Politics and Social Movements

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Improving my Turnout Model - Latest Predictions

Previously I was relying upon Obama presidential 2008 vote to be solely predictive of turnout. However I've now created a turnout model for primaries with additional variables.

When I apply this to my predicted Sanders vote percentages (county-level), I get some small to medium sized changes in my predictions. Old values in parentheses.

Sanders Predicted Vote Share:
CT: 45.2% (45.3)
DE: 39.6% (35.5) <--- biggest change
IN: 53.4% - no change
KY: 44.3% (44.0)
MD: 27.6% (28.1)
NY: 33.1% (33.9)
OR: 71.8% (71.7)
PA: 42.7% (42.5)

Improving my Democratic Primary Prediction Model and Mapping Sanders Support

I'm learning a lot and have made significant improvements to my model.

Notably I've added a turnout variable - and am assuming that turnout will be proportional to Obama's presidential vote in 2012. While this is likely flawed, I don't have a better idea on how to predict turnout.

I added FB likes by county. Interestingly the FB likes by state are still significant.

I created a caucus-only model which has a much smaller confidence interval for its estimates (40% of the general model's interval).


My model for predicting the 2016 Democratic Primary/Caucus Results

I'm developing a model for predicting the Sanders vote share in the upcoming Democratic Party primaries and caucuses (2016). Unlike others, I've chosen to create a county level model. Ultimately this can be used to do real-time analysis of votes as they come in on election night. If anyone wants to work on developing this model, I would LOVE to hear from you. I've got an early version of the model (and a real-time "vote swing" analyzer), but it needs work. Notably I need a method for estimating county level turnout so I can translate the county swings into a state wide swing.

Who would Benefit from Rent Control in Philadelphia?

As rent continues to rise at a rate faster than wages and inflation for most Americans, many people think that rent control could help.

Previously, I made a Rent Change Map for Philly that shows that most areas had rent increase faster than inflation between the 2000 Census and the 2009-2013 American Community Survey.

I decided to extend this analysis by looking at which demographic groups might benefit the most from rent control.

Poll Averaging is Science but most Sanders Supporters Don't Use It

For the past five months, my Facebook news has been full of pro-Sanders friends posting stories about how well Sanders is doing in the polls. They systematically cherry-pick the most outlying polls, while ignoring the outliers that go in favor of Clinton.

For instance, they'll pick the recent NH poll that had Sanders 60% to 33% for Clinton, but ignore the two polls that have the race at 46% to 43% and 49% to 43%.

Online Petition Drive - Support the Winchester Tenants

I'm working with the Philly Socialists Solidarity Network in West Philadelphia and a group of tenants of the Winchester apartment building to put pressure on the landlord to follow the law, uphold Quaker values, and to treat the tenants as equal human beings who deserve quality affordable housing.

Please sign the petition. Please forward it to any Quakers whom you might know.


Philly Socialists - Solidarity Network Fights for Fair Housing

I'm a member of the four person organizing committee for the West Philly Socialists.

We have two projects. One is a free GED tutoring program that we're running at a local library on 52nd. The goal is to demonstrate our support for quality public education and to provide a direct remedy to shortcomings in the underfunded public school system (while we also take other actions - like joining a recent protest of the School Reform Commission's decision to cancel the teacher's contract).

The project that I'm most involved is the Solidarity Network. It is based on the Seattle Solidarity Network.

Currently we're on our second fight. We're fighting for a tenant who wants adequate heat, proper maintenance (hole in their ceiling fixed), pest control (flies and bed bugs), and respect for their trans gender identity.

Justice Map in development

You can see my early version of Justice Map.

This is for demonstrating what the layers look like, getting feedback on those, and not anything close to what it will look like when it is finished.

It is a set of open map layers based on the 2010 Census and 2011 American Community Survey for race and income. I put census tracts up online, but I plan to add counties (for both) and block groups and blocks (for race) in the near future.

Privatizing Philadelphia Gas Works: Pros and Cons

Mayor Nutter wants to privatize Philadelphia Gas Works - the city's gas utility. Probably not because he cares about public/private ownership, but he is out for the quick buck for civic revenue.

Now there are some fairly obvious reasons to oppose this as it is an attack on labor, the public sector, and may lead to significant increases in gas prices.

However what most progressive people aren't considering is that the city shouldn't be in the business of providing gas. We shouldn't be profiting from environmental destruction - we should be transitioning to a gas-free future.

Saving the Philadelphia Public Schools - Brainstorm

Here is a brainstorm of ambitious ideas for saving the Philadelphia public schools. As this is a brainstorm some of the ideas are very stupid (see the toxic dumps), and many of them wouldn't stand up in our unjust courts -- but the goal is to provoke better ideas.

1. Protest in Lower Merion Township or another school district that spends 80-100% more per student than Philadelphia.

2. Nutter and city council should publicly support a drive to unionize the charter schools.

3. Refuse every request by charter schools for zoning variances.

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