Media Advisory

Urban Studies: ‘Return of Urban Fiscal Crisis’

October 28, 2013  |  Media Contact: Courtney Coelho |  401-863-7287
A two-day conference presented by Brown’s Urban Studies Program will examine the causes of and alternatives to municipal bankruptcy under conditions of economic austerity. Richard Ravitch, co-author of the New York State Budget Crisis Task Force Report, will deliver the conference keynote on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, at 6:15 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching, Room 001. The conference is free and open to the public.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown’s Urban Studies Program will present a conference on municipal bankruptcy on Friday, Nov. 1, and Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. The conference, titled “The Return of Urban Fiscal Crisis: Alternatives to Bankruptcy,” will bring together scholars and practitioners from Rhode Island, Detroit, Stockton, Vallejo, and other fiscally strapped American cities to discuss the causes of and alternatives to municipal bankruptcy under conditions of economic austerity.

Speakers will consider the role of states in inhibiting or precipitating urban bankruptcies, the underfunding and risky investment of public pension funds, the need to maintain high municipal bond ratings, and speculative financing of economic development ventures.

The conference, co-sponsored by the Ford Foundation, the C.M. Culver Lectureship, the Harriet David Goldberg ’56 Endowment, and the Urban Studies Program of Brown University, is free and open to the public.

Richard Ravitch, co-author of the New York State Budget Crisis Task Force Report, will deliver the conference keynote address on Friday, Nov. 1, at 6:15 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching, Room 001.

Friday’s conference sessions can be viewed live online at brown.edu/web/livestream. More information about the conference is available online.

Friday, November 1
Salomon Center for Teaching, Room 001, the College Green
All sessions will be streamed live at brown.edu/web/livestream

1 p.m.
Introduction: Hilary Silver Brown University

1:15 p.m.
Central Falls and Urban Fiscal Crisis in Rhode Island

Introduction: Steve Larrick; Gayle Corrigan, Rhode Island Housing
Panel introduction: Audrey Davis
Panel: Marion Orr, Brown University; Elizabeth Cazenove Huidekoper, Brown University; Theodore Orson, Orson and Brucini Ltd.; J Michael Downey, AFSCME; Gary Sasse, Bryant University

3:30 p.m.
Detroit and Urban Fiscal Crisis in the United States

Introduction: Benjamin Gellman, Brown University; George Galster, Wayne State University
Panel: Rowan Miranda, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor; Gwendolyn Harris, Rutgers University-Camden; Steve Erie, University of California–San Diego

4:45 p.m.
California’s Urban Fiscal Crisis

Introduction: Daniel Moraff
Marc Levinson, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

5:15 p.m.
Municipal Bonds and Urban Finance

Panel: Gregory Lipitz, Moody’s Investors Service; James E. Spiotto, Chapman and Cutler LLP; Matt Fabian, Municipal Market Advisors

6:15 p.m.
Keynote address: Richard Ravitch

New York State Budget Crisis Task Force

Saturday November 2
Rhode Island Hall, Room 108, College Green

9 a.m.
Global Perspectives on Urban Fiscal Crisis

Anthony Levitas, The Watson Institute, Brown University; Jean-Jacques Dethier, The World Bank

11:15 a.m.
Academic Perspectives on Urban Fiscal Crisis

Howard Chernick, Hunter College-CUNY; Ester Fuchs, Columbia University; Rebecca Hendrick, University of Illinois-Chicago; Josh Pacewicz, Brown University; Michael Pagano, University of Illinois-Chicago

Editors: Brown University has a fiber link television studio available for domestic and international live and taped interviews, and maintains an ISDN line for radio interviews. For more information, call (401) 863-2476.