John Rennie Short, School of Public Policy, in The Conversation

John Rennie Short“Now that the dust has settled and the media have moved onto the next crisis, we can ponder what the Baltimore riots tell us about broader and deeper issues in the US,” School of Public Policy Professor John Rennie Short wrote in an article published in The Conversation on May 15. In his column, using his “stress test” approach, Short examined the forces at play in Baltimore that contributed to the recent events: “Among them are decades of biased economic policies, class differences as well as racism, structural problems in metropolitan America, the consequences of aggressive policing and the geography of multiple deprivations.”

The article provided an in-depth look at deindustrialization, the geo-economic disconnect, and policing in America. Short discussed the need to consider issues of class and a greater commitment to job training for people who have been displaced by the loss of manufacturing jobs. He also noted the challenges facing Baltimore are similar to other parts of the country.

“But there are other Baltimores outside of Maryland. They include Akron, Birmingham, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Toledo. It is not just an inner city problem. Along with Bernadette Hanlon and Tom Vicino, I have documented the problems of inner ring of suburbs,” Short wrote.

“Baltimores of economic neglect, massive job loss, aggressive policing and multiple deprivations are found throughout metropolitan regions across the country. They are the places of despair that house the voiceless of the US political system, the marginalized of the US economy and those left behind in the commodification of US society,” he added.

To read the full article titled “There are more Baltimores: America’s legacy of hollowed-out cities,” click here.

Donald Norris (School of Public Policy) and Thomas Schaller (Political Science), Provide Analysis Ahead of Martin O’Malley’s May 30 Announcement

Donald NorrisFormer Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is scheduled to announce his presidential plans on May 30 in Baltimore. School of Public Policy Director Donald Norris was interviewed by WJZ Channel 13 and commented on what the Democratic party landscape could look like for O’Malley should he officially declare his candidacy. “There is an increasing number of voices that are saying we need an alternative to Hillary Clinton,” he said.

Tom Schaller 1Thomas Schaller, professor and chair of political science, was quoted in a Governing article about how the recent events in Baltimore could impact O’Malley’s presidential plans. “The bad news is that the country is paying attention to O’Malley and policing in Baltimore because now that’s a negative issue,” he said. But the good news is that O’Malley’s “name is in the news now in a way that never would have happened otherwise.”

Schaller was also quoted in a New York Times Magazine article discussing what the 2016 election could look like in Maryland for the seat being vacated by Sen. Barbara Mikulski. “Any financial advantage by [Rep. Chris Van Hollen] will probably be evened out by the sweat equity of progressive grass-roots volunteers. So resourcewise, this is a draw. The differentiator will be policy stuff.”

In two articles focusing on what the national political scene could look like for Republicans in 2016, Schaller’s latest book The Stronghold was reviewed in Vox and America’s Voice.

To read complete media coverage, click below.

O’Malley to Announce Presidential Plans May 30 (WJZ)
Mayor Martin O’Malley Versus Governor Martin O’Malley (Governing)
The Great Democratic Crack-Up of 2016 (New York Times Magazine)
Will Republicans’ stronghold in Congress cripple their quest for the White House? (Vox)
GOP Control of the House Comes at a High Cost to Party’s Future (America’s Voice)
Four policy changes that could improve race equality in America (Baltimore Sun)

John Rennie Short (School of Public Policy) and Luis Mauricio Pinet-Peralta (HAPP) Featured in UN Chronicle

John Rennie ShortThe work of two researchers at UMBC was cited in the most recent issue of UN Chronicle, the magazine of the United Nations. A paper by John Rennie Short, professor, School of Public Policy, and Luis Mauricio Pinet-Peralta, associate director of the health administration and policy program, “No Accident: Traffic and Pedestrians in the Modern City,” Mobilities, vol. 5, pp. 41-59 was cited in the April 2015 issue of the Chronicle in a discussion of how cities are important for achieving sustainable development goals.

Luis Pinet-PeraltaTheir paper examined the causes behind the increase in traffic accidents in cities in the global South and discussed solutions. To read the full article “Cities will play an important role in achieving the SDGs, click here.

UMBC Faculty Provide Perspective and Reflect on Recent Events in Baltimore

In response to recent events that have transpired in Baltimore over the last several days, several UMBC faculty have engaged in thoughtful reflection and dialogue in the news around the complex challenges facing the Baltimore community. The substantive commentaries come from different viewpoints and add various perspectives to the ongoing conversation of the past week’s events.

John Rennie ShortIn The Conversation, School of Public Policy Professor John Rennie Short wrote about three background factors that should be considered when asking why the violence and riots took place in response to the death of one young man: the momentum of the police brutality narrative, the lack of trust between police and minority black populations, and the stifled economic opportunities and limited social mobility of many inner-city residents. “This country needs to address structural issues of poverty and economic opportunity as well as immediate concerns of how we make the streets safer for all our citizens,” Short wrote.

Kate DrabinskiKate Drabinski, lecturer of gender and women’s studies, wrote about decades of disinvestment in Baltimore and uneven development that have disadvantaged largely low-income communities. “One of the dangers of seeing the riot as an event is precisely this danger of losing historical perspective about the ways the neighborhoods burning on television are the very ones that have been cut off from the growth of the city’s downtown core,” she wrote. Drabinski was also featured in a Bicycling Magazine article about her observations of Monday’s events.

Kimberly MoffittKimberly Moffitt, an associate professor of American studies, examined Baltimore City Schools and the important element of focusing on the mental health needs and frustrations of many students. “Now we are faced with the next generation of marginalized youth who demand to be heard, even as they are seen as counterproductive by those who continue to ignore their physical, academic, and psychological needs to be successful in an educational setting,” Moffitt explained. She also participated in a roundtable discussion on Southern California Public Radio about her thoughts on this issue.

Rita TurnerRita Turner, a lecturer of American studies, wrote an article for The Conversation that focused on environmental health issues: “Environmental injustice may seem like a secondary issue in the face of massive police brutality, poverty, and civil uprising, and I don’t suggest that it should preempt conversations about other forms of systemic racism. But as we talk about the devaluing of black lives and black bodies that has taken place in Baltimore and across the country and the world, we cannot ignore the ways that this manifests in a subtle and constant disregard for the health of marginalized communities,” she wrote.

Sue-Goodney-Lea__2013-239x300In a Baltimore Sun op-ed, Suzanne Lea, an adjunct professor of sociology, wrote about an in-depth study she conducted with her students to examine trends in police deadly force incidents that have occurred in the Baltimore/DC area over the last 25 years. The column outlined five key findings from the research, including the vast majority of incidents occurred early in an officer’s career. “Too often, without a video, police officers are exonerated via internal investigations based on rules that prioritize officers’ accounts. Let’s start collecting the data we need to track and systematically examine such incidents and use it to challenge and improve upon our policing until it fully reflects the integrity of our American ideal of equality under the law,” Lea wrote.

Amy BhattIn the Huffington PostAmy Bhatt, an assistant professor of gender and women’s studies, examined the question “what does it mean to be safe?” In her article, Bhatt discussed her experience living in the Federal Hill neighborhood and provided a closer look at discussions of property, race, and resources in light of recent events. “When we talk about safety, we need to look beyond our neighborhoods and ask how we decide who stays safe and who does not,” she wrote.

Tom SchallerIn his column in the Baltimore Sun, Thomas Schaller, professor and chair of political science, discussed the impact of inequality on the past week’s events. “Rather, the fact of social protest is prima facie evidence of political disgruntlement, and of an extant imbalance between those who wield power and those subjected to it. When these inequities persist and have no other form of expression, there will be unrest. And in this case, those suffering from Baltimore’s power imbalances are disproportionately black.”

Chris CorbettChristopher Corbett, professor of the practice of English, wrote a column in Reuters in which he discussed his observations and experience living in Baltimore for 35 years after moving from Maine. In his article, “Baltimore’s truth in Freddie Gray’s life and death,” Corbett examined the history and current state of many of the city’s neighborhoods in the context of the events of the last several days.

Jana Kopelentova Rehak, a visiting professor of anthropology, recently published an article on her applied anthropology collaborative project in Baltimore in partnership with Habitat for Humanity to address urban inequality, poverty, and health in relation to housing.

To read the complete news coverage, click below:

Baltimore riots: the fire this time and the fire last time and the time between (The Conversation)
Why Baltimore burns for Freddie Gray (Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore’s truth in Freddie Gray’s life and death (Reuters)
Baltimore cyclist catches riots in action (Bicycling Magazine)
Keeping ‘Us’ Safe in Baltimore (Huffington Post) 
Freddie Gray: death by legal intervention (Baltimore Sun)
The slow poisoning of Freddie Gray and the hidden violence against black communities (The Conversation)
Baltimore could become key election issue (The Philadelphia Tribune)
Black and young in Baltimore: a roundtable discussion (KPCC Radio)
With little choice, O’Malley defends Baltimore tenure (Washington Post)
Mayor Martin O’Malley Versus Governor Martin O’Malley (Governing)
Riots invoked as lobbying tool (Baltimore Sun)
Media coverage and politics (Midday with Dan Rodricks) 
Practicing urban anthropology in Baltimore

John Rennie Short, School of Public Policy, in The Coversation, Gives Keynote Address at French Embassy

With the percentage of the world’s population that lives in cities continuing to grow, School of Public Policy professor John Rennie Short published an article in The Conversation examining what cities can do to become more sustainable. In his article, Short looked at three ways to measure the environmental impact of cities: ecological, carbon, and water footprints.

John Rennie ShortShort defined each measure and referenced various studies which compared data among cities. While they are an important starting point, he cautioned the three footprint measures should be analyzed in context.

“These metrics are still in the early stages of development. There are lots of problems, including assessing the leakage of impacts from outside the city’s boundaries; the quality of data, which is too often imprecise and collected at different times for other purposes; and the lack of comparability between studies. The work is more embryonic than definitive. For example, we have yet to agree upon standard protocols for the data used and methods employed.”

To read the full article titled “How green is your city: towards an index of urban sustainability,” click here.

In other news, Short gave a keynote address, “The New Imperative: Green Cities for an Urban World,” at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C. on March 6. The event was a forum that brought together mayors from the U.S. and France to kick-start long-term and formal cooperation among officials and practitioners concerned with sustainable urban development in France and the United States. It also aimed at paving the way to the participation of U.S. cities in the December 2015 Paris Climate Conference. For more information on the event, click here.

Laura Hussey, Political Science, and Donald Norris, School of Public Policy, Discuss Anthony Brown’s Decision to Run for Congress

After former Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown announced he was running for the U.S. House seat vacated by Rep. Donna Edwards, reaction came in from across Maryland on Brown’s decision to jump back into politics after last year’s gubernatorial election.

Laura HusseyLaura Hussey, an associate professor of political science, was interviewed for an article in the Gazette about Brown’s decision, saying he is the likely front-runner in the race despite losing the gubernatorial election.

“He’s got name recognition in a huge way,” Hussey said. “Plus he’s in his home territory and he’s going to have more support in that area.” To read the full article with Hussey’s analysis, click here.

Donald Norris UMBCSchool of Public Policy director Donald Norris was quoted in a Baltimore Sun article about Brown’s decision. Norris commented that, “It may be a very good strategic move for him. It will all depend on how he does and what kind of a campaign he runs.” To read the full article, click here.

UMBC Political Science and School of Public Policy Faculty React to Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s Retirement Announcement

After Sen. Barbara Mikulski announced her retirement on March 2, reaction poured in from across the country and state of Maryland. UMBC political science and School of Public Policy faculty were interviewed by several local and national media outlets to provide perspective and analysis on Mikulski’s legacy and what the political future will hold after her seat is vacated in 2016.

Roy Meyers (UMBC)In an interview that aired on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” political science professor Roy Meyers said Sen. Mikulski’s legacy crossed party lines: “Many of the women that came into the Senate and the House, regardless of whether they were Republicans or Democrats, really viewed her as a role model,” he said. Meyers said Mikulski was “a groundbreaker in terms of making sure the voices of women legislators were taken seriously.”

Tom SchallerPolitical science professor Thomas Schaller reflected on Sen. Mikulski’s service to Maryland and the nation in an op-ed published in the Baltimore Sun: “She will leave a legacy as one of the state’s most admired politicians and among the most influential women ever to serve in Congress,” Schaller wrote in his column titled “A lifetime spent in service.”

Schaller was also quoted in a Washington Post article about former Gov. Martin O’Malley’s decision not to run for Mikulski’s seat, saying “I think this makes it pretty clear that he’s going to run for president or at least give it a shot.” Schaller was also mentioned in a Washington Post column by E.J. Dionne on his analysis of the national Republican party in his new book The Stronghold: How Republicans Captured Congress but Surrendered the White House.

Donald Norris UMBCSchool of Public Policy director Donald Norris appeared on WJZ-TV and commented on what could happen in the race to fill the vacated Senate seat: “Who the Republicans field, if they field a very serious, well-funded candidate, the Democrats are going to have to match that. So yes, it could be very expensive,” said Norris. “There could be a huge number of Democrats in the primary,” he added in a Capital Gazette article.

For a list of complete coverage, see below:

Roy Meyers:
Sen. Mikulski, Groundbreaker for Female Legislators, Won’t Seek Re-Election (NPR)

Thomas Schaller:
A lifetime spent in service (Baltimore Sun op-ed)
O’Malley will not run for Mikulski’s U.S. Senate Seat (Washington Post)
The GOP’s big ‘yes’ to ‘no’ (Washington Post)

Donald Norris:
Race to Replace Sen. Barbara Mikulski Wide Open (WJZ-TV)
‘Free-for-all’ expected in wake of Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s retirement announcement (Capital Gazette)