Columnist

I write a weekly column for The Philadelphia Citizen, a nonprofit media startup that pioneering solutions based journalism. The Citizen is creating an electronic public square that explores issues and identifies solutions.

Infrastructure was a persistent theme of Donald Trump’s campaign. He claimed, with some justification, that America’s roads, bridges, ports, waterways and airports were no longer first rate. And he promised to invest a trillion dollars into infrastructure—twice as much as Hillary Clinton proposed. But the difference in their plans was not so much the amount, but how resources were to be delivered, including the role of government versus the private sector.

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Dec 12

Trump and The City: Housing

My last two columns focused, respectively, on education and law enforcement under President-elect Donald Trump. This week, we’ll look at federal housing policy and identify major questions likely to surface over the next year.

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Dec 5

Trump and the City: Law Enforcement

Last week, we analyzed the new challenges facing cities when it comes to education policy in Donald Trump’s America. This week, we’ll dive into law enforcement.

Donald Trump owes little to cities politically. His winning electoral numbers were overwhelmingly rural, small town industrial belt, and exurban. Yet many of the cities and metropolitan regions that voted Democratic are increasingly the major generators of economic value and demographic growth. He cannot succeed unless those cities succeed.

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Nov 29

Trump and The City, Part 1

Let’s begin with the obvious: From the perspective of rewarding his base, Donald Trump owes little to cities. After all, his winning electoral numbers were overwhelmingly rural, small town industrial belt, and exurban.

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Nov 22

Trump Shock

As political scientists and journalists take apart Tuesday’s election, we will learn more about how this happened. Right now many of us are in a state of disbelief. While I work through the five levels of grief (I am far from acceptance), here are eight takeaways from the tsunami we just witnessed:

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Nov 16

Mayor Kenney, Speak Up!

In 2011 there were several violent flash mobs in Philadelphia: young people in large groups attacked random pedestrians. In reaction, Mayor Nutter took to the stage  from City Hall to the church pulpit.  He spoke directly to those that participated in the mob violence and to their parents. His words were tough and firm. And he hammered away over a period of time.

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Sep 19

The Day After

In this most unsettling presidential election, our real problem begins November 9th, the day someone wins. On the day after, millions will be alienated and angry, no matter the result. That makes governance difficult and national purpose elusive.

Trump’s lack of policy knowledge, dishonesty, and social media bouquets to extremists on the fringe disqualify him for millions of Americans. I am in the camp that finds a Trump victory unthinkable.

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