Commentary

The Democrats need young black voters. But the political party of our parents doesn’t seem to know how to reach us — the black millennials they can’t afford to lose — this time around.

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Advocates of automatic voter registration won two legislative battles in Oregon and California this year, and lost another in New Jersey when GOP Governor Chris Christie vetoed automatic registration legislation last month.

The elections board said registration activity is back to levels from previous odd-numbered years. Part of the issue, the board said, was local social service agencies had been printing registration forms that were not coded as coming from these agencies. Issues related to DMV's online address updates also are being addressed, Strach said.

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But for many, even landing a job was not enough to make ends meet: of those 5 million job openings, nearly half paid less than $15 per hour, leaving only 2.7 million that paid $15 or more per hour. And for workers able to secure only part-time employment, wages were even more inadequate: in 2014, more than one in five part-time workers wanted full-time employment but were unable to find it.

The core finding: there are not enough living wage jobs to go around. And women and people of color are especially impacted by low wages and part-time work.

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Mark Huelsman, a policy analyst for the liberal think tank Demos, which is pushing for debt-free college, said the state efforts are important because much of the rise of undergraduate student debt is a result of state budget cuts. And, he said, "We know big policy change in every arena requires good, smart and bold state policy, either to provide an example for the federal government or in partnership with the federal government."

 
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Some higher education experts think that while the Department of Education has a tough job, it's outreach efforts have been underwhelming.

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Shelley Zelda Small is a 62-year-old Los Angeles resident who believes in voting as a civic duty and has voted in every election since she was 19 years old. So when she moved from Encino, California, to West Hollywood in August 2014, and reported her address change to the Department of Motor Vehicles, she made sure to ask the DMV to update her voter registration as well.
What’s up with working-class whites? It’s a question that’s been asked for decades, and has been raised again recently in the discussion surrounding an Alec MacGillis piece examining Matt Bevin’s recent election gubernatorial win in Kentucky, which could leave many in Kentucky without Medicaid.
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As Black Friday approaches, retailers nationwide are waiting anxiously to see whether the nation’s busiest shopping day will deliver a boost in profits. But perhaps no company has more at stake than Walmart, the shopping behemoth that was the world’s largest retailer until Amazon supplanted it in that role this summer.

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As America becomes more multicultural, Rich Benjamin has noticed a phenomenon: some communities are actually becoming less diverse. So he got out a map, found the whitest towns in the USA and moved in.

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