What’s my Next Research Goal?

I’m evaluating possible research avenues now that I have the Post-Doc world ahead of me.  Given my thesis findings in Calabasas about community-wide perceptions regarding cell sites in neighborhoods, and the comments of my thesis review panel discussing my findings, I’m thinking about conducting a similar but more extensive and focused public opinion study in another one of the communities I work with in Southern California. It’s a community where new cell siting issues have been a particularly contentious and heated issue.

Like most cases in local government, those who show up to public meetings are often and commonly opposed to some issue or proposition.  Those who feel that they are not affected (or even supportive) of the issue or proposition don’t typically attend public meetings.  The result can be that a vocal minority can distort the perceptions of government decision makers leading to skewed decisions based on thin or no real evidence.

I’m not suggesting that a minority testifying against something at a public hearing is always wrong; only that a better basis for a community-impacting decisions by governments should be to base those decisions on broad community input, including those who don’t show up for meetings.




Mentoring is a Tremendous Experience (and Pleasure)

I’m really enjoying the time I’m spending mentoring a new member of the Doctor of Law and Policy program at Northeastern.  It doesn’t take a lot of my time, and the GROI (Gratification Return on Investment) is exceptionally high.

Find someone to mentor in a field or endeavor you know and YOU will grow from the experience.  So will your mentee.



Receiving my Doctoral Hood

Receiving my hood from Dr. Alan Clayton-Matthews, September 28, 2016.



Best Facebook Post About My Doctorate

Sean del Solar of the City of San Marcos, California has (so far) the best Facebook comment about my newly minted doctorate.

He wrote,

A Doctor, an Engineer and an Attorney walk into a bar, the bartender asks “what can I get you Jonathan?”

Yup, I really like that one!



Yeah, this is what I worked so hard to earn.



Tomorrow All of Cohort 8 is Hooded

That pretty-much says all that needs to be said.


September 28, 2016 is a BIG DAY for DLPers

In just a few days, on Wednesday September 26, 2016, the entire 8th Cohort of the Doctor of Law and Policy (DLP) program at Northeastern will be hooded, the traditional manner by which a new academic doctor is created.

We stand then bow before our professor, who places the hood over the head and drapes it over the back of our gown. Once hooded, we are recognized as doctors among our peers.

I am so happy and privileged to be a part of the 8th Cohort, the first Cohort that as a group finished on schedule and will all be hooded on the same day.

Pictures to follow.



Incoming DLP Students Would Benefit From Having Mentors

dlpI’m pushing for NEU’s Doctor of Law and Policy (DLP) program to establish a formal volunteer mentor program for mew doctoral students enrolled in the program. I’d like to see new DLP students paired up with DLP program graduates (such as yours truly, ahem).

Rather than merely advocating for a mentor program, in my usual style, I’ve simply adopted a new student in Cohort X to mentor sans permission.  Yeah, that’s my style.  Not surprisingly–and to the credit of the program administrators–they seem to have looked in the other direction while I mentor my mentee informally.

The DLP program is a gateway for very special doctoral students who aim to make a difference in their professions. DLP Grads can help keep that gateway open by mentoring.

Dr. Jonathan Kramer, DLP Cohort VIII


Two Weeks and Two Weeks

Two weeks ago yesterday I successfully defended my thesis; two weeks from right now I’ll be in Boston at the hooding ceremony.  It feels very strange to not be devoting many hours each week to thesis research, writing, obsessing, correcting, and more of the same. In truth, I miss it.

I do have another major writing project, which I’ll be describing in detail in a coming post.



Will I will Lose Government Clients Because of My Research? Probably.

Today, Gerry Lederer, a respected wireless attorney at the government law firm of Best Best and Krieger, commented on Facebook regarding my thesis defense slides.  He asked several appropriate and very probing questions.  With his kind permission, I quote his comments and questions here along with my reply.  I’ve cleaned up a few bits of the text for readability.

Gerry Lederer: I read [your thesis defense slides] and they are brilliant. How long did it take for the professors to keep up to you? I know I had to read them a couple times. By the way, [your] GPA was rather ridiculous. Not sure I would have had the guts to publish my grades at the beginning of the process. Do you fear than any of the slides will be used against you in future proceedings? Or have some of the community groups questioned your outlook as to whether or not their homes’ values are impacted by the presence of a cell tower?

My response:

Jonathan Kramer: Gerry, old friend, I deeply appreciate your questions/comments.

I made a decision at the beginning of this journey that I would be transparent as a student and [as] a researcher. On the wise counsel of my program inspiration and chief supporter, Professor Neenah Estrella-Luna, I started my personal blog, JonathanKramer.com to make that goal a reality.

I knew that posting my thoughts and my grades would risk [negative] public exposure, and they already have. I have had to answer questions about my research from several of the jurisdictions I serve, sometimes in response to resident complaints that I am biased. Each time I have been charged, I have unreservedly agreed with the charges of bias: I am biased to discovering [actual] facts, rather than simply accepting assertions as facts. In fact (pun intended), I am currently responding to a new set of resident assertions in one of my client jurisdictions and I will respond the same way: look to the facts, not to the fears, to find the truth.

I have been fully prepared for years to lose clients for political reasons [over my research and findings]. [It’s] a worthy trade for gaining knowledge for the public. I expect to lose at least two or three major government clients within the first few months following publication of my full thesis, and that will not diminish my life by a single iota (Matthew 5:18*).

This doctorate has only whet my appetite to do more and deeper research in the same [subject matter] area. I have the great fortune to have the intellectual honesty to follow where the facts lead without fearing who will be offended. Maybe I can convince Northeastern University College of Professional Studies to let me do post-Doc research to better see where those facts lead.


* Huh? I’m quoting the New Testament? Sure. Have to cite research sources. jlk

I stand by what I said in reply to Gerry’s query.  Even if the truth is unpleasant to some, I’ll take transparency and honesty even when the results are surprising,  uncomfortable, or unprofitable.