2023 Civics Edition
February 14, 2023
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A View From the Ground

News and information about politics, government, civic participation and engagement from URL Media's network of Black and Brown publishers.
A transgender woman wearing a gray top visits the doctor ID.

A transgender woman wearing a gray top visits the doctor. Credit: iStock

New leave policies allow LGBTQIA+ folks to care for their chosen family: A survey by the Center for American Progress (CAP) revealed that around 37% of LGBTQIA+ workers reported not having access to paid family or sick leave. However, a growing number of states have adopted paid leave policies that allow workers to take paid leave to care for non-biologically related family members, friends, partners, elders, and other loved ones. Prism reports that laws like this, which have already taken effect in Oregon and California, provide support for LGBTQIA+ families and loved ones.

Workers should be allowed to take leave to care for anyone who means most to them in life,” said Cassandra Gomez, a senior staff attorney at A Better Balance, a nonprofit organization advocating for expansive language around workplace leave. “Having those inclusive family definitions is really just an equity point that gives all workers full access to their paid leave rights and honors all families.”

🎧 Indigenous leaders on protecting Native rights, land and culture: The latest episode of Our Body Politic uplifts Indigenous voices. Host Farai Chideya interviews Interior Secretary Deb Haaland about what she's learning from survivors and descendants of the Federal Indian Boarding School system. Then, she speaks with Ta'jin Perez, Deputy Director of Western Native Voice, on the fight for tribal sovereignty. The episode concludes with a 2014 interview featuring Bird Runningwater, co-executive producer of the television drama "Sovereign" currently in development with Warner Bros. Television. 

How to close the Black talent tech gap
Sponsored by McKinsey & Company

How to close the Black tech talent gap: Employees in the tech industry do not reflect the makeup of the broader American workforce. What can be done to close this talent gap? Read here.

Weaver fire exposed language barriers in emergencies; one city's official hope to change that: On Jan. 31, last year, a massive fire broke out at the Winston Weaver Company fertilizer plant in Winston-Salem, N.C. After months of investigation, the Winston-Salem Journal reported the cause of the fire was "undetermined." Marking its one-year anniversary, La Noticia resurfaces how that fire impacted residents who lived nearby, many of whom speak Spanish. “We were scared, we were smelling all that smoke. Some of [us] don’t speak English, don’t understand what’s going on, so we need more information in the future for anything like that for the Hispanic community,” residents told city officials at a community meeting.

LaGuardia Airport workers claim anti-union retaliation: Amir Khafagy of Documented reports that dozens of LaGuardia Airport workers, many of whom are immigrants, held a rally last week to announce filing unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board. It isn't the first time airport workers have gathered to protest poor labor conditions, nor is it the first set of charges against Swissport USA. Last December, 32BJ SEIU, the union representing the workers, also filed five complaints with the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection against Swissport for violation of the City’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law.
People who are incarcerated may exchange organ donations for sentence reductions: Massachusetts has proposed a bill that would reduce an incarcerated person's sentence by up to a year if they donate their organs or bone marrow, reports PushBlack. The bill aims to establish an organ donation program within the state's Department of Corrections. Even so, despite Black people facing significant disparities in organ donations and being overrepresented in prisons, "this initiative won't fix [systemic racism]."

One casualty of gentrification? Community center programming and the togetherness it enables: Members of Little Haiti's Cultural Center (LHCC) in Miami have felt the brunt of its beloved space's lack of programming and excitement since last May, reports The Haitian Times. Mack Bazile, LHCC’s DJ for 13 years, attributes this to the loss of its manager. He says that having no manager or programming in place amid ongoing gentrification has many people worried the space will eventually close

Sony Laventure, a Konpa dance instructor and Little Haiti resident, agrees. “We have seen what it can look like when there is an active person running things here. To see where it is now is scary because for one, property ownership is changing. Little Haiti is changing.”

Last chance to enter your 2022 work into the 15th Annual Shorty Awards!

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