This isn’t your father’s unemployment line

Job seeking ain’t what it used to be. First, you apply for unemployment compensation on a state agency website. You don’t have to talk to a person unless denied. Then, once registered, one is instructed to keep records of job-search activities because someone from the unemployment office could check on them at any time. This is where it gets complicated.

The Disconnected: Youth, Policy, Work

“Work is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life, rather than a Monday-to-Friday sort of dying.” Pulitzer Prize winning author Studs Terkel wrote this in his classic oral history Working, and is the […]

We need a new approach to youth jobs

Jobs for youth have always been a challenge, and the recession has made this worse. According to the Department of Labor, 25% of all unemployed individuals are under the age of 25 and the number of employed teens has declined by 23% in recent years. Less than 14% of low income teens currently hold a legitimate job. Traditional strategies have failed to adequately address the problem.

Creating artisanal food districts in Baltimore

Take a walk through Highlandtown or Station North and it’s clear that Baltimore has done an exemplary job of creating an environment that is not only welcoming to artists, but encourages their creativity. From housing communities and educational opportunities to tax breaks, Baltimore has rolled out the welcome mat, and like a friendly neighbor brought […]

Hire an Innovation Community Manager for Baltimore

Baltimore is experiencing a renaissance of ideas and entrepreneurship driven from the bottom-up; with a little support from the top-down, this renaissance has the potential to transform our economy. I challenge Baltimore’s economic development organizations to invest in this promising trend by sponsoring a new “Innovation Community Manager” staff position charged with supporting the community […]

Make Baltimore a startup city

The Idea Monica Beeman and I propose the creation of a business incubation and acceleration project to encourage more risk-taking and more wealth-creation in Baltimore called Startup City. During the 12-week program, ten teams of entrepreneurs create 10 new companies. Each team gets $15,000, free office space, business advice, and continuous mentorship from local investors […]

Why aren’t we working together for full employment in Baltimore?

On Martin Luther King Jr. day this year, 600-700 job seekers showed up at St. Frances Academy Community Center for its ninth annual job fair. Unemployed from around the city went to refresher classes, prayed before their noontime lunch, and then presented resumes prepared earlier in classrooms upstairs from the job fair held in the […]

A jobs strategy for everyone

If our goal is to redevelop Baltimore and the State of Maryland into a world class city and state, we will need to insure that everybody is working with that same goal in mind. We need a jobs strategy that involves all levels of our society. Currently, there is a jobs strategy for biotechnical, technology, […]

Corporate law for the people

My audacious idea is for citizens to make corporate law work for them. Corporations have long wielded power to the detriment of the people. What if individuals used corporate law to organize, make their communities better places to live, and hold for-profit corporations responsible for their detrimental effects on their neighborhoods? Instead of a McDonald’s […]

Investing in education innovation

Two decades ago, a young Princeton University undergraduate student proposed an “audacious idea” as part of her thesis: to create a grassroots organization devoted to education reform by recruiting the best and brightest college students to teach in America’s most challenged classrooms. Today, Wendy Kopp is recognized by Time Magazine as one the world’s most […]