New York, NY—Today, the Roosevelt Network, a national network that supports emerging policymakers, researchers, and advocates, announced the release of its 12th annual 10 Ideas journal. Selected from over 80 submissions, the top 10 student-developed policy proposals reflect a nuanced understanding of government systems and envision creative ways to deploy public power for the collective good.
“The policies in this journal uphold the legacy of Eleanor and FDR in a moment when learning from and building on those lessons is more important than ever,” said Roosevelt Network National Director Katie Kirchner. “We believe that with the right policies, government can, and should, work for all of its people. These students are a part of an emerging generation of policymakers rewriting the rules to confront this moment in our history and make this belief a reality.”
Each proposal is the product of at least six months of work: identifying a problem, conducting formal research, and organizing and collaborating with local organizations and partners. This year’s proposals include:
- Prevent a 2020 Census undercount of University of Georgia students by establishing a postsecondary education subcommittee within Athens-Clarke County’s Unified Government to support enumeration efforts.
- Alleviate high eviction rates in South Bend, Indiana, by providing a right to counsel (RTC) in eviction cases and thus providing equal footing to tenants against predatory landlords; and
Foster equal access to employment opportunities for people of color and of low-income backgrounds in New York State by prohibiting the consideration of credit scores in hiring decisions.
- Lower rates of harassment and eliminate detrimental mental health impacts for transgender private school students in Massachusetts by conditioning private schools’ tax-exempt status on the prohibition of discrimination based on gender identity; and
- Improve the mental health and attendance of Missouri’s Ferguson-Florissant School District students by providing parents with laundry facilities in exchange for classroom volunteering.
Energy & Environment:
- Reduce the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill’s (UNC) carbon emissions by incorporating the addition of rooftop solar panels in plans to renovate student dormitories through the UNC Senate; and
- Counteract the economic losses facing Michigan’s agricultural industry and rural counties by creating wind energy incentive zones that encourage wind turbine development.
- Reach at-risk youth who need access to HIV testing and treatment in Fulton County, Georgia, by mandating that public high schools provide free, confidential, rapid HIV testing and counseling services in school clinics.
- Allow transgender Iowans to more easily legally change their name by abolishing the state’s current pricing structure and adopting a universal fee of $35 for all name changes; and
- Increase availability of legal resources available to asylum applicants in Texas by accrediting North Texas law institutions and allowing law students to represent asylum seekers in immigration court.
“The 10 Ideas series represents what’s best about the Roosevelt Network. It’s here that students can become part of the policymaking process, mixing innovative ideas with rigorous research and detailed implementation plans,” said Kevin J. Powers, Senior Consultant on the Committee on Higher Education for the California State Assembly and an alumnus of the network. “I’ve worked as a legislative staffer for over a decade, and I consistently see some of the best and most actionable concepts come from the pages of 10 Ideas.”
Later this summer, the Roosevelt Network’s 2020 Online Ideas will share more top student-generated policy proposals. These include addressing a socioeconomic divide in Michigan by making universal pre-K a reality and improving undocumented and uninsured patient outcomes in Texas by extending emergency medical coverage to include kidney transplant procedures. To stay updated on students’ work, follow the Roosevelt Network on Twitter and Instagram.
About the Roosevelt Network
The Roosevelt Network trains, develops, and supports emerging progressive policymakers, researchers, and advocates across the US, focusing on communities historically denied political power. Found on campuses and in cities across nearly 40 states nationwide, the network is built on the principle that changing who writes the rules can help fulfill the ideals of American democracy and build true public power. The network supports student-led, scalable policy campaigns that fight for the equitable provision, distribution, and accessibility of public goods at the campus, local, and state levels. In addition to its student-led activities, the organization leverages the power of its alumni network—which includes public officials, lawyers, teachers, nonprofit executives, and researchers—to expand opportunities for the next generation of policy leaders. A program of the Roosevelt Institute, the network operates alongside leading economists and political scientists to bring the ideals of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt into the 21st century.