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Jabari Simama  |  Contributor

Email : jsimama@mindspring.com Twitter : @jabarisimama

Jabari Simama is an education and government consultant and a senior fellow with the Center for Digital Government. He served two terms on the Atlanta City Council, from 1987 to 1994; as deputy chief operating officer and chief of staff for DeKalb County, Ga., from 2009 to 2012; and as president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College from 2012 to 2018.

Simama received his bachelor's degree from the University of Bridgeport, his master's degree from Atlanta University and his Ph.D. from Emory University. He is the author of Civil Rights to Cyber Rights: Broadband & Digital Equality in the Age of Obama, published in 2009, and has been a columnist for Creative Loafing and Southwest Atlanta magazine and a feature writer for Atlanta magazine. He blogs at Jabari Simama Speaks.

THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

The Chance Voters Have to Break Our National Silence

Too many of our elected officials have stood quietly by in the face of idolatry and a cult of personality in our government. We need a return to the values of honesty, human rights and caring.

October 22, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Next

The Underappreciated Value of America’s Community Colleges

They can play a larger role in rebuilding economies, breathing life into broken communities and enhancing diversity. Providing 14 years of free public education is an idea that deserves a closer look.

October 12, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

The Forgotten Meaning of ‘We the People’

Our democratic experiment in self-governing is on trial. In government at all levels, we need to get back to the place envisioned by our Constitution's fathers, however flawed they might have been.

September 23, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

The Drowned-Out Voices for Racial Justice

Political exploitation of pain and fear has diverted our attention from the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement. Public officials need to work to bring us back to the more important issues.

September 14, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

America’s Moral Obligation for Universal Broadband

Too little progress has been made to ensure that high-speed Internet is available to all. As the pandemic has demonstrated, far too many still don't have what they need to function in a virtual world.

August 24, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

The Misguided Rush to Throw the School Doors Open

With the COVID-19 pandemic raging across much of America, a return to full-scale classroom instruction poses too grave a risk to students, teachers, school staff, parents and their communities.

August 6, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

John Lewis’ Legacy of ‘Good Trouble’

In fighting for the downtrodden and the forgotten, not only on the national stage but also in local government, he led a life that ought to provide a moral imperative for today's public officials.

July 20, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Community Design

A Vision for Housing Policy for the Future

Over a long career, Eugene Jones Jr. has led several big-city public-housing agencies. In an interview, he discusses the federal landscape, affordable housing and political accountability.

July 15, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

The New Electronic Soapbox and What It Means for Public Life

Smartphone-wielding citizens and the ease of video conferencing have largely taken the place of the public-access television of earlier decades. They raise new questions for public officials.

July 9, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Racial Pain and the Empathy We Need from Public Officials

They must feel for themselves — and act on — the suppressed anger and heartache that the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police have brought to the surface.

June 24, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

The Valor Public Officials Must Show in a Time of Racial Unrest

They need to protect their citizens and businesses, but it's time for them to begin addressing the systemic racism underlying the protests that have roiled cities across America.

June 8, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

COVID-19 and the Uncertain Future of Public Higher Ed

The pandemic is challenging colleges' enrollments and finances as never before. Some may not survive, and those that do will have to consider major changes in their structures and the way they teach.

May 21, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Is Reopening an Economy Worth the Lives of Its Workers?

We shouldn't be casually equating the health of the economy with the health of the desperate, helpless people who labor on the front lines.

May 7, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Government's Role in Addressing the Pandemic’s Grim Racial Reality

COVID-19 is hitting African Americans the hardest. Public officials could do far more about the social determinants of health that underlie the coronavirus's disparate impact.

April 21, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr. and His Legacy for Public Officials

Saturday marks the 52nd anniversary of King’s assassination. In looking back at the campaign to end legalized segregation, the participants in the civil rights movement were willing to risk their lives to ensure that everyone could vote and that anyone could aspire to public office.

April 3, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Community Design

The Coronavirus’s Harsher Reality for the Most Vulnerable

The pandemic is creating new burdens and exacerbating existing ones for Americans at the economic margins. Government has the obligation and the opportunity to ease those burdens.

March 23, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

How Restructured Public Education Could Better Serve Everyone

Our current system fails to prepare too many students for the competencies that are needed in today's and tomorrow's workplace. We need to rethink our approach to funding, curricula and governance.

March 16, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

It’s 2020. Why Is the Digital Divide Still with Us?

Far too many Americans still don't have access in their homes to the technology and affordable high-speed broadband they need to succeed in today's economy. We need to think of it as a civil and human right.

March 5, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Community Design

The Challenges that Make Gentrifying Neighborhoods Special

Mixed-income and diverse neighborhoods are good for our cities. There are policies we can pursue that can help to keep housing affordable and protect these communities' legacy residents.

February 21, 2020
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