Month: March 2017

US-Mexico Relations in the Trump Era—Where Do We Go From Here?

Photo: Reuters/Henry Romero In my class with the Strauss Center’s Mexico Security Initiative[1], my classmates and I are fine-tuning our policy report for the upcoming 2018 Mexican elections.  Set against the backdrop of brutal crime and cartel violence, our project focuses on strategies for the next Mexican administration regarding several key policy arenas—economic, security, civil society, and political— that can be adopted to improve the situation for citizens’ safety. But Trump’s unanticipated victory in the 2016 US presidential elections has dramatically altered the decision-making calculus of US-Mexico relations.  A cornerstone of the class is the chance to hear expert testimony...

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The World of the Texas State Capitol

Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Representative Gina Hinojosa rushes into the office just as the House is being called to the Floor, but she takes the time to greet everyone in the office and ask how they are before rushing back out again. I’m usually already at my desk, settling in and sorting through the stack of papers that mysteriously appeared overnight. I’m becoming convinced that they are placed there by the Capitol custodial services. About thirty minutes prior to that, I’ve just made my way across the Capitol grounds – espresso drink in hand, lest I want to...

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Three Weeks in Mumbai

Photo: Sarah Blumberg, the author and her cohort shown in front of the Ashte village Community Center The children turned attentively and chorused “Good Morning, Teacher!” as we entered the room. Students sat cross-legged on the floor with their school bags splayed around the perimeter. One class excitedly recited the “continent” song for us and another class eagerly showed us the motions to “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes”. Even that first day, it was easy to lose ourselves in the children’s bright smiles and laughter. Yet, it was impossible to miss the faded plastic bags instead of backpacks, sparse...

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A Pro-Women Opportunity for U.S. Policymakers

Photo: USAID. This op-ed was first published on The Hill on March 8, 2017.  Authors: Catherine Weaver (, Mary Vo (, Lina Nabulsi (, and Cassie Gianni ( On International Women’s Day on March 8, U.S. Congress can celebrate women by signaling their intent to fully fund the new Global Food Security Act (GFSA). In June 2016, Congress permanently authorized the GFSA with an overwhelming majority. This rare bipartisan act demonstrated our national commitment to women’s empowerment and well-being. When fully funded, GFSA will support programs across federal departments and agencies to enhance the nutritional health and agricultural livelihood activities of poor...

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45 Arrests and Counting: a John Lewis Documentary at the 20th Barbara Jordan National Forum

Photo: Get In The Way Movie “Tell the story. Tell it over and over again.” So exhorts the titular figure at the beginning of “Get in the Way: The Journey of John Lewis,” a new documentary about John Lewis and his participation in the Civil Rights Movement. Filmmaker Kathleen Dowdey’s moving portrayal of this piece of American history was screened this week as part of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs’ 20th annual Barbara Jordan National Forum. As many in the audience noted during the Q&A panel that followed, the lessons we can learn from John Lewis’...

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