All posts filed under: World Affairs

Public Policy 101: Understanding Policy

It is important for the public to understand how to understand policy, especially when it is in the process of being deliberated and adopted. As a policymaker, I want to share some of the finer points of policy making, especially into today political climate. *My views do not represent the City of Los Angeles or the Department of City Planning. Every year, a large number of policies are deliberated at all levels of government. Some are passed, some are postponed, some are dead upon arrival. In a democratic government, almost all of these policies are heard in some form or another by the public. However, there are a lot of nuances to understanding them and because the public are not generally versed in understanding policy, there are ways to get policies passed by influencing public sentiment or despite public sentiment. To make it easier for you to understand policies, especially those you care about, the following are three important things to look for to avoid supporting a policy on misguided assumptions. They are listed in …

Letters on Tuesdays – A Year to Remember

Dear Wilton, How can I even begin to discuss the issues that not only came to the forefront of, but also stunned stunned our collective consciousnesses last week? As you well know, from the conversations within our family, Donald Trump is to become the next president of the United States. How can I explain to you that a being like him – who disrespects women and woman’s rights, who is a racist, who is a liar, who abuses everyone who criticizes him, who is never prepared, who admits he never reads, who thinks climate change is a Chinese hoax – now has control of the most powerful nation on the planet? How can I tell you to believe that you will live in a world where you will be respected as an equal? The explanation on his rise to power involves the complex web of issues, that we as humans built ourselves, facing every single human being. At the very core of which, probably lies the unnerving question, what are we doing with our lives? What …

A Brief about Letters on Tuesdays

Dear Friends, Starting tomorrow, I will be posting a serials of short essays every Tuesday on a wide variety of topics in the format of letters to my little sister, Wilton. It will be an exploration and a reflection based on my various experiences over the last 27 years. It will also be a creative project to hone and expand my skills in communication and writing. If there is any topic or issue you want me to write about, don’t hesitate to let me know. I hope you will enjoy them! William

Days on Public Transit

What has the world come to? A slogan that has resonated throughout history, “Stronger Together”, is out-done by a call based on isolationism and division to a fictional, non-existent past. The world, supposedly more interconnected and educated than ever, is fraught with regionalism, fear, and ignorance. This is not to say that the future is not going to be better. The march towards progress and understanding has continued to be unceasing. With the rise of the millennials, who have a better grasp than any generation before of the interconnectedness of humanity, into positions of leadership and power, perhaps the world will truly understand that humanity is one. When I take public transit in Los Angeles to work everyday, I am exposed to the lives, actions, and faces of those less fortunate. Sometimes, it makes me wonder what we can do better to help those that society’s progress continue to exclude and leave behind. Sometimes, it makes me angry because of their own ignorance and their lack of desire to do better. Just today, while on …

Data Analysis and Interpretation Capstone

So, this is the end. It took six months, but today I completed and was certified for the Data Analysis and Interpretation Specialization by Wesleyan University through Coursera. When I first started in October 2015, I had no idea how to write code in Python, let alone produce graphs and run statistical analysis. It has been a fun experience learning how to write code in Python and learning the different kinds of statistical methods. Ironically, I learned these after I left graduate school. One would think that these are method courses you would take in school. For the Capstone Project, I do wish the data was more complete and over a longer period of time. It is difficult to run analysis on data that only goes back as far as 1972 and in many cases, missing records for many years in between. The results can be quite misleading, as it pointed to fertility rate as being highly correlated with environmental sustainability. However, fertility rate, in many cases is contingent on many different factors that are both quantitative …

Capstone Project: Results

For those following my blog on my Data Analysis and Interpretation Specialization by Wesleyan University through Coursera, this is the final course and the Capstone project. Unlike previous courses, I will move away from urbanization data and try to tackle one of the problems provided by the course’s industry partner. This is my introduction. Below is our third assignment – the preliminary results. Results Only the results for Burundi, Ethiopia, and Liberia will be reported, as the other countries demonstrated no change or very slight change in the ensure environmental sustainability index. Descriptive Statistics: The following table shows the descriptive statistics for the Ensure Environmental Sustainability Index for each of the selected countries, starting from the lowest GDP per capita group to the highest. The standard deviations are much greater for the lowest GDP per capita group compared to the others. In three countries, Seychelles, Canada, and Ireland, no change in the value of the index was observed. It would appear that countries that reach a certain GDP per capita will have achieved a mean Ensure …

Capstone Project: Methods

For those following my blog on my Data Analysis and Interpretation Specialization by Wesleyan University through Coursera, this is the final course and the Capstone project. Unlike previous courses, I will move away from urbanization data and try to tackle one of the problems provided by the course’s industry partner. This is my introduction. Below is our second assignment – the data management and analysis methods. Methods Sample: Out of the 211 World Bank recognized sovereignties, 8 (N=8) were chosen for this study. Countries that has the Ensure Environmental Sustainability goal were selected: three countries with the lowest GDP per capita (Burundi, Ethiopia, Liberia), three countries with the highest GDP per capita (Canada, Ireland, United States), and two from the median (Estonia, Seychelles). In addition to identifying associations between variables and the four sustainability indicators, this selection was used to also investigate how variable relationships differ in countries with varying degrees of economic development. Each country, depending on available data, has between 26 to 43 indicators for analysis with 36 years of data from 1972 to …