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Urban Policy Analysis and Management



Students in the Urban Policy Management program learn the theories, techniques and practices necessary for improving the quality of life for urban communities. Click here to find out more.

Prof. Lisa Servon Named Russell Sage Foundation Visiting Scholar

Lisa ServonThe Russell Sage Foundation announced that Lisa Servon, Professor of Urban Policy, is one of sixteen leading social scientists appointed as Visiting Scholars for the 2015-2016 academic year. The Russell Sage Foundation is the principal American foundation devoted exclusively to research in the social sciences.

The prestigious Visiting Scholars program, now in its thirtieth year, provides a unique opportunity for scholars to pursue their research and writing while in residence at the Foundation, and is an important part of the Foundation’s effort to analyze and understand the complex and shifting nature of social, political, and economic life in the United States.

During her residency, Lisa will draw from several years of original research to write a book examining the connections between financial insecurity and the consumer financial services industry (CFS). Lisa’s work traces the increase in the number of Americans who suffer from financial exclusion–that is, lack bank accounts and credit. She will continue her investigation into how this forces people to rely on alternative financial services such as check cashers and payday lenders.

We congratulate Lisa on her appointment.

Urban Policy Alumnus Kassa Belay

Belay PhotoKassa Belay currently works at the Administration for Children’s Services, New York City’s juvenile justice and child welfare agency. His work primarily consists of supporting partnerships between his agency, other city agencies and various nonprofit and community organizations working in low income and undeserved neighborhoods across NYC. Through his work, he often finds himself participating in initiatives that require a multi-sector approach to address complex issues regarding disproportionate minority representation in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. 

Kassa is also an active participant in local NYC politics, serving as the president of his Block Association, where he presides over diverse issues ranging from block parties to the balancing act known as “gentrification…Brooklyn-style.” Over the past 10 years, he has lived, worked and studied in 3 different countries, where he has carried with him a lifelong commitment to social justice and racial equality. In NYC, previous to his employment with the Administration for Children’s Services, he worked in a number of different positions at exalt, a youth development agency where he taught a course on job readiness and life skills to court involved youth and coordinated paid internships for them in fields of their interest. In Mexico, while studying Spanish, he lived in 3 different cities and taught courses on English and American culture. In Montreal, he worked with an educational enrichment program called Write Our Rhymes Down, which brought the first literacy through hip hop campaign to the city. 

Kassa graduated from The New School with an MS in Urban Policy Analysis and Management in 2014. Previous to that, Kassa graduated from Concordia University, in Montreal, Canada with a B.A. (Joint Specialization) in Anthropology and Sociology. Kassa was born in raised in the Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain.

Student OpEd: Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration: Hold Your Applause

By Kate Segal

The views and opinions presented in this piece are that of the author’s and not necessarily The New School.

Kate Segal_headshotIn the United States of America, a homophobic, climate-change denier who thinks that the government “creat[es] dependency, destroy[s] individual responsibility” and that in “the last 15 years, there has been no recorded [global] warming,” just became the first candidate for the 2016 presidential election. If this is the type of leader our country has to look forward to, it is a scary time to be anyone except a wealthy, heterosexual, white man.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, whose Cuban background does little to mask his xenophobia, also has a track record of staunchly opposing immigration reform and amnesty. So when President Obama passed the Immigration Accountability Executive Action in November 2014, which he claims would enable up to 5 million immigrants living in the U.S. to obtain temporary legal status and work permits, the state of Texas led the charge to block it. On February 16, 2015, Texas judge Andrew Hanen issued a preliminary injunction to halt implementation of the executive action after a coalition of 26 states alleged that Obama had gone beyond the scope of his powers. The move prolongs the serious exclusion from the country’s social and economic fabric that noncitizens contend with every day. Senator Cruz called it a “HUGE victory for rule of law.”

As an activist with several years of professional and academic focus on migrants’ rights in the U.S., the GOP’s anti-immigration stance comes as no surprise. But before laying blame solely on the GOP for the country’s state of immigration, let’s take a look at the Obama administration’s track record. It has deported more non-U.S. citizens than any of its predecessors, with the number of deportations steadily increasing over the past few years. Over 438,000 non-citizens were deported in 2013, up from 418,397 deportations in 2012 and 387,134 in 2011. Though President Obama says that any immigration reform should focus on “stopping the people at the borders, reinforcing our effectiveness there, going after criminals and felons who are in our midst,” fewer than half of those deported in 2013 had prior criminal convictions. While President Obama paints pictures of the “striving young student” or the “hard-working mom … snatched from her child,” he glosses over the ramp-up of detentions and deportations of these very people on his watch.




Urban Policy Alumna Justine Gonzalez

Gonzalez PhotoJustine Gonzalez began her career in criminal justice advocacy as an investigator with The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, a holistic public defense practice. There she learned about many of the collateral consequences of court involvement. Later, she worked with The Henry Street Settlement as a Success Mentor for chronically absent high school students, a city-wide initiative spurred by the Mayor’s Task Force on Truancy and Absenteeism. Justine worked with her mentees out of their public high school to get to the root causes of their absenteeism. More importantly though, from this experience she learned that she loves learning from and advocating for young people who lack the resources and privileges that others possess. She is excited to continue her career in youth justice atexalt, where she currently works as a Program Coordinator. exalt is an education and internship placement program that trains court involved youth in the soft skills needed in the professional world. Justine holds a Master’s of Science in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at the New School and a Bachelor’s degree from Smith College. Justine was born and raised in New York City.


Justine Graduated from Milano in 2014.



Urban Policy Alumnus Ben Kleinbaum

Ben-KleinbaumAs Vice President at Capalino+Company Ben Kleinbaum has represented national trade associations, premier private schools, developers, and some of New York’s largest not-for-profit institutions.

Since joining the firm four years ago, he has helped his real estate clients win approvals to develop more than 1,000,000 square feet of residential, commercial and educational space. He has also assisted trade associations in passing several pieces of legislation and worked with not-for-profits to raise more than $25 million in the City Council.

Prior to Capalino+Company, Ben served on several political campaigns in New York. His roles included managing targeting on a New York City runoff campaign and overseeing a 70-person citywide canvass for a statewide candidate’s primary campaign. Ben is a lifelong New Yorker.

He received a Master’s Degree in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from the New School and a Bachelor’s Degree from Bard College.

Ben graduated from Milano in 2012.