Norma Rae is Spinning in Her Grave

Norma Rae is Spinning in Her Grave

In a small town in rural North Carolina in those days a mill job was about the best a blue collar worker could do. Crystal Lee’s grandfather had worked in the mill, as had both of her parents. It seemed to be the natural order of things that she would follow her parents and grandparents into the mill.

Urban Designers Must Address the Issue of Poverty 1

Urban Designers Must Address the Issue of Poverty

The New Urbanist creed has been embraced by millions of millennials, whose tastes trend away from cul-de-sacs and toward pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented neighborhoods in proximity to lively commercial districts. But with a wave of hipsters and empty nesters now flocking to cities across the country,New Urbanism faces a new challenge: how to advocate for principles of good design and the re-densification of depopulated districts while respecting the people for whom urbanism is not new at all — the folks who remained in struggling neighborhoods now seen as hot and bore the brunt of the ills in the era of industrial collapse and suburbanization.

The Authenticity of Bernie Sanders 1

The Authenticity of Bernie Sanders

A couple of years ago, something different happened. Over the course of a couple of days in 2013, I spent a number of hours chatting with Bernie Sanders for an interview for Playboy. To be sure, it was a pleasure—unfortunately, too rare an experience—to be with a member of Congress who actually had an informed, complex understanding of the issues facing the people. It’s a deep understanding steeped in a worldview that seeks to represent the regular person, not because it tests well in 2015 polls but because Bernie believes what he says.

Some Disadvantaged Communities Find It Hard to Exercise Their Right to Walk 1

Some Disadvantaged Communities Find It Hard to Exercise Their Right to Walk

People have walked for justice and economic opportunity throughout American history.

Walking is a powerful tool to change the world as well as a fundamental human right. To be restrained from free movement is an injustice, a denial of our liberties, a betrayal of American ideals. And it closes off the commons, which all of us should be able to enjoy equally.

Yet many disadvantaged people now think twice before traveling on foot due to dangerous traffic, street crime, or a lack of stores and public places within walking distance, which heightens serious problems of poor health, limited transportation options, and overall disillusionment in their communities.

Texas Takes Aim At Democracy 1

Texas Takes Aim At Democracy

In Texas liberty trumps democracy. The Texas Supreme Court itself says so. In a recent decision, three of the five Justice majority bluntly declared. “(O)ur federal and state charters are not, contrary to popular belief, about ‘democracy’.” They are about “liberty’s primacy”.

The Justices concluded the Texas Constitution gives primacy to liberty because of the sequence of wording “That the great, general and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established,” is how the Constitution begins. The word “liberty” comes first.

Real Questions for Presidential Candidates

Real Questions for Presidential Candidates

People took note when Ronald Reagan, a presidential candidate in 1980, asked, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” That question got people’s attention and is still often quoted today. Some say it’s this question which won Reagan the presidency.

The Game is Rigged Against Small Business

The Game is Rigged Against Small Business

Small business looms large in American political rhetoric. From the campaign trail to the floor of the U.S. House and Senate, members of Congress love to evoke the diner and dry cleaner, the neighborhood grocer and local hardware store. Ensuring the well-being of Main Street, we might easily assume, is one of their central policy aims.

The legislative track record tells another story. It is one in which the interests of big corporations are dominant, and many laws and regulations seem designed to bend the marketplace in their favor and put small, independent businesses at a competitive disadvantage.

Birth Control is a Social Justice and Environmental Issue

Birth Control is a Social Justice and Environmental Issue

More than 1600 years ago, in the waning days of the Roman Empire, Augustine Aurelius, Bishop of Hippo declared himself a sex addict. His classical 13 book treatise Confessions of St. Augustine, one of the foundational texts of Catholicism was written “to remind myself of my past foulnesses and carnal corruptions.” Augustine was the first theologian to equate sex with sin.