DATE: September 26, 2011
A Washington Summer for NCSS - The White House, Census and the Suburbs
The National Center for Suburban Studies extended its nationwide reach and reputation with its involvement in two events in Washington, D.C., including the first White House forum on the suburbs.
On July 18, more than 150 local officials from around the country gathered in the White House's South Court Auditorium to discuss the problems and potential of aging "First Suburbs," including Long Island. NCSS Executive Dean Lawrence Levy and Academic Director Christopher Niedt helped organize the event, which included several high-ranking officials of the Obama Administration and was coordinated by Building One America.
"The suburbs have become the center of American growth, with more than half the nation's people calling them their home," said Dean Levy, who addressed the attendees at a reception the night before the forum. "But this growth has presented many of these communities with challenges similar to those once found only in their central cities -- crumbling infrastructure, rising crime, poverty, drug abuse and other costly problems that small, fragmented suburbs aren't able to handle on their own. They need to work together and they need the help of their state and federal governments. This forum was a good first step."
NCSS has been urging the White House to form a permanent advisory council on the suburbs. "Hopefully, the Obama administration will see the value -- and not just politically -- of paying attention to the places that provide the decisive margins in national and many state elections," said Dean Levy.
For more information on the presentations and discussions at the White House forum, go to http://buildingoneamerica.org/content/white-house-event-report
On July 14, 15 and 16, the NCSS co-hosted a national conference with George Mason University, the Suburbs and the 2010 Census. The conference, held in Arlington, Va., featured a keynote address by U.S. Census Director Robert Groves.
The Suburbs and the 2010 Census was the first major conference to bring together scholars whose work focuses on the newest decennial data, which is used to apportion seats in Congress and state and local legislatures and apportion hundreds of billions of dollars in federal aid. The conference also allowed NCSS to shine a light on one of its signature initiatives, the National Suburban Survey, with a presentation that integrated census data and the well-regarded poll.
Dr. Niedt noted that, “The Census 2010 provides us with a wealth of new insights on the nation’s suburbs. It illuminates the trends – such as direct international migration – that are challenging our assumptions about who lives in the suburbs and why. This understanding is critical if we hope to meet the urgent need for social integration, equitable development, and environmental sustainability.”
For more information on the census conference, go to http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/CSS/ncss_conf_suburbs071411.html