skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Southern groups advocate for democracy amid legislative challenges

play audio
Play

Monday, April 1, 2024   

In the battle for democracy, grassroots organizations throughout the South are actively engaging voters on the issues that directly affect their communities - including voting rights, reproductive rights, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The groups Alabama Values and Southern Leadership for Voter Engagement hosted a roundtable discussion - called "As Goes the South" - to shed light on legislation of concern in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Rhyane Wagner, senior policy manager with the Black Voters Matter Fund, said some lawmakers have worked to pass bills that detrimentally affect voter participation.

"From 2008 to 2022, we're seeing a concerning downward trend in terms of our turnout," said Wagner, "and I lay that solely at the hands of a lot of the tactics being used across the South."

According to the Brennan Center, since the 2013 Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v Holder, the gap in voter participation between white and nonwhite voters has been expanding.

Before that, states and localities with a history of racial discrimination in their voting practices had to get federal approval of any changes to election policies.

Jerome Dees, policy director with the Southern Poverty Law Center, highlighted concerning legislation in Alabama - citing SB 1, which criminalizes assisting voters with absentee ballots, and SB 129, which restricts diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in state agencies.

Dees said this signals an urgent need to reimagine advocacy and engage grassroots organizations in communities.

"This is a concerted effort that is being waged against these communities of color," said Dees, "with the hopes that we just throw up our hands and say, 'You know what? We give in. You win.' But it's important that we understand that tactic and brace ourselves, and rely upon community."

The speakers at the roundtable emphasized the importance of collaborating regionally, diversifying candidates, and mobilizing funds to support campaigns aimed at effecting change.

They agreed that local support plays a crucial role in driving long-term policy transformation to improve marginalized communities.




get more stories like this via email

more stories
Creedon Newell practices teaching construction skills in Wyoming's new career and technical educator bridge course, designed to encourage trades students and professionals to pursue a career in CTE teaching. (Photo by Rob Hill)

Social Issues

play sound

By Lane Wendell Fischer for the Shasta Scout via The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Suzanne Potter for California News Service for the Public News …


Environment

play sound

By Naoki Nitta for Civil Eats.Broadcast version by Suzanne Potter for California News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public Ne…

Social Issues

play sound

Concerns about potential voter intimidation have spurred several states to consider banning firearms at polling sites but so far, New Hampshire is …


Though Connecticut's benefits cliff persists, there are other programs helping people maintain benefits of some kind when their income pushes them over the limit. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Today, groups working with lower-income families in Connecticut are raising awareness about the state's "benefits cliff" with a day of action…

Social Issues

play sound

Texas Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick has released 57 "interim charges," the topics he wants Senate committees to study in preparation for the 89th …

It is estimated the Wild Springs Solar Project in New Underwood, South Dakota, will offset 190,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

The construction of more solar farms in the U.S. has been contentious but a new survey shows their size makes a difference in whether solar projects …

Social Issues

play sound

Minnesota's largest school district is at the center of a budget controversy tied to the recent wave of school board candidates fighting diversity pro…

play sound

Minnesota lawmakers are considering a measure which would force employers to properly classify certain trade union workers and others as employees rat…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021