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A Window Of Opportunity II: An Analysis of Public Opinion on Poverty

October 4, 2016

This report examines existing polling and survey data in an effort to identify major attitudinal shifts, lasting challenges,and opportunities for advocates and leaders seeking to advance anti-poverty narratives and policies.

Transforming The System

August 15, 2016

Our criminal justice system must keep all communities safe, foster prevention and rehabilitation, and ensure fair and equal justice. But in too many places, and in too many ways, our system is falling short of that mandate and with devastating consequences. The UnitedStates is saddled with an outdated, unfair, and bloated criminal justice system that drains resources and disrupts communities.The U.S. prison population has swelled to unprecedented levels,2  and unequal, unjustified treatment based on race and ethnicity is well documented.3  People of color, particularly Native American, African American, and Latino people, have felt the impact of discrimination within the criminal justice system. As of 2012, there were 2.2 million people incarcerated in the UnitedStates, costing our nation $80 billion—funds that could go to worthier options, such as education and community enrichment.4 In addition, many immigrants experience mandatory detention, racial profiling, and due process violations because of laws and policies that violate their human rights—and the principles of equal justice, fair treatment, and proportionality under our criminal justice system.The good news is that we as a nation are at a unique moment in which there is strong public, bipartisan support for criminal justice reform,5  positive policy developments in many parts of the country, and mass action and social movements for change, including the Movement for Black Lives and Black Lives Matter. More is needed, however, to move from positive trends to transformative, lasting change. There is a lack of positive solutions and alternatives in public discourse, and inadequate coordination among pro-reform advocates and commentators. Several interviewees for The Opportunity Agenda's Criminal Justice Report, including leadingcriminal justice and civil rights activists, scholars, and government officials, noted that they often work in silos on their discrete issues with limited collaboration among sectors. They identified a need for a more coordinated and sophisticated effort that would consolidate the gains that have been made and support sustained reform efforts going forward. This is doubly true at the intersection of criminal justice and immigration. While grassroots movements are increasingly working across these sectors, the issues are often disconnected in public discourse. 

A New Sensibility: An Analysis of Public Opinion Research on Attitudes Towards Crime and Criminal Justice Policy

June 1, 2016

This report is based on a review of more than 50 public opinion surveys and polls, most of them conducted between June 2014 and June 2016. Many of them are based on state rather than national samples, reflecting the fact that most of the action in terms of policy reform has been at the state level. The research included covers American attitudes towards a range of policy issues that comprise the criminal justice reform agenda.

Opportunity for Black Men and Boys: Public Opinion, Media Depictions, and Media Consumption

October 31, 2011

Presents a review of literature that looks at how media representations affect the lives of black men and boys, as well as analyses of public opinion research on race, implications for promoting black male achievement, and black men's media consumption.

Immigration: Arts, Culture and Media 2010 - A Creative Change Report

August 1, 2010

In fall 2009 The Opportunity Agenda launched an Immigration Arts and Culture Initiative with the goal of fostering arts, culture, and media activities that promote the inclusion, integration, and human rights of immigrants in the United States. The near-term focus of the initiative is to inform, engage, and inspire the creative community and advocates of immigrant inclusion on how they might effectively collaborate with one another to engage key audiences on the issue of national immigration reform. The longer-term goal is to highlight and develop best practices and effective models for the creative community and immigrant advocacy organizations to build public support for immigrant integration and human rights and a funding base for creative collaboration across immigrant integration and human rights issues.

Immigration On-The-Air: A Scan of Broadcast News and Commentary Programming

February 5, 2009

Presents findings from a media analysis of coverage of immigration issues in broadcast news and talk radio by ideology and region. Examines the topics covered, the language used to describe immigrants, the people quoted, prominence as news, and visuals.

Dangerous and Unlawful: Why Our Health Care System is Failing New York Communities and How to Fix It

November 1, 2006

New York is synonymous with opportunity in the American vocabulary. Millions have sought greater opportunity here, and New York City has long served as the literal and symbolic gateway to the American dream. But opportunity in New York is endangered as a growing segment of residents find that health care is too expensive, too far away, too inconvenient for working families, too insensitive to language needs and cultural differences -- in short, too far out of reach for too many. This report is prompted by the release of the recommendations of the New York State Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century -- commonly known as the Berger Commission or the Hospital Closing Commission. The Commission was tasked with recommending a slate of hospital closings and service reductions around the State, including in New York City. Those recommendations will be implemented by the State Department of Health unless the Governor fails to approve them or the Legislature rejects or changes them. This report offers new and crucial information to the Governor and Legislature's consideration of the Commission recommendations. The report: - Measures the current availability of quality health care to all New York communities, in the context of those communities' actual health needs; - Reviews the state, federal, and international laws that, together, guarantee New Yorkers equal access to quality health care; - Identifies the ways in which inadequate and unequal health care access violates New Yorkers' rights and harms all communities, as well as the ways in which further cuts recommended by the Berger Commission could significantly worsen those conditions; and - Offers viable policy solutions that will improve access to high quality, comprehensive care for all who live in New York.

Geographic Barriers to Hospital Based Health Care in New York City

November 1, 2006

This fact sheet describes the risks associated with the lack of hospital-based services, and how we can improve the health of all families by increasing access to such care. With accompanying maps, the fact sheet highlights the inequitable distribution of maternity beds in New York City and outlines what must be done to fix it.

Eliminating Geographic Disparities in Primary-Care Services

November 1, 2006

This fact sheet describes the risks associated with the lack of primary care, and how we can improve the health of all families by increasing access to such care. With the accompanying maps, we demonstrate that the inequitable distribution of primary-care services is affecting all of New York City and that much can be done to fix it.

Eliminating Geographic Barriers to Good Health Care for Women and Children

November 1, 2006

This fact sheet describes the risks associated with late or no prenatal care, and how we can improve the health of all families by increasing access to such care. With the aid of the accompanying maps, we demonstrate that the inequitable distribution of prenatal-care services is affecting all of New York City and that much can be done to fix it.

Voice: Voting and Political Expression in the Gulf

August 1, 2006

Democracy depends on the ability of all people to participate in the public dialogue. Without the ability to express viewpoints and have them represented in government, individuals cannot exercise political power to help shape their community and country. Many displaced residents of the Gulf Coast region are finding it difficult in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to express their viewpoints and participate in the political process. Early evidence finds that many groups -- including racial and ethnic minorities and low-income families -- have struggled to vote in post-hurricane elections and to have a say in the region's reconstruction plans. These problems mirror national trends, but also suggest that another unfortunate legacy of the hurricanes of 2005 could be an erosion of voice among those communities whose political expression was most endangered prior to the storms. Without their diverse viewpoints, the region's reconstruction risks suffering from insularity and a failure to reap the benefits of pluralism. Voice is therefore an important element of opportunity for those most victimized by Katrina. This fact sheet summarizes research on the political participation of vulnerable Gulf Coast communities after Katrina, as well as national trends in electoral participation. It draws on this research to identify obstacles to political participation, and offers recommendations for means to expand voice for all.

Investing in FEMA: A Role for Government in Protecting Opportunity

August 1, 2006

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) played a central--and often controversial--role in the federal government's response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Subsequent investigations have revealed that the agency made critical missteps during those disasters and was slow to address the basic needs of people in the Gulf Coast region. But the history of FEMA shows that it can be an important and effective component of our country's disaster response and recovery system. The FEMA that responded to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita was weakened by systematic disinvestment over time, which diminished the agency's ability to address national disasters. Unfortunately, FEMA's diminished role is part of a larger pattern of disinvestment in federal agencies responsible for security and opportunity in America. While FEMA is a noteworthy example with dramatic consequences, it is only one of many important federal programs that now lack adequate resources and authority. FEMA's history also shows that reinvesting in our government's capacity to address national problems yields both immediate and long-term benefits for our country. This fact sheet reviews that history and offers recommendations for rebuilding our national infrastructure for safety and opportunity.