Social Justice

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

Most Americans oppose abortion laws that let private citizens sue, new poll says

The type of anti-abortion law enacted by the state of Texas last month is deeply unpopular with Americans, according to a new poll from the PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist. The novel legal strategy empowers private citizens to file civil suits against anyone who aids a person getting an abortion, rather than rely on a state agency to bar the medical procedure. It’s one of several restrictive abortion laws that are making their way through the courts. Two of them, from Kentucky and Mississippi, wil

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

Why can’t Olympians smoke weed?

Sha’Carri Richardson, once poised for Olympic gold, will not be running in Tokyo this summer. The news has drawn a sense from supporters that this young, Black track phenom has been wronged by sporting rules on pot that are overdue for a change. USA Track and Field announced that she had not been selected for the U.S. relay team on Tuesday, after she was disqualified earlier from the 100-meter race due to a positive test for THC. Her chances dashed at an Olympic debut, fellow elite athletes hav

7 takeaways from NewsHour’s investigation into harassment Black women in politics face

Black women in politics face a harrowing reality: Harassment, abuse and death threats for doing their jobs as Black women. To better understand their experiences, the PBS NewsHour requested interviews with more than 61 Black women who have held office or run for office at various levels of government and across the political spectrum Eighteen women, 16 of them Democrats, shared their stories. Here’s what they described. Black women are harassed differently than their white or male colleagues. 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

21 lesbian bars remain in America. Owners share why they must be protected

Rachel and Sheila Smallman spent the summer of 2016 traveling the Gulf Coast, trying to find the best place to open a lesbian bar. There were queer bars along the coast, but they largely catered to cisgender gay men. The Smallmans visited at least five cities in four states. On one night, the Smallmans met a friend at a New Orleans gay bar. They were there for about three minutes before some of the patrons and employees started yelling at them to leave because they were women. The couple and t

'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 has yet succeeded

Two cities tried to fix homelessness, only one has yet... 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 hal

Arizona State University workers join UA in historic decision to unionize

Arizona State University workers announced Thursday that they are forming a union, joining University of Arizona workers in their efforts to advocate for employees in higher education. The union is “wall-to-wall,” meaning that it represents every employee of the university, from student workers to faculty and staff. The local chapter, University Campus Workers of Arizona 7065, was started by UA workers in September and is meant to represent higher education workers across the state. It’s a part

Racial Equity Q&A

The Department of Housing and Urban Development and leading national experts have said that racial equity should be at the center of homeless responses during the COVID-19 pandemic — a recognition that people of color are disproportionately affected by both homelessness and COVID-19. Here’s a look at the issues. Racial equity is not the same as racial equality. HUD addressed this distinction in June when it issued guidance to nonprofits working with homeless populations during the pandemic. Equ

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

'Houseless not hopeless:' Groups protest the criminalization of homelessness in Phoenix

About 30 people gathered on Twelfth Avenue and Jefferson Street in Phoenix by the Human Services Campus on Sunday afternoon to protest the treatment of people living on the streets by Phoenix police. Advocates and people experiencing homelessness walked by dozens living in tents and on sidewalks as they chanted "houseless not hopeless" and made their way to local nonprofit André House. Many wore shirts that said, "Homes Not Jails." Jesús Villa, a minister at Universal Life Church, said the dis

Protesters' indictments on gang-related charges criticized by attorneys, advocates

Gang-related charges brought by a Maricopa County prosecutor against 15 people protesting police violence drew condemnation from attorneys and community advocates, who said the charges were far too harsh and could intimidate people from exercising their free-speech rights. The Maricopa County Attorney's Office suggested the charges to a grand jury, which returned the indictment last week. The protesters worked together so they couldn't get arrested and turned violent when officers apprehended
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