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Here at the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, success takes a number of different forms; whether it is through raising awareness or promoting a legislative proposal, we engage and empower our students to construct and contribute towards a more progressive society for all.









Predatory Payday Lending Reform 
Idea: Reform policies, such as placing APR caps on all loans, can close readily exploited loopholes thus protecting citizens against predatory lending. 
Impact: DC City Council heard testimony from the Roosevelt members and implemented these reforms. 

Originally published in the 25 Ideas for Working Families Journal by Alexander Bartik, Lulu Cheng, Brandon Fong, Gregory Gusic, Benjamin Lazarus, and Jacob Koch (2007)

For more information on the project: Click here


Engage Local Public Schools

Idea: Chapter leadership at Wesleyan submitted a Think Impact request to the national office, and began engaging their community immediately. They are working with the mayor’s office, local public schools, and outreach coordinators at Wesleyan to help improve and expand Wesleyan’s engagement in Middletown.

Impact: Wesleyan's Office of Community Service applied and received an AmeriCorps grant to fund seven teaching assistant positions ($1132/student) and a program coordinator position at Macdonough School. They are currently conducting the application process and it is going to be quite competitive. The program will officially start on Oct. 1st, 2010. The participants must serve three hundred hours before the start date. This is an amazing development because it will give Wesleyan students the opportunity to play a more valuable and formalized role in the classroom. Students will also receive training that will enable them to better assist teachers; in the past, all training was informal and students mainly tutored individual students.

Originally proposed by Miriam Rosenau and Kathlyn Pattillo, Wesleyan University

For more information: Click here

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Roosevelt Relief
Idea: A year after Hurricane Katrina, Roosevelt students from the University of Michigan traveled to the Gulf Coast to interview community members about their greatest challenges and to suggest policy solutions on these issues. The University of Michigan published these suggestions in a comprehensive publication titled Roosevelt Relief.
Impact: This publication that addressed economic development, education, and health care issues was adopted by a national campaign called the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project as its agenda for policy change. Also, a candidate for the Louisiana House ran on a platform of Roosevelt ideas. When the candidate won, implementation of these suggestions occurred immediately.
Originally published as a chapter publication by the University of Michigan Chapter under Hilary Doe and Stephanie Somerman (2007)
For more information on this project: Click here
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Tax Based Automatic Enrollment in Health Care Programs

Idea: To successfully enroll all Americans in health-care plans, the National Government can use the model of Maryland and Medicare Part B which uses taxes to allow people to opt-out, but does not require them to opt-in. 

Impact: Rob Nelb wrote this piece while at school but has been advocating for it at the White House. As a result of Rob's efforts, automatic enrollment was included in the Health Care Reform legislation this year. 

Originally published as a Roosevelt legislative brief by Rob Nelb of the Yale Chapter (2009)

For more information on this project: Click here

Rob Nelb in Huffington: Click here

To view his essay "From Sick Care to Health Care" that won the Kaiser Foundation's annual student essay contest: Click here

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Generation Haiti Initiative 

Idea: The recent tragedy in Haiti only exacerbated the country's long struggle with poverty, stifling further its ability to meet its potential in each of the three core dimensions of Human Development - education, public health, and overall quality of living. Jacob Helberg of the George Washington University proposed a Self-Sustaining Micro-Community to provide shelter, foster ownership, and advance human rights. 

Impact: The plan is being implemented in partnership with the French Embassy to the United States, and also in tandem with local partners in Haiti. Presently, the focus is on the expansion of educational and economic opportunities in the peripheral areas surrounding the city of Jacmel, in view of facilitating the relocation of homeless families. 

Originally published by Jacob Helberg, member of Roosevelt's GW Chapter (2010) 

For more information on this project: Click here

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Our People as Policy-Makers

  • Kate Brandt - White House
  • Dar Vanderbeck  - White House
  • AJ Singletary - Department of Transportation
  • Max Bruner - Department of Energy
  • Rob Nelb - Department of Health and Human Services
  • Kai Stinchcomb - running for California State Office
  • Ezra Temko - Delaware City Councilman

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 On-going Think Impact Projects : JusT A Few among many

Roo@ASU's Urban Agriculture Initiative

Idea: Roosevelters at ASU have created a new model of urban agriculture that will create work, wealth, and health for students, local business owners, community members, and beyond. Ours is a model for New American Agriculture.
Impact: By harnessing emerging agricultural technologies and leveraging ASU's proven reputation in the field of innovation as the New American University, our Urban Agriculture Initiative will provide internships and applied-learning experiences for students, serve the needs of area food banks by creating refrigeration space for fresh food, as well as establish and expand partnerships between our University and the private sector. Not to mention that it will provide a new source of fresh, organic, locally-grown produce to ASU students, without forcing them to leave campus.

ASU's Roosevelters also plan to collaborate with federal officials within the USDA's Department of Urban Agriculture to progress a model for New American Agriculture that is scalable at the national level, produces revenue for our universities, and promotes health among our student body and area residents. 



Telehealth:  Old TV Lines Improving Rural Health

David Silver, UC Boulder

At the annual chapter leadership conference in August 2009, David’s piece was chosen as one of the top three pieces of the previous year. Working with local contacts and resources of the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, he designed a system to improve rural health using leftover bandwidth from the switch to digital television. He’s working with rural health centers in Colorado and officials in the California state government. To see a copy of David’s idea, click here


Auctioning Off Prison Administration in California

Brent Gaisford, UCLA

Brent looked into a problem, and came up with an innovative way to fix it. After working with various members of the campus network, Brent brought his idea—to reform the California prison system by creating an auction for management rights—to various members of the state government. He is currently in the midst of working with members of the Governor’s office and the Department of Corrections to test the program’s potential.


Seeds of Entrepreneurship in Danville, NC

Glenn McLaurin et al, UNC-Chapel Hill

Working through the UNC chapter’s pioneering model of Think Impact, Glenn works with a team of students in partnership with the Danville Regional Foundation. The project is aimed at developing viable economic clusters of firms to revitalize the city and neighboring counties. The project could provide a springboard into developing entrepreneurship in small towns across the region.  Click here for more information on the project.



University of Chicago

The University of Chicago has teamed with King College Community Tech Center in order to achieve the common goal of an improved Chicago youth work experience, specifically training in computers and other technology is provided. 


Denison University

Somali refugees are given ESL classes and "business incubator" programs by Denison University, the Somali Senior & Family Service, and several other community leaders. 



In partnership with the UCLA student government, homeless students in need of stable, affordable, and safe shelter are provided a temporary housing network. 


UC Berkeley

Inefficient building and deceitful landlords are tracked and mapped in order to create a more transparent housing market in Berkeley and Oakland.

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