Recent Op-Eds

Jan 21, 2016
In less than two weeks, voters in Iowa will cast the first ballots of the 2016 election. As county clerks tally their votes, our nation will begin once again its loud, hard-fought, at times messy, but uniquely American experiment in democracy.
Dec 15, 2015
When Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act from the lawn of his boyhood schoolhouse, he said, "No law I have signed – or will ever sign – means more to the future of America." ESEA was a major part of President Johnson's civil rights agenda. He knew the best way to combat poverty is to give all children, regardless of race, ethnicity, language, country of origin, income, disability or immigration status, access to a good education.
Dec 09, 2015
World leaders from over 190 countries are meeting right now in Paris to develop global plans to reduce carbon emissions and overcome the threat of climate change. With 2015 shaping up to be the hottest year ever recorded, these talks are more urgent than ever. Extreme conditions are no longer a forecast, they are happening. The scientific consensus is overwhelming. A more diverse international coalition is calling for action.
Oct 05, 2015
When it comes to tackling climate change, one of the greatest challenges we face is understanding the myriad factors that influence our warming planet. Addressing some while ignoring others will only allow the mercury to continue to rise. And while threats like carbon pollution and environmental degradation feature prominently into any discussion about solving this crisis–and rightfully so–there's still at least one significant factor that remains noticeably absent from our discourse: food.
Sep 24, 2015
Pope Francis is in the United States this week as the most dynamic – even transformational – pope in modern history. But the pontiff, whose words and actions have reinvigorated the church's teachings on poverty and ending human suffering, is touching down in a nation whose Congress and laws are in many ways at odds with his teachings and beliefs. On issues like fighting poverty, creating economic opportunity, world peace and even addressing global warming, Francis has not minced words about the consequences of our actions. The fact is, the U.S. serves as a case in point of many of the papal arguments. Inequality and social unrest in American society today are not inevitabilities – they are the consequences of the choices we make as a society.
Aug 24, 2015
The late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin once famously said, "You don't make peace with friends. You make it with very unsavory enemies." History proves Rabin right time and again, and even provides fair warning for those who don't follow his advice. Because inherent in Rabin's words is the choice faced by any society confronting an adversary: It's either peace, or it's war.
Aug 14, 2015
When Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in 1965, it marked a turning point in our nation's long and painful march toward equality for all. What was enshrined in our Constitution from the start – that all men are created equal – was in reality, never realized in the eyes of our laws. Instead, centuries of slavery, segregation, and Jim Crowe voter intimidation left African Americans and other minorities politically voiceless and relegated to an underclass in our society. The stroke of Johnson's pen was never going to exorcise this stain from our nation – no law can fully force the end of hate. But for 48 years, the VRA held back the tides of intolerance, allowing for a tremendous swell in black voter registration, turnout and elected officials.
Jul 06, 2015
On a desolate dirt road about an hour south of San Antonio, some 2,500 women and children will experience the Fourth of July in America for the first time this weekend. For them, there will be no celebration: no barbecue in the backyard or fireworks in the night sky. We proclaim to the world that those facing credible harm in their homelands can find refuge in America, and they followed our promise of sanctuary for hundreds of miles to reach our southern border. They risked life and limb to escape poverty, violence and sexual predators in their native lands to find safety in America. Instead, we threw them in jail.
Jun 08, 2014
As early as this week, the House of Representatives will vote on whether to sideline itself from negotiations on the biggest trade deal of the 21st century.That deal – the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP – binds our economy and the fates of our workers with those of 11 other nations, many of whom do not hold the same high labor standards that we do, and some of whom are notorious for human-rights violations and currency manipulation.