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Coming up on Connections: Monday, November 30

Nov 30, 2020

First hour: How can Democrats win back rural support?* (This discussion will be rescheduled.)

Second hour: What does it mean to be first-generation American in 2020?

*This discussion will be rescheduled due to Governor Andrew Cuomo's press briefing.

In the past forty years, the American political landscape has largely flipped. In 1980, Democrats won only nine out of the 100 highest income counties. Now they win a strong majority of the wealthiest areas. But Republicans dominate in rural America, and as Derek Thompson writes in a new piece for The Atlantic, big-city dominance has become a problem for Democrats. That's because the electoral rules make it very hard for Democrats to wield legislative power, despite winning a majority of voter support. So how can Democrats win back some of the rural support they once held? What are the issues that will change votes and minds? Our guests discuss it. This is the first of two conversations on the political map; next we'll discuss how Republicans can start to win in larger cities again.

  • Leslie Danks Burke, regional public advocate, and former candidate for New York State Senate
  • Shawn Hogan, former mayor of Hornell, and current chair of the Steuben County Democratic Committee
  • Jerri Lynn Sparks, former Congressional press secretary, and founder of the Riga Democratic Committee

Then in our second hour, "I Was Their American Dream" is a graphic novel by NPR deputy editor Malaka Gharib. Gharib is Egyptian-Filipina-American and grew up with her immigrant parents in California. Her book explores her multicultural identity and how she felt she had to adapt to different traditions, languages, and religions with the different people in her life. Nguyên Khôi Nguyễn, also an author, can relate. His work focuses on his identity as Vietnamese-American. Both Gharib and Nguyễn join us this hour to share their stories and to discuss what it means to be a first-generation American in 2020. Our guests:

  • Malaka Gharib, author of "I Was Their American Dream," and deputy editor and digital strategist on NPR's global health and development team
  • Nguyên Khôi Nguyễn, author of "The Gulf" and "Bittersweet: A Pandemic Sketchbook," and digital media lecturer at Loyola University Maryland