NDN Weekly: NDN on the Inauguration, the Stimulus & More

Welcometo the NDN weekly update e-mail! Be sure to check our Web site and our blog for new essays, videos, and other features on politics, the economy, and the world.


Simon on YouTubeBarack Obama took the oath of office last week, and we at NDN applaud him heartily on this great occasion. Simon reflected on this momentous day in two videos and posts. The first video reviewed our argument these past few years that a “new politics” is emerging in America, very different from the politics of days past. In the second video, Simon reflects on how the idea of race is changing in America, and how Obama’s election offers us a chance to redefine what race is in the America of the 21st century. In a third post, Simon makes the case the ethic of this new day might be described as “it's time just to put things right.”

NDN fellows and co-authors of Millenial Makeover Morley Winograd and Mike Hais took the inaugural occasion to urge our president to take advantage of the civic nature of the Millenial Generation, reduce ideological divisions, and bring all Americans together. Through his actions and through his words, Obama can-- and must-- unite this country once again.


Just before the inauguration of our new President, the House Leadership introduced its version of the economic recovery package. That day, NDN released this statement:

"President-elect Obama has made clear that this proposal should not only create more jobs, but do so in ways that will help drive the development of a real, 21st century workforce and genuine 21st century economic infrastructure," said Dr. Robert Shapiro, the Chair of NDN’s Globalization Initiative. "Investments in this 21st century economic infrastructure, such as increased broadband access, computers in schools, health information technology and provisions to green the federal government, are critical to increasing demand for the important technologies and skills that will in turn expand the nation’s capacity for innovation and economic growth."

NDN President Simon Rosenberg praised both the recovery package and President-elect Obama’s commitment to use TARP funds to help keep people in their homes.

"For years, NDN has argued that the central economic issue of our time has been the stagnating wages and incomes of everyday Americans, which led directly to the overleveraging of Americans' largest assets: their homes," Rosenberg said. "By pledging to use TARP funds to keep people in their homes, using part of the recovery package to stabilize the housing market, which is the root cause of the financial crisis, and targeting investments to create long-term prosperity, President-elect Barack Obama and the Congress have made a crucial commitment to focus America’s economic strategy on the well-being of everyday people."

"The new prominence of critical investments in clean technology and clean infrastructure in this package rightly shows that clean energy is no longer a marginal topic and now sits at the heart of America’s economic strategy," said Michael Moynihan, the Director of NDN’s Green Project, who has long argued for clean infrastructure investment. "The inclusion of $32 billion in clean technology investments at the center of this package is not only vital to addressing our short term crisis but also has the potential to power the next great wave of prosperity."

For more on NDN’s work promoting economic recovery, please see "A Stimulus for the Long Run," (pdf) an essay penned by Simon and Rob Shapiro, and "Acceleratingthe Development of a 21st Century Economy: Investing in Clean Infrastructure," (pdf) an essay by Michael Moynihan.


To find out what's new in the world of immigration reform, be sure to check out Zuraya Tapia-Alfaro's weekly immigration update. After U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid's statements on immigration reform on "Meet the Press" a few weeks ago, she follows his stance on reform during an interview with Spanish-language Univision on Al Punto. She highlights evidence that immigration reform is and will remain a top priority for Hispanics, as well as evidence of bipartisan support for reform. Zuraya comments on the recent GAO study finding that US Citizenship and Immigration Services did not adhere to certain accounting standards when developing its fee schedule, looks back on NDN’s participation in pre-inaugural events, and points to additional reasons why economic recovery and immigration reform go hand in hand.


President Barack Obama’s inauguration last week shattered records for U.S. Internet traffic. A full 60% of Americans watched the Inaugural ceremonies, and CNN said it provided 21.3 million video streams that day. In his weekly New Tools feature, Dan Boscov-Ellen takes a look at how the Web is changing our media consumption habits, and discusses the need to invest in our broadband infrastructure to bring more Americans into the 21st century.


NDN Fellows Winograd and Hais provided some context and insight into the generational implications of last week's inauguration in the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes, the Palm Beach Post, and the Orlando Sentinel. From the Chronicle:

Morley Winograd, an author and a fellow at NDN, a progressive think tank and advocacy organization, says the Woodstock comparison is entirely appropriate. "This is their moment to demonstrate to America what they think America's future should be like," said Winograd. "They are going to celebrate that and underline it for all of America. Of course, the race relations breakthrough is huge, and the media will be focused on it ... but the generational difference, the moment the generational shift takes place, is also an important story."

Simon was quoted in the Financial Times and the Boston Globe on the challenges facing our new president. From the Globe:

"These are happy times for our politics, but a very tough time for the country," said Simon Rosenberg, president of NDN, a progressive think tank. "There's both tremendous hope and a great deal of sobriety. People are having both of these feelings at the same time."

Simon was also featured in The Caucus, a blog published by the New York Times, talking about immigration reform.


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