Equity

No shortcuts: Only well-managed AI will deliver on its promise

COMMENTARY | Artificial intelligence opens new opportunities for policymaking and service delivery, but success still depends on understanding residents’ needs and on the thoughtful handling of their data.

White nationalist, anti-LGBTQ activity on the rise, annual hate report shows

Much of the increase in hate and extremism can be attributed to a 50% surge in white supremacy hate groups in 2023, the highest jump ever recorded by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Can cash payments reduce childhood poverty?

Money may not be able to buy happiness, but observers say it could help protect some of the nation’s most vulnerable: children living in poverty.

Successful city parks make diverse communities feel safe and welcome

COMMENTARY | Parks are like a city’s living room. Designing, building and managing them well makes them attractive to different groups and boosts inclusion.

Report: State by state, how segregation legally continues 7 decades post Brown

Researchers unveil loopholes, laws and a lack of protections allowing Black, brown, low-income students to be excluded from America’s most coveted schools.

Connect with state & local government leaders

Easing the housing squeeze on low-income renters

The State and Local Innovation project will work with policymakers to draft bill language and leverage data and best practices to keep the lowest income renters in stable housing.

Neediest areas are being shortchanged on government funds

COMMENTARY | A recent study of the Community Development Block Grant program showed that neighborhoods with the largest share of low- to moderate-income families were less likely to receive CDBG funds than communities that were closer to the 51% threshold.

HUD warns on AI-fueled housing discrimination

The Department of Housing and Urban Development confirmed characteristics like race and income are protected from AI algorithmic discrimination.

Don’t pull the plug on internet access for 23M families

COMMENTARY | No family should be forced to choose between one essential and another. And they don’t have to, as long as Congress acts to renew the Affordable Connectivity Program.

State, local govs crack down on menthol cigarettes by pumping prices up

Setting minimum retail prices and increasing taxes can help officials address public health concerns surrounding menthol cigarettes.

LGBTQ students wonder what’s next as conservative states seek to block new Title IX rules

Days after the new Title IX rules protecting LGBTQ youth from discrimination at school were published, top officials in 15 states announced they were suing to block the rules from going into effect.

A water crisis in Mississippi turns into a fight against privatization

Thanks to a federal judge, residents of Jackson will have a say in how the city resolves its yearslong water crisis.

State-level conservation action sparks hope for nature

COMMENTARY | Spurred by strong local support and successful conservation ballot initiatives, elected leaders are collectively building a menu of policies that could turn the tide of nature loss.

Republican attorneys general mount a new attack on the EPA’s use of civil rights law

Twenty-three states want the Biden administration's EPA to curtail its approach to environmental justice.

Mandatory reporting laws meant to protect children get another look

Some states are considering rolling back these laws, saying the result has been too many unfounded reports that disproportionately harm families who are poor, Black, or Indigenous or have members with disabilities.

Making AI better than us—What could possibly go wrong?

COMMENTARY | Trained on data scraped from all corners of the internet, today’s generative AI applications are rife with biased data. Developing a trustworthy AI framework requires cross-sector collaboration.

With surge in hate crimes, state justice department launches hotline awareness campaign

Oregon's confidential hotline connects victims to government and community services that range from counseling to help filing a police report.

Achieving racial equity in college admissions starts in pre-K

COMMENTARY | The class of 2028 is the first college class to be admitted after the end of affirmative action. Without it, we need big-picture reforms.

What cities can learn from Seattle’s racial and social justice law

COMMENTARY | Working to end institutional racism is part of every employee’s job and the functioning of municipal government.

Hundreds of millions up for grabs in environmental justice grants

Housing, air monitoring, green jobs and coastal resilience are some of the initiatives that could receive funding under the Inflation Reduction Act.