in Change Agents

New York, NY Metro COI

The argument for hearing out a democratic socialist will occur because we are headed there anyway. There are many reasons for this evolution of social governance in the complex urban community. After WWII, American people will remember that their parents or grandparents could purchase a new car every year; wages were strong and ahead of inflation. Their employers and unions negotiated good health insurance services, supported public schools, and helped with their children’s higher education goals. Well-supported retirement plans were common. What we do not remember is everything between WWI and WWII.  It is remembered as the Great Depression, not the hundreds of big government programs and policies that pulled ordinary people out of desperate times. Historians document this shift in America well, but it has faded from the American culture to become an unknown.

  • Francis Fukuyama (The End of History and the Last Man 1992) In this work, he does not neglect to say there will be a century or more for globalization to establish liberal democracy. Nor will this tumultuous century inject greater prosperity into the world easily. The trade and communications economy could bring the world close to peace and prosparity, but only if Reinhold Niebuhr was wrong in 1932 (Moral Man and Immoral Society).

Social Democracy

Jack Dangermond is the founder and president of Esri, a geographic information system software company approaching $6 billion in assets since its formation in 1969. Thanks to rapid transformation in every aspect of digital technology, it is possible for an ordinary person to examine the availability of complex data sets by location. Jack’s interests are global, yet he is one of the people that fully understand that people will think local. It is about their front door and acting accordingly for events such as the welfare of their children. Take a few minutes (here) with his presentation ongoing global to local.

The Child Opportunity Index (COI) map is an excellent example (here) and is pictured below. It is calculated based on Education, Health & Built Environment, and Neighborhood Social & Economic Opportunity indicators. The Kirwan Institute published this research free and online because it works to create a just and inclusive society where all people and communities have the opportunity to succeed. For more information, visit their website (here).

It is developed here as a link shared with a discussion of a large housing development project near Flushing Creek in Queens. The need for this development to recognize related community development interests (e.g. childhood opportunity) is clear. What is not evident is whether the development will displace those young people, or bring them the future.

Point Layers

Polygon Layers

Housing + Transportation

The ESRI resource brings data to people, freely and without cost. It is not a service offering answers to problems, it is an invitation to people to recognize their power. In the example below the people of Flushing, Queens, and a large section of New York City do not need an automobile. What they do need is a high-quality investment in the subway and related mass transit system to be competitive with private transit. The people of NYC are the low-carbon emitters, however, they are not well represented.

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