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Author: Wisconsin Examiner

Annual “48 Hours of Homelessness” campaign raises funds to care for Milwaukee’s unhoused population

For outreach volunteers and housing advocates at the organization Street Angels, the numbers of unhoused people in Milwaukee is creating anxiety about the coming winter. As the group conducts its nightly outreach missions, handing out supplies and gathering raw data on encounters, volunteers have reached a troubling conclusion. The group is encountering larger numbers of unhoused people than ever before, often in barely visible places. Street Angels first began gathering data on the group’s nightly outreach missions in July 2018. “It isn’t an easy task,” Dan Grellinger, the Angels’ data administrator and a board member, said during an October...

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Ignoring COVID safety and LGBTQ Rights: Waukesha School District faces mounting lawsuits over policies

The Waukesha school district is facing one potential lawsuit on top of another. The district is already dealing with a lawsuit for not protecting students from COVID-19. Now it may be stepping on First Amendment, free speech rights as well. A grassroots organization called the Alliance for Education in Waukesha is organizing a petition against the superintendent and beginning protests before the recent school board meetings, sending speakers to the podium to ask the board to change the superintendent’s policies. This summer Waukesha Superintendent James Sebert suspended staff diversity training and the district’s equity leadership team. Black Lives Matter...

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Federal expansion of Pell Grant program allows more individuals in state custody to earn college degrees

Prison inmates around the U.S. are getting the chance to do something that was almost unheard of a generation ago, pursue a college degree while behind bars and with financial support from the federal government. Inmates in 42 states and Washington DC can now get federal grants to work with colleges and universities to earn trade certifications, associate’s degrees and even bachelor’s degrees. And the programs are expected to become even more popular, thanks to a bipartisan effort to let prisoners use federal Pell Grants to help pay for higher education classes while incarcerated. A grant expansion announced by...

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Research shows Black women with children have been historically shut out from federal aid cash programs

A new research paper reviewed how each state implemented a federal program that has provided cash assistance to low income families over the last 25 years, and found that Black women with children repeatedly were excluded. Policy experts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities outlined how states could remove restrictive requirements placed on Black families to receive cash assistance for food, bills, or rent in their report TANF Policies Reflect Racist Legacy of Cash Assistance. The findings also detailed ways the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, or TANF, can recenter its programs to help Black women with children...

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Fair Elections: Multiple lawsuits compete for how Wisconsin’s voting maps will be drawn

The legal wrangling in multiple lawsuits brought by liberal and conservatives groups has intensified in recent days as activists fight over how the state’s new legislative districts will be drawn and who will draw them. Several lawsuits have already been filed in state and federal court in anticipation of Governor Tony Evers and the Republican-led Legislature failing to reach an agreement on the new maps, which must be ready in time for candidates to file for next fall’s elections. Recently, the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) filed a response to a lawsuit brought by the conservative legal firm, the Wisconsin...

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Our Right to Clean Water: Why Wisconsin needs to reclaim its tradition of freshwater protection

August is National Water Quality Month, a month dedicated to bringing awareness to the fact that access to clean water is a human right we all share. In Wisconsin — home of 15,000 lakes, two of the largest freshwater bodies in the world, and an amount of groundwater roughly equal to the volume of Lake Michigan — what could possibly stand in the way of guaranteeing that human right? Why is it that too many Wisconsinites — people living in communities like Marinette, La Crosse, Milwaukee and Kewaunee County — cannot safely drink the water coming out of their...

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