Inside Seattle’s autonomous zone where residents are trying to ‘enact change’ ‘in a new way’

first_imgDavid Ryder/Getty ImagesBy EMILY SHAPRIO and MATT GUTMAN, ABC News(SEATTLE) — Near downtown Seattle, a several-block section of the city is sealed off.Inside, people can walk freely among murals, access free food and gather to organize to protest. Critics have called it a block party, but participants are calling it an “ad-hoc conglomeration of people” in a festival-like environment “where the only headliner is change.” When protests over the death of George Floyd erupted across the country, some of the most explosive standoffs with police were in Seattle, where officers blasted demonstrators with tear gas, flash-bang grenades and pepper spray.Following days of clashes, Seattle police on June 8 largely withdrew from the Capitol Hill district, leaving a void for protesters.The protesters seized a roughly six-block area, including the east precinct, to create an “autonomous police-free zone.” Sealed off from outsiders by barricades, patrolled by armed residents, police aren’t allowed inside.The zone, initially called the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ, has been renamed the Capitol Hill Organized Protest.Slate, a CHOP security leader who didn’t provide a full name to ABC News, described CHOP as an “ad-hoc conglomeration of people who want some change” within the police department.But exactly what kind of change varies among groups within CHOP. Some want the Seattle Police Department abolished, while others want it defunded, with more money reallocated to community programs.“We want our money back, because we’re not getting our money’s worth,” said Riall Johnson of the Snohomish County NAACP.Johnson is not a member of CHOP but has given speeches within the zone and worked with its members.“We need to revaluate our policing system,” Johnson told ABC News, and CHOP is an “example of what things can look like without the police.”CHOP leaders are in ongoing negotiations with the city.“If it seems kind of chaotic, that’s because it is,” Slate said. “The more the idea of what CHOP is changes, the more the situation on the ground will change.”President Donald Trump has blasted Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan about the zone on Twitter, threatening, “Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will.” Last week Trump tweeted that the protesters are “anarchists.”“We’re not trying to start a new nation. We’re not trying to build some empire,” Slate said. “We’re trying to enact change in a way that this city hasn’t seen before.”Durkan, for now, is refusing to take back the area.“One of the most fundamental rights we have as Americans is the right to peacefully assemble, to protest government and to exercise free speech,” Durkan told ABC News’ Nightline. “And we protect that kind of speech and disagreement with government.“These protests are protests fundamentally about a policing system that has tried to dominate black Americans through the history of our country. You don’t meet those protests with domination. You meet them with listening and with change. This president just wants to distract. If he truly cared about America and the divisions that were happening now, he’d be bringing us together and find ways for us to move forward,” she said.Durkan said de-escalating the tensions between the people and police in Capitol Hill requires time and distance.“We need to have some time for people to feel that they have had the ability to protest and raise their voices and have the time to work, not just with the people on Capitol Hill but with all of Seattle,” she said.As for the occupation of the police department’s east precinct, Durkan said, “The precinct itself is just the building. Our focus is on how do we make sure that policing adapts to this situation.”But Victoria Beach, chair of the police department’s African American Community Advisory Council, said Durkan’s stance is giving license to a lawless party.CHOP “has nothing to do with black lives or what happened to George Floyd. I feel like it’s not honoring or respecting him,” Beach told Nightline.“It’s not a protest … I call it Burning Man,” Beach said. “It’s very disrespectful. The message is totally taken away.”Slate and Johnson disagreed.To Slate, it’s a festival-like environment “where the only headliner is change.”“There’s a lot of activism going on there,” Johnson said, “but it’s also mixed in with art and a general sense of community.”Johnson described the environment in the zone as a block party, which he said is not out of the ordinary for Capitol Hill — especially during Pride Month, as the neighborhood has a large LGBTQ+ community.“It’s a community of people taking care of each other,” Johnson said. “People donating food, money. There’s doctors there. Homeless people are actually getting the help they need.”“Call it whatever — drum circle, block party, festival,” Johnson said. “There’s still a lot of people there vigilant, knowing that there’s a mission there — that mission is changing the police system.”Like Beach, activist Sean Gaston also is frustrated. He said the autonomous zone looks “chaotic” and “like buffoonery,” with scattered tents and brightly colored writing, but “no message.”“We don’t march no more and we’re not saying nothing beneficial,” Gaston told Nightline. “No one cares about the economic issues of black America. No one wants to talk about how we need to have housing, jobs.”“Black poverty is real and it’s systemic,” he added. “And it makes us commit crimes against ourselves and our own communities because there’s nothing there, and the only people we can victimize are blacks.”As CHOP continues, its future remains unknown.“This is not an easy, clean, cute story,” Slate said. “Change is coming incrementally, but it’s very hard to be the city to negotiate with the CHOP, because the CHOP is … an idea. It’s not really a goal.”“It took this to get to the negotiation table,” Slate said. “The system as a whole has been ignoring us for so long.”When asked how long she thinks CHOP will last, Durkan told Nightline, “I think it’s the wrong question.”“I think the question is,” she added, “how quickly can we start changing as a society to address all of the concerns we’ve heard from the millions of people? We need to change how we do policing, but we also need to invest in communities, in health care systems, education, economic opportunity. It is time for us to make the promise of America real for all Americans.” Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.,David Ryder/Getty ImagesBy EMILY SHAPRIO and MATT GUTMAN, ABC News(SEATTLE) — Near downtown Seattle, a several-block section of the city is sealed off.Inside, people can walk freely among murals, access free food and gather to organize to protest. Critics have called it a block party, but participants are calling it an “ad-hoc conglomeration of people” in a festival-like environment “where the only headliner is change.” When protests over the death of George Floyd erupted across the country, some of the most explosive standoffs with police were in Seattle, where officers blasted demonstrators with tear gas, flash-bang grenades and pepper spray.Following days of clashes, Seattle police on June 8 largely withdrew from the Capitol Hill district, leaving a void for protesters.The protesters seized a roughly six-block area, including the east precinct, to create an “autonomous police-free zone.” Sealed off from outsiders by barricades, patrolled by armed residents, police aren’t allowed inside.The zone, initially called the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ, has been renamed the Capitol Hill Organized Protest.Slate, a CHOP security leader who didn’t provide a full name to ABC News, described CHOP as an “ad-hoc conglomeration of people who want some change” within the police department.But exactly what kind of change varies among groups within CHOP. Some want the Seattle Police Department abolished, while others want it defunded, with more money reallocated to community programs.“We want our money back, because we’re not getting our money’s worth,” said Riall Johnson of the Snohomish County NAACP.Johnson is not a member of CHOP but has given speeches within the zone and worked with its members.“We need to revaluate our policing system,” Johnson told ABC News, and CHOP is an “example of what things can look like without the police.”CHOP leaders are in ongoing negotiations with the city.“If it seems kind of chaotic, that’s because it is,” Slate said. “The more the idea of what CHOP is changes, the more the situation on the ground will change.”President Donald Trump has blasted Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan about the zone on Twitter, threatening, “Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will.” Last week Trump tweeted that the protesters are “anarchists.”“We’re not trying to start a new nation. We’re not trying to build some empire,” Slate said. “We’re trying to enact change in a way that this city hasn’t seen before.”Durkan, for now, is refusing to take back the area.“One of the most fundamental rights we have as Americans is the right to peacefully assemble, to protest government and to exercise free speech,” Durkan told ABC News’ Nightline. “And we protect that kind of speech and disagreement with government.“These protests are protests fundamentally about a policing system that has tried to dominate black Americans through the history of our country. You don’t meet those protests with domination. You meet them with listening and with change. This president just wants to distract. If he truly cared about America and the divisions that were happening now, he’d be bringing us together and find ways for us to move forward,” she said.Durkan said de-escalating the tensions between the people and police in Capitol Hill requires time and distance.“We need to have some time for people to feel that they have had the ability to protest and raise their voices and have the time to work, not just with the people on Capitol Hill but with all of Seattle,” she said.As for the occupation of the police department’s east precinct, Durkan said, “The precinct itself is just the building. Our focus is on how do we make sure that policing adapts to this situation.”But Victoria Beach, chair of the police department’s African American Community Advisory Council, said Durkan’s stance is giving license to a lawless party.CHOP “has nothing to do with black lives or what happened to George Floyd. I feel like it’s not honoring or respecting him,” Beach told Nightline.“It’s not a protest … I call it Burning Man,” Beach said. “It’s very disrespectful. The message is totally taken away.”Slate and Johnson disagreed.To Slate, it’s a festival-like environment “where the only headliner is change.”“There’s a lot of activism going on there,” Johnson said, “but it’s also mixed in with art and a general sense of community.”Johnson described the environment in the zone as a block party, which he said is not out of the ordinary for Capitol Hill — especially during Pride Month, as the neighborhood has a large LGBTQ+ community.“It’s a community of people taking care of each other,” Johnson said. “People donating food, money. There’s doctors there. Homeless people are actually getting the help they need.”“Call it whatever — drum circle, block party, festival,” Johnson said. “There’s still a lot of people there vigilant, knowing that there’s a mission there — that mission is changing the police system.”Like Beach, activist Sean Gaston also is frustrated. He said the autonomous zone looks “chaotic” and “like buffoonery,” with scattered tents and brightly colored writing, but “no message.”“We don’t march no more and we’re not saying nothing beneficial,” Gaston told Nightline. “No one cares about the economic issues of black America. No one wants to talk about how we need to have housing, jobs.”“Black poverty is real and it’s systemic,” he added. “And it makes us commit crimes against ourselves and our own communities because there’s nothing there, and the only people we can victimize are blacks.”As CHOP continues, its future remains unknown.“This is not an easy, clean, cute story,” Slate said. “Change is coming incrementally, but it’s very hard to be the city to negotiate with the CHOP, because the CHOP is … an idea. It’s not really a goal.”“It took this to get to the negotiation table,” Slate said. “The system as a whole has been ignoring us for so long.”When asked how long she thinks CHOP will last, Durkan told Nightline, “I think it’s the wrong question.”“I think the question is,” she added, “how quickly can we start changing as a society to address all of the concerns we’ve heard from the millions of people? We need to change how we do policing, but we also need to invest in communities, in health care systems, education, economic opportunity. It is time for us to make the promise of America real for all Americans.” Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Megan Rapinoe, Kelley O’Hara explain staying focused at the World Cup

first_img Beau Lund FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailABC News(NEW YORK) — Hot off their 2-1 victory over host nation France, U.S. Women’s National Team stars Kelly O’Hara and Megan Rapinoe called their confidence and “tactical experience” a key to the team’s success and shared a message for any fans who want to skip work to cheer them on during the semifinals. The two soccer players spoke to ABC News’ Good Morning America from Lyon, France, on Monday about the emotions and how they’ve kept distractions at bay ahead of their pivotal match against England on Tuesday.“To be honest, I think to be on this team is to understand how to deal with and withstand distraction and pressure of sort of any magnitude, whether it’s large or small,” Rapinoe said. “We’re pretty well versed in learning to deal with the problem head-on.” Rapinoe, who has notched a leading five goals in the 2019 FIFA World Cup — tied with teammate Alex Morgan — said despite outside distractions, like when President Donald Trump tweeted about the team’s performance and a potential White House visit, staying focused comes naturally. “Within the group we have a great ability to just stay together and block out those distractions when the time comes,” she said. “We’re sort of well-practiced in it — obviously this is maybe a little bit more than normal, but in the same sense, we’re in our little bubble here and have a monumental task at hand.” This is both Rapinoe and O’Hara’s third appearance in a World Cup, and they credit the team’s balance of new and old skills for the on-field success.“It is different because there’s a lot of us that have returned and have played in other World Cup’s, but there’s a lot of players on this team that are rookies and it’s their first time around and they’re stepping into big roles and filing big shoes and are doing a fantastic job,” O’Hara explained. “We still have that grittiness and that heart that this team has always had, but we’ve added a lot of technical and tactical experience, and it’s pretty cool to see it all come together on this stage.” The defending World Cup champions said they have felt support near and far and continued to encourage more from the fans ahead of the next big match. “We’re definitely feeling the love,” Rapinoe said of both friends and family cheering in person, as well as fans back in the U.S. and “the country at large” — “so keep it up, we love that.”“There’s been so many fans over here it’s been awesome,” O’Hara added. “We wrote a little note to all the bosses and supervisors to ask for employees to get the [game] day] off, and I think a lot of them listened to us, so we’re excited that everyone’s been super stoked and has been getting outta work to cheer us on.” Kickoff for the semifinals is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET Tuesday in Lyon.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. Written bycenter_img July 1, 2019 /Sports News – National Megan Rapinoe, Kelley O’Hara explain staying focused at the World Cuplast_img read more

Covid crisis ‘not comparable’ with the 2008 banking meltdown, says agency CEO

first_imgThe current turbulence in the property market caused by the Coronavirus pandemic is not comparable with the global financial crisis 12 years ago, a leading estate agency boss has said.Dominic Agace, who is CEO of 100-branch national franchised estate agency Winkworth, says he is not expecting house prices to change dramatically within the company’s core 60-branch London market following the re-start of the housing market.“During turbulent times such as 2008, we saw significant price reductions and buyers pulling out of transactions but that is not happening now,” he says.“We continue to see consumer confidence that shows buyers are still optimistic and prices are remaining stable.”Winkworth says its franchisees saw vendors largely hold their nerve during the lockdown with only 21% withdrawing properties from the market and 19% experiencing price renegotiations. These, on average, saw prices drop by 6.3%.Pent-up demand“We have every confidence that years of pent-up demand which our offices are now experiencing and consistently low interest rates should push through a flurry of transactions in the third and fourth quarters this year,” says Agace.Virtual viewings are playing an increasing role in property selection among its buyers, the company says, but says “a personal touch will always be at the heart of what we do”.And in a sign that virtual viewings are now gaining traction within the prime market that Winkworth operates within, Lonres has signed a deal with 3D tours platform Matterport to distribute its service among the property data firm’s member agents.Anthony Payne, Managing Director at LonRes, says: “The partnership is particularly timely as the industry comes up against the issues caused by COVID-19 and the related lockdown and social distancing measures.“We strive to support our network during this difficult time and believe that bringing Matterport technology onto LonRes is a real opportunity to offset some of the issues we face, speed up sales and help agents to best service their clients.”Read more about the global financial crisis.       June 17, 2020Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » COVID-19 news » Covid crisis ‘not comparable’ with the 2008 banking meltdown, says agency CEO previous nextHousing MarketCovid crisis ‘not comparable’ with the 2008 banking meltdown, says agency CEOWinkworth boss says sales fall-through rates and house price drops have not been comparable with the period that followed downfall of Lehman Brothers.Nigel Lewis17th June 202001,625 Viewslast_img read more

Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian Gives Storm Update

first_imgI want to update you on the coastal storm that is expected to continue through tonight.The National Weather Service has decreased its prediction for snow accumulation. They’re now calling for 2 to 3 inches. While the amount may not be great, the heavy mix will make the roads slippery, so please use caution and limit travel if possible.Our biggest concern remains street flooding. The next high tide comes at 11:49 a.m. at the Ninth Street Bridge. We’re asking everybody to be prepared to move vehicles to higher ground. An even higher tide is expected just after midnight tonight (12:08 a.m.). Our latest weather statement includes more detail on the forecast and on places where you can park cars.Like most others throughout the region, Ocean City schools are closed today for the safety of students.Trash pick-up will continue today on a regular schedule. If you can’t get trash out today, our contractor will make another round tomorrow (please try to brush snow off your trash bin lids to make it clear which addresses need pickup). Tomorrow’s pickup could be affected by snow. As always, you can call 609-399-6111 with questions about the schedule.The Ocean City Community Center, Ocean City Free Public Library and Ocean City Aquatic and Fitness Center remain open, and residents can check back at www.ocnj.us for any change in that schedule.The Ocean City Board of Education and Zoning Board meetings scheduled for tonight have been postponed. The Board of Education has been rescheduled to 7 p.m. Monday (March 26). The Zoning Board will meet 7 p.m. next Wednesday (March 28). The Ocean City Recreation indoor soccer program has been cancelled for today.For Police and Fire Department emergencies, call 911. For non-emergencies, call 609-399-9111.last_img read more

All hail partisan politics

first_img In polarized post-election U.S., coming together seems a distant, but no less necessary, dream New national motto: You’re wrong, I’m right Related GAZETTE: You cite regulatory changes in the meat-packing industry, prompted by Upton Sinclair’s muckraking journalism classic “The Jungle” as an example.MOSS: When Sinclair’s book appeared in 1906 and exposed all sorts of shocking practices in the meat-packing industry, it almost immediately changed the game, fundamentally shifting the political dynamic in Washington. Industrial interests (especially the big meat-packing companies) remained influential, of course, and they helped shape the final legislation in a number of important ways. But after the book appeared and sparked a large public reaction, the best these special interests could do was influence the resulting legislation — the Meat Inspection Act and the Food and Drug Act — not block it. The game had changed, and the press (or, in this case, a book) had played a central role in mobilizing public opinion.There are many, many other institutions beyond the press that matter, including ones you don’t normally think of as institutions of democracy, such as business corporations or labor unions or social reform movements, but all of them help make democracy work.GAZETTE: You argue that though democracy is fragile, political conflict at every level of society is vital to a vibrant democracy. That seems counterintuitive. What do you mean?MOSS: I think political conflict — even intense political conflict — is absolutely essential in a democracy. Conflict is what generates and surfaces good ideas. There’s a competition in the marketplace of ideas just like in the economic marketplace. Competition in the business world is immensely productive because it plays a vital role in generating innovation, new ideas, and new products. The same is true in the policy sphere. Policymakers need to identify problems, and some people are better at doing this than others. Then there’s the need to diagnose the problems and come up with solutions, and of course implement those solutions effectively. All of these things require ideas and creativity. Conflict within the context of political competition is important for this, and conflict is also essential to help keep at bay some fundamental threats to the democracy, from undue special-interest influence to tyranny of the majority.If you look back, it’s hard to identify a time when American democracy was characterized by everybody holding hands in a circle. There has always been plenty of conflict, rooted in partisan and ideological differences. The question at any given moment is whether this political conflict is constructive or not. Readers can come to their own conclusions, but one thing that seems to emerge across the various case studies is that when Americans have shown a strong common faith in the democracy— when they have sought above all to safeguard the democracy and sustain it and strengthen it — this common faith has been the glue that held them together. This is what rendered political conflict constructive, rather than destructive. In America, we don’t all share a common ethnic heritage or common religious beliefs. We never have. So long as Americans have, deep down, put protection of the democracy first — above their partisan differences — individual citizens and political leaders have been careful not to push political conflict too far. They have been willing to give a little for the sake of the democracy.When faith in the democracy has faltered, however, that’s when things have run into trouble. In the lead up to the Civil War, many in the South saw Abraham Lincoln as illegitimate because he opposed the expansion of slavery. When he was elected president, the question wasn’t whether he won a plurality of the popular vote or a majority in the Electoral College. He clearly had. Those who favored secession were questioning something even more fundamental. They were questioning the system of national democracy itself. In their view, they couldn’t subscribe to a system that could elect a president who opposed the expansion of slavery. Of course, once common faith in the democracy disappears, then political conflict inevitably becomes destructive. And that’s exactly what happened as the nation broke apart in 1861.So today, for those who worry about the health of our democracy, what I think we need to be looking at most carefully is our “culture of democracy,” including our commitment to democratic values and processes. We need to ask ourselves as honestly as we can whether our commitment to the democracy stands above our particular partisan and policy preferences. To the extent that the answer is yes, then I think we can handle the intense conflict that we’re seeing in our political system these days. To the extent the answer tilts toward no or even leans in that direction, then I think we need to be extraordinarily vigilant because that’s when we can get into real trouble. The right question is not “How do we tamp down the conflict?” Instead, it’s “How do we make sure that what we share in common is rock solid and ultimately stronger than our differences?” Historically, when Americans have been at their best, it’s always been faith in the democracy that has held us together and ensured that our conflict, that our differences, remained constructive rather than destructive.GAZETTE: What distinguishes constructive political conflict from destructive political conflict? For example, the Republican effort to prevent President Obama from naming a Supreme Court justice was seen by many as a destructive precedent — destructive to the functioning of the court, a destructive convolution of the Senate’s advise-and-consent role — and yet, from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s point of view, it was constructive because it successfully prevented something he and the party didn’t want to happen. Isn’t it subjective?MOSS: I have my views on that, and I’m sure you do as well. However, whether you agree or disagree with the outcome, the critical question is whether our lawmakers have put the democracy at risk in any meaningful way. That’s what American voters will have to decide. Often, it’s tempting to see an outcome we don’t like — a particular bill passed or rejected — and to conclude that the democracy must not be working very well because we don’t like the outcome. But democracy inevitably generates outcomes that large numbers of individuals don’t like. The challenge is to be able to recognize when the pursuit of a particular outcome actually comes at the expense of our democracy, when it threatens core institutions of democracy in some significant way.GAZETTE: Why did you use the case-study method? What’s missing in the way we teach history that this methodology addresses?MOSS: I first started thinking about creating a new case-based history course around 2005-2006. My focus was on financial history, including the history of financial crises, and I worked with an extraordinary group of research associates and co-authors to develop about two dozen case studies on key episodes in financial history. I wanted to teach the course by the case method and see how that would go, and it ended up being an extraordinary experience. The global financial crisis began to unfold almost exactly as I started teaching the course for the first time in the spring of ’08. As students got into the cases and wrestled with the questions I was asking every day in class, they became incredibly engaged, and my sense is that most students were thinking far more carefully about the problems than they would have if I had lectured on the same topics. Retention seemed better as well, perhaps because the cases are basically stories, and it’s easier to remember stories.Given this experience, I decided in 2012 to try to create another case-based history course, this one on the history of American democracy. The goal here was to develop a class for both undergraduates and M.B.A. students. Once again, I found it to be an incredible experience developing the cases and facilitating the class discussions on critical moments in the history of the nation’s democracy.As you’ve probably guessed by now, I’ve come to see the case method as a very effective way to teach history. There has long been a successful business history course at the School, taught by the case method, and now there are several other case-based history courses as well. In any history course, it’s important that students learn key facts about what happened when, and they certainly do this using the case method. But it’s just as important, and arguably more important, that they learn to make sense of those facts, and for that the case method is especially helpful.GAZETTE: You’re now testing a pilot program to bring this material and teaching style to high school students in the Boston area and beyond. How did that come about?MOSS: It was clear there was a lot of excitement around the Harvard course, and that led me to think it would be great if we could get this case-based approach to the history of American democracy into other classrooms. Fortuitously, a number of undergraduates went back to their former high school history and government teachers and suggested they should try the cases and the case method in their own classes. A few teachers got in touch with me in 2014 and asked if they could use some of the course materials. So I gave them the cases they requested and the associated teaching plans, and it seemed to work in their classrooms. I asked Dean [Nitin] Nohria if I could launch a little pilot and try this in a few more schools. Everyone was so generous and encouraging at HBS. We created a small pilot and brought in about 20 teachers, and that seemed to work very well too. We now have expanded the pilot, based on a generous donation, and we are working with about 70 teachers in 40 schools across the country to test the cases. We’re learning an enormous amount, and it’s great working with these teachers. They’re fantastic.Based on the evaluations we’re receiving from both teachers and students, it all looks very positive so far. The expanded pilot, which we’re expecting to grow further, is scheduled to run for three years. We’re trying to learn what works and what doesn’t. Our hope is that over the three years we can make an assessment: Is the case method an effective way to teach history and civics in a high school context? Does our “History of American Democracy” curriculum resonate with both students and teachers? And do we have enough evidence to move beyond the pilot stage? The early signs are positive, but we still have a lot of work to do.This interview has been edited for clarity and length. Is the Affordable Care Act eroding economic growth? Did the opposition steal a Supreme Court appointment from President Barack Obama? Did President Trump have a record large crowd at his inauguration? In these divided times when seemingly everything — no matter how minor or how true — gets litigated largely along partisan lines, it’s tempting to see tension and vigorous political disagreement as counterproductive, even harmful, to the smooth functioning of a healthy democracy. But historian David Moss, the Paul Whiton Cherington Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School (HBS), says that while consensus and cooperation certainly seem like national goals worth aspiring toward, in reality democracy has always been “a contact sport,” and that’s all right. It can even be a good thing.In a new book, “Democracy: A Case Study” (Harvard University Press, 2017), Moss highlights 19 decisive moments in American history when political conflict came to a head, from James Madison’s push for federal veto power over all state laws during the Constitutional Convention in 1787 to the Supreme Court’s contentious 2010 decision in the Citizens United case over campaign finance limits. Using the case-study method, the book encourages readers to step into the shoes of stakeholders and grapple with the circumstances and concerns each side faced at the time.Moss spoke with the Gazette about the book and about a new initiative to bring his case studies into dozens of high school classrooms, where they’re used as an offbeat, interactive teaching tool.GAZETTE: How did this book come about, and what were you hoping to accomplish?MOSS: It grew out of a course that I created for undergraduates and M.B.A. students on the history of American democracy. There were two principal goals. One was to explore the intellectual and institutional underpinnings of American democracy in a historical perspective. The other was to introduce a new way of teaching history and civics through the case method. Last year, a piece about the course appeared in the HBS Alumni Bulletin, and the author used a very clever phrase: “history in the present tense.” That sounds about right. Case-method history asks students to put themselves in the shoes of historical decision-makers and to try to wrestle with those decisions looking forward, as if the students were there at the time. And the course seemed to work. In their evaluations, students reported not only that they found the case discussions exciting, but also that they came to view American democracy in a new, more realistic, and fuller way. Many even said that they ended up feeling a stronger sense of civic engagement as a result. My hope is that the book will spark a similar sense of discovery and engagement beyond the classroom.GAZETTE: You argue that a working democracy is made up of a very complex array of formal and informal institutions that must interact and constantly change and adapt to ward off threats. How so?MOSS: It’s common in middle school and high school civics or government classes to learn about the formal institutions that safeguard democracy against abuses of various kinds. These include the three branches of government, a bicameral legislature, the checks and balances that occur between and across branches, and so forth. These institutions are obviously extremely important. Yet there’s a lot more to our democracy than these formal structures. If you were trying to understand the human body, you might start by looking at a skeleton. This is obviously the basic structure and we couldn’t survive without it. But studying the skeletal structure, by itself, isn’t nearly enough for you to understand what a living human being is. The truth is that in a working democracy there are all sorts of institutions that matter, formal as well as informal. The informal institutions are not specifically defined or in many cases are not even referenced in the Constitution. But they can and do play a pivotal role. A very familiar example would be the press. The First Amendment protects freedom of the press against government intrusion. But beyond that, the Constitution doesn’t say anything about how the press should be structured, how it should work, what it should look like, what it should do. Yet the press is an absolutely vital institution of democracy because it helps inform the public about politically salient issues. Without an active and independent press, it would be impossible to imagine anything like a working democracy. The press turns out to be crucial.last_img read more

Odds & Ends: Ben Rappaport Boards Younger & More

first_imgBen Rappaport (Photo: Bruce Glikas) Star Files View Comments Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Ben Rappaport Boards YoungerBen Rappaport, who is currently on the Main Stem in Fiddler on the Roof, is the latest stage fave tapped for TV Land’s Younger. According to Deadline, the former Broadway.com Fresh Face and Take Two star, will play the recurring role of medical intern Max Horowitz, who is a new love interest for Lauren Heller (Molly Bernard). He’ll make his debut in the show in the third episode of the new season on October 12, which will also mark the first appearance of Krysta Rodriguez. Headlined by two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster, the comedy is scheduled to premiere on September 28.Will Chase’s Rotten! Departure DateBroadway’s Bard is bidding farewell to the Renaissance. The in demand Will Chase is set to hang up the Something Rotten! codpiece on October 9. As previously announced earlier this week, the new musical is scheduled to close on January 1, 2017. No word yet from the production on who will replace him.Third Season of Bloodline Will be its LastBloodline, the Nextflix drama starring Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz, Kyle Chandler and more will end after the show’s third season, which is due to stream next year. According to The Hollywood Reporter, one of the reasons more episodes have been uncertain is owing to Florida reducing its entertainment tax incentives program.Michael C. Hall Sings Bowie at Mercury PrizeAfter leading a sold-out run off-Broadway in David Bowie’s Lazarus, Michael C. Hall is now in the U.K., where he will be headlining the London transfer of the production. Check out the Broadway alum’s recent performance of the title number at the prestigious Mercury Prize; Lazarus will officially open on November 8 at the King Cross Theatre. The cast album, featuring the legend’s last three studio recordings, will drop on October 21. Will Chaselast_img read more

Drive mobile banking adoption: Three steps

first_imgDigital and mobile channels are increasingly popular with members, and some credit unions are finding the mobile channel to be a leading source of member engagement.At the same time, other credit unions remain skeptical about promoting mobile banking and are unsure of how to set and achieve realistic goals for adoption of the service.Fiserv analysis shows that a mobile adoption rate of 40% or more of the current online banking user base is an achievable goal for most credit unions. While this may seem like a challenge, this rate of adoption can be achieved by combining desirable mobile banking features with best practices to educate members on mobile banking and promote its benefits.Smartphone and tablet use is now an everyday part of life for many Americans. As a result, adding and retaining members through mobile banking is mission-critical to growth and profitability. continue reading » 19SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Long-term perspective

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Notes of caution

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

The battle of Hastings

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img