Subjects as diverse as river pollution, citizens’ privacy, veterans’ benefits, nutrition, and the on-time performance of public transit were among the areas of energetic advocacy by Catholic University Law and Public Policy Program students that were recognized at a special reception on April 13th.
- Jacquisha Cardwell specifically addressed school readiness in area low-income children by designing a campaign to improve the quality and quantity of early childhood education. Her approach created care slots for pre-school age children, toddlers, and infants in the Going for the Gold program—a quality ratings program that evaluates and reimburses child care centers that provide services to children from low income families. Her goal was to increase reimbursement rates for highly ranked early education and care centers in the program.
- Elizabeth Donovan examined Metro’s lack of official headway times (i.e. the number of minutes between train arrivals at any given Metrorail station), as well as the disconnect between the unofficial headway that can be inferred from Metro’s published off-peak schedule and the actual average headway times. She is calculating Metro's average headway and on-time performance through its self-reported delays and comparing this to the average headway Metro purports to have, arguing in the end that an official, set headway policy is necessary for riders to have more clarity and a better understanding as to what to expect.
- Michael Flynn’s project addresses the importance of defining “cyberattacks.” He believes that a definition is needed to build consensus with respect to cybersecurity policy that addresses the public, private and international dimensions of cyberspace. The goal of Mike’s project is to educate policy makers on the importance of developing a definition for destructive, degrading or disruptive cyber effects as cyberattacks. Currently, Mike is clerking with the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Office of the Ranking Member Chuck Grassley.
- Brian Indovina’s research and advocacy centered on expanding at-home broadband Internet access among D.C.'s K-12 school population.
- Soojin Kim aimed to promote healthy eating in the law school cafeteria. To achieve this goal, she implemented three policy actions: (1) provide nutritional/caloric information about the existing menus in the law school cafeteria; (2) promote students' healthy eating through posters and other advertisements; and (3) create a special event in the cafeteria to draw students' attention to healthy food options. In implementing these policy actions, Soojin worked closely with school dining service officials and a representative of Aramark, the commercial dining service provider for CUA.
- Jessica Kleinman focused on influencing the D.C. Department of Health Care Finance to amend D.C. Medicaid to reimburse alternative health providers in non-clinical settings. D.C. has one of the highest rates of pediatric asthma in the nation and also has one of the highest rates of children who are hospitalized due to asthma attacks. To add to these devastating facts, most of the children who land in the emergency room are low-income minorities. Jessica has worked on expanding the range of health care options open to these children and their families.
- Michelle Lease advocated against a proposal by Washington, D.C. Councilman Tommy Wells to install live monitor closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras throughout D.C. Michelle argued that live monitoring CCTV cameras would infringe on the privacy rights of citizens; that they do not actually prevent crime; and that CCTV surveillance is extremely expensive to implement. She worked with Councilman Wells' office and other advocacy groups with similar interests.
- David Porras chose to focus on pollution in the Anacostia River resulting specifically from pet waste. The D.C. government initiated a plan to reduce pollution in the Anacostia River; however, it did not include proactive pet waste education. David suggests that this information could conveniently be provided during the mandatory annual registration of all dogs residing in the District. He is working with local stakeholders and the D.C. government to get information regarding the benefits of curbing one’s dog’s waste in the hands of the dog owners. David is the president of the law school’s Environmental Law Society.
- Clark Taylor dealt with forced arbitration in Washington, D.C. Specifically, Clark engaged in an advocacy effort to persuade the D.C. Council to mandate that any arbitration proceeding arising out of a pre-dispute, forced arbitration clause in an employment contract must be held within a reasonable distance of the District.
In addition, Michelle Lease, David Porras and Clark Taylor (left) were presented with Dulin Haynes Fellowships, established in 1985 in memory of Eleanore Dulin and her husband the Hon. James Clanton Haynes, an alumnus of the Columbus School of Law, who served as an administrative law judge in the United States government.