My latest work

Kevin Johnson, mayor of Sacramento and outgoing president of The United States Conference of Mayors, presents an update on the DollarWise campaign while the PowerPoint presentation I designed displays on a screen in the background.
Kevin Johnson, mayor of Sacramento and outgoing president of The United States Conference of Mayors, presents an update on the DollarWise campaign while the PowerPoint presentation I designed displays on a screen in the background.

A week ago Monday, The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) concluded its 83rd Annual Meeting in San Francisco. By all accounts, it was a successful meeting that garnered considerable attention in the national media as the nation’s mayors pushed forward their agenda to make America’s cities better places to live and economically competitive with their global peers in partnership with the federal government. Among the guest speakers were former senator and Secretary of State and current presidential candidate Hillary Clinton; Nancy Pelosi, majority leader in the U.S. House, whose district covers the meeting’s host city; U.S. president Barack Obama; and, perhaps most importantly, musicians Carlos Santana and M.C. Hammer. (No, USCM and the nation’s mayors don’t fool around.)

And I was able to contribute in my own small way to that success. Continuing a relationship that has existed several years, I produced electronic and print materials highlighting the work of the Council on Metro Economies and the New American City and USCM’s national financial education campaign, DollarWise.

Specifically, I updated the charts that accompanied the latest Metro Economies Report (PDF), released on Friday, 19 June. This is the latest in the flagship Metro Economies series that highlights the contributions of metropolitan areas to the nation’s economy. As these charts highlight, nearly 91% of the nation’s GDP is produced in metro areas; of the new jobs and growth in GDP produced last year, fully 94% and 95%, respectively, was generated in metros.

The full charts, which include the innovative dashboard I introduced last year, as well as comparisons of metro economies with national and state economies and a list of the top 100 metro economies, are below.

For DollarWise my work included a PowerPoint presentation to accompany an update on the campaign presented by Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacrament and outgoing president of USCM, and the latest edition of Innovations in Financial Education (formerly called Partnerships).

Here’s a video version of the PowerPoint presentation, complete with animations.

And here is the latest Innovations in Financial Education.

An enhanced and expanding portfolio

In recent weeks I have significantly enhanced and expanded my online portfolio, both on dtjoyce.com and on my Scribd page.

Here at dtjoyce.com, I have built a major new section of my portfolio highlighting my work in PowerPoint and public presentations. One of my core strengths is my ability to take abstract data and information and break it down in a way that gives it more meaning and impact for elected officials, the media, and the public. These vivid PowerPoint presentations demonstrate my success in doing so.

The page for each PowerPoint presentation features images of slides from the presentation as well as background information and related links. Each also offers a video version of the presentation so users can see the full presentation, including all animations and slide transitions, just as the original audience saw it. (These video versions are also available on my YouTube channel and, increasingly, on my Vimeo page.)

A number of materials I've created for the DollarWise campaign since 2006 are now available in my online portfolio.
A number of materials I’ve created for the DollarWise campaign since 2006 are now available in my online portfolio.

Readers will also notice a significantly expanded library of my past and current work on my Scribd page. In particular, I am nearing completion of a comprehensive review of my work for the DollarWise campaign at The United States Conference of Mayors starting in 2006. Among the items now posted are:

Look for even more in my portfolio in the coming weeks and months!

Marking National Women’s History Month

A past customer of my Etsy shop asked me to produce three new poster-sized prints in connection with National Women’s History Month. The most colorful—and the one that took the most effort—ended up being this poster commemorating the entire month. The design is inspired by the theme for this year’s National Women’s History Month, “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives”. Bands of color appear to come together with photos of women of various races and ethnicities across time to form an unfinished quilt of sorts.

A 16- by 20-inch (41×51 cm) print of the Nineteenth Amendment, which guarantees the right to vote regardless of gender.
A 16- by 20-inch (41×51 cm) print of the Nineteenth Amendment, which guarantees the right to vote regardless of gender.

The customer also requested I create two other prints. The first was of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. This amendment guaranteed to all citizens the right to vote regardless of gender and was the culmination of a decades-long movement for universal suffrage. Though I have worked extensively with the text of the Constitution, whenever I create individual prints of the amendments (as I did for the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments for this customer) I’m struck by how different in length they can be. I am perhaps more deeply struck by how so few words—the Nineteenth Amendment has only 39 words, including the clause, “Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation”—can have such far-reaching impact on our society. It is so simple, and the idea of universal suffrage so obvious (or, rather, the idea of denying half of society the right to vote because of their gender so absurd), that I fail to grasp how profound a change this amendment represents.

H. Res. 137, "Supporting the goals and ideals of National Women's History Month", introduced this month by Mike Thompson, a Democrat from California—the closest we have to official congressional recognition of National Women's History Month.
H. Res. 137, “Supporting the goals and ideals of National Women’s History Month”, introduced this month by Mike Thompson, a Democrat from California—the closest we have to official congressional recognition of National Women’s History Month.

My customer’s other request was a print of the “congressional mandate” that establishes National Women’s History Month. This proved to be an interesting challenge, because it’s unclear that any official congressional sanction of National Women’s History Month remains in force. The most recent piece of legislation I could find was H. Res. 137, “Supporting the goals and ideals of National Women’s History Month”, introduced by Representative Mike Thompson, a Democrat from California, on 3 March. That same day it was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform—and that was it. Nothing further. No votes. Nothing. Just pigeonholed in committee. The same place where last year’s resolution died—and the one before that, and the one before that, and the one before that, and the one before that, and, yes, the one before that. (The resolution introduced in the Senate in 2010 died in the Senate Judiciary Committee. No one bothered to file anything in 2013.)

Now, listen, I know that sometimes just getting a resolution introduced in Congress is enough symbolic recognition. But, c’mon, National Women’s History Month? Seems like we could get a little more sanction for it. I mean, frankly, it looks like I’ve spent more time on recognizing it than all of Congress has.

But H. Res. 137 is all we have, so that’s what we went with.

Scribd See this poster, Amendment XIX, and H. Res. 137 in more detail on my Scribd page.

A major economic report—and my small role in its release

Did you know that the New York metro area’s economic output is larger than the GDP of all but 13 nations—bigger than countries such as Spain, South Korea, and Mexico, Turkey, and The Netherlands—and will top a whopping $1.5 trillion by 2015? (That’s trillion, with a t!) Or that over one-third of the world’s 100 largest economies would be U.S. metro areas, if metro areas were nations? Or that 90% of U.S. GDP is produced in the nation’s urban regions?

In short, U.S. metro areas are economic powerhouses—the engines that power the largest economy on earth.

America’s urban areas are the engines that power the most prosperous economy on earth.

That’s the message of the Metro Economies Reports series, produced by IHS Global Insight for the Council on Metro Economies and the New American City at The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM). The underlying message is that if we are going to expand economic opportunity at home and remain competitive in the global economy abroad, as a nation we must invest in our urban areas. It is a simple message that federal and state officials find surprisingly hard to grasp—but that mayors clearly understand and that USCM works hard to promote.

Columbus, Ohio, mayor Michael Coleman, chair of the Council on Metro Economies and the New American City at USCM, releases the latest Metro Economies Report at the opening press conference of USCM’s annual meeting in Dallas, 20 June 2014. (Photo courtesy USCM via Flickr)

The Metro Economies Reports are issued two or three times a year. The latest one was released just last Friday, 20 June 2014, at USCM’s annual meeting in Dallas. The report’s findings on the performance and resilience of our metro areas were, as usual, impressive:

  • Among the 100 largest metro areas, the largest increases in gross metropolitan product, or GMP, were in Austin (4.6%), San Jose and Nashville (4.2%), San Francisco (4.1%), New Orleans (3.9%), and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and my hometown, Charlotte (3.8%).
  • In 2014, 344 metro areas—a full 95%—will see real GMP growth. Together, America’s metro areas will contribute 87% of the nation’s payroll, 88% of total income, 97% of population growth, and 91% of real GDP growth to the nation’s economy.
  • The combined economic output of just the 10 largest metro areas—New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Washington, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, and Atlanta—exceeds the combined output of an astounding 37 states.

The list goes on.

And for the past several years I’ve been able to play a small role in releasing these major economic reports, which frequently get picked up by national and local media alike. See, these are hefty reports; this latest one runs to 132 pages alone. So, to break down the data and make it more digestible for mayors, the media, and the public, I’ve worked with the Council on Metro Economies and the New American City to produce companion charts that convey the most salient information in easy-to-understand graphs. Here’s the latest:

For this latest set of charts, I proposed a few changes both to pique mayors’ and others’ interest and to help save on printing costs and waste. The front page of this report contains a new “dashboard”, where macro data are gathered in a series of concise graphs, allowing readers to quickly understand the contributions of metro areas to the nation’s economy. Flip it over to the back page (the fourth page in this online version) and there’s a list of the top 100 metro economies. Inside, rankings of metro areas with nations and with U.S. states are now found side by side. It’s all a matter of taking something with an established legacy and making it better and more relevant.

To learn more about my contributions to the Metro Economies Reports series over the years and to see past editions of these charts, check out my portfolio.


Photo
Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, president of The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), holds a copy of the June 2014 Metro Economies Report while speaking at the opening press conference of USCM’s annual meeting in Dallas, 20 June 2014.
courtesy USCM via Flickr