Opportunity Impact Statement: Ensuring an Economy that Works

Americans prioritize finding solutions for our economy and job creation, and it is clear that we need an economy that works for all of us. This means building the jobs and the infrastructure that will create equal opportunities for success for all Americans. In order to make smart and necessary decisions about how and where we spend our money, we need to evaluate the impact of spending, while also honoring our commitment to avoid engaging in discrimination.

Using a tool that evaluates public spending—what we call an Opportunity Impact Statement (OIS)—at all levels of government can ensure that government looks at where investment is needed most before actually spending funds, whether it’s for job creation, building out transportation to jobs, or schools. This would ensure that all Americans have access to the building blocks of opportunity. The American Constitution Society has published an issue brief by The Opportunity Agenda on these statements. As described in the brief, “[a] coordinated process is needed to ensure that public funding complies with anti-discrimination laws and not only confronts barriers to opportunity that affect regions throughout the United States, but also builds the foundation necessary to give all communities a chance to achieve economic security and mobility.”

We describe in the brief ways for administrative agencies to use an OIS process as part of their evaluation of ongoing and proposed government funded projects and programs, with detailed examples related to housing and transportation. Read the brief here to learn about ways to use this flexible tool to promote opportunity as we build our economy.

 

 

Opportunity Impact Statement: Ensuring an Economy that Works

Americans prioritize finding solutions for our economy and job creation, and it is clear that we need an economy that works for all of us. This means building the jobs and the infrastructure that will create equal opportunities for success for all Americans. In order to make smart and necessary decisions about how and where we spend our money, we need to evaluate the impact of spending, while also honoring our commitment to avoid engaging in discrimination.

Using a tool that evaluates public spending—what we call an Opportunity Impact Statement (OIS)—at all levels of government can ensure that government looks at where investment is needed most before actually spending funds, whether it’s for job creation, building out transportation to jobs, or schools. This would ensure that all Americans have access to the building blocks of opportunity. The American Constitution Society has published an issue brief by The Opportunity Agenda on these statements. As described in the brief, “[a] coordinated process is needed to ensure that public funding complies with anti-discrimination laws and not only confronts barriers to opportunity that affect regions throughout the United States, but also builds the foundation necessary to give all communities a chance to achieve economic security and mobility.”

We describe in the brief ways for administrative agencies to use an OIS process as part of their evaluation of ongoing and proposed government funded projects and programs, with detailed examples related to housing and transportation. Read the brief here to learn about ways to use this flexible tool to promote opportunity as we build our economy.

 

 

Opportunity Impact Statement: Ensuring an Economy that Works

Americans prioritize finding solutions for our economy and job creation, and it is clear that we need an economy that works for all of us. This means building the jobs and the infrastructure that will create equal opportunities for success for all Americans. In order to make smart and necessary decisions about how and where we spend our money, we need to evaluate the impact of spending, while also honoring our commitment to avoid engaging in discrimination.

Using a tool that evaluates public spending—what we call an Opportunity Impact Statement (OIS)—at all levels of government can ensure that government looks at where investment is needed most before actually spending funds, whether it’s for job creation, building out transportation to jobs, or schools. This would ensure that all Americans have access to the building blocks of opportunity. The American Constitution Society has published an issue brief by The Opportunity Agenda on these statements. As described in the brief, “[a] coordinated process is needed to ensure that public funding complies with anti-discrimination laws and not only confronts barriers to opportunity that affect regions throughout the United States, but also builds the foundation necessary to give all communities a chance to achieve economic security and mobility.”

We describe in the brief ways for administrative agencies to use an OIS process as part of their evaluation of ongoing and proposed government funded projects and programs, with detailed examples related to housing and transportation. Read the brief here to learn about ways to use this flexible tool to promote opportunity as we build our economy.

 

 

The Disenfranchisement of Communities through the Criminal Justice System

Cross-posted at Project Vote's blog, Voting Matters.

Expanding ballot access to all voting-age citizens, particularly the millions who are living and working in our communities with past felony convictions, has been the foundation of many advocates’ pleas to make American life equitable. Whether wrapped in an argument to fend against racism, classism, or even “overcriminalization,” felon advocates’ main issue boils down to preserving the civil rights of every citizen who participates in society, no matter their personal history.

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Just How Unequal is the U.S.? We Have No Idea

The last three and a half decades have seen a disturbing increase in inequality in the U.S.  The wealthiest Americans have made significant income and wealth gains, while the rest of us have treaded water at best.  And yet, as our national dream of economic security and mobility dies, we don’t even care enough to offer a eulogy.  As Willy Loman’s wife reminded us, “Attention must be paid.”

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