Social Distance
Social Distance
Nov 18, 2020
How to Cancel Thanksgiving (Because You Should)
Play • 37 min

The coronavirus, in addition to being dangerous and terrifying, also makes everything socially awkward. But now is a time to make hard decisions and have hard conversations. Jim and Katherine answer listener questions about the holidays, and explain how to say no.


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The Strong Towns Podcast
The Strong Towns Podcast
Strong Towns
Gabrielle Gurley: For Transit, "The Cuts are Coming"
Most American transit systems were fragile before the pandemic—struggling for revenue, dependent for survival on federal money, inadequate fares, debt, and, in some cases, donations from local businesses. The pandemic has exacerbated these problems and turned existing transit models on their heads. In late December, Gabrielle Gurley, a deputy editor at The American Prospect, wrote an article about how transit systems have responded to the pandemic. “Most operators have mastered the virus precautions, requiring masks, social distancing, and deep-cleaning and disinfecting,” she wrote. “Some have coped better than others, though, in rethinking how to serve passengers who are no longer living in 9-to-5 worlds, and accepting the new realities about how to retain and secure funding at a time when Republican elected officials have blocked any federal response since last spring.” A survey last fall found the majority of transit agencies plan to cut service to close funding gaps. Gurley is our guest on this week’s episode of the Strong Towns podcast. She talks with host Chuck Marohn, founder and president of Strong Towns, about the convulsive effects 2020 had on American transit systems, how the transit experience has changed, and why the politics of transit funding is so challenging. They also discuss the cuts many agencies have planned (or have already implemented), how transit funding reflects what we value as a society, and how the pandemic will change spending priorities from expansion to taking care of basics. As Gurley says, “As nice as it would be to have a spiffy, high-speed train going from DC to New York in two hours…maybe we fix the [leaky] tunnel first.” Additional Show Notes * “Public Transportation in Crisis, by Gabrielle Gurley” * Other articles by Gabrielle Gurley at The American Prospect * Gabrielle Gurley (Twitter) * Charles Marohn (Twitter) * The Strong Towns Local-Motive Tour * Select Strong Towns content on transit: * “New York transit is facing "Doomsday" cuts. Should non-New Yorkers bail it out?” by Charles Marohn * “For U.S. Transit, "Death Spiral" Shouldn't Have Been an Option in the First Place” (Podcast) * “In Transportation Costs, ‘It's the System, Stupid.’" by Daniel Herriges * “Can a High-Speed Rail Network Electrify the U.S. Economy?” (Podcast) * “The Only Thing More Expensive Than Saving Transit is Not Saving Transit,” by Daniel Herriges
55 min
MPR News with Kerri Miller
MPR News with Kerri Miller
Minnesota Public Radio
What is the Democratic Party’s mandate?
After a tumultuous few weeks, President-elect Joe Biden will officially take the oath of office on Wednesday. Congress confirmed his Electoral College victory just hours after pro-Trump rioters broke into the Capitol building, temporarily delaying proceedings. His administration’s ability to pass legislation opened up drastically, when Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff won Senate seats in Georgia’s runoff elections. Their victories gave the Democratic caucus 50 seats in the Senate, which splits the chamber evenly with the Republican caucus. The tie-breaker vote will go to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, garnering Democrats slight control so long as they can keep their party united. Democrats also held onto their majority in the House of Representatives, despite losing seats. The lackluster results for Democrats down the ticket spurred debates over what issues the party needs to focus on and whose votes they should be courting. Two political scientists joined MPR News host Kerri Miller for a conversation about the Democratic mandate for the Biden administration’s first 100 days. Guests: Seth Masket is director of the Center on American Politics at the University of Denver. He is also the author of “Learning from Loss: The Democrats, 2016-2020.” Andrea Benjamin is an associate professor of African and African American studies at The University of Oklahoma and author of “Racial Coalition Building in Local Elections: Elite Cues and Cross-Ethnic Voting.” Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS
52 min
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