Hi Everyone!

Given the tumultuous nature of politics recently, we figured that we might start a joint blog joining both of our specialties–politics and public policy. 

We’d like this to be a place where we provide political and policy-based commentary on the latest news both at the state level in our own states (New Jersey and Texas) as well as national and sometimes international hot topics. 

There will also be the occasional research-based political or policy analysis from either of us! 

There’s probably a few things you should know about the both of us: 

Drew has always had a voracious interest in politics. Keeping tabs on events going on at the local, state, national, and even global level, he always has a tap on the world at large. When not complaining about world affairs or Texas politics, Drew can be found complaining about board games and Star Trek logic.

Shawna hails from the Jersey Shore; no, not that one. She has a Masters in Public Policy, with a concentration on the intersection of Disaster Policy/Emergency Management with vulnerable populations and Coastal Hazard Mitigation. Her day-time persona is as Chief of Staff for New Jersey legislators, by night she assumes her role as connoisseur of all things spooky and mysterious–and adjunct professor of State, County, and Local Government. She can also usually be found consuming too much espresso and launching into impassioned rants about the in-feasibility of zero-based budgeting for governments. All around witchy academic and long-winded PhD hopeful. 

We hope you will embark on this political policy journey with us! 

Originally posted by justalittletumblweed

–Shawna and Drew–


Kelton / 2nd Year / Public Policy


“I think I just crammed everything I could that I liked into my room. I consider myself a homebody so I like to come in my room and stay in my room, so have everything I need. I have my xbox, my computer, my fridge, microwave, tv.”

Kelton really does have everything, but what’s really impressive is the level of technology in this room. Cool lights, xbox, multiple computer screens, huge tv - this room is full of gadgets. “I like to keep it hi-tech. I can control everything form my phone: I can turn my xbox on, change the music, change the lights, control the apple tv, turn the tv on, the only thing I can’t do is control the fan, but I’m sure I’ll figure that out.” 

I think the lights are the coolest part of his room. He has an app on his phone where he can change the colors of them to customize the atmosphere of the room. Much better than the gross fluorescent lights we are so used to in dorm rooms! “The lights are great because when I’m studying I turn them on bright. When I’m partying I make then do strobe-light type things. When I’m relaxing I set it to chill lighting. I have timers so I can set it to go off at a certain time.” 

Many professionals, opinion makers, communications media and centers of power, being located in affluent urban areas, are far removed from the poor, with little direct contact with their problems. They live and reason from the comfortable position of a high level of development and a quality of life well beyond the reach of the majority of the world’s population. This lack of physical contact and encounter, encouraged at times by the disintegration of our cities, can lead to a numbing of conscience and to tendentious analyses which neglect parts of reality…Today, however, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.
—  Pope Francis, Laudato Si, 49

Luke / 2nd Year / Public Policy & Cinema and Media Studies

South Campus

I want to start this post by saying that if you’re lucky enough to have a spacious single, you should get a couch. 

“The couch is funny. I looked on UChicago Marketplace for a while and found this really good couch. It was on 52nd and Dorchester, so some friends and I had to walk over there and carry this thing for two miles in the 80 degree weather. It was an absolute nightmare.” Yeah, that’s dedication, and it was definitely worth it!

That’s not the only statement item in the room though- I’ve been searching for a rug since the beginning of the quarter so I was majorly jealous of his. 

“The rug is my kitchen rug from home that got too dirty so my parents gave it to me to take to college." 

If only my parents had cool rugs to let me take to school…

"The tapestry is there because sometimes I can check out a projector form Logan and project up there, and when I’m not projecting it’s just a big empty space, So I bought the tapestry. I got it shipped from india from Etsy for $10”

anonymous asked:

what are some possible careers for a major in public policy?

Visit this link. 

It breaks down everything you need to know about majoring in public policy and the top public policy careers available to you.

Hope this helps!
Free to Be Hungry

by Paul Krugman, op-ed, New York Times, 9/23/2013

Paul Krugman is Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University.

“SNAP, in short, is public policy at its best. It not only helps those in need; it helps them help themselves. And it has done yeoman work in the economic crisis, mitigating suffering and protecting jobs at a time when all too many policy makers seem determined to do the opposite. So it tells you something that conservatives have singled out this of all programs for special ire.

Even some conservative pundits worry that the war on food stamps, especially combined with the vote to increase farm subsidies, is bad for the G.O.P., because it makes Republicans look like meanspirited class warriors. Indeed it does. And that’s because they are.”

Click through to read the entire op-ed.


“Innovation is the exit strategy for aid.”

Dr. Abdallah Daar during his conversation with Krista Tippett at the Chautauqua Institution to kick off a week-long series of interviews based on the theme of “Inspire. Commit. Act.”

According to the report, the number of U.S. citizens who died in terrorist attacks increased by two between 2010 and 2011; overall, a comparable number of Americans are crushed to death by their televisions or furniture each year. This is not to diminish the real–albeit shrinking–threat of terrorism, or to minimize the loss and suffering of the 13,000 killed and over 45,000 injured around the world. For Americans, however, it should emphasize that an irrational fear of terrorism is both unwarranted and a poor basis for public policy decisions.