civic spaces. Continue Reading


Did giving extra money to struggling Denver schools boost test scores? Study suggests it did. (Chalkbeat)
With Republicans solidly in control of the Michigan legislature, governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer's educationagendamay depend on finding a sliver of common ground with the opposite party.Continue Reading

Many Latino students lag academically in prosperous Maryland County (Washington Post)
A troubling number of Latino students in one of the nation's most prosperous counties are unprepared for kindergarten, lag in reading, drop out of high school and falter as they head to college, according to a report released Thursday.Continue Reading

Philadelphia schools adopt outdoor education as a graduation strategy (Education Dive)
The School District of Philadelphia has adopted a new strategy to boost graduation rates that has very little to do with reading, writing or arithmetic. Instead, it has everything to do with leadership skills, team building, character development and other byproducts ofOutward Bound'soutdoor expeditions.Continue Reading

Higher Ed/Workforce

One state uses data about job needs to help decide what colleges should teach (Hechinger Report)
A seemingly obvious way to connect supply with demand, the approach remains rareContinue Reading

Fewer International Students Heading to the U.S. (Wall Street Journal)
American colleges and universities face growing challenge amid rising competition from other countries, concerns about safety and immigration policies Continue Reading

Amazon arrival spurs Virginia Tech to build technology campus in Northern Virginia (Washington Post)
Virginia Tech plans to build a $1 billion graduate campus within walking distance of Amazon's new headquarters in Northern Virginia, the keystone in an expansion of technology education in the state designed to lure the company to the region and then to address the long-term impact of Amazon's decision.Continue Reading

Health Care

CMS may allow hospitals to pay for housing through Medicaid (Modern Healthcare)
HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Wednesday said Medicaid may soon allow hospitals and health systems to directly pay for housing, healthy food or other solutions for the "whole person." Continue Reading

Experts: Trump administration's moves will put drug prices center stage in 2020 election (Fierce Healthcare)
The Trump administration's plan to peg Part B drug prices to those paid in other countries may not come to fruition in its current form, but it's meant more to signal to the healthcare industry-and voters-that it's serious on this issue, experts say.Continue Reading

Healthcare will outspend all other industries on R&D by 2020, PwC says (Healthcare Dive)
Healthcare is on track to be the No. 1 industry for global research and development spending, according to newanalysisfrom PwC. The industry currently ranks second behind computing and electronics, but is expected to pull ahead by 2020.Continue Reading


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