Researching Public Law and Public Policy in the Public Interest

ABSTRACT: This analysis addresses the disparity in prenatal health outcomes between the City of Paterson and Wayne Township in New Jersey. It guides the reader through the experiences of a hypothetical pregnant woman living in Paterson to examine the institutional and non-institutional factors that prevent this pregnant woman, and others like her, from accessing appropriate prenatal care. This paper also discusses the relationship between the inability to access proper prenatal care and the perpetuation of poverty and inequality.

The number of children living in poverty in Essex County has increased over the past 15 years, with 1 in 3 children now living in poverty. The number of children in highly concentrated poverty has increased, and is spreading from the City of Newark to its inner ring suburbs.
in 2013, for the first time, a majority of public-school students in this country—51 percent, to be precise—fell below the federal government’s low-income cutoff, meaning they were eligible for a free or subsidized school lunch. It was a powerful symbolic moment—an inescapable reminder that the challenge of teaching low-income children has become the central issue in American education.
Either New Jersey’s poor have greater access to the resources available in more affluent parts of the state, or the places where New Jersey’s poor live must receive more resources from the areas that have benefited from excluding them.
The rapid growth of the nation’s poor population during the 2000s also coincided with significant shifts in the geography of American poverty. Poverty spread beyond its historic urban and rural locales, rising rapidly in smaller metropolitan areas and making the nation’s suburbs home to the largest and fastest-growing poor population in the country. Yet, even as poverty spread to touch more people and places, it became more concentrated in distressed and disadvantaged areas.
The Distressed Communities Index (DCI) is a customized dataset created by EIG examining economic distress throughout the country and made up of interactive maps, infographics, and a report. It captures data from more than 25,000 zip codes (those with populations over 500 people). In all, it covers 99 percent of Americans.
Nearly a year and a half after the city started using water from the long-polluted Flint River and soon after Dr. Hanna-Attisha’s news conference, the authorities reversed course, acknowledging that the number of children with high lead levels in this struggling, industrial city had jumped, and no one should be drinking unfiltered tap water. Residents had been complaining about the strange smells and colors pouring from their taps ever since the switch.
Areas that were once economically important languish as jobs are clustered in urban centers, creating a feeling of powerlessness as their populations grow older, poorer and less educated.
2014-2015 Equity + Opportunity Studies Fellow, Center on Law in Metropolitan Equity (CLiME): Food scarcity is a problem throughout the United States, but particularly acute within the urban ecosystem. As a result of mid-20th century urban flight, many urban supermarkets have followed the dollar, leaving urban communities- predominantly communities of color- underserved by traditional grocery retailers. To address this, I explore the idea of creating a sustainable nonprofit/for-profit partnership that can harness the strengths of both sectors to forge an enduring and duplicable hybrid solution to inequitable access.