Governance

The Stafford Act and Priorities for Reform

The Stafford Act and Priorities for Reform
Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Berkeley Electronic Press, Vol. 6, issue 1: Article 13 

Moss, M., Schellhamer, C. & David A Berman.
01/01/2009

During the past fifty years, federal disaster policy in the United States has been shaped by an ongoing conflict between proponents who favor federal intervention following a disaster and those who believe disaster response should be the responsibility of state and local governments and charity. This article explores the existing federal disaster policy landscape within the United States with a focus on the Stafford Act, the cultural and political forces that produced it, and how the current system is ill equipped to aid in the response and recovery from major catastrophes. The Stafford Act defines how federal disasters are declared, determines the types of assistance to be provided by the federal government, and establishes cost sharing arrangements among federal, state, and local governments. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) carries out the provisions of the Stafford Act and distributes much of the assistance provided by the Act. With the establishment of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the threat of domestic terrorism, and large-scale natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, the limits of the Stafford Act and FEMA have been shown. We look at several areas where the shortcomings of the Stafford Act have emerged and propose directions for reform.

Understanding Client and Occupation Barriers in New York City

Understanding Client and Occupation Barriers in New York City

Women of Color Policy Network
09/01/2008

In 2006, the Network was commissioned by United Way of New York to access the viability of New York City's first workforce development program. Using a mix method approach of surveys, individual interviews with program participants and extensive secondary data, the Network helped identify labor and workforce trends as well as barriers and challenges to sustained employment within low-income communities. A three-part series of our findings and recommendations for future programs in workforce development was released. An Assessment of Client Barriers: A Sample of NYC Works Program Participants Industry and Occupational Assessment of NYC Works NYCWorks program staff perceptions of Client Barriers

A Government Ill Executed: The Decline of the Federal Service and How to Reverse It

A Government Ill Executed: The Decline of the Federal Service and How to Reverse It
Harvard University Press,

Light, P.C.
05/01/2008

The federal government is having increasing difficulty faithfully executing the laws, which is what Alexander Hamilton called "the true test" of a good government. This book diagnoses the symptoms, explains their general causes, and proposes ways to improve the effectiveness of the federal government. Employing Hamilton's seven measures of an energetic federal service, Paul Light shows how the government is wanting in each measure.

After assessing the federal report card, Light offers a comprehensive agenda for reform, including new laws limiting the number of political appointees, reducing the layers of government management, reducing the size of government as its baby-boom employees retire, revitalizing the federal career, and reducing the heavy outsourcing of federal work. Although there are many ways to fix each of the seven problems with government, only a comprehensive agenda will bring the kind of reform needed to reverse the overall erosion of the capacity to faithfully execute all the laws.

 

Jump-Starting Collaboration: The ABCD Initiative and the Provision of Child Development Services through Medicaid and Collaborators

Jump-Starting Collaboration: The ABCD Initiative and the Provision of Child Development Services through Medicaid and Collaborators
Public Administration Review, May 2008, Vol. 68 Issue 3, p480-490, 11p.

Berry, C., Krutz, G.S., Langner, B. & Budetti, P.
05/01/2008

Many policy problems require governmental leaders to forge vast networks beyond their own hierarchical institutions. This essay explores the challenges of implementation in a networked institutional setting and incentives to induce coordination between agencies and promote quality implementation. It describes the national evaluation of the Assuring Better Child Health and Development program, a state-based program intended to increase and enhance the delivery of child development services for low-income children through the health care sector, using Medicaid as its primary vehicle. Using qualitative evaluation methods, the authors found that all states implemented programs that addressed their stated goals and made changes in Medicaid policies, regulations, or reimbursement mechanisms. The program catalyzed interagency cooperation and coordination. The authors conclude that even a modest level of external support and technical assistance can stimulate significant programmatic change and interorganizational linkages within public agencies to enhance provision of child development services.

The Neighborhood Effects of Concentrated Foreclosures

The Neighborhood Effects of Concentrated Foreclosures
Journal of Housing Economics, 17(4): 306-319

Ellen, I.G., Schuetz, J. & Been, V.
04/01/2008

As the national mortgage crisis has worsened, an increasing number of communities are facing declining housing prices and high rates of foreclosure. Central to the call for government intervention in this crisis is the claim that foreclosures not only hurt those who are losing their homes to foreclosure, but also harm neighbors by reducing the value of nearby properties and in turn, reducing local governments’ tax bases. The extent to which foreclosures do in fact drive down neighboring property values has become a crucial question for policy-makers. In this paper, we use a unique dataset on property sales and foreclosure filings in New York City from 2000 to 2005 to identify the effects of foreclosure starts on housing prices in the surrounding neighborhood. Regression results suggest that above some threshold, proximity to properties in foreclosure is associated with lower sales prices. The magnitude of the price discount increases with the number of properties in foreclosure, but not in a linear relationship.

"Government by the People"

"Government by the People"
Chapters on Federalism, Congress, The Presidency, Bureaucracy, Public Policy Process, Economic Policy, Social Policy, and Foreign Policy

David Magleby, Paul C. Light
01/01/2008

Building on decades of authoritative scholarship, this completely updated text continues to offer accessible, carefully crafted, and straightforward coverage of the foundations of American politics, as well consistent focus on the achievements of a government by the people

 

In an increasingly cynical world, GBTP emphasizes that politics matters and encourages, motivates, and even inspires students–with accounts of individual and collective acts of courageousness, intellect, and integrity in the political arena–to be effective and informed citizens.  

 

With each chapter now framed by nationally-selected learning objectives and chapter mastery self-tests, several compelling new features, and an all new contemporary design, this thoroughly updated Twenty-Third Edition continues in the book’s long tradition for excellence.  As we enter this very complex political era, there is no more reliable or more relevant text to help you advance your students from being simple onlookers to knowledgeable participants in the American political experience.

IESP Brief: Public Funding for After-School Programs 1998-2008

IESP Brief: Public Funding for After-School Programs 1998-2008

Weinstein, M., Calabrese, T.
01/01/2008

The authors of this policy brief document that in the decade since the Open Society Institute awarded a challenge grant to TASC to encourage the creation of sustainable public funding streams for after-school programs, every level of government has dramatically increased public funding for comprehensive after-school programs in New York City.
The authors note that the City of New York has contributed an increasingly larger share of public support since the city launched its Out-of-School Time Initiative to provide kids with academic, cultural and recreational activities after school and during summers. The authors estimate that eight times more kids in kindergarten through high school attend after-school programs today than in 1998. "Over the past ten years in New York City," they conclude, "public support for after-school programs has become one of the foundations of service for children and youth."

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