Citizen Engagement

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School Closures: A Blunt Instrument

This article appears in the Spring 2016 issue of The American Prospect Magazine. In 2013, citing a $1.4 billion deficit, Philadelphia’s state-run school commission voted to close 23 schools—nearly 10 percent of the city’s stock. The decision came after a three-hour meeting at district headquarters, [...]

The Story Behind the Immigrant Workers in Bernie Sanders’ Stirring New Ad Lauding Worker Organizing

By Michelle Chen | Working In These Times. March 9, 2016, 12:56 PM | Photographic Credit; A scene from Bernie Sanders' "Tenemos Familias" ad. Bernie Sanders’ newest campaign video, which will air tomorrow night on the Spanish-language channel Univision, features the candidate ceding the spotlight to a [...]

Media Misses the Mark—Vote Theft at Core of Flint’s Problems

For Immediate Release Friday, February 12, 2016 - 1:15 PM DETROIT, Michigan - Three significant mainstream media outlets recently published editorials that acknowledge that emergency managers appointed by Governor Snyder clearly made the ill-fated decisions that resulted in the poisoning of Flint’s water supply [...]

Environmental Justice: What the Candidates Missed in Flint — and the Rest of the Country

Esther Calhoun lives far from the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, but suspects that water contaminated with lead is also poisoning her hometown of Uniontown, Alabama, a community she describes as "poor and elderly" and about 90 percent African American. Like many of her neighbors, [...]

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrations Overlook his Critiques of Capitalism and Militarism

America’s celebrations of Martin Luther King Jr. typically focus on his civil rights activism: the nonviolent actions that led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The last few years of King’s life, by contrast, are generally overlooked. [...]

An Open Letter to Our Next Governor

By Anitra Brown | Originally Published at The New Orleans Tribune. December 15, 2015 Dear Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards: On the off-chance that you were unaware, we just thought you should know that the pro-education reform forces are gearing up to influence your decisions as it relates [...]

Rahm Emanuel Urged Calm with No Offer To Fix Chicago’s Underlying Problems

By Mikki Kendall | Originally Published at The Guardian and Observer. November 25, 2015 The mayor said he didn’t see the Laquan McDonald shooting video before its public release, but that doesn’t absolve him from leadership on this – or anything else Chicago Mayor: ‘I understand [...]

Dyett Hunger Strikers Are Fed By an Educational Vision

The words of James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing” echoed down Drexel Ave on Chicago’s South Side the mild summer evening of September 8, 2015. Down the street from the Chicago home of President Obama, the Dyett hunger strikers and their supporters, holding [...]

Day 24—#FightForDyett Hunger Strike Continues. Black Political Class Stands for Privatization

The national fight against school privatization is focused on Chicago. September 9 is the 24th day of the #FightForDyett hunger strike. Parents and community members are resisting the national polices of school privatization being forced down our throats by the Obama administration and often black politicians across [...]