In the News

With only the wealthy funding and communicating with the campaigns of elected officials, politicians are incentivized to make policy decisions that align with their donors’ interests, not those of their broader constituency. But the elite donor class holds views that don’t align with the general public’s, as a 2016 Demos study detailed.

Algernon Austin is an economist at the think tank Demos and the author of the book America Is Not Post-Racial.

"I think what sometimes people miss is, what are the comparisons?"

He points out that college-educated and high-earning black folks are in many ways more likely to be better off than black people who earn less.

But Austin, who did not work on NPR's poll, adds there is overwhelming data showing that when comparing educated and high-earning blacks to their white counterparts, the gap is substantial.


The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, ruled in favor of Mr. Harmon last year, saying that Ohio had violated the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 by using the failure to vote as a “trigger” for sending the notices.

The wealth slide is ending for black families

Naila Awan, a civil and human rights attorney at Demos, will discuss her work on Husted v. APRI, the Ohio voting rights case being argued at the Supreme Court this term, and the importance of voting rights to the democratic process. Awan works on litigation challenging policies that restrict individuals' access to engage in the democratic process and that repress the voices of traditionally marginalized communities.

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is hosting a panel on universal basic income and the implications of technology on the future of job markets on Monday, Oct. 16 at 4 p.m. in the Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall.

Panelists are:

  • Connie Razza: Director of strategic research at the Center for Popular Democracy and co-director of policy and research at Demos, a public policy organization.

Episode 6: An awkward call on national television yields a changed life and a remarkable friendship.

“Getting to know Garry on his walk, on this journey to integrate his life and eliminate his bias, has taught me a lot about who we are as humans and our capacity to change,” she says. “It feels to me that if this country is to succeed, we’ve all - and I don’t just mean white folks - we’ve all got to do a little bit of what Garry is doing.”


“In our interconnected society, racism — both interpersonal and institutional — is the flaw in the machine that often stymies our democracy and our economy,” McGhee, who’s working on a book on this topic, said. “Racism and bias against full portions of the population color the policy responses of elected officials.” [...]


Some are heartened to see functioning-for-free college popping up in places like New York and elsewhere. Mark Huelsman senior policy analyst at Demos, a left-leaning think tank and the author of an influential white paper on free college, said he hopes they’ll serve as “laboratories” for policymakers to understand both the benefits and the limitations of different free college program designs.

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This month, public policy organization Demos and the ACLU filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court detailing how Ohio is violating the National Voter Registration Act by targeting registered voters who fail to vote in a two-year period for eventual removal from the registration rolls—even if they have not moved and are still fully eligible to vote.

In 2015, more than 40,600 registrants in Ohio’s largest county, Cuyahoga, were purged from the rolls using this process. A number of voters in Ohio have been denied their right to vote as a result.