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Power Failure: Appalachia Plans for Life Beyond Coal

HARLAN COUNTY, Ky.—On his first shift in the coal mine, Brandon Farley closed his eyes to steady his nerves as the powered cart he was riding disappeared into the mountainside. A third-generation coal miner in this Appalachian corner of Eastern Kentucky, Farley began working in the mines right out of high school and kept at […]

Medicaid Denied: The Cost May Be Measured in Lives

IN THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA — A few weeks before Christmas in 2010, Gloria Owens was shopping in the Dirt Cheap Store in Yazoo City, Mississippi, when she collapsed. That is when Owens, now 59, learned she was suffering from untreated diabetes. A social worker here, she’d lost her health insurance after switching to part-time work […]

Voter Engagement in 2014 Fueled by Local Groups, Issues

Voter Engagement in 2014 Fueled by Local Groups, Issues

Without the national drama of a presidential campaign, voter turnout is often a challenge in midterm elections. But this year, grassroots community groups in many states have driven record levels of voter registration, turning to state ballot measures on a range of pressing issues to energize turnout on Nov. 4. “Despite the anger and frustration […]

For Election 2014, It’s About Protecting Voting Rights

For Election 2014, It’s About Protecting Voting Rights

The last time Floyd James Carrier, a wheelchair-bound Army veteran in his 80s, went to the polls, he brought along his expired driver’s license, voter registration card, and veteran’s ID. But, although the poll workers in tiny China, Texas, knew Carrier by sight, he was turned away because his ID documents didn’t meet the stringent […]

California, the Golden State, Is Actually the Poorest of All

California, the Golden State, Is Actually the Poorest of All

California, the home of Silicon Valley and more billionaires than any other state, is the poorest state in the country. That’s according to an Oct. 16 report from the Census Bureau, which also finds that Mississippi – typically ranked among the poorest states – has a poverty rate below the national average. The report out […]

Chicago Neighborhoods Fight for $1.7B in Unused Cash

Chicago Neighborhoods Fight for $1.7B in Unused Cash

CHICAGO — On Nov. 13, outside of the Chicago City Council chambers, Amisha Patel was busy tying up loose ends. Patel, 38, is the executive director of Grassroots Collaborative, a coalition of Chicago labor and community groups. Active since the late 1990s, the group had stepped into the limelight nearly a month earlier, hosting a […]