• Funding Grassroots Movement Building

    [A] move to a… data-driven, results-oriented approach often works against deeply transformational work of organizations, as it requires a smaller, narrower focus or goals. The focus of the funder is almost always then on whether the recipient organization hit the numerical benchmarks… Some organizations can get stuck trying to make …

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  • The Shackling of the American City

    Slate, September 9, 2016 By Henry Grabar Pre-emption has become the most powerful statehouse tactic of our time. In May 2011, Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker approved Senate Bill 23, which prohibited the state’s municipalities from enacting paid sick leave laws. From the outside, it might’ve appeared as if he was …

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  • How One Texas Town Defeated the Oil & Gas Industry

    On November 4, 2014, the people of Denton, Texas voted to ban fracking in their community. The ballot measure was a hard-fought victory for environmental justice and local democracy. Defeated by a grassroots movement, the oil & gas industry responded by undermining the will of the people with statewide preemption. …

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  • Environmental justice derailed by 154-year-old federal preemption

    What do the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 and an environmental justice movement in Benicia, California in 2016 have in common? Unfortunately, the answer is preemption. The modern use of preemption as a political strategy to undermine grassroots health and safety movements is typically dated to 1986, the …

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    Photo credit: Brooke Anderson