Tuesday, December 21, 2010

GWorks Interviews: Seth Stern & Stephen Wermiel

Seth Stern and Stephen Wermiel, the co-authors of the newly published Justice Brennan: Liberal Champion, discuss writing the authorized biography of Supreme Court Associate Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

GWorks Interviews: Nicholas de Belleville Katzenbach


History is in part imagery. And there are few images in the struggle for civil rights in the United States that rival the photograph of Governor George C. Wallace standing in the doorway of the Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama on 11 June 1963 in an attempt to stop the enrollment of Vivian Malone and James Hood.

The man facing Governor Wallace is Nicholas de Belleville Katzenbach, at the time Deputy Attorney General of the United States.  Mr. Katzenbach served in the administrations of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.  In the Kennedy Administration, Mr. Katzenbach worked in the Department of Justice under Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.  From 1961 t0 1962, Mr. Katzenbach was head of the Office of Legal Counsel.  From 1962 to 1965, he was Deputy Attorney General, succeeding Byron White, who had been appointed by President Kennedy to the Supreme Court.

On 11 February 1965, President Johnson appointed Mr. Katzenbach Attorney General of the United States.  Mr. Katzenbach volunteered to leave the position of Attorney General to become Undersecretary of State, a post he held from 1966 to 1969.  After serving in government, Mr. Katzenbach was General Counsel at IBM until 1980 and then Partner at Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti.  He lives in Princeton.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in Trenton, New Jersey, Mr. Katzenbach graduated cum laude from Princeton University and Yale Law School, where he was Editor of the Law Review.  He served in the United States Army Air Force during World War II and was a Prisoner of War in Italian and German camps for more than two years.

Last year, W.W. Norton published Some of It Was Fun: Working With RFK and LBJ, Mr. Katzenbach’s memoir of his public service.  Mr. Katzenbach agreed to discuss his book and his views on a range of topics.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

GWorks Interviews: William C. Perkins

In GWorks Interviews: William C. Perkins, Mr Perkins discusses his work, the economic crisis and the role housing development plays in the economy.

William C. Perkins is Founder and Executive Director of the Wisconsin Partnership for Housing Development (WPHD), which he founded in 1985. WPHD is a tax-exempt corporation that “expands access to affordable housing opportunities and revitalizes neighborhoods through partnerships among the public, [tax-exempt] and private sectors.” WPHD develops housing; designs and manages financing and other housing programs; provides technical assistance and consulting services; and does policy development and advocacy.

Mr. Perkins has been involved in the development of low and moderate income housing for his entire career. Before founding WPHD, Mr. Perkins was Administrator of the Wisconsin Division of Housing (now the Division of Housing and Community Development),* which managed housing finance programs, provided technical assistance to community-based housing organizations and local public agencies, and developed state housing policy and new programs. Before moving to Wisconsin in 1976, Mr. Perkins co-founded the Community Resources Group, a consulting firm that worked in neighborhoods throughout New England on affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization.

In December 1990, President George H. W. Bush appointed Mr. Perkins to the Federal Housing Finance Board (FHFB) (now the Federal Housing Finance Agency), the federal agency created in 1989 by the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 to assume the Federal Home Loan Bank Board’s oversight of the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks—themselves created in 1932 to provide reliable and affordable funding for banks to make mortgage loans. Mr. Perkins served as FHFB’s first “community interest” director, a seat designated by statute to represent the interests of lower-income consumers and communities. Mr. Perkins served on FHFB until 1993.

Mr. Perkins earned a Master in City and Regional Planning with distinction from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

GWorks Interviews: Michael Camerini & Shari Robertson

On Wednesday 24 March 2010, Home Box Office (HBO) aired The Senators’ Bargain on HBO2.*

The Senators’ Bargain is the last installment in How Democracy Works Now, a 12-part series on immigration reform since 2001, produced and directed by documentary film-makers Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini.** Started in the summer of 2001, the original thought was to produce a single film that would trace how an idea—comprehensive immigration reform—becomes a law.

GOVERNINGWorks interviewed Ms Robertson and Mr Camerini at the beginning of March. What follows is their unedited written responses to GOVERNINGWorks’s written questions.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

GWorks Reviews: How Democracy Works Now

The views of the Founders are varied on the nature and extent of federal legislative power. But, is it a coincidence that the seat of the federal government wound up in the middle of a remote, hot, humid and mosquito-infested swamp about which some of our earliest public servants grumbled greatly? Consider, too, Article I, Section 4, paragraph 2, and Section 5, paragraph 4 of the Constitution. The first commands that Congress must convene “at least once in every Year”; the second, commands that, when in session, neither House may adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other. These provisions seem to anticipate a mode of public service and a periodic government power often associated with Monty Python.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) at 8PM, Home Box Office (HBO) offers something completely different as it airs The Senators’ Bargain on HBO2.* The show explores the most recent and unsuccessful effort at immigration reform in 2007, following the rise and fall of legislation proposed by the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D–MA).


The Senators’ Bargain is the last installment in How Democracy Works Now, a 12-part series on immigration reform since 2001, produced and directed by documentary film-makers Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini.** Started in the summer of 2001, the thought was to produce a single film that would trace how an idea—comprehensive immigration reform—becomes a law.

And then: 11 September 2001.