Research Roundup: New Reports on the Green Energy Economy, Poverty and Inequality, Strengthening Community Colleges, and More

New Reports on the Green Energy Economy

  • Understanding the State Energy Program - This Green For All report  offers a basic understanding of the U.S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Program and guidance on how to produce the best results possible.
  • Map: The Economics of Clean Energy in 50 States - This resource from the Center for American Progress provides state-by-state facts about jobs, savings, investment, competitiveness, and the costs of climate inaction in the clean energy economy.
  • Renewable Energy for America- A resource by the Natural Resources Defense Council uses Google Earth software to show existing and future renewable energy generation infrastructure across the country, linking this software to resources on technologies and state profiles of how different states are generating renewable energy.

Focus on poverty and inequality:

  • Inequality as Policy: The United States Since 1979 - Since the end of the 1970s, the United States has seen a dramatic increase in economic inequality, as detailed in this Center for Economic and Policy Research paper. Noting that public policy helped encourage greater equality during the decades after World War II, the paper emphasizes the changes in public policy that helped drive increased inequality in the last three decades.
  • Tables of Alternative Poverty Estimates: 2008 - Using an alternative measure for poverty, based on recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences, new U.S. Census Data finds that one in six Americans, or 15.8 percent, were living in poverty in 2008.  This number is significantly higher than the 13.2 percent as calculated using the official federal poverty measure.

The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Changes Everything - With women for the first time making up nearly half of all U.S. workers, this report by the Center for American Progress and Maria Shriver details how the increase in women in the workplace changes how women spend their days and how this changes how we all work and live, including women's families, co-workers, bosses, faith institutions, and communities.

Strengthening Correctional Education for Adults - This new policy brief from The Working Poor Families Project reviews state efforts to help prisoners reenter the workforce and society and makes recommendations to improve correctional education policies to reduce recidivism rates.

Strengthening Community Colleges' Influence on Economic Mobility - This Economic Mobility Project report finds that a college degree quadruples the chances that an individual born into the bottom 20 percent of earners will reach the top 20 percent in adulthood.  To further improve results, the report recommends more career counseling and assessment and making financial aid accessible to low-income, high-performing students.

Sick in the City:  What the Lack of Paid Leave Means for Working New Yorkers - Nearly half of New York City workers do not have paid sick days, and nearly two-thirds of low-income New Yorkers lack paid sick days, according to this report by the Community Service Society and a Better Balance.  Those without sick days are more likely to go to work sick, send sick children to school, be threatened by their employers, and use the emergency room for medical care than similar workers with paid sick days.

Labor Day: A Movie - Released in selected theaters, this movie profiles how workers in unions get engaged in political mobilizations, in this case detailing how SEIU mobilized members through canvassing, calling, registering voters, and knocking on doors in more than a dozen critical swing states during the 2008 Presidential campaign.  Group discounts are available.