In the News

Chiraag Bains, who served for about seven years in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, told the NewsHour that there are many ways these radical ideologies can be normalized.

One of the ways is when violence occurs and the government and high-ranking officials don’t do enough to condemn those acts, said Bains, who served under former President Barack Obama.

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Such lawsuits from the right have yielded mixed results, in part because voting rights advocates like the ACLU, Common Cause, Demos, the Lawyers’ Committee, the League of Women Voters and the NAACP have successfully fought back in court. Private groups defending voters have filed more suits to protect voters than the Justice Department itself in recent years. [...]

The Harris tax credit bill, called the LIFT the Middle Class Act, could also have implications for higher ed access -- although the legislation wouldn’t have the same focus on assisting students from the poorest families. The proposal would function like a beefed-up version of the earned income tax credit and phase in quickly for individuals and married couples who work. [...]

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Though education is perceived to be the great equalizer, Black women with higher education consistently make less than their white counterparts.

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In 2013, President Barack Obama ordered a review of election procedures after the 2012 presidential election was plagued with long lines. One of the “signal weaknesses” of the U.S.

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Despite elite colleges’ efforts to diversify, they are still limited in their ability to serve as true engines of economic mobility, said Mark Huelsman, a senior policy analyst at Demos, a left-leaning think tank.

“It does go against what we think higher education should be and it goes against our belief in a meritocracy,” he said. [...]

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In Ohio, registered voters who do not vote in a two-year period are sent a mailing asking them to confirm their address. If they do not respond to the mailing or vote in the subsequent four years, they are purged from the rolls. Represented by Demos and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, the Ohio chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute -- an organization of black trade unionists and community activists -- has been fighting these purges in court since 2016.

“When we’re talking about elite schools and, certainly, free medical schools, I don’t think that’s what’s going to be driving the policy process,” said Mark Huelsman, a senior policy analyst at Demos, a think tank with operations in three cities including Boston that advocates for a diverse, expanded middle class and racial equality. [...]

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Mark Huelsman, a senior policy analyst at Demos, argues: “We cannot rely on states to fund education on their own or even allow for collective bargaining in many states. So I think that the federal government has to step in and provide some real financial leverage in order to raise the number of teachers, raise the job quality for teachers and raise, even if it’s nonteaching jobs, the positions that have been eliminated, particularly in two-year colleges but across the education system.”

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“It’s political stubbornness,” said Stuart C. Naifeh, senior counsel for Demos, a national voting rights law group that is working with the League of Women Voters of Arizona, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, Promise Arizona, the American Civil Liberties Union and others on this lawsuit and related NVRA issues.

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