Enrico Moretti: The New Geography of Jobs
Chapter 3 is about Seattle.
Howard Thurman: Jesus and the Disinherited
Mr. Thurman passed in 1981 but his insights continue to influence thinking today, especially about the intersection between religious faith and public policy.
Paul Tough: How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
The author of "Whatever It Takes," the story of Geoffrey Canada and the Harlem Children’s Zone, provides insight into the early development of children. What’s best? Cognitive or non-cognitive learning? Tough’s theory is that character is what really matters.
Timothy Noah: The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do about It
A sobering and rational analysis of the greatest threat to American democracy, packed with helpful ideas for reform. Noah identifies the six most significant contributors to income inequality. Read this book if you care about the middle class and our nation and city!
Eric Liu & Nick Hanauer: The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government
Another values-driven read from two local authors. Read it to discover a new way of looking at the economy and our politics. It's an inspiring essay.
Anthony S. Bryk: Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago
In 1988, Chicago public schools decentralized, granted parents and faculty resources and authority to reform. This book reports on a seven-year study of what happened and identifies the practices and conditions that were essential for improvement of student academics. The authors arrived at their conclusions by researching 100 elementary schools that improved and 100 that didn't. The five essentials—school leadership, parent/community ties, professional capacity of faculty/staff, student-centered learning environment, and instructional guidance system.
Franklin E. Zimring: The City that Became Safe: New York's Lessons for Urban Crime and Its Control (Studies in Crime and Public Policy)
What's really happened with New York crime? Nationwide, crime dropped about 40% in the 1990s. But from 1991 to 2010, a period of two decades, New York City crime declined 80%, twice the national average. Why? What factors explain this amazing reduction in urban city crime? Zimring gives his perspective in this new work, lessons Seattle can learn from.
David M. Kennedy: Don't Shoot: One Man, A Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America
Kennedy has shared his ideas with us and Seattle police successfully used his Drug Market Initiative along 23rd Avenue to stop decades of open drug trafficking. Now, Kennedy's new book tells the whole story, from the beginning to today. It's a story of reform, hard work, determination, and guts. It's about justice in the true sense of that word, a justice that infects a community and spreads. It's about the police and how their pursuit of excellence can inspire all of us. It's about cities and specific neighborhoods and how to create peace and community. If you want safe streets and sidewalks, if you want to end mass incarceration, if you want racial equity, if you want truth and fairness returned to the justice system, read this book!
Jan Gehl, Architect and Urban Quality Consultant: Cities for People
Gehl is a global expert on urban places. His firm's 2008 conclusion that Seattle should move as many vehicles as possible underground and work to reduce surface traffic is a compelling argument. Read Gehl's book at the same time you read Edward Glaeser's "Triumph of the City." Both authors present persuasive arguments for city planning that focuses on people.
Edward L. Glaeser: Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier
This is a very exciting, visionary, provocative book on the future of cities. Lots of good application for Seattle.
Michelle Alexander: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
If you read it carefully and with an open mind, this book will cause you to get a knot in your stomach. It did me.
Charles M. Payne: So Much Reform, So Little Change: The Persistence of Failure in Urban Schools
This is a very interesting book. Payne traces the American experiment with public education, especially related to African American children living in urban poverty. Solid recommendations on how to improve.
Anthony A. Braga & David L. Weisburd: Policing Problem Places: Crime Hot Spots and Effective Prevention (Studies in Crime and Public Policy)
An excellent examination of police patrol practices, why they are often misguided and recommended changes. This book could revolutionize police-community relationships.
Alan Khazei: Big Citizenship: How Pragmatic Idealism Can Bring Out the Best in America
A get-involved, make a difference shout out. Practical, yet inspiring and motivating. Khazei is the founder of CityYear, the youth volunteer movement.
Diane Ravitch: The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
Ravitch was despised by some when she advocated for No Child Left Behind. Now she's seen as a defender of teachers and traditional education methods. I find her to be a careful researcher and historian who adapts as necessary to focus on what's best for our children.
William Antholis and Strobe Talbott: Fast Forward: Ethics and Politics in the Age of Global Warming (Brookings Focus Book)
Quick, pithy, rock solid argumentation for action on climate change and global warming.
Jonathan Alter: The Promise: President Obama, Year One
If you love the "inside baseball" aspects of government, this book is for you. The President's first year in stark detail.