In the News

Heather McGhee, president of Demos, a left-leaning public policy organization, said Americans shouldn't be surprised by neither President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration nor his lashing out against the federal judge in Seattle who reversed it.

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A new report out this morning called The Asset Value of Whiteness: Understanding the Racial Wealth Gap purports to shatter traditional explanations for the lack of financial progress in African American and Latinx households as compared to white ones in the U.S.

In a new report, “Asset Value of Whiteness,” Demos and the Institute on Assets and Social Policy take a deep dive into the intrinsic link between racism and capitalism; specifically, how whiteness infests the so-called American dream and renders it inaccessible to anyone who doesn’t meet the pre-selected criteria.

Mark Huelsman is a senior policy analyst who focuses on higher education at the think tank Demos. “In an era of entrenched inequality and lack of upward mobility,” he told me, “the same things that would ding a borrower’s credit — a bout of unemployment, an inability to pay a student loan, an unlucky medical history — are the same things that any private lender would be looking at in approving a new loan.”

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[...] According to a new report by the progressive think tank Demos, “student debt is particularly damaging for individuals who struggle to repay their loans. Delinquent borrowers are saddled with fees, penalties and rapidly accumulating interest; borrowers who default on their loans face ruined credit and a debt often several times their original loan balance.”

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Sanctuaries have legal protections

Trump and his Republican allies are supportive of eliminating funds for cities and "sanctuary" counties, but a recent report from the progressive group "Demos" noted that sanctuaries have protections under the Constitution and local laws.

Bajo la Constitución y las leyes antidiscriminación, los gobiernos locales pueden proteger a los inmigrantes. Así lo reafirmó un reporte titulado “Santuarios, Seguridad y Comunidad: Herramientas para acoger a los inmigrantes a través de la democracia local”, en el cual se detallan los mecanismos disponibles para que las ciudades puedan dar protección a los indocumentados.

Under the Constitution and anti-discrimination laws, local governments can protect immigrants. This was reaffirmed a report entitled "Sanctuaries, Safety and Community: Tools for welcoming immigrants through local democracy", which detailed the mechanisms available for cities to provide protection to undocumented immigrants.

Labaton and Demos' Tamara Draut encourage women workers to keep the pressure on city- and state-level legislators ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

"Find out what your city council is doing in terms of a fair working wage, paid leave, and paid sick days," Draut said. "Get those on the agenda. That is a lever that is much easier to influence." [...]

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In late August, just as Donald Trump was making his improbable pitch to black voters (“What the hell do you have to lose?”), an unusual and tender video began to make the viral rounds. It showed Heather McGhee, the president of the progressive think tank Demos, responding to a caller on C-span’s “Washington Journal.” McGhee is black. The caller was white, and, he said, prejudiced against black people, because of things he’d seen in the news. But he didn’t want to be.

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