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Courtney Cooperman

Mobilizing an immediate response to campus food insecurity

Last week, The Daily profiled two graduate students navigating the challenges of unaffordable housing, food, childcare and healthcare costs in the Bay Area. Rising expenses and inadequate salaries leave many graduate students, especially international students who have limited employment options and students with dependent children, vulnerable to economic hardship. Stanford is making some progress on…

Pluralism and politics: seeing democracy at its best

During spring break, I co-led an Alternative Spring Break trip to Washington, D.C. on the theme of “Pluralism and Politics: Exploring Faith-Based Advocacy in American Society.” Before the trip, I wrote a reflection on my preliminary understanding of the role of faith in public life, hypothesizing that religion “illuminates our moral commitments,” “motivates us to act on our values” and “galvanizes productive engagement in democracy.”

Pluralism and politics: An optimistic hypothesis

In just a few days, winter quarter will be a fading memory and I will be on a plane to Washington, D.C.—the spring break destination of every Political Science major’s dreams. Over a year ago, my close friend Eliza Steffen ’20 and I decided to apply to lead a brand-new class for Alternative Spring Break (ASB), a program that offers a variety of intensive service-learning trips centered on a particular issue area or community experience. By integrating some of our favorite Political Science coursework with insights from advocacy experiences in our own faith communities, we sketched out an aspirational syllabus and itinerary for “Pluralism and Politics: Exploring Faith-Based Advocacy in American Society. ” To our pleasant surprise, the ASB team took a chance on our brainchild; a Google Doc that we’d dreamed up during spring break 2018 was to become a 1-unit course and weeklong trip for up to a dozen students.

A political vision for the Green New Deal

Over the past two years, few political ideas have captured the imagination of progressives — and attracted the ridicule of conservatives — as intensely as the Green New Deal. Touted most prominently by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Green New Deal began as an ambitious yet abstract commitment to tackling climate change through an unprecedented economic transformation focused on empowering the communities who will face the effects of climate change most severely. Even before the Green New Deal had any official language attached to it, the leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination all threw their support behind the concept, making it somewhat of a progressive litmus test.

Does the Women’s March still matter?

“The Women’s March has the potential to evolve into a proactive movement that outlasts the frustrating political moment in which it was born. A year from now, I hope to praise the 2019 Women’s March for sustaining momentum, continuing to mobilize millions and meaningfully advancing its inclusive vision for our country.” These were my final…

No one’s talking about the best new bill in Congress

Last week, the Blue Wave finally arrived at shore, ushering in the 116th Congress and the beginning of divided government. Amid progressive excitement about the most diverse Congress in American history and national frustration about a nonsensical shutdown, there has been little spotlight on House members fulfilling their constitutionally prescribed responsibilities and introducing legislation. On…

Can family dinner save democracy?

Throughout the country and on Stanford’s campus, calls for civility and dialogue across differences are ubiquitous. Many maintain that America’s greatest crises stem from online filter bubbles, the tendency to demonize political opponents and our collective unwillingness to engage with divergent views. Intense polarization has prompted reflection on the value of conversation, sparking full-fledged organizations…

Now what?

Since the election of Donald Trump, the 2018 midterms have been the Democrats’ rallying cry. By winning back the House in 2018, Democrats could signal a strong rebuke to Trumpism and put a concrete check on his power, barring the worst elements of his agenda from taking effect. This long-anticipated, hard-fought Blue Wave might not…

When optimism is a Sisyphean task

At the beginning of the year, I decided to focus my biweekly Stanford Daily column on positivity in politics. I would highlight productive steps to take and long-term reforms to advocate, aimed at overcoming the systemic shortcomings that fuel our most intractable crises. This week, I planned to write about the incredible work of Stanford…

It’s time to abolish life tenure

Article III, section I of the Constitution declares that: “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior.” Since the creation of the judiciary, this clause has been interpreted to require life tenure for federal judges, including Supreme Court justices. The philosophical underpinnings of this provision can be…

Women’s March 2018: From aspiration to action

“Rather than opposing Trump, the marches sent him an ultimatum: We too are the people, and we cannot go ignored. We will hold him accountable to a higher standard than his campaign rhetoric. We will accept his electoral victory but will not allow him to set a national example in which grabbing women by the…

Testing the Democrats’ political courage

On Dec. 21, members of Congress shifted to vacation mode and headed home for the holiday season. Their last looming agenda item on the way out the door was the Continuing Resolution, a stopgap measure to fund the government and prevent a partial shutdown. The decision to keep the government open seems relatively noncontroversial, but…

Which is greater?

At the beginning of my freshman year, I quickly recognized that my leadership roles and academic achievements at my small high school were meaningless in comparison to the high-level work that Stanford students and faculty undertake on a daily basis. Rather than worry about my own relative qualifications, I embraced my own lack of experience,…

Not in my name

In 2011, Abraham Foxman, then the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed: “We must always be wary of those whose love for the Jewish people is born out of hatred of Muslims or Arabs.” This warning was written in the aftermath of a mass murder in Oslo, Norway carried out…

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Checking our national conscience

Since the 1990s, a growing number of college campuses, cities and states have rebuffed the federal holiday of Columbus Day and instead commemorated Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which rejects the glamorized mythology of our national origin stories. Indigenous Peoples’ Day highlights the violence at the core of American history and calls attention to the systemic oppression…

An open letter to Bret Stephens of The New York Times

About halfway through Week 1, a family member emailed me a recently delivered lecture by Bret Stephens, a principled right-leaning presence on the New York Times opinions page and a newfound favorite voice in my politically diverse family. Besides his occasional climate skepticism, I tend to enjoy the gist of Stephens’ writing and respect many…

[magazine][final]Some news is good news

This summer, it became all-consuming to keep up with the news. Some stories — the short-lived White House career of Anthony Scaramucci, the word salad that Donald Trump presented at the Boy Scout Jamboree — were amusing, although still disturbing. Many more — white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, a slew of devastating natural disasters —…

Hypocrisy at Haas

If the administration were truly supportive of Stanford Sanctuary Now, the President would not have tolerated the hostile removal of these student activists from the stage.

A new form of FOMO

In its most limited form, my FOMO is the disappointed but fleeting acknowledgment that I wish I were doing something more desirable in a given moment. It stems from pesky but inescapable realities that I am easily able to accept.
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