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August 25, 2007


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Bruce Trachtenberg

To answer your question, "will this report be remembered in 2009?" -- well, actually, I can't answer that. But we can count on you, I hope, to put it in your tickle file and point to it again (and perhaps, a few times, before that).

Albert Ruesga

I'll send the authors a postcard with a picture of a multi-ethnic, multi-racial group of young people smiling broadly. They'll think I'm reminding them of a dental appointment.

Bruce Trachtenberg

I get it: "root" canal philanthropy.

Thanks for bringing more attention to the PRAC newsletter.

It is a crusty old rag, but you can mine it for some goodies once in awhile.

I found the responses to the report were more valuable than the report.

I gathered that many of the folks contested it as a tired techno-policy narrative familiar in days of yore. They found it quaint as it ressurected the dignified myth of linear models of public policy.

My hunch is that it will be ignored. Shifting the dominant narrative of "its their own damn fault" is a bear. It ain't gonna be a grand plan.

A related aside....

I recently had lunch with leaders of three African American service/advocacy organizations with proud histories of fighting against poverty.

Two of the more buttoned-down organizations recast their organizational narratives in the safe terms of economic mobility and inclusion.

The old grey-haired activist who spoke last was the only one that mentioned the words poverty, racism, inequality, or equity.

Guess which organizations are doing great at fundraising?

It made me kind of sad that moral arguments like those implicit in the report are so easily deflected.


Thanks for your comments. I wonder how poverty-fighting efforts that substitute fresh young faces for the faces of the abjectly poor (e.g., the Opportunity Agenda) are faring. Economic mobility and inclusion -- do members of key audiences even know what these things mean? Economic mobility for fashionably attired twenty-somethings with clear complexions? I understand the need to correct distorting frames, but when does reframing itself introduce morally unacceptable distortions?

Nasty Hababbitt

Looking things in the "face" is harder than it sounds.


Alberto Gonzalez, Condi Rice, Colin Powell - mobility and inclusion. A great country with opportunity for all.

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