Local Analysis

A Truly Radical Approach to School Reform

WASHINGTON POST 02/11/13 By Michael Shank When it comes to forecasting the educational future of District youth, especially for those living in low-income communities, there are some impressive words and initiatives being thrown around by past and present city leadership. Whether it’s Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s “Raise D.C.,” a recently […]

Searching for Affordable Housing in Anacostia

WASHINGTON POST 02/06/13 By Michael Shank This month marks one year since my next-door neighbors in Anacostia moved out. They didn’t want to leave. They left because they couldn’t afford it. It was a single mother and her 15-year-old son, and for the purposes of confidentiality, I’ll call them Roz […]

Missing the Mark on Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy at MLK Avenue

WASHINGTON POST 02/04/13 By Michael Shank As Martin Luther King Jr. Day was celebrated last month with community service ads and intimations in President Obama’s inauguration speech, I wondered, as I do every year, how the nation can commemorate a leader so disingenuously. We will likely do the same during […]

Marion Barry’s Quest to Help Ex-Offenders

WASHINGTON POST 12/05/12 By Michael Shank and Lindsay Schubiner D.C. Council member Marion Barry’s ex-offender bill, which is on the city’s legislative hopper and addresses discrimination by granting employment protections, is needed not only in the District but also across America.  It is needed for an estimated 65 million Americans, […]

Anacostia: Why I Have Faith in the Future of My Neighborhood

WASHINGTON POST 11/14/12 By Michael Shank Of the two rivers that cup our nation’s capital — the Potomac and the Anacostia— the latter of the two is, perhaps, the most apt reflection of where America is at socio-economically. The Anacostia River, the Anglicized namesake of which was first officially recorded […]

Racism and Classism in the Heart of America’s Capital

AL JAZEERA 11/13/12 By Michael Shank Of the two rivers that cup our nation’s capital – the Potomac and the Anacostia – the latter of the two is, perhaps, the most apt reflection of where America is at socio-economically. The Anacostia River – the Anglicised namesake of which was first […]

‘Free Speech’ on the DC Metro

AL JAZEERA 10/09/12 By Michael Shank If someone got physically violent on the Metro in Washington, DC, they would get kicked off the train or bus. Similarly, if someone indecently exposed him or herself (as noted in the new Metro ads threatening action against indecent exposure) or yelled incendiary, racist […]

New Virginia Gun Law Will Boost Violence, Costs

WASHINGTON TIMES 02/17/12 By Michael Shank By lifting the gun purchase limit, the state of Virginia can expect to see a lifting of its violence limits as well (“Va. Senate votes to repeal one-gun-a-month law,” Web, Feb. 6). Virginia already has one of the highest rates of availability of small […]