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The 2020 Census Is Still in Big Trouble

January 23, 2019 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The first federal court decision about the Trump administration’s efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census did not leave much room for debate. U.S. District Court Judge Jesse M. Furman’s 277-page ruling, described as “crystal clear” and “remarkably restrained” by constitutional scholars and lawyers, outlined what...

Low-Income Renters Face Eviction, Thanks to the Government Shutdown

January 11, 2019 FROM NEXTGOV arrow With the federal government shutdown in the U.S. nearing the three-week mark and no end in sight, more than 800,000 furloughed workers are starting to feel the sting of missing paychecks and mounting bills. The real-world impacts of this political brinkmanship—from airport-security sick-outs to sharply curtailed food inspectionsto fears that...

Housing Advocates Are Suing Ben Carson and HUD

May 8, 2018 Housing advocates plan to file a complaint on Tuesday against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and its secretary, Ben Carson, in an effort to put pressure on the federal government to enforce fair housing law. The challenge calls on HUD to fully implement an Obama-era rule on...

Hey FCC: Hurricane Victims Shouldn't Run Out of Cell Minutes

September 29, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The lines at Plaza del Sol, a mall just outside San Juan in Puerto Rico, must have stretched around the building. For hours on end, crowds of people gathered around a minor technological miracle: two working cell phones, and a power outlet to keep them charged. The phones were borrowed...

This Is Why Puerto Rico Needs Statehood

September 28, 2017 For a week after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the Trump administration declined to waive a set of shipping regulations in order to help speed food, gasoline, and other supplies to the island. Just weeks earlier, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security waived the restrictions under the Jones Act—a 1920...

The States Trying to Pass Laws Protecting Drivers Who Hit Protesters

August 16, 2017 Florida State Senator George Gainer wants to make one thing clear: His bill was never a license to assault demonstrators. While the bill he sponsored in February, S.B. 1096, would have granted civil immunity to drivers who strike protesters with their vehicles, the fatal assault in Charlottesville on Saturday is...

New York City Guarantees a Lawyer to Every Resident Facing Eviction

August 14, 2017 On Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law an act that guarantees legal representation to any low-income resident facing eviction. This is the first law in the nation to establish a right to counsel in housing cases, the culmination of a push by activists and organizers...

D.C. Hosted a Hackathon for Making Better Paperwork. Try To Control Your Excitement.

August 9, 2017 On a punishingly hot Saturday morning in July, dozens of D.C. residents filed into a college auditorium to talk about paperwork. Not to fill anything out, mind you. No one was sacrificing an opportunity to snooze on a blistering summer weekend morning for the sake of checking a major chore...

Los Angeles Will Get a Third Shot at the Summer Olympics

August 1, 2017 Los Angeles will host the Summer Games in 2028, marking the third time the city has held an Olympics and a return of the mega-event to the U.S. for the first time in more than 30 years. According to the Los Angeles Times, the International Olympic Committee will announce later...

Too Many People Are Calling 911. Here's a Better Way.

July 20, 2017 One out of every five phone calls to 911 in Memphis is a mistake. Of the 130,000 emergency calls in 2016, some 25,000 of them are really non-emergency calls, for everything from misdiagnosed stroke symptoms to simple sore throats. The city dispatches thousands of ambulances to residents who really just...