Alan Greenblatt

Alan Greenblatt has been covering politics and government in Washington and around the country for 20 years. He came to NPR as a digital reporter in 2010, writing about a wide range of topics, including elections, housing economics, natural disasters and same-sex marriage.

He was previously a reporter with Governing, a magazine that covers state and local government issues. Alan wrote about education, budgets, economic development and legislative behavior, among other topics. He is the coauthor, with Kevin Smith, of Governing States and Localities, a college-level textbook that is now in its fourth edition.

As a reporter for Congressional Quarterly, he was the inaugural winner of the National Press Club's Sandy Hume Memorial Award for Excellence in Political Journalism, which is given to outstanding reporters under the age of 35. Sadly, he no longer meets that requirement.

Along the way, Alan has contributed articles about politics and culture for numerous publications, including The New York Times, Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle. He is happy to be working for an outlet where he has been able to write about everything from revolutions in the Middle East to antique jazz recordings.

Alan is a graduate of San Francisco State University and holds a master's degree from the University of Virginia.

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1:40pm

Sat July 19, 2014
Code Switch

Why An African-American Sports Pioneer Remains Obscure

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 6:01 pm

Alice Coachman clears the bar at 5 feet to win the running high jump at the Women's National Track Meet in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1948.
AP

Alice Coachman Davis never entered the pantheon of breakthrough African-American sports heroes, like Jesse Owens or Wilma Rudolph. But she was a pioneer nonetheless.

In 1948, competing as Alice Coachman, she became the first African-American woman to win Olympic gold, breaking the U.S. and Olympic records in the high jump.

Chances are, you've never heard of her. Davis died on Monday at age 90 from cardiac arrest.

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5:19am

Sun July 13, 2014
Business

Congress' Latest Death Match Involves A Bank You've Never Heard Of

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 1:39 pm

A worker stacks traffic safety poles at Pexco's manufacturing center in Fife, Wash. The small company ships products all over the world, with the help of federal insurance from the Export-Import Bank.
Drew Perine MCT/Landov

It sits in an imposing building just across Lafayette Square from the White House. Yet the Export-Import Bank, which has been offering credit to foreign purchasers of U.S. goods for 80 years, could start shutting down operations within a matter of weeks.

"There's about a 50-50 chance," says Dan Ikenson, who directs a trade policy center at the Cato Institute.

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10:54am

Wed July 9, 2014
Politics

What's Causing The Latest Immigration Crisis? A Brief Explainer

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 7:28 pm

Demonstrators from opposing sides confront each other while being separated by police officers on July 4, outside a U.S. Border Patrol station in Murrieta, Calif.
Mark J. Terrill AP

It's turning into the largest influx of asylum seekers on U.S. soil since the 1980 Mariel boatlift out of Cuba.

Since October, more than 52,000 children — most from Central America and many of them unaccompanied by adults — have been taken into custody. That's nearly double last year's total and 10 times the number from 2009.

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1:50pm

Thu July 3, 2014
U.S.

Federal Highway Program Could Run Out Of Money Next Month

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 3:35 pm

The White House has warned that without more money for the federal Highway Trust Fund, which helps states pay for road and infrastructure projects, construction delays will put thousands out of work.
Seth Perlman AP

Congress has yet another problem it can't solve.

For years, the main federal transportation program has been spending more money than it takes in. This year, the Congressional Budget Office estimates the Transportation Department will disburse $45 billion while collecting only $33 billion for its Highway Trust Fund.

As a result, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx warned states on Tuesday that they will start seeing cuts of 28 percent in federal funding for roads and bridges next month unless Congress comes up with some extra money.

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1:05pm

Wed July 2, 2014
Business

Unions Fear High Court's Ruling Opens Door To More Trouble

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 1:39 pm

The Supreme Court decision held that health care workers could not be forced to pay fees to the union recognized by the state of Illinois, because the state is not their direct employer. Some fear this will lead to further erosion of unions.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

It wasn't the worst possible outcome for public sector unions. But that could still happen.

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12:16pm

Fri June 6, 2014
Business

Illinois Declares Truce In Cupcake War

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 3:27 pm

Chloe Stirling presents cupcakes to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn in his office last month.
Seth Perlman AP

No one really thinks 12-year-old Chloe Stirling presents a menace to public health.

The Illinois girl has a knack for baking cupcakes and has done pretty well selling them. So well, in fact, that her local newspaper published a story about her earlier this year. That drew the attention of the county health department — which shut her down for selling baked goods without a license or a state-certified kitchen.

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1:03pm

Fri May 30, 2014
NPR Ed

New Orleans District Moves To An All-Charter System

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 4:57 pm

The drill team of Sophie B. Wright, a charter school in the New Orleans Recovery School District. The city's all-charter system is the first in the U.S.
Skooksie Flickr

The nation's largest experiment with charter schools is expanding.

The Recovery School District, a state control board that runs most schools in New Orleans, shut down the last of its five traditional public schools this week, making it the first all-charter system in the nation.

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11:46am

Sat May 24, 2014
Around the Nation

Same-Sex Marriage Supporters Keep Up Their Winning Streak

Christopher DiCapua, left, and Oscar Cabrera kiss after saying their wedding vows on Friday at City Hall in Philadelphia. On Tuesday, Pennsylvania became the final northeastern state and the 19th in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage.
Matt Rourke AP

Same-sex marriage supporters continued to enjoy considerable legal momentum this week.

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12:49pm

Tue May 13, 2014
The Two-Way

Official: More Than 200 Dead In Turkish Mine Explosion

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 5:59 am

A rescued miner is carried away after an explosion and fire at a coal mine in Soma, Turkey, on Tuesday.
AP

Updated at 6:00 a.m. ET. Wednesday:

Authorities in Turkey say at least 205 workers have been killed after an explosion and fire at a coal mine in the western part of the country. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared three days of national mourning.

Update at 11:19 p.m. ET. More Than 200 Dead:

The sad count of fatalities continues to climb as AP reports at least 201 dead and more than 200 are still trapped underground after a fire and explosion in a coal mine south of Istanbul.

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8:32am

Thu May 8, 2014
Business

Advocates Back Paid Sick Leave, But Opponents Won't Cough It Up

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 2:03 pm

Activists hold signs during a rally on Jan. 18, 2013, at New York's City Hall to call for immediate action on paid sick days legislation in light of the continued spread of the flu. Last month, New York City began requiring employers to provide paid sick days, joining the ranks of other cities such as Washington, Seattle and San Francisco.
Mary Altaffer AP

If you've ever seen your waiter sneeze, you may have asked for a different server. If you've seen one sneeze repeatedly, you might wonder why he's still at work, serving tainted food.

See, most restaurant workers don't get paid when they stay home sick. But, some go to work anyway, when they've got the sniffles or worse, because they need the paycheck.

For labor advocates, that's a problem.

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