Brookings Event: Transit and Jobs: Don’t miss this one

If you have an interest in transit, tune in to see Rob Puentes and other Brookings experts discuss their new report:

Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan America

** NOTE: This event will be webcast live. To view the webcast, please visit this page on Thursday May 12 between 9:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. EDT **

I reviewed the report, and I think it’s terrific. Here is the blurb from their website:

Thursday, May 12, 2011
9:30 AM to 12:15 PM
Falk Auditorium
The Brookings Institution
1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC

Against the backdrop of rising gas prices, growing suburban poverty, continued sprawl and uneven transit availability in cities and suburbs, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings will release a first-of-its-kind analysis that shows how transit systems link workers to jobs in metropolitan America. The analysis informs critical policy and investment decisions at a time of scarce public and private resources. Vice President and Director of Metropolitan Policy Bruce Katz will moderate a dialogue with U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Event Information

On May 12, Brookings will host a forum to introduce the report and an accompanying new interactive tool, based on Brookings’ extensive analysis of transit routes and schedules, demographic data and employment information from the nation’s 100 largest metro regions. The report reveals how well transit in each of these metro areas serves cities and suburbs and lower- and higher-income neighborhoods, as well as how effective transit is in helping workers in these communities reach jobs within their regions.

Brookings Senior Fellow Robert Puentes will give an overview of the study, which will be followed by a panel of policymakers and practitioners to discuss the implications of its findings. Vice President and Director of Metropolitan Policy Bruce Katz will moderate a dialogue on federal responses with U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Following each panel, the participants will take questions from the audience.
Robert Puentes
Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program

Moderator: Robert Thomson
“Dr. Gridlock”
The Washington Post

Alan Berube
Senior Fellow and Research Director, Metropolitan Policy Program

Ponsella Hardaway
Executive Director
Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength (MOSES)

Matthew R. Mahood
President and CEO
Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce

Keith Parker
Chief Executive Officer
VIA Transit Systems, San Antonio, TX

Discussion: The Federal Role

Moderator: Bruce Katz
Vice President and Director, Metropolitan Policy Program

The Honorable Shaun Donovan
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The Honorable Ray LaHood
U.S. Department of Transportation

Maternal and child health report from the Save the Children

Andy’s and my largest charitable contributions go to Save The Children. The day after Mother’s Day, they released their rankings of maternal and child health prospects by country. Download the full report here.

Their maternal health status index is composed of:

a) lifetime risk of maternal death;
b) percent of women using contraception;
c) overall female life expectancy;

Additional measures include:
a) Expected years of formal education;
b) Maternity leave benefits
c) Ratio of estimated female to male wage rates.
d) Participation of women in national politics (percentage of seats).

I might quibble with that last one, as there are many means of political engagement other than the national level, but so far, so reasonable.

For children, the index is somewhat simpler: under-five mortality, elementary school education, and secondary education.

There are several essays worth reading in the report, particularly those on progress in Malawi (horray!!!) and a selection from Rep. Donald Payne and Colonel John Agogliab, both of whom write about how American investment in health and environmental security make all the difference in real security.

However, despite America’s wealth and ability to help other countries, out of 164 countries, the USA ranks 31st.

This is from the FAQ:

One of the key indicators used to calculate well- being for mothers is lifetime risk of maternal mortality. The United States’ rate for maternal mortality is 1 in 2,100 – the highest of any industrialized nation. In fact, only three Tier I developed countries – Albania, the Russian Federation and Moldova – performed worse than the United States on this indicator. A woman in the U.S. is more than 7 times as likely as a woman in Italy or Ireland to die from pregnancy-related causes and her risk of maternal death is 15-fold that of a woman in Greece.

Similarly, the United States does not do as well as most other developed countries with regard to under-5 mortality. The U.S. under-5 mortality rate is 8 per 1,000 births. This is on par with rates in Latvia. Forty countries performed better than the U.S. on this indicator. At this rate, a child in the U.S. is more than twice as likely as a child in Finland, Greece, Iceland, Japan, Luxembourg, Nor- way, Slovenia, Singapore or Sweden to die before reaching age 5.

Only 58 percent of children in the United States are enrolled in preschool – making it the fifth lowest country in the developed world on this indicator.

The United States has the least generous maternity leave policy – both in terms of duration and percent of wages paid – of any wealthy nation.

The United States is also lagging behind with regard to the political status of women. Only 17 percent of congressional seats are held by women, compared to
45 percent in Sweden and 43 percent in Iceland.

Afghanistan, quelle surprise, ranks last. One wonders: is it morally worse to be a poor and battle-torn country where woman are treated miserably, or a tremendously wealthy country that could radically alter its own ranking–but doesn’t–but where women are much better off than in many other places?