Facebook Pixel

Podcast: Talk Policy To Me

Episode 209: Talking Title IX Policy

UC Berkeley will spend $30 million on building new softball and beach volleyball teams. While Title IX is widely understood to be a sports equity law, its historical advancement of feminist interests and its application at Cal today reveal a more ambitious and inclusive agenda. Not merely a mechanism for intercollegiate sports, Title IX advocates for building holistic inclusive collegiate experiences and making that ethos integral to the operations and strategy of the university.

UC Berkeley MPP ‘20 Spencer Bowen talks with Meagan Owusu, Head Beach Volleyball Coach at Cal and campus directors Denise Oldham and Jenny Simon O'Neal of Cal Athletics and Title IX programs to discover why Title IX is a flash point that opens opportunities, but also underscores the societal role of universities to foster the personal and professional growth in its students.

Episode 208: UBI, part 2

A UBI experiment takes shape in Stockton, California

In our last episode on universal basic income, or UBI, a conversation between UC Berkeley MPP ‘20 student Sarah Edwards and Economics and Public Policy Professor Hilary Hoynes revealed that the landscape for UBI proposals and experiments is ripe.

In this episode, Goldman School student Sarah Edwards interviews Lori Ospina, about Stockton’s guaranteed income program, Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (or SEED for short). With a $1 million grant, SEED will distribute cash to 100 residents falling below the area’s $64,000 area median income. Although modest in scale, SEED’s potential to ignite other policy conversations on UBI on the local and state level is much greater in magnitude.

With growing acknowledgment of a wealth gap in the U.S., Stockton’s program could be dually meaningful—for the residents of this Central Valley city and for future conversations on social safety nets.

Episode 207: UBI, part 1

How Universal Basic Income could decrease the stigma of social safety nets

Professor of Economics Hilary Hoynes and UC Berkeley MPP Student ‘20 Sarah Edwards probe whether work is a solid foundation on which to build the welfare of American society. Can and should income from working really provide a stable base for all Americans? And can more universal coverage social safety nets for non-working adults alleviate the stigma of government support?

While welfare reform of the 1990s resulted in spotty coverage from the coupling of assistance and working, the universality of UBI could be an attractive counterproposal to extend coverage to those without it and reduce the stigma of government support. But untargeted programs risk becoming prohibitively expensive or overstretched.

In this episode of Talk Policy to Me, find out why loosening the bind between working and government support opens a new space where new possibilities for policy solutions can come forward.

Tune in to next week’s episode on the specifics of one experiment in Stockton, California.

Speakers featured on this epsiode

Hilary Hoynes is a Professor of Public Policy and Economics and holds the Haas Distinguished Chair in Economic Disparities at the University of California Berkeley where she also co-directs the Berkeley Opportunity Lab. She is a member of the American Academy of Art and Sciences and a Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists. She has served as Co-Editor of the American Economic Review and the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy and is on the editorial board of the American Economic Review: Insights.

Her research focuses on poverty, inequality, food and nutrition programs, and the impacts of government tax and transfer programs on low income families. Current projects include evaluating the effects of access to the social safety net in early life on later life health and human capital outcomes, examining the effects of the Great Recession on poverty, and the role of the safety net in mitigating income losses.

Episode 206: Talking Dockless Scooters

Dockless scooters: last-mile mobility solution or temporal tech experiment?

Streets littered with bicycles and scooters represent the latest skirmish between Bay Area city administrators and the technology sector. In a region ready to confront carbon emissions and ready to embrace pedestrian-friendly streets, scooters have become the next item in an evergreen local debate on what mode of transport should dominant city streets, who should decide, and how to keep city residents safe.

San Francisco’s proximity to the hub of the technology sector makes it a “petri dish” for experimentation, says Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, transportation reporter for the San Francisco Examiner in conversation with UC Berkeley public policy student Reem Rayef about the issues that surround scooters. But—while Bay Area tech companies seek to be a major player in urban transportation with its disruptive technologies, municipalities often have other goals in mind.

Tune into this lively conversation on how cities are responding to scooters, how companies are trying to get around city regulation, when local residents revolt against new technologies—and whether scooters really are a better way to get around.

Speakers featured on this epsiode

Brianne Eby is a policy analyst for Eno, where she conducts research on various topics related to the transportation industry. She has written at length about what dockless scooters mean in the context of reduced carbon emissions, disruption of car culture, equity in public transit, and increased investment in public transportation infrastructure. Prior to joining Eno, Brianne conducted research on transportation behaviors as a graduate student, and on helping cities and metropolitan regions achieve inclusive and sustainable growth as a research assistant at the Brookings Institution. Brianne earned her B.A. in Psychology from Indiana University and her M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado-Boulder. Follow her on Twitter: @brianne_eby.

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez covers transportation for the San Francisco Examiner. Joe is a long time San Francisco resident and pretty obsessed with transit, so he has followed (and written about) the scooter issue closely. He also writes the weekly political On Guard column. Reach him at joe@sfexaminer.com. Follow him on Twitter: @FitzTheReporter.  

Episode 205: Talking Housing Re-segregation

The color of housing in the Bay Area

As rents continue to skyrocket in the Bay Area, housing displacement is disproportionately affecting people of color. A “geography of racialized inequality” has long been set in the region—but today’s segregation is taking a new configuration as new housing market preferences take root. 80 percent of neighborhoods in the East Bay experiencing gentrification were previously redlined, according to a finding from UC Berkeley’s Urban Displacement Project is providing research and data tools to characterize the nature of this displacement in the Bay Area. In this episode, UC Berkeley public policy student Spencer Bowen and urban planning alumnus Philip Verma discuss some of the data analysis and what it reveals about the the Bay Area’s housing market today. Tune in here.

Are you interested in getting engaged with housing issues in the Bay Area? Here are three suggestions from Philip Verma:

  1. Read Evicted by Matthew Desmond
  2. Read more about California housing policy. You can start with SPUR and the Terner Center.
  3. Every neighborhood has slightly different challenges. Find out what challenges your neighbors are facing by talking to your local council member.
  4. Learn more about Urban Displacement Project’s data tool.

Speakers featured on this episode

Philip Verma is a Master of City Planning student interested in the intersection of housing policy and environmental health, especially for low-income renters. He has worked as a housing advocate in New York and Oakland, helping tenants fight evictions, harassment, illegal rent increases, and substandard conditions. He also spent two years as outreach director for a sustainable transportation NGO in Bogotá. Philip graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in History.

Episode 204: Talking Elections

3 reasons millennials might vote more than Gen-Z

Young voter turnout is lower than overall voter turnout. But, as we approach the 2018 midterm elections, UC Berkeley public policy student Sarah Edwards speaks with Buffy Wicks, Sarah Anzia, and others to find that there are reasons to be optimistic about young voter engagement:

  1. Millennials are opinion leaders—and have helped transform the social, cultural and political landscape in the last decade
  2. Young people are a tech-savvy cohort who can and are deploying technology to get out the vote
  3. While hot-button issues for young voters have been notably muted or absent, increasing concern around college loan debt and social safety nets are poised to drive interest and engagement higher

Wondering how to get more involved and have better conversations about voter engagement? Here’s a few ideas from our team:

  1. Vote!
  2. Attend community meetings in your local community
  3. Join our mailing list at Berkeley Institute for Young Americans

Speakers featured on this episode

Buffy Wicks is a candidate for the CA State Assembly in District 15. She was one of the architects of President Barack Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaigns.

Sarah Anzia is a political scientist who studies American politics with a focus on state and local government, elections, interest groups, political parties, and public policy. She is the Michelle J. Schwartz Associate Professor of Public Policy & Associate Professor of Political Science at the Goldman School of Public Policy. 

Joshua J Dyck studies American politics, public opinion and voting behavior, elections, and state politics. He is Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

Max Lubin is the CEO of Rise, Inc and the founder of Vote Crew. He is a graduate student at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley





Read more

Episode 203: Talking Food Policy

The role of your dinner plate in food systems -- and other food policy questions

Food surrounds us—and yet we can become careless about how food is transformed from the farm to something palatable on our plate. UC Berkeley public policy student, Reem Rayef, interviews Nina Ichikawa at the Berkeley Food Institute about what consumers should be thinking about in their individual consumption choices, but also what the impact the aggregation of those choices means for food overall.

Considering the role of multiple actors in U.S. food policy, they also discuss how coalitions of like-minded groups can mobilize greater and more equitable access to healthy foods. Get some food for thought with this episode all about food.

Wondering how to get more involved and have better conversations about food policy? Here are a few ideas from our team:

  1. Form a more mindful cohort of food consumers with a book club, reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma or Six Seasons.
  2. Cook a local meal. Try shopping at the farmer’s market and learning about the sources of your food and the farmers who grew them.

Speakers featured on this episode

Nina F. Ichikawa is the policy director of the Berkeley Food Institute. She is a fourth-generation Californian and policy professional dedicated to making good food accessible, sustainable, and culturally appropriate. Prior to joining BFI, she served in the office of Senator Daniel K. Inouye and with the US Department of Agriculture’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” Initiative. In 2011, she was named a Food and Community Fellow by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. In 2009 she launched the Food and Agriculture section for Hyphen magazine, and she has also written for Civil Eats, Grist, Al-Jazeera America, NBCNews.com, and Rafu Shimpo. Her writings on Asian American food and farming have been published in Amerasia Journal and Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader. Following research on sustainable food systems in rural Japan and Mexico, Nina received an MA in International Relations/Food Policy from Meiji Gakuin University and a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies/Food Policy from UC Berkeley.

Read more

Episode 202: Talking Policing and Criminal Justice with Tara Regan Anderson

The dinosaur in the room: can prosecutors help bring the criminal justice system into the 21st century?

Historically, prosecutors’ records were judged by the number of people who were put behind bars. For Tara Regan Anderson (MPP 2010) and her colleagues in San Francisco Defense Attorney Gascon’s office, that’s no longer the goal. Join her and Jonathan Stein (MMP/JD 2013) for a conversation about the shift in thinking around prosecution and the impact this shift is having on police officers, individuals interacting with the police, and the people connected to those individuals. In this episode, Tara talks about her work to support children of incarcerated parents and elaborates on how the criminal justice system affects all those involved, not just the individual entering the system.  

Interested in learning more about the work being done to support children of those in the criminal justice system? Here are three suggestions: 

  1. Explore the research from the Quattrone Center  
  2. Learn more about on-the-ground efforts from Project What! 
  3. Read Tara’s article “The Power of One Embrace”, shared on the National Council on Crime & Delinquency’s  

Episode 201: Talking Implicit Bias in Policing with Professor Jack Glaser

Implicit Bias: A buzzword or an area for major policy change?

As the country takes stock of the growing number of stories of people of color dying at the hands of police officers, more and more we are hearing about the role of implicit bias. Implicit bias trainings are being implemented at police districts across the nation—but what is implicit bias, and how do we tackle it? In this episode, Goldman School Professor Jack Glaser and MPA alumna Jasmine Jones talk about the brain’s role in implicit bias, the difference between implicit bias and prejudice, and the limits of trying to break the patterns of implicit bias without changing the societal landscape.  

Listen to Jack and Jasmine unpack the research about whether public policies can provide a solution for overcoming implicit bias in policing.  

Speakers featured on this epsiode

Jack Glaser is Professor and Associate Dean of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy. He is a social psychologist whose primary research interest is in stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. He studies these intergroup biases at multiple levels of analysis. For example, he investigates the unconscious operation of stereotypes and prejudice using computerized reaction time methods, and is investigating the implications of such subtle forms of bias in law enforcement. In particular, he is interested in racial profiling, especially as it relates to the psychology of stereotyping, and the self-fulfilling effects of such stereotype-based discrimination.

Additionally, Professor Glaser has conducted research on a very extreme manifestation of intergroup bias - hate crime - and has carried out analyses of historical data as well as racist rhetoric on the Internet to challenge assumptions about economic predictors of intergroup violence. Another area of interest is in electoral politics and political ideology, specifically the role of emotion (as experienced and expressed) in politics. Professor Glaser is working with the Center for Policing Equity as one of the principal investigators on a National Science Foundation- and Google-funded project to build a National Justice Database of police stops and use of force incidents. He is the author of Suspect Race: Causes & Consequences of Racial Profiling.

Episode 105: Talking Mental Health Policy with Jessie Harney


Goldman School student Jessie Harney speaks with host Jonathan Stein (MPP/JD '13) about mental health support for people suffering from PTSD, especially victims of sexual assault.

Jessie is a Master of Public Policy candidate at the Goldman School of Public Policy. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Truman State University and a Master of Science in Biostatistics from Washington University in St. Louis. Jessie’s research interests lie in criminal justice, and more specifically, prison reform. Her hobbies include Muay Thai, anything from the Legend of Zelda series, and cheese. 

Read more