[act-ma] (Wed.) 5/14 Cambridge Forum Panel Discussion "Key Issues: Election 2014"

Cambridge Forum camforum at earthlink.net
Mon May 5 13:33:38 PDT 2014

Cambridge Forum
 3 Church Street ● Cambridge, MA 02138
email: director at cambridgeforum.org

Release                                                                                                        May 5, 2014

KEY ISSUES: Election 2014

On Wednesday, May 14, 2014  at 7:00 p.m.Cambridge Forum hosts a discussion of some of the key issues voters 
should be attuned to as they sort through the candidates for the 2014 midterm Congressional elections.  The November elections may still seem far in the future. But with Congress experiencing record low approval ratings, voters are primed to look seriously at the policy positions of aspirants for national office.  Millennial voters are often pointed to as the new swing constituency in this election.  What issues are they, in particular,  concerned about?

A panel of scholars explores some of the fundamental questions newly elected representatives will have to address.  Keith Bentele of the University of Massachusetts Boston looks at poverty and inequality; Alex Hertel-Fernandez from Harvard discusses tax policy and the social safety net; and Jack Schneider of Holy Cross looks at education reform. The panel proposes research- and experience-based policy solutions in an effort to overcome the ideological divisions that  derail so much olitical debate.  Award-winning journalist Michelle Johnson moderates.

Keith Bentele is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Boston.  His research focuses on the intersection of public policy and social stratification and inequality.  His most recent publication, “Distinct Paths to Higher Inequality? A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of Rising Earnings Inequality Among U.S. States, 1980-2010” provides a 
state-by-state comparison of wage inequality in the Unites States over the past 30 years. He has also recently examined moves to restrict access to the ballot and the performance of the social safety net during the Great Recession.

Alex Hertel-Fernandez is a PhD Student in Government and Social Policy, and a Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy at Harvard University.   His research interests include social insurance, taxes, inequality, and the politics of business and labor organization in advanced democracies.  Recent papers have focused on the role business 
organizations have played in shaping current U.S. tax policy.

Jack Schneider is Assistant Professor of Education at the College of the Holy Cross, where his courses examine the history of education, urban education and education reform.  His blog “K-12 Schools: Beyond the Rhetoric” sets up a dialogue with Michelle Rhee (former chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools) about many of the controversial aspects of the 
current trends in education reform, such as high-stakes testing and methods of teacher evaluation.  His first book Excellence For All examined the current education reform movement and the movement from the remarkable consensus that created it to the failure of so many of its policies. His latest book From the Ivory Tower to the Schoolhouse: How Scholarship Becomes Common Knowledge in Education, attempts to identify the factors that are necessary for successful education innovation and 

Michelle Johnson is Associate Professor of the Practice in Boston University’s Department of Journalism, where her 
teaching focuses on multimedia journalism.  A former editor of the Boston Globe, she was part of the team that launched boston.com, the Globe’s award-winning regional website. She has received awards for excellence from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) and  the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), which named her the 2013 Journalism Educator of the Year.

This program is produced in conjunction with the Scholars Strategy Network, a national group of scholars seeking to use research to improve policy and enhance democracy.

Cambridge Forum is recorded and edited for public radio broadcast.  Select forums can also be viewed in their entirety on YouTube, hosted by the WGBH Forum Network.


Cambridge Forum
3 Church Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone:  617-495-2727
email:  mailto:director at cambridgeforum.org
website:  http://www.cambridgeforum.org

The Adventure of Ideas.  The Power of Dialogue.

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