What will it take to keep workers from dying of heat? Enforcement and trust, advocates say

The White House announcement last week of a blueprint to address working conditions for laborers in extreme heat was seen widely as a critical first step in developing national rules around heat stress in the workplace, which has killed hundreds of people in the last decade. Heat is the leading weather-related killer in the U.S. The federal proposal prioritizes establishing a first-ever federal heat standard — a widely accepted temperature or series of conditions under which employees would be

Texas’ abortion law and what it means for the future of abortion rights in the U.S.

Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that protects a person’s right to an abortion without excessive restrictions, has been functionally overturned in Texas. The state’s Senate Bill 8, one of the most restrictive abortion bans to be signed into law, bans all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy — including in cases of rape and incest — and allows any person to sue anyone who helps a woman in Texas seek an abortion. While people seeking an abortion won’t be the target of prosecutio

Farmworkers are dying in extreme heat. Few standards exist to protect them

As he neared the end of his shift July 29 on a hops field in Washington’s Yakima County, Florencio Gueta-Vargas collapsed. That day, temperatures would reach triple digits. When he didn’t return home, his family went searching at the field where he worked; a relative told them that the truck he drove was still at the farm’s main office. That’s where a sheriff’s deputy told the family Gueta-Vargas had died. Gueta-Vargas, 69, had not been taken to the hospital, but instead directly to a local mor

Why Black women are saying no

Even with the swell of support surrounding gymnast Simone Biles’ decision to step back from the Olympics to protect her mental health, there was a nagging narrative that the star athlete — who won nationals with broken toes, won world competitions with a kidney stone and endured years of sexual abuse while representing an organization that protected her abuser — wasn’t strong enough. It echoed a longstanding and problematic stereotype: Black women must be strong. Black women must be resilient. B

Will an 18-year-old pop star convince young people that the COVID-19 vaccine is good 4 u?

Young Americans are trying to return to the normalcy they’ve long yearned for since the pandemic started. And, well? Things are shaping up to be a little brutal out here. Americans between 12 and 29 are contracting COVID-19 at the highest rates while being the least protected — only 38 percent are vaccinated against the virus as of May 22, according to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention. The vaccine is now available in every state for people 12 and older, but Gen Z and younger m

More Black women are being elected to office. Few feel safe once they get there

Every day for more than four years, Kiah Morris lived in fear. She developed a safety routine for her family with the help of an international security expert, installed security cameras outside their home and received firearms training. When Morris took office as a Democratic state representative in Vermont in 2015, she was the first Black woman elected to the state’s legislature in 26 years. Her district was located in a county with an estimated population of 36,589 that was about 96 percent

Arizona lawmakers renew push to criminalize abortions in latest challenge to Roe v. Wade

Abortion has been at the forefront of conservative politics since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, in which the court ruled that the Constitution protects a woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. Now, with a 6-3 conservative majority in the nation’s highest court, reproductive rights advocates are worried that right will be chipped away as anti-abortion politicians push legal boundaries to challenge the decision. An Arizona bill pr

'No wrong way to be queer': Phoenix nonprofit One n Ten empowers LGBTQ+ youth

'No wrong way to be queer': Phoenix nonprofit One n Ten empowers LGBTQ+ youth One n Ten’s mission is simple: empower LGBTQ+ youth and young adults and help cultivate a world where they are accepted and loved for who they are. The nonprofit provides housing for homeless youth, life skills training, educational programs, youth centers, a summer camp and a community in Phoenix. One n Ten served nearly 1,200 youth and young adults in 2019 and have continued to serve youth online through the COVID

Two cities tried to fix homelessness, only one succeeded

HOUSTON — Nearly a decade ago, two U.S. cities with large homeless populations tried to solve their problem by adopting a strategy that prioritized giving people housing and help over temporary shelter. But Houston and San Diego took fundamentally different approaches to implementing that strategy, known as Housing First. Houston revamped its entire system to get more people into housing quickly, and it cut homelessness by more than half. San Diego attempted a series of one-off projects but was

Grand Avenue thrift shop owner no longer facing eviction thanks to community support

Grand Avenue thrift shop owner no longer facing eviction thanks to community support Edward Blackwell moved into his thrift store — which is slightly larger than a walk-in closet — on Feb. 4. He said he fell on hard times and couldn’t afford rent at his apartment and the business, and his business landlord said he could live at his store, the Giving Vine Thrift Store inside Desert Sun Plaza on Grand and 15th avenues. Sales slowed down, and even though Blackwell was able to stay afloat with a s

Women gather at Phoenix courthouse to protest Amy Coney Barrett's planned confirmation

About 20 women, most of whom are attorneys, dressed in red cloaks and white hoods, walked synchronized in silence in front of the Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. Courthouse in downtown Phoenix on Sunday to honor late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and to protest the plan to replace her with Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Christina Carter, an attorney who has represented many people arrested at protests against police violence this year, was one of the organizers for the event. The cloaks and hood

'It's caused us to become targets': 7 arrested in connection to Saturday protest

A protest calling for racial justice and equity began with mindful breathing, closed with a dance party and ended with seven arrests of protesters who were walking to their cars or already driving home Saturday evening. Earlier that evening, Lee Percy Christian — known as Percy — had given a speech to protesters about his experience being targeted by police. "We were in the streets, we were called civil disobedience, good trouble. But it's caused us to become targets," Christian said in the sp

60% of incarcerated kids have child welfare background

The child welfare and juvenile justice systems are meant to help the nation’s most vulnerable children, but the two are rarely in sync, and young people who have been part of both systems make up more than half of those who get in trouble with the law. “Once a child enters the child welfare system, the decisions made for that child by the child welfare system may, in fact, be pushing the kid towards juvenile justice,” said Denise Herz, a criminal justice professor at California State University, Los Angeles and one of the few researchers who has been studying so-called crossover kids, or dual-status youth, for years.

‘Super-Predators’: A myth that left a legacy

During the mid to late 1990s, a fear of violent youth crime swept the nation, fueled by inaccurate estimates from criminologists and media reports. A substantial rise in youth violent crime in the 1980s through early ‘90s prompted criminologist and then-Princeton University professor John DiIulio to write an article in 1995 predicting that a new breed of juveniles were going to terrorize the nation: “super-predators.” The youth violent crime rate began to significantly decrease that same year,

What was lost in Brown v. Board of Education

In most schools, the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education is taught as a major victory for reaching equality in education. The 1954 decision desegregated schools and united Black and white students under one roof. What they don’t mention is what the nation lost after Brown versus Board of Education, and how it laid the groundwork for the school-to-prison pipeline. In a 2019 study by Princeton University, researchers found that Black students were three times more likely to b

Black mothers: Action needed to keep our children alive

The 100 or so people who gathered in Eastlake Park near downtown Phoenix early Saturday evening heard one message over and over: Black lives matter to Black mothers. Janelle Wood, founder of Black Mothers Forum, led the event. She invited mothers, fathers, sons and daughters to join her briefly on stage in solidarity. Speakers, including youth activists, faith leaders, parents and Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, spoke about what it means to be Black in America, ways the state and country can continue this dialogue and why this conversation on race is important.

Virus may bring greater medical and financial risks for undocumented

It’s been a month since Juana stopped taking her key medication to treat the chronic vascular disease that attacks her immune system and debilitates her blood vessels. She has had three heart attacks in the past eight years. Without the medication, Juana said it’s only a matter of time before her symptoms — burning sensations in her legs and feet, severe fatigue and difficulty walking — come back. Without treatment, she could eventually suffer organ failure and die. Juana, who asked that her l

First of the first responders

PHOENIX – After nearly two decades, tens of thousands of calls and countless crises, a series of four calls broke Lauren Pacimeo. As a 911 dispatcher for the fire department, Pacimeo is trained to keep her composure on calls and always has. But in November, her 18 years in the dispatch room caught up with her. The first call was a battalion chief’s 14-year-old son with a fatal gunshot wound. Then she responded to a fire next to her aunt’s house. And after that, her friend dialed 911 when her s
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