Exploring a human activity we love to hate. A podcast about politics close to home, from our schools, streets, businesses, and local governments. Hosted by Sunil Dasgupta.
How Working From Home is Reshaping the Economy
The successful demonstration of work from home during the pandemic has led urban cores losing population and transit ridership plummet. In this episode, Sunil Dasgupta talks with Nicholas Ramfos of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Transportation Planning Board about their “2022 State of the Commute” survey, and to Jordan Rappaport of Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City about his paper predicting a housing boom in the exurbs. Guests’ views are their’s alone, not their employer’s. Music for this episode comes from Rockville singer-songwriter Gabrielle Zwi. Check them out: https://www.gabriellezwi.com/music. Rappaport paper: https://bit.ly/3HxhCOm State of the Commute: https://bit.ly/3jyhiad
A Low-Salt Diet for Our Roads
The arrival of winter snow and ice is met with millions of tons of road salt across the county, which corrodes infrastructure and automobiles goes into waterways, raising salinity levels even in drinking water and destroying plants and animals. Sunil Dasgupta walks with Abby Hileman of Izaak Walton League’s Salt Watch Program and Karl Van Neste, a local salt advocate, about the problem and what to do about it. If you feel the crunch underfoot, that’s too much salt. Music for this episode comes from Rockville singer-songwriter Gabrielle Zwi. Check them out: https://www.gabriellezwi.com/music. Montgomery County Salt Petition: https://forms.gle/mhNdVcJzBH15Jpys6
Last October, the climate group Declare Emergency blocked traffic on the Capital Beltway in an effort to force President Biden to announce a climate emergency. Sunil Dasgupta talks with Will Regan and Nora Swisher, who were arrested and jailed for that action, and Paul Severance, the group’s spokesperson to find out about their theory of victory. The episode includes a second interview Maryland state senator Ben Kramer about his claim to disruptive politics in proposing big changes to the agency responsible for land-use planning in Montgomery County. Music from Takoma Park bluesman Reggie Right-Eye and the Missing Pieces Band.
Bringing the Band Back Together
Twenty-five years after releasing their first album, Finster, a band originally formed in 1990s in State College, PA, release their second album, Crosswinds, on this episode. Listen to their music, how they came back together during the pandemic, and about the tough economics of local music. Kate Johnson on vocals and guitar, Doogie Whittaker on guitars, Howard Rabach on bass, and Matt Zelenz on drums. Streaming at https://finster96.bandcamp.com/ and your favorite music platform. Local news on bike lanes and Washington DC’s plan to bring back residents after the pandemic.
Overcoming Polarization in Frederick, MD
In the 100th episode of the show, Sunil Dasgupta talks with narrowly-elected Frederick County Executive Jessica Fitzwater about her campaign, her coalition, and how she intends to govern, offering a case study in managing political polarization. Frederick is living through contestation between newcomers interested in mainline pocketbook politics preferred by Democrats and Trump-inspired right-wing politics pushed by, among others, former Republican nominee for governor Dan Cox, who organized buses to take rebels to the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. Music from Takoma Park bluesman Reggie Right-Eye and his Missing Pieces Band.
Previewing the 2023 Maryland State Legislative Agenda
With the 2023 Maryland General Assembly session starting in less than two weeks, the new governor and the new assembly not only will have to figure out which issues to focus on but also how to balance between them, all the while developing new marijuana legislation. Sunil Dasgupta talks with UMBC political science professor Roy Meyers and Maryland Association of Counties (MaCo) Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally to find out how they see the Assembly’s priorities shaping up. Music from Takoma Park bluesman Reggie Right-Eye and his Missing Pieces Band. Happy New Year and for the last couple of days for 2022 giving:
Woman to Woman Mentoring
The Civic Circle
Project Linus Montgomery County Chapter
Action Committee for Transit
Urban Adventure Squad
The Senior Connection of Montgomery County
UpCounty Prevention Network
Washington Independent Review of Books
VisArts Art Lab
Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad
Sustainable Earth Eating
Repair the World
Montgomery County Special Olympics
More than Maryland
While focused on all things Maryland politics, this podcast also does a good job of overall civic lessons during the recap of the conversation. Professor Dasgupta definitely has honed the skill of the Socratic method. Note to guests: prepare well for this interview.