Our American States show

Our American States

Summary: The Our American States podcast is where you hear compelling conversations that tell the story of America’s state legislatures, the people in them, the politics that compel them, and the important work of democracy.

Join Now to Subscribe to this Podcast
  • Visit Website
  • RSS
  • Artist: NCSL
  • Copyright: (c) National Conference of State Legislatures

Podcasts:

 State of State Legislatures 2021 | OAS Episode 117 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

After a year like no other, legislators face some unprecedented challenges when they return to work in the 2021 sessions. COVID-19 and its effects on every aspect of society—the economy, the health care, education, criminal justice and more—will be front and center for every legislature in the nation. Tim Storey, executive director of NCSL, is the guest on the podcast and offers his perspective on what it all means. We discussed how legislatures will meet, what their priority lists look like, how budgets are shaping up and what a new administration in Washington, D.C., means for states. Additional Resources 2021 Session Prep: Resources for Legislative Staff OAS Episode 117 Transcription Back to the Future: The Past Year Will Guide Planning for 2021 Sessions State of State Legislatures 2020, Podcast

 Time to Redistrict | OAS Episode 116 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Possibly the most underreported story during the November 2020 election was the effect it would have on redistricting, the once-a-decade effort to draw congressional and state legislative districts. On the podcast, Ben Williams, an NCSL policy expert on redistricting, explains how the election sets up  legislatures to start the redistricting process, and discusses when the U.S. Census Bureau will supply states with the data they need to do both reapportionment and redistricting.  He also fills us in on upcoming three-day redistricting seminar offered by NCSL that will take legislators and legislative staff through the various challenges involved in the process. Resources NCSL Online Redistricting Seminar | Jan. 6-8, 2021 OAS Episode 116 Transcription Redistricting Homepage

 Some Sage Advice for New Legislators | OAS Episode 115 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

As the 2021 legislative sessions begin, about 15% of the lawmakers will be first timers. As with any new job, a little advice from more seasoned colleagues can be helpful. On this podcast, I’m joined by Alabama Representative Debbie Wood and former Maine Representative Matt Moonen. They bring different perspectives. Wood, a Republican, was elected in 2018, and is completing her first term. Moonen, a Democrat, was first elected in 2012 and retired this year because of term limits. He served as House majority leader. They talked about what surprised them the most when they first arrived in the legislature; how they handle relationships with colleagues, lobbyists and constituents; and their best piece of advice for new legislators.       Resources NCSL New Members Webpage OAS Episode 115 Transcription What I Wish I Knew Parts 1 and 2, NCSL podcasts

 CDC and States Working to Reduce Maternal Mortality | OAS Episode 114 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

An estimated 700 women will die  from pregnancy-related complications in the U.S. this year, and most of those deaths are preventable. In addition, Black and Indigenous women are two to three times more likely to die of pregnancy related issues than White women. On this podcast, the focus is on maternal mortality. I talk with Dr. Wanda Barfield, the director of the Division of Reproductive Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She  discusses efforts by the CDC to reduce the number of deaths, including sharing strategies with state legislators as they try to craft solutions that work best in their states. My second guest is Khanh Nguyen, a policy expert at NCSL who tracks legislation related to maternal mortality. She shares examples of specific legislation and approaches employed by states, including a focus on helping Black and Indigenous women.         Additional Resources Healthy Women, Healthy Pregnancies, Healthy Futures: Action Plan to Improve Maternal Health in America, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Hear Her campaign, CDC OAS Episode 114 Transcription Reproductive Health, CDC Saving Moms: Strategies to Reduce Maternal Mortality in the U.S., NCSL webinar The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Improve Maternal Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

 Building Democracy: The Story of Legislatures | Episode 4 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Overview NCSL’s Our American States podcast presents a special six-part series, “Building Democracy: The Story of Legislatures.” This new mini-series covers the history, characters and stories of state legislatures in America, from the beginnings in Jamestown, to the present day and into the future. Each episode in the series will contain interviews with experts from inside and outside the legislative world to provide a comprehensive view of historical events and their legacy in today’s legislatures. Extras will include extended guest interview clips, articles in NCSL’s State Legislatures magazine, blogs and resources for those who want to dive deeper into topics covered in the podcast. Episode 4 In this installment of NCSL’s six-episode podcast series, “Building Democracy: The Story of Legislatures,” we travel west to see how women fought and won their right to vote, as well as how they shaped state legislatures and life on the frontier well before the ratification of the 19th Amendment. The story of the 19th Amendment and its dramatic ninth-hour ratification on the floor of the Tennessee House is well known and often told. Yet, momentous events in the history of women in the American West are overlooked. While their sisters fought in the salons, houses of worship and halls of government in the urban “civilized” East, women strode ahead helping to form governments in the rough and yet malleable West. Women in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado (to name only a few) fought against stereotypes and social expectations to win the recognition of their rights as American citizens. Each state’s suffrage movement had unique motivations and avenues to success. One common thread to their strategies? State legislatures. Guests Senator Affie Ellis, Wyoming│ Bio Representative Meg Froelich, Colorado │ Bio Rebekah Clark, historical research associate, Better Days 2020│ Bio

 2020 Election: Big State Legislative Takeaways | OAS Episode 113 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

The presidential election, understandably, has drawn much of the attention of the media and the public following Election Day. But there also were more than 6,000 state legislators on the ballot and more than 120 statewide ballot measures. Some would argue those elections will have more effect on the life of the average American than those at the top of the ticket. One of those people is Tim Storey, executive director of NCSL and a close observer of state legislative contests for decades. Even after the election, policymakers in Washington, D.C., are likely to remain gridlocked and the real action will be in state legislatures, Storey says. He breaks down the results of the election and how it will affect redistricting, action on the pandemic and the economy, and more. Our second guest in Amanda Zoch, an NCSL expert on statewide ballot measures, who takes us through what passed, what it says about the policy concerns of Americans and a few of the more unusual measures that voters said yes to on Election Day.         Resources 2020 State Elections: What the Voters Said, Webinar OAS Episode 13 Transcription State Elections 2020, NCSL Statewide Ballot Measures Database, NCSL

 Clean Slate Streamlines Process to Clear Criminal Records | OAS Episode 112 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Clean slate is a policy model that uses technology to automatically clear criminal records, usually for nonviolent misdemeanors, if a person stays crime free for a certain period of time. The first such law in the nation passed in Pennsylvania in 2018. It was cosponsored by Representatives Jordan Harris (D) and Sheryl Delozier (R). On this podcast, we talk with Harris about what prompted him to pursue the legislation and how it has worked so far in his state. Our other guest on the program is Anne Teigen, a policy expert at NCSL who tracks clean slate and other criminal justice reform legislation. She offers perspective on efforts in other states and what the future holds for this approach to criminal justice reform.         Resources On the Same Page: Clearing Criminal Records for Those Who’ve Earned a Second Chance, State Legislatures magazine OAS Episode 112 Transcription

 COVID-19 and the Challenges for Higher Education | OAS Episode 111 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

COVID-19 swept through some colleges and universities this fall as schools reopened with a variety of approaches. Beyond the headlines, however, higher education and post-secondary training have been profoundly affected by the pandemic in other ways. Our two guests on this podcast fill us in on the challenges ahead and the role legislators will play in dealing with state colleges and universities. Our first guest is Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of the Lumina Foundation, a private foundation that is a major player in supporting efforts to expand higher education and post-secondary learning. He discusses how the pandemic has affected the world of higher education, how it has laid bare the need for more post-secondary training and how legislators can play a role. Our second guest is Scott Jaschik, editor of the news website Inside Higher Ed. Jaschik gives us an up-to-date assessment of reopening efforts at colleges and universities around the country and discusses the fiscal landscape state legislators will face in the wake of the pandemic.         Resources Inside Higher Ed Lumina Foundation OAS Episode 111 Transcription

 Election 2020: State Legislative Races and Statewide Ballot Measures | OAS Episode 110 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

While there is intense focus on the presidential contest and the fate of the U.S. Senate as Election Day approaches, critical contests are also underway for the control of state legislative chambers. We’re pleased to have Tim Storey, the executive director of NCSL, as one of the guests on this podcast.  Storey has been observing these elections for decades and  shares his thoughts on the prospects for a blue wave, how many legislative chambers are likely to change control and if we’re likely to see a change in overall state control. Also joining us is Mandy Zoch, an NCSL expert on statewide ballot measures. Zoch explains why there are fewer citizen initiatives on ballots around the nation this year and some of the more interesting measures voters will decide.         Resources OAS Episode 110 Transcription State Elections 2020, NCSL Statewide Ballot Measures Database, NCSL

 Supreme Court Update | OAS Episode 109 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

On this podcast we get an update on the U.S. Supreme Court from Lisa Soronen, the executive director of the State and Local Legal Center in Washington, D.C. The court started its new term on Oct. 5.  We discussed the legacy for state legislatures of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace her and the position of Chief Justice John Roberts on the shifting court. Soronen also went over significant cases affecting the states from last term, cases to watch out for this term and, of course, the upcoming arguments over the Affordable Care Act. Resources 2020 Election Litigation Tracker OAS Episode 109 Transcription State and Local Legal Center

 State, Federal Policies Aim to Ease Transition Out of Foster Care | OAS Episode 108 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Today’s podcast is focused on foster care and specifically on the challenges faced by young people as they transition out of the foster care system. Our guests are Levi Smith Jr., a 23-year-old senior at Georgia State University studying social work.  Levi spent 10 years in foster care and discusses the challenges faced by older youth as they transition out of that system. Our second guest is Georgia Rep. Katie Dempsey (R), who has been involved with various pieces of legislation affecting youth in foster care during her 13 years in the legislature. In the second segment of the show, I talk with Lynn Johnson, who is the assistant secretary overseeing the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Johnson  discusses the federal government’s role in aiding states as they work with young people transitioning out of foster care.         Resources Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services MAAC NCSL Human Services Homepage OAS Episode 108 Transcription Rep. Katie Dempsey, Georgia House of Representatives

 Data Privacy, State Legislation and the Pandemic | OAS Episode 107 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Consumer concern about data privacy has been mounting for the last few years in light of numerous data breaches. Many people also are aware of recent major governmental actions to protect privacy. One of the most far-reaching was Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, passed in May 2018. The California Consumer Privacy Act, passed in 2018, went into effect this year and was by far the most comprehensive law enacted in any state.  This podcast focuses on data privacy and features a discussion with Ted Claypoole, an attorney with Womble Bond Dickinson in Atlanta and one of the nation’s top legal experts on data privacy. Claypoole has more than 30 years of experience representing clients in in the public and private sector on issues related to software, data management and security. He is also one of the contributors to the HeyDataData technology blog. I talked with Claypoole about the ramifications of those laws, the prospect for more comprehensive data privacy laws in the states, the likelihood that Congress will look at a comprehensive data privacy law, and privacy issues related to artificial intelligence. Resources HeyDataData Blog NCSL: Coronavirus Resources for States Page NCSL: Data Privacy Documents

 Keeping Kids Up to Date on Vaccines | OAS Episode 106 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Today’s podcast focuses on childhood vaccinations and a troubling drop in the rate of routine immunizations for children in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our first guest is Dr. Melinda Wharton, the director of the Immunization Services Division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Wharton, one of the nation’s preeminent experts on vaccine policy, discusses the reasons behind the drop, the steps the CDC is taking to help states bolster the immunization rate, the importance of keeping children on a vaccine schedule and what state lawmakers can do to help. She also reminds us that adults need vaccines as well as we enter flu season. My other guest is Erik Skinner, an NCSL policy associate who tracks legislation related to vaccines. He offers a perspective on how state legislatures acted on vaccine policy.         Resources Immunization Services Division, CDC NCSL: Coronavirus Resources for States Page

 Building Democracy: The Story of Legislatures | Episode 3 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Overview NCSL’s Our American States podcast presents a special six-part series, “Building Democracy: The Story of Legislatures.” This new mini-series covers the history, characters and stories of state legislatures in America, from the beginnings in Jamestown, to the present day and into the future. Each episode in the series will contain interviews with experts from inside and outside the legislative world to provide a comprehensive view of historical events and their legacy in today’s legislatures. Extras will include extended guest interview clips, articles in NCSL’s State Legislatures magazine, blogs and resources for those who want to dive deeper into topics covered in the podcast. Episode 3 In this installment, we explore how the states and their legislatures expanded west, split apart, and came together again. The era of American history between 1803-1877 was one of massive territorial growth, conflict, and social and economic change. The U.S. evolved from a small grouping of former colonies and newly formed states on the East Coast to exponentially expanding territories across the South, Midwest and the wilderness of the West. Legislatures were the main venue for shaping these territories into states of diverse populations and environments. After the Civil War, state legislatures became the main setting for enforcing reconstruction policies and resistance to them. The struggle to integrate a huge population of formerly enslaved people into the citizenry led to incredible victories for the expansion of civil rights, only to see them shrink again, continuing the push and pull we continue to experience as a nation today. Guests Bob Davidson, former director, Mississippi Senate Legislative Services Office Mark Hirsch, historian, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian │Bio │Blog Burdett Loomis, professor emeritus, University of Kansas │Bio Kercheik Sims-Alvarado, assistant professor of Africana Studies, Morehouse College │Bio │Book Special Guest Voice Representative Billy Mitchell, Georgia │Bio Additional Resources Building Democracy: Episode 3 | Transcript Building Democracy: Episode 3 | Show Notes Building Democracy: Episode 3 | Resources and Reading List

 COVID-19: A New Approach to Back to School | OAS Episode 105 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Today’s podcast looks at how K-12 schools can reopen safely amid an ongoing pandemic and what that might look like for the foreseeable future. Our first guest is Dr. Carissa Moffat Miller, the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CSCCSO).  Dr. Miller’s organization works with state education leaders around the nation and offers a national perspective on how schools are reopening. Our second guest is Dr. Kristi Wilson, president of the American Association of School Administrators, which is the organization of school superintendents around the nation. She is also the superintendent of the Buckeye Elementary School District just west of Phoenix, and offers some perspective from the district superintendent level.         Resources AASA: Guidelines for Reopening Schools NCSL: Coronavirus Resources for States Page Council of Chief State School Officers Coronavirus Resources Homepage OAS Episode 105 Transcription

Comments

Login or signup comment.