In our first Legislative Roundup of 2022, here are just a few stories that caught our attention regarding equity across the country!
- Tree Replanting
- Why we’re watching: Tree equity is an issue near and dear to our hearts, and for good reason. Black and Brown neighborhoods have less trees on average than their white counterparts, which means less shade and higher temperatures. The negative health effects of long-term exposure are daunting, so maybe that’s why Connecticut established a grant to plant trees in neighborhoods that are mostly blacktop lots.
- Equity in Public Schools
- Why we’re watching: The Atlanta school board recently approved $138,700 to generate awareness of the board’s equity-related efforts, including its Center for Equity and Social Justice. That organization has been busy editing hiring practices and student disciplinary outcomes, so we’re glad to see it’s getting some time in the spotlight.
- Guaranteed Income
- Why we’re watching: As Atlanta schools move forward, so is their host city. Atlanta recently approved a partnership with the Urban League to launch the city’s first guaranteed income program. The effort will support 300 residents that live below 200% of the federal poverty line, which equates to $53,000 for a four-person family. We hope the program’s $500 per month works against Atlanta’s worsening income inequality.
- Mail-In Voting
- Why we’re watching: Last year, in response to record minority turnout at the polls, dozens of states severely restricted voting rights. On the other side of the spectrum, Nevada passed AB 321, which established a minimum number of polling places, shortened mail-in ballot deadlines, and required drop-boxes at every polling place for the 2022 elections.
- Criminal Justice Reform
- Why we’re watching: There are too many Black and Brown individuals in jail for inconsequential reasons. Don’t just take our word for it! The new Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg agrees. For minor crimes like fare evasion and resisting arrest, his office will not seek jail time without an accompanying felony. Alternatively, he will search for programs dedicated to rehabilitation rather than punishment.
What do you think of the news in this week’s legislative roundup? Did we miss anything? Drop us a line on any of our social channels or hit us up through our contact us form. Let us know what’s happening in YOUR neighborhood!