Commentary

Over the last decade, an increasing number of cities and states passed laws limiting the use of credit checks in hiring, promotion, and firing. These laws have been motivated by the reality that personal credit history is not relevant to employment and that employment credit checks prevent otherwise qualified workers with flawed credit from finding jobs, and that unemployed workers and historically disadvantaged groups, including people of color, are disproportionately harmed by credit checks.

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The campaign money chase makes the sliver of Americans who donate large sums the most important citizens, and they are both unrepresentative (90 percent of 2012 presidential donors were from majority-white neighborhoods) and, by definition, doing well in our inequitable economy.

In a recent report, Demos and the Public Interest Research Group showed how many viable candidates, including many candidates of color, struggle to compete against better-funded incumbents.

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The 2016 election is the first Presidential election that will occur since the Supreme Court struck down key provisions in the Voting Rights Act. Partially because of the weakened VRA, 10 states passed harsh new voting restrictions that will be in full force for 2016, including seven new voter ID laws. New studies suggest that the motivation of these laws is suppressing non-white voters, and worryingly, that they will be successful at doing so.

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The 2016 election is the first Presidential election that will occur since the Supreme Court struck down key provisions in the Voting Rights Act. Partially because of the weakened VRA, 10 states passed harsh new voting restrictions that will be in full force for 2016, including seven new voter ID laws. New studies suggest that the motivation of these laws is suppressing non-white voters, and worryingly, that they will be successful at doing so.

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Racism divides the American political system, strengthening opposition to social programs and reinforcing a plutocratic agenda. This is the lesson to draw from new YouGov data, which reveals that most Americans wrongly believe African-Americans make up a majority of welfare recipients and are net “takers.”

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Hard-working New Yorkers need time to care for their families without the pressure of missing a paycheck or losing their job. Whether it's the precious first months of a baby's life, the final days of an aging parent, or the critical weeks of recovery from a spouse's serious illness or accident, when a loved one needs care, New Yorkers need the time to be there for them.

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The vast riches of schools like Stanford and Harvard have created dilemmas about how their endowments should be directed. One slate of candidates for Harvard's board of overseers is calling for the school to spend some of its $37.6 billion endowment to cover tuition for all students. Lawmakers have also mulled requiring colleges with at least $1 billion in their endowments to spend at least one-quarter of the endowment's income on financial aid.

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