Diversity Headlines

Boko Haram Suspected in Suicide Bombing, AA Attendants Reject Contract, 'Dolphin Smooth'

Colorlines - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 07:25
Boko Haram Suspected in Suicide Bombing, AA Attendants Reject Contract, 'Dolphin Smooth'

Here's what I'm reading up on today: 

  • The last of two U.S. citizens held by North Korea are released
  • IS' leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is spared by U.S. airstrikes. Or wounded by U.S. airstrikes. Or killed by U.S. airstrikes. No one's really sure
  • American Airlines flight attendants reject a union contract by 16 votes--largely over healthcare costs and work rule changes; we'll likely see mediation before arbitration next. 
  • Reid Wiseman is back from space and his photo tweets are pretty amazing. 
Categories: Diversity Headlines

In Border Disaster, Advocates Seek Names of the Dead

New America Media - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 00:05
Pictured above: A cemetery in Holtville, Calif., containing hundreds of graves of unidentified persons believed to be migrants. Photo by Robin Reineke.With her daughter missing, Dalila can’t give up hope.“Sometimes I think … I’m going to find her alive, somewhere,... Amy Roe http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Are Not-for-Profit Hospitals Earning Their Tax Breaks? New Study Says No

New America Media - Sat, 11/08/2014 - 00:05
Not-for-profit hospitals, like Kaiser in San Francisco, receive tax breaks in exchange for providing benefits to their communities -- services like charity care for people who are uninsured. But are the not-for-profit hospitals in California providing enough of these services... Anna Challet http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

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New America Media - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 15:05
English?? ?? ???? ? ?? ???? ? ?? ? ?? ? ? ? ???? ??? ??? ??? ?, ??, ?? ?? ?? ?? ???? ??. ? ???? ???????????(U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)? ????? 3? ????? ???? ??... Peter Schurmann http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=64
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Record Number of Latinos to Serve in House

New America Media - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 14:35
Pictured above: (From left to right) Ruben Gallego, Norma Torres and Carlos Curbelo are among the five new Latinos who will serve in the U.S. House of Representatives starting in January. (Campaign photos)A record-setting 29 Latinos will take seats in... Griselda Nevarez http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Jobless Rates Drop to Six-Year Low, Obama Writes to Khamenei, Stevie Wonder on Tour

Colorlines - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 14:17
Jobless Rates Drop to Six-Year Low, Obama Writes to Khamenei, Stevie Wonder on Tour

Here's what I'm reading up on this morning:

  • Rather than handling its own ridiculous problem of online harassment, Twitter is collaborating Women Action Media, a third party, to create yet another tool to report such harassment. It's unclear to me at this point who will own what user information and how it may be used in the future. 
Categories: Diversity Headlines

The World's Getting a New Disney Princess Who's Not White

Colorlines - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 11:05
The World's Getting a New Disney Princess Who's Not White

Disney is set to release "Moana," its 56th animated feature, in 2016. And this time the princess is Polynesian:

Here's more from Entertainment Weekly:

Moana is described as a "a sweeping, CG-animated comedy-adventure," and takes place in ancient Oceania in the South Pacific. The film will tell the story of its titular character, a teenage girl and "born navigator" who "sets sail in search of a fabled island," according to a summary from Disney. "During her incredible journey, she teams up with her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui, to traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and ancient folklore," Disney reveals.

Read more

It's a step in the right direction, but as Maureen Shaw wrote at Mic about merchandise sales and Disney princesses, the company's got a long way to go:

Disney critics have long accused the company of racism and heterogeneity, and while the media powerhouse has made recent strides in diversifying its princesses, perhaps it's not doing enough on the merchandise front. Did Disney manufacture equal shares of white versus non-white princess wares? Considering that two other princesses of color, Mulan and Pocahontas, didn't even rank in the report, it's an alarming possibility.

Read more

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Video: Women of Color Speak Out About Street Harassment

Colorlines - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 10:36
 Women of Color Speak Out About Street Harassment

Over at Jezebel, Collier Meyerson writes about that controversial Hollaback video on street harassment and new response from a group of women of color:

...black and brown women were excluded, as if we do not exist, or are not affected by street harassment when, in fact, we are more endangered by it. Black and brown women, women of color of size, and trans women are among our society's most vulnerable. Black women are at a greater risk of domestic violence. For trans women, even leaving the house can be fraught with emotional and physical violence. Women of color, regardless of gender expression, have an extra layer of fear and anxiety when walking down the street. The Hollaback video's omission of white men, and the omission of black and brown women, worked together in an sinister alchemy to reinforce centuries-old stereotypes about who needs to be saved and protected and who needs to be feared and controlled.

Hollaback did issue an apology, writing: "We agree wholeheartedly that the video should have done a better job of representing our understanding of street harassment and we take full responsibility for that."

In the video below, several women of color talk about their experiences with street harassment, often at the hands of white men.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Watch the Trailer for 'Selma'

Colorlines - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 10:22

The trailer for Ava DuVernay’s MLK biopic, “Selma,” is here. The film opens in New York and Los Angeles on Christmas Day—with a nationwide release January 9, 2015.

Can you say Oscar? 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Azealia Banks' Debut LP 'Broke With Expensive Taste' Climbs U.S. iTunes Chart

Colorlines - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 07:15
Azealia Banks' Debut LP 'Broke With Expensive Taste' Climbs U.S. iTunes Chart

Azealia Banks didn't exactly surprise fans on Thursday when she dropped her debut LP "Broke With Expensive Taste." The album was originally slated for a 2012 release, but after many well-publicized setbacks, it was pushed back more than two years. Banks finally left her label earlier this year, and the last night released the album without any warning on iTunes and Spotify. Within hours of its release, the album hit the number three spot on the U.S. iTunes music chart.

Skip class and stay home from work!! Invite your friends over and celebrate!! #BROKEWITHEXPENSIVETASTE is finally here!!!

-- AZEALIA ?? BANKS (@AZEALIABANKS) November 6, 2014

If you've got a Spotify account, you can stream the whole album below. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Q&A: Jeff Chang, Author of 'Who We Be'

Hyphen Blog - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 07:08

Hyphen's Joyce Chen talks with Jeff Chang about his new book, Who We Be: The Colorization of America.

read more

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Facing Race Spotlight: Labor Activist Cristina Tzintzún

Colorlines - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 05:54
 Labor Activist Cristina Tzintzún

Cristina Tzintzún is the executive director of the Austin-based Workers Defense Project (WDP), a statewide workers' rights organization. WDP works to improve working conditions for low-wage workers who are mostly Latino and undocumented. The group fights for small and broad victories at the municipal and state level in Texas--a place that isn't exactly friendly to workers and immigrants.

On November 15 in Dallas, Tzintzún will talk about the organizing in the South at Facing Race, the biennial conference held by Race Forward, Colorlines' publisher. Colorlines caught up with Tzintzún to get an idea of what it's like to fight--and win--in Texas.

How did the Workers Defense Project get started?

The organization got started 10 years ago because workers weren't being paid for their work--especially those working in construction. It began as a legal service project and has since grown to do community organizing and policy advocacy that addresses the real needs of workers in Texas. We're not a labor union, but we do work like unions in the sense that we're trying to raise standards for workers. We've [gotten policies passed] at the local and state level that better protect the rights of thousands of workers--from winning construction workers higher wages to making sure they have paid rest breaks. We also address the fact that Texas is the most deadly place to work in the country. Most of the folks who have been dying in the construction industry are immigrants and people of color and we're trying to change that.

Can you talk about why construction workers face so much peril in Texas?

Texas is the fastest growing state in the country, which means we have a huge need for construction workers. In other parts of the country construction jobs can be and are blue-collar jobs. But that isn't the case in Texas. Many workers work full time but still live below the poverty line. In Texas, the largest employer of undocumented labor is the construction industry. It's estimated that at least 50 percent of the workforce is undocumented; that's close to 1 million workers. [Being undocumented] means they're more likely to have their rights violated, to not be paid for their work, to earn below the minimum wage and to die on the job.

Can you explain how this kind of wage theft happens?

I think it's really hard for some people to imagine. If you go out to do a certain job, you expect to get paid at the end of the day. But for one in five construction workers in Texas experience wage theft. That means they're not getting paid minimum wage or overtime--or they're most frequently not paid anything at all. This is especially common for undocumented workers because employers think they can get away it even though workers have the same rights, regardless of immigration status.

Talk about the work that you're doing to protect workers from wage theft.

Our organization worked to pass a law that criminalizes wage theft--it makes it a crime. Employers can actually be arrested for not paying their workers. It's a statewide law that [that] has been implemented in major municipalities. Just this last year, for the first time, places like El Paso started to see employers being arrested for not paying their workers. I think that's important, especially for undocumented workers, to know they have the law on their side. Oftentimes, immigrant communities are afraid of the police and don't feel like the police service their needs. And this is an opportunity for the police to show that they're addressing the issues that low-wage workers face.

How did you go about this work?

Workers Defense Project helped draft the legislation and helped coordinate a statewide coalition of community groups, labor unions and faith partners to push and pass the legislation. Texas is a really hard place to organize for workers and immigrant rights. It requires you to be more creative, and it also means that you have to make unusual partnerships, whether [they're with] folks from the business community or conservative faith partners. We try to cross lines that are outside of our comfort zones and we're willing to work with anyone who's willing to work with us. We also use really good data and [make] sure [it's] also accompanied by people who are directly impacted telling their stories and are willing to stand up even in a really hostile political climate.

What is Workers Defense Project currently working on?

Progressives in Texas have often been on the defensive. We've passed very progressive legislation at the local level and we know that at the state level we'll see bills that will try to pre-empt or make it illegal for those other bills we've helped pass to exist. So we have a defensive strategy to make sure that that doesn't happen. But we [also] have an offensive strategy to push for broader legislation to protect workers--whether it's for rest breaks, more safety training or for more tools that that allow for workers who aren't getting paid to defend their rights.

There is no federal or state law in Texas that mandates that workers have rest breaks--including those who work outside. Texas can get incredibly hot. Facing Race is happening in Dallas, which is one of the hottest cities in Texas. It gets well past 100 degrees in the summer every single days and workers are outside, working 10-, 12- and 14-hour days without the legal right to a work. Right now, we're asking the city of Dallas to pass an ordinance that would give 225,000 construction workers the right to paid rest breaks. It's something that's very basic but is also very hard to pass because we work in a state where any regulation is seen as creating a non-friendly business climate. We're just two votes shy on the Dallas City Council to pass that. We're almost there to see this ordinance pass.

Why Texas? If it's such an incredibly difficult place to organize in, why is it that you focus your work there?

It's easier to see workers of color and undocumented workers as disposable. Texas is by far the most deadly place to work in the country. A couple of years ago, at its peak, there was a construction worker dying in the state every two-and-a-half days. California has many more construction workers than we do and they have about a third of the death rate, and they're number two as far as workers dying. In Texas [the deaths were] overlooked for a really long time. Sometimes there are comments from our legislators that we shouldn't be worried about the fact that these workers are dying because they're here "illegally," and therefore shouldn't have a right to work or to have legal protections. While we're fighting for worker rights, we're also fighting for immigrant rights and the rights of people of color.

It's not a coincidence that the people that we represent--people of color and immigrants--face some of the worst conditions among workers in our state. The South, as well as the United States, has long history and legacy of people fighting back. And we're building off of that tradition. Even for newly arrived immigrants, we remind folks that the work and organizing and advocacy that they're doing is something they're part of that came way before them and that they're helping carry that work forward. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

GOP Election Rout Delivers Blow to U.S. Leadership Role on Climate Change

New America Media - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 00:05
Midterm election results 2014: The ascendant Republican leadership, from Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell on down, are opposed to President Obama's climate policies. Photo Credit: Mitch McConnell campaign Additional reporting for this story was done by ICN reporters Katherine Bagley, Elizabeth Douglass,... John H. Cushman Jr. http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Facing Race Spotlight: Southern Artist Carlton Turner

Colorlines - Thu, 11/06/2014 - 20:04
 Southern Artist Carlton Turner

Carlton Turner spends a lot of time on the road, but he calls the South--Utica, Mississippi--home. The musician and working artist has spent 10 years working with Alternate Roots, a Southern-focused network of artist/activists. It's work that's taken him from studios and churches all the way to the White House, where's he's discussed cultural policy with members of the Obama administration. On November 15 in Dallas, Turner will talk about confronting racism with art at Facing Race, the biennial conference held by Race Forward, Colorlines' publisher. Here, he discusses filling creative voids, the power of relationships and how we can better support young artists of color. 

First off, tell me about the different hats you wear.

The main hat [I wear] is the executive director of Alternate Roots, a 14-state network of artists who are doing work at the intersection of arts and activism in the South. Our network stretches beyond the South, but it focuses on the South. I've been on staff at the organization for over 10 years and I've been executive director for six years in February. 

I came to Alternate Roots' staff as an artist, and I continue to be an artist. [I've] worked with a group called M.U.G.A.B.E.E, which is Men Under Guidance Acting Before Early Extinction. I cofounded it with my brother, Maurice. We've been doing performing-arts and community-engagement work through long-term community residencies since 1996. That has been mostly based in music and theater but has also ventured to other paths. We take our cues from the local community. 

When you started M.U.G.A.B.E.E., what void were you and your brother trying to fill?

The name comes from the idea that when we were growing up, black men were considered an endangered species. It was a time of the drug wars and gang wars and all the things that were continuing to dismantle [the] progress of black men. Much like what we've seen with Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, [black men] have been seen as a threat to the community. What we wanted to do was to bring about some positive music and art that could project a different type of black male presence, especially coming out of a Southern culture. We were beginning to see the fading of voices like Public Enemy and A Tribe Called Quest and the emergence of artists like Goodie Mob and Outkast, so we thought that our work could help bring a different type of voice from a black male perspective in the South than what we were seeing. 

The South is sometimes ignored when we're talking about arts and contemporary activism on a national scale. For you, what makes arts and activism so unique in the region?

I think about all forms of African-centered cultural expression and popular forms of art in the United States -- music, theater, dance in the-- all originating in some from Southern culture. In many ways it comes out of plantation culture-- the fields, the hymns, the blues in soul and gospel music--and all those things that went on to create hip-hop, rock 'n' roll and R&B. If we're talking about cultural legacy and cultural production, it goes hand-in-hand with the forced labor of African-Americans in the South. Those things are very connected to one another. Anything that we're seeing today in pop culture originated in production you can trace back to black labor in the South. 

What about contemporary activism?

In the South, we know that there can't be any movement-shifting without building authentic relationships. The movement base in the South is about relationships. That's why the church was such a strong part of the Civil Rights Movement, because people had long-standing relationships that traced back generations. It was easy to create a safety net for the movement. Those relationships don't exist at the same level that they once did, so we're seeing our movement base have issues with trying to be grounded and actually have a safe space.

How is that relevant to what we're seeing now in black activism?

What's happened in Ferguson--you saw police raiding a church. Police would never do that in the South during Jim Crow. Now, the Klan would burn churches down, and maybe some of those members were police officers, but they had to do it under the guise of a vigilante because it would be desecrating a safe and spiritually grounding space. Now, that doesn't happen in the same way.

You travel often for your work and you've gone to the White House and spoken to the president's team on culture. How do you think we can support young artists [of color] across the country?

Consistency, to me, is the missing element to a lot of the cultural practices we're seeing across the country. We'd rather see a one-night performance than to see an artist engaged in a 10-year dialogue with the community because it's hard to see how that manifests over time. I think what young artists could really benefit from is an open invitation to really engage with the community on a long-term basis. We're stuck in this economic model of hustling for tour sites and trying to hustle [our] work in a marketplace that only values the transaction, but I think we really need to put more value in the actual relationships.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Tri-Valley Founder Gets 16 Years for Running Sham University

New America Media - Thu, 11/06/2014 - 16:25
 LOS ANGELES — The founder of California-based Tri-Valley University, who destroyed the academic careers of several hundred Indian students in the U.S., has been sentenced to more than 16 years in prison for running a sham university that served as... India-West http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

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New America Media - Thu, 11/06/2014 - 14:13
English???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????“???”?????????????????????????????????????????????????“?????????volatile organic compounds/ VOCs?”????????? ????????????????“?????????????????”????“????????Environmental Science & Technology?”??? “?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????Hugo Destaillats?? “????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????60%?????????????????????????”????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????58?????????18??????????????????????????????????????8??????????????????????????????????????????????????????10??????????????? ???????????????Lara Gundel???“??????90????????????”??????2.5???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????5%?60%? ???“???????????????????????????????????????”... Julie Chao http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

In California, Trauma Experienced in Childhood a 'Public Health Crisis'

Colorlines - Thu, 11/06/2014 - 11:58
In California, Trauma Experienced in Childhood a 'Public Health Crisis'

In Californa, one in six people has confronted severe trauma as a child, according to a new study (PDF) released this week by Bay Area-based health research and advocacy groups Center for Youth Wellness and the Public Health Institute. What's more, those experiences, classified as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), can negatively impact the health of the adults children become.

The Center for Youth Wellness gathered four years of data on 27,745 Californians and found that 61.7 percent of people in the state had experienced one ACE, while 16 percent had experienced four more more. ACEs fall into three broad categories: abuse, neglect and "household dysfunction," which encompasses the incarceration of a family member, mental illness, divorce and substance abuse. 

The more ACEs an adult has confronted, the higher their likelihood for serious illnesses like diabetes, stroke and cancer. Those who've experienced four or more ACEs, for example, are 2.2 times more likely to experience coronary artery disease. 

In California the most common ACEs adults report experiencing are emotional and verbal abuse, followed by parental divorce or separation, and substance abuse by a family member. Asian-Americans are less likely to report having experienced ACEs, but by and large, childhood trauma is distributed roughly equally across people of all races. For instance, 16.4 percent of whites, 16.5 percent of blacks, 17.3 percent of Latinos and 11.1 percent of Asians report experiencing four or more ACEs. However, the percentage of those who experience high concentrations of ACEs is higher among those who are poorer and have less education. 

Public health researchers in this emerging field have found that the accummulation of these negative life events and struggles constitutes toxic stress which can seriously impact children who are in the midst of important brain and cognitive growth, affecting their physical and mental health years down the line. 

"It's a public health crisis," the Center for Youth Wellness's co-founder Dr. Nadine Burke Harris told KPCC. "This is not just a small percentage of the population - that it's happening in limited neighborhoods - but this is really all of us, and that's going to require system change."

h/t KPCC

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Democrats Have a White Women Problem

Colorlines - Thu, 11/06/2014 - 11:45
Democrats Have a White Women Problem

When you look at Tuesday's election results by gender, it seems that the Democrats and Republicans split the women's vote pretty evenly, with a few percentage points in favor of Dems. But when you examine that data by gender and race, you'll get a wholly different picture that highlights an Achilles' heel for Democrats: white women.

Exit polls released by CNN show that white women's votes went to the Republicans by a margin of 13 percent. Fifty-six percent of white women voted Republican while only 43 percent voted Democrat.

And if you look at the numbers for black and brown women, you see just how big the race gap really is. Ninety percent of black women and 67 precent of Latina women voted Democrat. (It's worth noting that Black and Latino men also voted for Democrats more than white women did--86 and 58 percent respectively.) Even when you break it down by age, the white vote went to Republicans. These numbers mean even more when you consider that white people make up two-thirds of the electorate, with the vote evenly split between white men and women.

While the long game may be to focus on the emerging majority-of-color electorate, Democrats may be sacrificing today's elections by overlooking the power of the white women's vote. Both times that Barack Obama was elected president, there has been a pretty consistent line among advocates in the progressive feminist movement: "Women won the election." But a small-but-important detail is often omitted: He actually lost with white women.

"When you actually look at the numbers, it's women of color who have won the elections in spite of white women," says Lindsey O'Pries, a white progressive activist living in Richmond, Va. "We're not able to be critical of white women because we're not acknowledging what's happening. The refrain is, 'Women won the election.' But the credit is not being given where it is deserved."

Progressives have put a lot of time, energy and resources into cultivating black and brown voters. This is a commonsense approach--the numbers clearly show that if you bring them to the polls, they'll vote Democratic. And voter turnout is something even non-partisan 501 (c)(3) groups can do without restriction. 

But O'Pries questions whether her get-out-the-vote (GOTV) tactics have their limits. "In Virginia, whenever I'm doing GOTV work, it's always in communities of color. But am I really the best ambassador of that? [Shouldn't] I be focusing more on my own people? And how do you do that in a comprehensive way?"

O'Pries says that with white voters, who already turn out at high numbers, the work has to be focused on changing minds and selling candidates. Republicans are clearly doing a better job than Democrats on that front.

This isn't the first election where the gap was so large between white women's and Latina and black women's Democratic vote. In the 2010 midterms, 58 percent of white women voted Republican while black and Latina women did so at 6 and 33 percent respectively.

People may finally be taking notice. Andrea Grimes, senior reporter for RH Reality Check, wrote passionately about the Democrat Wendy Davis' loss in the Texas gubernatorial race in an article appropriately titled "White Women: Let's Get Our Shit Together": "It was women like me--married white women, specifically--who failed Wendy Davis--and ourselves, and our families, and Texas families--on Tuesday night. According to exit polls, Black women, Black men, Latinas, and a near-majority of Latinos who voted turned out in solid numbers for Davis."

The major game-changer for the white-women's vote might be a presidential run for Hillary Clinton. She might resonate with white women voters in a way that Barack Obama--and his mostly white, male Democratic party--has not. But like the saying goes: The first step is admitting you have a problem. Democrats can't afford to wait for demographic shifts to change the game. They've got to get their own white majority on board. After all, as the recent past indicates, Republicans may use their power to keep communities of color from the polls, only further upping the ante for Democrats to figure out how to reach white women.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

So How Much Did Obama’s Immigration Delay Hurt Latino Turnout?

New America Media - Thu, 11/06/2014 - 11:42
 At long last, a first take at a concrete answer to what has, up until now, been a mostly speculative conversation. Would President Obama’s decision to delay executive action on immigration reform put a dent in Latinos’ turnout?The answer: It... Colorlines http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Forget Congress. Who's Running Your Statehouse?

Colorlines - Thu, 11/06/2014 - 11:38

So put aside the horrific examples John Oliver points out above of shenanigans happening in statehouses all across the country. (Truly. Horrific.) Fact is, Congress has a well-earned reputation for gridlock, whereas statehouses are where bills actually become laws--more than 24,000 this year alone, according to a Washington Post article cited by Oliver. That compares to Congress' 185 bills passed since January 2013. With that workhorse-meets-constipation disparity in mind then, consider that as of Tuesday, according to Facing South, the GOP further tightened its already dominant grip over the South, gaining 64 seats. (In Alabama, for example, the GOP controls every statewide elected office and all but one congressional seat.) Nationwide, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, after final votes are tallied and recounted, "it appears that Republicans will have a net gain of between 350 and 375 seats and control over 4,100 of the nation's 7,383 legislative seats"--giving some indication of the thousands of laws to pass (or progressive legislation to stall) over the next few years on everything from abortion rights to low-wage labor organizing, paid sick leave, health care and more.

"Statehouses do a huge amount of work while no one is watching," Oliver says. He's right. Less than one-third of U.S. newspapers assign a reporter to the statehouse and nearly 90 percent of local TV news stations do not either, according to a Pew analysis released this July.

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