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Miriam Axel-Lute

Miriam Axel-Lute

Compassion for All at the Border

by Miriam Axel-Lute July 31, 2014

  If your social media feeds lean the way mine do, you’ve likely been seeing a picture of a sign getting passed around that says “Keep the kids. Deport the racists.” As slogans go, it very neatly ...

Artists and Urban Renewal

by Miriam Axel-Lute July 17, 2014

  Conventional wisdom says that artists and gay people are tend to be pioneers in distressed neighborhoods, signs that change is ’a coming. While there have been some funny, and likely apocryphal stories about unlikely conservatives ...

Actually United States

by Miriam Axel-Lute July 3, 2014


  Americans are a people hopelessly divided by culture wars and fundamental disagreements about the role and appropriate size of government. You know this; I know this. Everyone knows this. In some parts of the country ...

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Dry Detroit

by Miriam Axel-Lute June 26, 2014


  Water is a human right: Even the much beleagured CEO of Nestle, who has been accused of trying to privatize the water resources of poor communities for the benefit of its bottled-water profits, officially agrees. He ...

Small, Gritty, and Equitable

by Miriam Axel-Lute June 19, 2014

  At the United Tenants of Albany annual dinner last week, Mayor Kathy Sheehan spoke about her “equity agenda” for the city of Albany. We’re only as strong as our weakest neighborhoods, she said. We have ...

Making Reparations

by Miriam Axel-Lute June 5, 2014

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  I bought my house with the help of a downpayment from my parents. My parents got help to buy their house from my father’s parents. At the time when my father’s parents bought their house, ...

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Who Owns the Land?

by Miriam Axel-Lute May 22, 2014


  When I was a 20-something my family received a copy of the board game Monopoly as a gift. Being all varying levels of anti-capitalists, but certainly united in not being fans of rich guys in ...


Calling Don Draper

by Miriam Axel-Lute May 8, 2014


  Many years ago, I took a humor writing class in New York City. It was one of the most rigorous, challenging classes I’ve taken. (And for those who don’t know, I was a biochem major.) Unfortunately, ...


Imprisoned America

by Miriam Axel-Lute April 24, 2014


  I recently served on my first jury. It was a fascinating and challenging experience, which happened to involve a brawl around the corner from where I live. We as the jury took our job very ...

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Reverse Robin Hood

by Miriam Axel-Lute April 10, 2014


  Last fall I was at a conference in Detroit held in a hotel attached to a casino. “Did you go onto the casino floor?” my boss asked me. Along with our room keys, we were given ...


Public Education Is Under Attack

by Miriam Axel-Lute March 12, 2014

  Yesterday, public school advocates rallied at the New York state capitol to call for full state funding of public education. Participants held “R.I.P.” tombstone signs of the programs, classes, staff and resources that their schools ...


Off the Page

by Miriam Axel-Lute February 27, 2014

  There are a lot of complaints out there about the state of  journalism these days. And indeed, there’s plenty to bemoan. But there are some bright spots too, from the turn back to long-form that ...

How to Not Get People to Trust You

by Miriam Axel-Lute February 13, 2014


  This column brought to you by the majority leader of the Albany County Legislature and the proposed chair of the newly approved Albany County Land Bank’s board, via the question and answer session held Monday ...

This Is the Warm Up

by Miriam Axel-Lute January 30, 2014


  Railroad workers apparently call them “bomb trains”—those tank cars full of explosive crude oil from North Dakota that sit lined up in the middle of 787 and mere feet from homes, playgrounds, day care centers ...


See, Click?

by Miriam Axel-Lute January 16, 2014


  In a move of technological savvy, last May, the city of Albany became the first city in New York to launch a partnership with SeeClickFix, an app/website designed to encourage people to report various issues ...

The Fight Comes Home

by Miriam Axel-Lute January 8, 2014


  If you have paid even a modicum of attention to the climate-justice fight over the past couple years, you have probably been aware of both the movement to keep fracking out of New York state, ...

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The Three-Legged Stool of Economic Development

by Miriam Axel-Lute December 31, 2013


  Urbanist gadfly Richard Florida recently attempted to tip the sacred cow of "eds and meds" (universities and hospitals) economic development by arguing that cities with a high percentage of employment in those sectors tended to ...

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Still Burning

by Miriam Axel-Lute December 19, 2013


  I am and always have been a big fan of the winter holidays. Though I am not religious in the usual sense, nor much of a theist, I am a big champion of the power ...

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Five Things Engage NY Didn’t Intend to Teach My Kid

by Miriam Axel-Lute December 5, 2013


  It’s always good to look on the bright side of things, right? (Or at least frequently good. Relentlessly doing so veers toward denial.) Nonetheless, when you have a kid in school in this age of absurd ...

We Would Like To Apologize For . . .

by Miriam Axel-Lute November 20, 2013


  I’m traveling this week again. This means, among other things, that I get to hear a lot of people and companies say “We apologize for the inconvenience.” It took me a little while to realize why ...

“Smart” Kids and Hard Tests

by Miriam Axel-Lute November 6, 2013


  A couple of weeks ago now, I attended the forum on the Common Core standards in Albany with Commissioner King. The parents and teachers and board members and principals who spoke were as a rule eloquent. ...

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Let Teachers Teach

by Miriam Axel-Lute October 24, 2013


  This afternoon (Oct. 24), from 4 to 7 PM, there will be a forum with New York State Education Commissioner Steve King at Albany’s Harriet and Stephen Myers Middle School on the implementation of the ...

Who Gets to Play?

by Miriam Axel-Lute October 10, 2013


  My 2nd grader wants to do everything (Soccer! Gymnastics! 4H! Garden club! Karate! Running club! Contradance!). The only reason an instrument isn’t on her list is because she wants to learn flute and she’s too ...

Please, Talk to Strangers

by Miriam Axel-Lute September 26, 2013

  On Wednesday morning I got forwarded the following alert: “Albany police are investigating a report of a male exposing himself on Delaware Avenue. Staff from Myers Middle School notified police that on Tuesday September 24, 2013 ...

History, We Hope

by Miriam Axel-Lute September 13, 2013


  I’m writing this the morning after a historic primary election day here in Albany, and also the morning after a Presidential saber-rattling speech about a proposed act of war that, amazingly enough, even the general ...