In the News

State officials would automatically provide welfare recipients with voter registration cards under a settlement Governor Charlie Baker’s administration has reached with voting rights advocates. [...]

“I am thrilled about this settlement,” said Lisa Danetz, legal director for Demos. “I am really excited about the numbers of people who can be brought into the political process and have their voices heard as a result of this settlement.” [...]

The Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance has settled a 2012 lawsuit with voting rights organizations by agreeing to distribute voter registration forms to people applying for public assistance, to help people complete the forms and to provide oversight to ensure that public assistance workers abide by the requirements of a federal voting rights law.
The Department of Transitional Assistance will also pay $675,000 in attorneys' fees to the voting rights organizations.

Massachusetts residents applying for welfare must be offered voter registration cards and other information under a settlement reached between voting rights groups and the Baker administration.

The groups pushing for the settlement with the state Department of Transitional Assistance said Thursday that the agreement will bring Massachusetts into compliance with the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, which requires public assistance offices to offer voter registration services to eligible citizens.

The suit was filed in 2012.

Owning a home, then equal pay for equal work, and then having a college degree are the three factors that can make the biggest difference in closing the racial wealth gap, which is how non-whites in America are vastly less wealthy than most whites. 
If blacks and Latinos owned homes as widely as whites, then median black household wealth would grow by $32,113, and median Latino wealth would grow by $29,213, a new study by Demos, a progressive think tank, and the Institute for Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University has found.
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Robert Putnam’s book on poverty in America has spurred a lot of interesting debate online. David Brooks writes that low income people need a reintroduction of norms that “were destroyed by a plague of nonjudgmentalism, which refused to assert that one way of behaving was better than another”.

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Owning a home isn't just a fragment of the American Dream, it's the key to it.

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When New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced that his office had cut a deal with the three big credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax and TransUnion—to improve the customer experience, the news shook the financial-services world into a frenzy. 
“In today’s world, the consumer’s input is less important than the bank or collector’s input,” John Ulzheimer, an expert at CreditSesame, told the New York Times.
The Root

The yawning racial wealth gap in the United States is no accident, but rather, driven by unjust public policy decisions—from the re-segregation of education to the redlining of home ownership to poverty wages, according to a new analysis by Brandeis University and the public policy organization Demos.

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If black families had the same opportunitites that white families have to increase their incomes through investments, retirement plans, and other asset-building measures, it would reduce the wealth gap between the two groups by nearly $45,000, or 43 percent, according to a report out Tuesday. For Latino families, it would reduce the gap by more than almost $52,000, or 50 percent.

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Maybe no economic statistic captures the continuing impact of the nation’s history of inequality better than the racial wealth gap. It has left a yawning gulf that separates whites from blacks and Hispanics. And it persists across income and educational levels in ways that have left whites who are high school dropouts with a higher median new worth greater than blacks and Hispanics who are college graduates.