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All Laws That Make It a Crime to be Homeless Should Be Repealed

By John Tharp, Maria Foscarinis ~ Other Words ~ Here’s what should replace them. When San Diego resident Gerald Stark’s rent increased and he couldn’t afford another apartment, the retired union pipefitter moved into his RV. But because he lacked an address, San Diego law made it almost impossible for him to park his RV legally. Soon the city confiscated it, leaving him out on the streets. There, he was…

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What Stands in the Way of Native American Voters?

By Carrie Levine ~ The Center for Public Integrity ~ Two years ago, when Chase Iron Eyes decided to run for Congress, he knew he had, as he puts it, “a snowball’s chance in hell” of winning. But Iron Eyes, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, still saw the narrowest of paths to victory in the race for North Dakota’s sole congressional seat. If he and the two…

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California Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Landmark Bill Requiring Women On Corporate Boards

By Sebe Hamedy ~ Huffington Post ~ “It’s high time corporate boards include the people who constitute more than half the ‘persons’ in America,” the governor wrote in his signing message. California on Sunday became the first state to require corporate boards of directors to include women. “Given all the special privileges that corporations have enjoyed for so long, it’s high time corporate boards include the people who constitute more…

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How to put the power of law in people’s hands

By Vivek Maru ~ TED ~ What can you do when the wheels of justice don’t turn fast enough? Or when they don’t turn at all? Vivek Maru is working to transform the relationship between people and law, turning law from an abstraction or threat into something that everyone can understand, use and shape. Instead of relying solely on lawyers, Maru started a global network of community paralegals, or barefoot…

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To transform child welfare, take race out of the equation

By Jessica Pryce ~ TED In this eye-opening talk about the impact of race and neighborhood on foster-care decisions, social worker Jessica Pryce shares a promising solution to help child welfare agencies make bias-free assessments about when to remove children from their families. “Let’s work together to build a system that wants to make families stronger instead of pulling them apart,” Pryce says. Watch Video

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After 40-year fight, California becomes the first state to abolish cash bail for arrested suspects

By Jessica Sutherland ~ Daily Kos ~ In a little over a year, getting arrested in California is going to look very, very different than it does today. Thanks to the California Money Bail Reform Act, also known as SB10, the cash bail system is going to be eradicated from the Golden State. The move comes after years of reform attempts, and just months after California courts deemed the cash…

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Social Inequality, As Seen From The Sky

By Romullo Baratto ~ Translated by Zoë Montano ~ arch daily ~ Across the world, urban clusters have — to a greater or lesser extent — social and economic differences. Reflected in space, these imbalances of income and access to education, health, sanitation, and infrastructure generate ruptures more or less visible – although drastically felt. Although a daily reality for some, socio-spatial inequalities can often go unnoticed. Photographer Johnny Miller…

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Excess Food, Which Normally Gets Thrown Out, Helps To Feed Hungry In Santa Barbara County

By Debra Greene ~ KCLU ~ Food that would normally be thrown out is now feeding the hungry in Santa Barbara County. Restaurants, supermarkets and caterers routinely dump their excess prepared food. But instead of filling up landfills with healthy, uneaten food, the Community Environmental Council came up with an idea. “It just seems wrong to send edible food to waste. Instead, we could be giving it to people who…

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What if urban planners treated green space like a drug?

By Sarah DeWeerdt ~ Anthropocene ~ Turning derelict vacant lots into pocket parks is associated with reduced feelings of depression and worthlessness among people living nearby, according to a new study conducted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The study is the latest entry in a growing body of research documenting the mental health benefits of urban green space. Previous research has found that vacant lots, trash, and lack of greenery can contribute…

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To transform child welfare, take race out of the equation

TED Talk by Jessica Pryce In this eye-opening talk about the impact of race and neighborhood on foster-care decisions, social worker Jessica Pryce shares a promising solution to help child welfare agencies make bias-free assessments about when to remove children from their families. “Let’s work together to build a system that wants to make families stronger instead of pulling them apart,” Pryce says.

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