May 26, 2015

Policies and Laws

Political Grandstanding Overwhelms Reason at Judiciary Committee Hearing on Policing

RacismNine months after the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, and more than three years after the killing of Trayvon Martin, the House of Representatives finally held a committee hearing on the deteriorating relations between police departments and black communities. Based on the grandstanding that ensued in the hearing, no progress whatsoever was made.

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Los Angeles Hikes Minimum Wage but Gives Small Nonprofits a Break

LA WageThe L.A. wage increase plan would give small businesses and nonprofits an additional year to comply with the new rate.

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Ten Years after Katrina, US Supreme Court Rejects Fired NOLA Teachers’ Claims

NewsWith the Court’s doors shut, the New Orleans teachers laid off after Hurricane Katrina nearly ten years ago will now turn to Congress for justice.

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Supreme Court Rejects Appeal of California Donor Disclosure Requirements

Donor disclosureConservative political nonprofit groups will continue to seek to overturn the Golden State’s stricter regulations.

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Volunteers as a Key Element of Nonprofit Org Design: Braille Institute San Diego

NewsThe key to incorporating volunteers is to commit to the concept and make it part of your core organizational identity and design.

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A Twitter’s-Eye View of President Obama’s Poverty Summit

BirdsTweets from President Obama’s Poverty Summit at Georgetown University last week may signal specific areas of attention for nonprofits and foundations. 

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The Lessons of Somaly Mam’s Return: Charities Disgraced by their Founders

 

MamThe news last year that Somaly Mam was starting a new charity dedicated to fighting human trafficking and sex slavery raises the question of how a damaged icon like Mam can rebuild her charitable brand.

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Private and Nonprofit Law Firms Partner to Get Innocent Man Pardoned

NewsMichael McAlister received two very rare things Wednesday: a pardon from the governor of Virginia, and an apology.

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Rezoning NYC for More Affordable Housing May Have Had Opposite Effect

 

NYC ZoningOnce again, the low-income people of New York City neighborhoods who need affordable housing may find that “affordable” leaves them priced out.

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We’re Fed Up! Detroit’s Janitors Join the Battle for a Living Wage

Living wage for janitorsAs a city emerges from bankruptcy, workers see the fight for a living wage as part of the effort to rebuild their city.

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Board Fractures, Director Leaves—How Do You Get People to Do Stuff?

board-fractureThe description of the infighting at the Pinellas County Homeless Leadership Board is excruciating, but there may be a relatively simple solution to the impasse.

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Millionaire’s Tax Helps California Mental Health Nonprofits Thrive

 

Thanks to a successful 10-year-old ballot measure, county governments throughout the state of California have funding to support community-based nonprofit service providers.

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Independence from Politics Seen as Vital for UK Charity Commission

You and meA review of the UK charity regulator by the charity umbrella body calls for its independence from government.

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Mayoral Primary in Philly Could Impact Creative Economy

NewsAwareness of the value of the creative economy to a regional economy has been growing, but it still seems to be on a back burner as far as legislative agendas go.

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Climate Change Activists File Innovative Class Action Suit against Dutch Government

Coal industryTo protect its homeland from climate change, the Dutch nonprofit Urgenda filed a class action lawsuit to limit the country’s emission of greenhouse gases. Experts from around the world await the decision.

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Transforming Racist Courts: Game-Changing Legislation in Missouri

TicketsThe Missouri legislature just sent a bill to Governor Nixon that would sharply curtail the racially discriminatory police and court practices of St. Louis County.

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The Socioeconomics of the Rape Kit Backlog

 

No to RapeIn order to fully eradicate the rape kit backlog, we must first understand why there is one to begin with. That answer may lie in our societal attitude toward rape.

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Madison School Superintendent Urges Protesting Students to Stay Safe

NewsBefore today’s upcoming announcement of whether the officer who shot 19-year-old Tony Robinson, Jr., will be indicted, the superintendent of the Madison School District paused to give advice to parents of students who may protest.

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The Citizens United Campaign for the White House: Bernie Sanders vs. Everyone Else

Bernie SandersNonprofits have long had a stake in reducing the influence of big money on electoral campaigns. In the 2016 presidential election, only candidate Bernie Sanders is willing to make the Supreme Court Citizens United decision into a campaign issue.

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Fast Food and Living Wages: Can They Coexist?

Fight for $15It was an interesting week that was in the fight over minimum wage.

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Appeals Court Invalidates NSA Mass Telephone Surveillance Program as Illegal

 

NSAThe Appeals Court ruling that the NSA’s mass surveillance of domestic telephone calls was illegal under the PATRIOT Act should be seen as a victory for free speech groups and a vindication of Edward Snowden.

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Why All Nonprofits Should Act to Reduce Over-incarceration

PrisonsStephen Stetson, a policy analyst for Arise Citizens’ Policy Project, ruminates on the prospects of the legislation filed by Alabama’s new Prison Reform Task Force.

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Federal Jury Decides the Culpability of the Last of the SEEDCO Defendants

NewsThe long-running federal case about SEEDCO’s falsification of job placements during its implementation of New York City government contracts has come to an end with a relatively minor judgment against the last of the SEEDCO defendants. What does the SEEDCO imbroglio teach the nonprofit sector about ethics and accountability?

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Memory and Silence: Carrying Vietnam Era Antiwar Lessons Forward

AntiwarFor those who did not live through the protests of the Vietnam War era, here are some reflections and lessons from that historic movement as expressed by some of its leaders.

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Nonprofits as Political Slush Funds in Los Angeles

Los AngelesThe obvious abuse of the IRS Code to seal a dubious deal between L.A. city leaders and its public utility union a decade ago finally gets called out for the corruption that it is.

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Obama’s TPP Testiness Emerges at Organizing for Action Summit

TPPThe struggle within the Democratic Party over President Obama’s plans for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and fast-track trade authority has nonprofit dimensions, exemplified by President Obama’s comments about TPP opponents at the summit of the Organizing for Action network.

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New Mexico Mental Health System—More Fallout from Unaccountable Nonprofit Purge

Speak upThe state of New Mexico essentially shuttered 15 nonprofit behavioral health organizations in 2013, replacing them with providers from Arizona. Now those Arizona providers are beginning to pull back.

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Court Strikes Down “Manifestly Unconstitutional” Law Restricting Convicts’ Speech

NewsA federal judge has struck down as unconstitutional a law that would have prevented criminals from espousing certain speech or acts that could “retraumatize” their victims.

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Engaging in an Unlikely Manner: Artists as Environmental Stewards

LA River An arts collective is helping to foster a sense of public ownership around the long-neglected Los Angeles River. Other rivers and broader environmental concerns also benefit from artist-activists.

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Debates Diverge over Public, Private & Charter Schools in the Carolinas

NewsIn North Carolina, a legislative committee rejects funding for charter capital expenditures, while in South Carolina, the state attorney general says local school districts must treat private and charter schools the same as public ones.

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