Improving Public Policy
Pew data shines a light on lack of awareness of 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
The mental health and justice partnerships project released results from a national survey aimed at understanding public awareness of 988, the nationwide phone number to connect directly with mental health professionals via text, chat, or call. The survey found that only 13% of adults in the United States had heard of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline and knew its purpose. The survey also found that 988 has an opportunity to make a major impact, but it can’t do so if outreach efforts fail to reach the populations in greatest need. This survey, released in May, provided useful benchmarks from which to gauge awareness of 988 moving forward and will help guide the project’s future work with state 988 implementation teams.
State fiscal policy project hosts equity in infrastructure workshop
In September, the state fiscal policy project hosted a workshop on equitable investment in public infrastructure. The day-long event brought together industry experts, advocates, and policymakers across all levels of government to discuss how these stakeholders can help local communities access federal and state programs designed to reach the historically underserved. The event included workshops on how to elevate communities in infrastructure-equity conversations, how states can level the playing field, how federal agencies can more effectively achieve equity and environmental justice goals, and what successful approaches exist as models. Mitch Landrieu, senior adviser to President Joe Biden and White House infrastructure coordinator, joined Joel Wiginton, Pew’s senior vice president of government relations, to share insights into how federal infrastructure dollars can reach the communities that need them the most.
Niue announces novel ocean conservation financing plan
In September, Premier Dalton Tagelagi of Niue, a small island nation in the South Pacific Ocean, announced the launch of an innovative financing plan to support the long-term conservation and management of the country’s 321,000-square-kilometer (about 123,940-square-mile) exclusive economic zone. Under the approach, developed by the Blue Nature Alliance in partnership with McKinsey & Company, individuals or companies can purchase, for a one-time cost of $148, an “ocean conservation commitment.” This will provide 20 years of funding for management of 1 square kilometer (0.39 square miles) of the nation’s marine waters from threats such as illegal fishing and plastic waste. The effort, which aims to raise more than $18 million, advances the Blue Nature Alliance’s objective to strengthen ocean conservation and management around the world.
National Association of Black Journalists partners with Pew for juvenile justice fellowship
Five journalists who investigate juvenile justice issues are part of the new Youth Justice Reporting Fellowship, a partnership between Pew and the National Association of Black Journalists. The fellowship, which supports early-career reporters working on local- or state-level investigative reporting focused on issues in the juvenile legal system, represents an innovative approach to sustaining momentum in the field. It also equips journalists with the knowledge of how to accurately report on juvenile justice issues, including interpreting data, to keep these issues at the forefront of public consciousness.
Oregon adopts blue carbon natural climate solutions as part of climate resilience package
In July, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek (D) signed the state’s first climate resilience package, which includes Pew-backed measures to implement natural climate solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The new law requires the establishment of a carbon inventory as well as goals for carbon sequestration and storage in the state’s coastal and estuarine habitat, known as blue carbon, and in other natural and working lands, such as farms and forests. A permanent fund was also created to help landowners implement carbon-capturing practices on their land. Oregon’s adoption of natural climate solutions follows California’s approval last year of a similar approach to removing greenhouse gases, and it advances Pew’s U.S. conservation project’s goal to use nature-based solutions to help slow climate change.
Two sentinel landscapes designated in Virginia
In July, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) and a coalition of federal agencies led by the departments of Agriculture, Defense, and Interior, and nonprofits including The Pew Charitable Trusts, announced the designation of two federal sentinel landscapes, which cover 2.9 million acres in the eastern portion of the commonwealth. The area, known as the Golden Crescent, is home to multiple military installations that are within or near intact forests, agricultural lands, and marsh and riverine systems that connect to the Chesapeake Bay. The Pew-backed designations, which together are being called the Virginia Security Corridor, will enable private landowners to receive prioritized government financial support for taking voluntary action to protect or sustainably manage their lands and waters, many of which are at risk due to population growth, commercial development, and climate change.
Two Southern states advance offshore wind energy supply chain
In June, the Louisiana legislature unanimously passed a Pew-backed resolution to evaluate the state’s readiness to attract and expand industries that manufacture the turbines, cables, vessels, and other components required to support the development of offshore wind energy. Also in June, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster (R) committed $250,000 in state funding to a similar assessment of opportunities for the state to tap into the emerging offshore wind supply chain sector. The studies in Louisiana and South Carolina are a critical first step in developing the technology and infrastructure necessary to support a domestic offshore wind industry, and they advance Pew’s objective to secure policy measures that will lead to economic opportunities and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission approves important conservation measures
The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), the regional fishery management organization responsible for the conservation and management of tuna and other marine resources in the eastern Pacific Ocean, in August adopted two important Pew-backed conservation measures. It approved a comprehensive harvest strategy for albacore tuna that sets predetermined guidelines for assessing population abundance and setting fishing limits, avoiding short-term, reactive decisions in favor of those that protect the long-term health of this valuable stock. This is IATTC’s first harvest strategy and provides an important model that Pew and partners can work to replicate for other fisheries in the region. The IATTC also adopted an improved vessel monitoring system that will require captains to manually report their location every six hours if their satellite tracking system fails, directs vessels to repair a broken system within 30 days, and prevents vessels with broken systems from leaving port. This update will allow better monitoring of commercial fishing vessels to reduce illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. These actions—as well as agreement to incorporate climate change into future decision-making achieved in concert with nongovernmental organization partners and government and industry stakeholders—advance Pew’s goal for healthy, resilient marine ecosystems and fisheries.
Informing The Public
Pew Research Center issues in-depth exploration of religion in South and Southeast Asia
For more than a decade, the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project has provided global analysis of religious trends and changes, including in-depth studies in more than 100 countries. In September, Pew Research Center released a major report examining the connections between religion and national identity in six countries in South and Southeast Asia. The report, “Buddhism, Islam, and Religious Pluralism in South and Southeast Asia,” found that in general, the six countries surveyed are highly religious by a variety of measures. For instance, nearly all respondents in five of the surveyed countries—Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand—identify with a religious group, and majorities say religion is very important in their lives. The lone exception on both measures is Singapore. For the vast majority of Buddhists in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, there is widespread agreement that Buddhism is more than a religion: It’s also an important part of culture and family tradition.
Report details changes in the American family
Pew Research Center published a research package in September detailing the changing American family. The research is part of ongoing work on one of the biggest—and often overlooked—societal changes of our times: shifting family and work arrangements. A report, “Public Has Mixed Views on the Modern American Family,” highlighted Americans’ views on the future of the family, different family types, family responsibility, and what makes for a fulfilling life. The package also included an interactive feature with demographic data on how the American family has changed from 1970 to today, as well as short reads on fertility treatments, religion and family, and name changes.
Public thinks men, women treated differently on campaign trail, survey shows
A September report explored Americans’ views of the state of gender and political leadership, the obstacles for women seeking high political offices, and how a president who is a woman might be different from a president who is a man. The survey found that, for the most part, Americans don’t think a president who is a woman would do better or worse than a man when it comes to key leadership traits or the handling of various policy areas. At the same time, the public sees differences in the way men and women running for higher office are treated by the media. And many think candidates who are women are punished more than ones who are men for showing emotions and having young children at home, among other attributes.
Invigorating Civic Life
Final data released for Philadelphia’s business and jobs recovery dashboard
In July, Pew posted the final data for its dashboard on Philadelphia business and jobs recovery, which has tracked the city’s economic performance during the COVID-19 pandemic as compared with the same quarter in 2019. Overall, the dashboard found that Philadelphia’s businesses have moved to a new phase beyond the impacts of pandemic-related shutdowns, as federal pandemic support has concluded and other forces, such as increasing interest rates, have a greater impact on business conditions. In addition, jobs in Philadelphia exceeded their pre-pandemic levels across sectors, but the city still lags national and regional job growth. The dashboard included nine charts on local business and job conditions, tracked by quarter, to provide local policymakers and economic leaders with near-real-time data on economic conditions in Philadelphia. The findings were shared with Philadelphia policymakers, particularly the city’s Commerce Department, local business improvement district and commercial corridor leaders, and other civic institutions.
Pew-funded project stages its world premiere
A multimedia performance had its world premiere at Philadelphia’s Girard College in May, supported by a project grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. “Be Holding” takes its text from the poem of the same title by award-winning writer Ross Gay. Tyshawn Sorey, an American composer and assistant professor of music at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote the accompanying music, which was performed by the contemporary classical group Yarn/Wire. The New York Times noted that “Gay’s text is nominally about a balletic, baseline scoop shot from the 1980 NBA finals, as improvised and executed by Philadelphia 76ers star Julius Erving (known as Dr. J); but it is also about the legacy of Black genius off the court and about notions of community, or its faltering absence, in the United States.”
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