Hell, yes, the rent is too damn high, higher than ever in fact. The reasons why are myriad: a shortage of rental properties, millions of families de-homed in the financial crash, and lending restrictions that have been tightened up in the process of financial recovery. The building sector is still recovering from the crash as well, so new housing hasn’t been added at the same pace as before the Great Recession. Meanwhile, family income, when adjusted for inflation is below what it was in 1989.
Criminal justice is one of those areas where funders have been banging their head against a wall for years—working against harsh practices that defy social science research, not to mention common sense.
Now, that blood-stained wall is finally starting to crack, as policy leaders and the public alike wake up to the negative consequences of embroiling so many Americans in the criminal justice system. With the wind finally blowing in the right direction, some foundations are stepping up efforts to make change.
The Obama administration has broken new ground in bringing together the power of philanthropy and government. Near the center of that effort is Michael Smith, the White House aide in charge of My Brother’s Keeper.
In recent years, the bank has dramatically ramped up its grantmaking to help revitalize cities and bolster urban workforces. Now it’s getting more intellectual firepower on its side by hooking up with a top think tank.
Nonprofits and funders on the side of improving access to housing and financial assets for low-income people are closely watching a showdown in the Supreme Court on “disparate impact.”
When you are one, you have only just learned to speak. You move about clumsily and knock things down a lot. You don’t yet know what is possible, but you are burgeoning with life.
If you hang around the more professionalized precincts of philanthropy—like big name foundations with their armies of Ph.D.s or major consulting firms—the business of giving away large amounts of money can seem awfully complicated. (Hence all those Ph.D.s.)
But if you talk with Herb Sandler, as I did recently, it sounds pretty darn simple.