New Visions for Public Affairs Volume 8 


  • Broadband Internet in Delaware: Bridging the Digital Divide / Author: Jason Olson
    • Abstract

      This paper addresses the importance of broadband internet in socio-economic terms and introduces the concept of the digital divide, the gap in broadband access and adoption rates between region, class, and race. After examining the causes for this gap and its perpetuation, the paper compares three policy solutions used in different regions in the United States before making a policy recommendation for the state of Delaware.

  • An Urban Gay History: San Francisco as a Foundation / Author: Valerie Lane
    • Abstract

      The lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) population in the United States has undergone a violent and oppressive history. The LGBTQ population has demonstrated resilience and strength in the face of police brutality, the HIV-AIDS epidemic, and legislative discrimination. Over the course of the twentieth century, the LGBTQ population formed cultural enclaves in many cities. The density and diversity of urban centers provided conditions under which gay urbanites could foster a sense of community, solidarity, and relative security, in comparison to the opportunities offered by suburban and rural areas. The gay community enclaves that formed in many of the twentieth century’s big cities allowed their residents to establish themselves socially, economically, and politically in resistance to the oppressive societal structures that they encountered outside of these enclaves. This overview of some of the gay urban enclaves that formed during the second half of the twentieth century offers San Francisco as a basis for analysis. Did major events such as the election of Harvey Milk in San Francisco’s Castro district help to build an empowering history for the LGBTQ population? Today, the fight for LGBTQ civil rights must still overcome a number of significant challenges, such as in the areas of healthcare, adoption, support services for LGBTQ youth, and protection from various sources of discrimination. By exploring the growth of urban LGBTQ communities over the last 70 years, this paper hopes to offer insight on how LGBTQ communities and their allies can continue to move forward.

  • Urban Unrest: Crime Control in American Cities and the Sociological Implications of Police Strategy / Author: David Karas
    • Abstract

      Dating back to the initial days of urbanization in the United States, the impact of crime and delinquency on cities has differed vastly from the impact on suburban and rural spaces. While a number of factors are believed by criminologists to precipitate such urban violence, primary justifications for policing’s altered approach to cities include curbing poverty, lowering unemployment and working towards neighborhood revitalization. A wide array of crime control strategies have targeted the unique sources of anti-social behaviors that plague city neighborhoods, including targeted patrols and other forms of policing that focus on particular offenses or offender groups. While criminological research has revealed that some of these programs have been successful in reducing levels of urban delinquency, the strategies have undoubtedly resulted in a range of far-reaching sociological implications. Through a review of prior literature, this paper will explore a range of crime control strategies which have been employed in American cities over time, as well as to assess the various impacts they have had on urbanites – including those who have been disproportionately impacted by some strategies. This paper will also offer a discussion related to the role policymakers have in this regard – and the importance of considering the sociological implications in crafting future urban crime policy.

  • The Role of Geographic Location on College Campus Sexual Victimization Rates in the U.S.: A New Methodological Approach / Authors: Steven Keener and Gilbert Michaud
    • Abstract

      Though colleges and universities throughout the United States have been progressively focusing on sexual victimization and emphasizing training sessions for faculty, staff, and students, the underlying determinants of sexual victimization on university campuses remains uncertain. One understudied potential variable is the geographic location of a college campus. This paper presents a data collection and analysis framework that explores the relationship between whether a college campus is located in an urban versus rural location and the campus’s rate of sexual victimization. The paper begins with a literature review on variables affecting rates of college sexual victimization. We then operationalize the independent variable of urban versus rural campus location, and offer a methodological approach to determining how this variable relates to sexual victimization rates. This, in turn, has a range of policy implications, including how institutions of higher education should proceed to implement sexual victimization trainings and other related programs.

  • Trends in Federal Competitive Funding and Implications for Organizational Development / Author: Claudia Caruso
    • Abstract

      Federal funding plays a significant role at the state and local level in three primary ways. First, federal funds represent a large percentage of state and local government revenues. Second, federal funding impacts the development of local and regional economies in positive and negative ways. Third, federal funding can be used politically to reward or to encourage behavior. Still, reporting requirements limit the research on competitive-only federal funding. This paper uses the Consolidated Federal Funds Report to analyze changes in federal funding over time, the types of programs that have experienced increases or decreases in funding over time, and the implications of these trends at the local level. As overall federal funding has increased, competitive funding has increased at a faster rate from 1983 to 2010. As community resources diminish and the direct federal role decreases, local communities increasingly depend on competitive funds for resources. This raises a number of implications for organizations, education, and research described in this section. First, organizations must develop and maintain the capacities necessary to successfully apply for, manage, and report on grants. Second, education for students of public policy and administration must focus on the unique challenges of a field increasingly dependent upon grants. Finally, future research will need to integrate the concept of competitive funding, to better understand its distribution and impact on local communities.

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