First the good news…

1) National/International: In the Public Interest’s Executive Director Donald Cohen is in the U.K. building bridges and exchanging news and views about our corner of the global fight against privatization. “I was recently invited to present on a panel about the topic at the Public Services International (PSI) Congress which takes place next week in Geneva, Switzerland. PSI is a global federation of public sector unions, and the congress will include representatives from 130 countries.”

In the U.K., Cohen’s itinerary “includes meetings with unions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academics, and activists in London, Oxford, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. People in the U.K. are facing the same challenges we are, among them austerity, disinvestment in public education, and threats to privatize goods and service that have long been part of the commons. (…) There are a few things I hope to learn during my trip. How are those who seek to keep the commons in common hands making their case? Do they have strategies we can use? What has worked? What have they found doesn’t work?  There are different policies, different politics, and different responsibilities of local governments, along with organizing and movement efforts, that I hope to learn about also…

“I’ll report back but, for now, please let me know if there are particular issues that I should include as learning objectives and opportunities. And, of course, let me know if you’ve got any interesting recommendations for my visit.”

2) National: Good news on the government jobs front. “In September, government employment increased by 73,000, above the average monthly gain of 47,000 over the prior 12 months,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. “Over the month, job gains occurred in state government education (+29,000) and in local government, excluding education (+27,000). Employment in government is slightly below (-9,000) its February 2020 level.”

3) National: Public knowledge’s Shiva Stella reports that “the National Telecommunications Information Administration filed a letter with the Federal Communications Commission on behalf of the Biden administration urging the FCC to adopt strong rules to end ‘digital redlining’ by requiring internet service providers to offer equal access to broadband throughout their entire service area. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 requires the FCC to adopt rules to prevent broadband providers from discriminating on the basis of ‘income level, race, ethnicity, color or national origin.’”

4) National: The International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers celebrates “the incredible achievements of American manufacturing and our hardworking members who power this industry.”

5) California: CalMatters Capitol reporter Sameea Kamal reports that California workers will get more paid sick days. “Starting next year, workers in California will be entitled to at least five days of paid sick leave—up from the current three days. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature is a win for labor groups, for whom the bill authored by Sen. Lena Gonzalezwas a top priority. But it falls short of the seven days in the original bill. Still, unions and workers applauded the move.”

6) California: California Teachers Association President David B. Goldberg says “as CTA fights back against decades of disinvestment in public education, against attacks on honesty in our curriculum, against book bans, and discrimination against LGBTQ+ students and members, it’s our collective strength that is getting the job done. It’s that strength that is expanding our Community Schools across the state. That strength begins at the site level. It begins with you! Getting involved in your union at its most basic level, your workplace, can lead to great things.”

7) Michigan: Educators and school staff can now bargain over privatization. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a bill that will expand the subjects bargaining representatives for public school teachers can discuss during negotiations. House Bill 4356 “eliminates the prohibition from discussion of third-party contracting for noninstructional support services. Currently, if a bargaining unit can bid on a contract for noninstructional support services it is barred from discussing a school’s decision to contract at all with a third party, procedures for obtaining the contract, the identity of a third party and the impact any contract has on the bargaining unit.” [Sub required]

8) North Carolina: The Durham City workers union, UE 150, celebrates the approval of bonuses. “At the Durham City Council Work Session on Thursday, October 5, a vote was taken to award $6.5 million in additional bonuses to the city workers. ‘We didn’t get what we asked for, but we got a victory,’ was the common refrain amongst city workers after the meeting. All workers earning under $42,800 per year will receive the full bonus demanded by the union of $5,000. Workers between $42,481 and $56, 650 will receive $3,750. All workers between $56,651 and $84,970 will be awarded $2,500. Those earning above $84,971 and below $106,210 will receive $2,000. Those over $106,211 will receive $500. All part time workers will receive $1,000.”

9) Wyoming: AASHTO reports that “the @WYDOTNews & the @WGFD completed the Dry Piney #wildlife crossing project, which includes 9 underpasses & 17 miles of fencing on both sides of Hwy 189 to deter wildlife-vehicle collisions.”

10) Upcoming Conference: On October 28, just 19 days from today, the Network for Public Education/NPE Action will celebrate 10 years of campaigning against the privatization and attempted destruction of public education with a national conference in Washington, DC. “The goal of NPE is to connect all those who are passionate about our schools – students, parents, teachers and citizens. We share information and research on vital issues that concern the future of public education at a time when it is under attack.”  There will be a pre-conference session Friday evening the 27th.


11) National/Think Tanks: The Network for Public Education has launched a webpage on its site to track school voucher scams by state and category (e.g., discrimination, misuse of taxpayer funds, anti-public school agenda, etc.). “Our Voucher School Scam$ page, which we began in September of 2023 in response to the recent flood of irresponsible universal voucher programs includes a sorting feature that allows you to search charter scandals by state and by 12 categories. You can also search by keyword. Just use the ‘X’ to clear search terms and return to the full list of scandals.”

12) National: Threats against public education and the people who make it possible are getting ever more violent. Vice reports that “at least eleven schools or school districts that were targeted by the account “Libs of TikTok” over anti-LGBTQ grooming conspiracies last month received bomb threats just days later. “Libs of TikTok”, helmed by former real-estate agent Chaya Raichik, has positioned itself as a vigilante crusader against “wokeness” in schools and culture—and has been heavily criticized as being a smokescreen for denigrating LGBTQ people. Raichik, via Libs of TikTok, solicits ‘tips’ from her 2.5 million followers on X, the platform formally known as Twitter, ranging from Pride flags being displayed in classrooms, gender queer teachers, or stocking library books that contain information about gender identity or sexual orientation, and then puts those schools or school districts on blast.”

13) Nevada: The state public charter school authority is expressing concern over a charter school that abruptly closed on Thursday, sending students back home after parents dropped them off. “According to staff, classes won’t resume at TEACH Las Vegas until Wednesday. Jennifer Bauer, the interim executive director of the State Public Charter School Authority, told 8 News Now the situation is ‘not normal’ and ‘very concerning.’ TEACH’s executive director and about 17 teachers have resigned from the school. This stems from an emergency meeting held last week. Several parents and staff told 8 News Now they’re concerned with the future of the school. Bauer said a new executive director will start on Monday at TEACH Las Vegas.”

14) North Carolina: The town of Wake Forest is standing up to defend its decision to reject a charter school. “‘In November 2019, developers submitted plans to Wake Forest that included Wake Preparatory Academy, a proposed K-12 charter school. Wake Forest officials rejected the plans in October 2020, citing concerns about a lack of pedestrian and bicycle “connectivity to adjoining neighborhoods.’ ‘Appellant Schooldev East, LLC, the developer of a proposed new school in the Town of Wake Forest, relied on a novel North Carolina statute, N.C.G.S. § 160A-307.1, to justify its scarce provision of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure within its proposed subdivision and site plan,’ according to a brief from lawyers representing Wake Forest. ‘The Town denied Schooldev’s subdivision application and site plan application for failure to provide sufficient pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, as required by § 3.7.5 of the Town’s Unified Development Ordinance.’”

15) Ohio/Think Tanks: A report from Policy Matters Ohio shows that “divestments from public schools at the state level ‘hurt public school students everywhere—especially those in rural counties.’ Furthering study of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on education, Policy Matters’ Tanisha Pruitt and Cassie Mohr said those pandemic effects combined with ‘Ohio’s legacy of inadequate, inequitable funding’ have ‘weakened the role school plays as a foundational public institution.’ Ohio was ranked 21st in a U.S. News & World Report on K-12 education and 46th in an EdWeek ranking of equitable distribution of education funding, both of which were cited as part of the 2023 report. ‘Ohio’s students deserve a world-class education, including safe and well-resourced schools that are staffed by teachers who are well trained and fairly paid,’ Pruitt and Mohr wrote.” [Read the report, State of Ohio Schools 2023]

16) Tennessee: How much would charter schools drain from Tennessee’s public schools? We have the numbers. “[Gov.] Lee outlined his plan to partner with Hillsdale for the development of up to 50 charter schools in the state back in his 2022 State of the State Address. In that address, Lee made clear his allegiance with the ideology of American Exceptionalism and his comfort with Christian Nationalism. An analysis of the fiscal impact of charter schools found that the Hillsdale charters, as envisioned in their applications, would drain roughly $7 million from each district where they operate. If Lee’s dream of 50 Hillsdale charters is realized, more than $300 million could be transferred from state and local taxpayers to the charter network. Even before he was a candidate for Governor, Lee was an advocate for funneling tax dollars to private, religious schools.”

17) Texas: Today (October 9, 2023) at 1 pm Texas time, the state legislature will convene and battle over Gov. Abbott’s crusade for school vouchers. Texas AFT says public education is on the line. What will be on the agenda? “Abbott’s agenda has opened the door for voucher-peddlers to dangle all sorts of carrots or employ any number of smoke-and-mirrors tricks to make their proposal seem less like the scam that it is. But our position and that of the rest of our public education allies has not changed: There can be no deal on vouchers. No carrot, no false promise, no negotiated deal is worth the devastation that a private school voucher would inevitably wreck on Texas public schools. Vouchers are a scam. Vouchers are not popular with Texas voters (despite the governor’s claims). Vouchers being pushed by billionaire-funded special interest groups that seek to destroy our public school system. Vouchers have been shown to be expensive and ineffective in other states where they have been implemented.”

Abbott demands voucher—or else, says the Texas Observer’s Josephine Lee. “From bullying legislators to ‘co-opting” churches and religious services, Abbott “wants to force a voucher at all costs,’ said Patty Quinzi, legislative director of the Texas American Federation of Teachers. Pulling the purse strings of Abbott’s voucher campaign are a handful of billionaires who have invested millions to weaponize far-right culture war propaganda to fund what the governor has branded as ‘school choice’ for parents.” The Dallas Morning News mentions several possible forms that voucher legislation could take.

Jacobin’s Nora De La Cour warns that voucher legislation may be proposed to open the door to the kind of racial discrimination that large areas of the white-dominated South practiced to get around Brown v Board. Right wing groups have been reportedly showing up at lawmakers’ homes to turn up the heat. “Days ahead of a special session of the Texas Legislature aimed at securing state tax dollars for private-school vouchers, ‘school choice voucher activists’ are parking trucks with mobile electronic billboards at lawmakers’ homes to press them on the issue. That’s according to posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, from Scott Braddock, editor of the Quorum Report, which covers Texas politics.”


18) National/Maine/New York: Look no further than Long Island for a case for public power, says columnist John DeStasio of the Press Herald. Maine is witnessing an epic battle over whether or not to bring two of its private utilities into the public sector. The vote will be on November 7. “As the president of the Large Public Power Council and former CEO of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, I know firsthand the benefits that public power provides customers. In recent months, some have cited LIPA’s experience after buying an investor-owned utility as a scare tactic to say public power won’t work in Maine. Their information is misguided, outdated and not based on facts. After watching LIPA closely, I have seen the organization evolve since its purchase of the local for-profit utility. It has improved governance, strengthened financial policies and recruited best-in-class personnel and practices. LIPA has used its public power status to take full advantage of funding opportunities not available to private companies and has invested billions of dollars in its electrical system without passing on costs to customers. Without public power status, this turnaround would have been unlikely. LIPA’s public ownership of the electric grid has allowed access to lower financing rates available exclusively to public utilities. According to a LIPA analysis, the typical residential customer pays an estimated $32 less per month compared to what it would be under an investor-owned utility.”

19) National: The Bond Buyer reports that the Republican-driven dysfunctional situation in the House of Representatives is posing risks to the municipal bond market, which helps to finance public infrastructure and services. “The political polarization could translate into less money for cities and states over the medium term, higher borrowing costs when they come to market and tougher legislative paths for muni priorities like tax-exempt advance refundings. And the prospect of the country losing its sole remaining triple-A rating, from Moody’s Investors Service, has inched closer to reality. ‘Overall this just supports Fitch’s recent decision to downgrade the U.S. government,’ said Lisa Washburn, managing director for Municipal Market Analytics. ‘With the political dysfunction, it’s very difficult to have a triple-A credit that seems to continually jump from crisis to crisis—and ones of their own making.’” [Sub required]

20) National: “As climate change intensifies, cities across the country will need more climate-resilient infrastructure to weather worsening storms,” says Food & Water Watch. “And together, we need to hold elected officials accountable so that we can tackle the climate crisis at its source!” [@foodandwater on Twitter/X]. See Cristen Hemingway Jaynes’ EcoWatch article, “Climate Crisis Makes Storms Like the One That Just Flooded NYC up to 20% Wetter, Study Finds.”

21) National: Right wing propaganda to privatize U.S. military barracks is being disseminated by The Center Square, which the Center for Media and Democracy reports is operated by the Franklin Center, which “has ties to the Koch brothers. The organization has received funding from DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund. Franklin also received funding from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.” Koch has been promoting anti-government privatization efforts for decades. Privatization of military living facilities has a disastrous record, which led to a scandal over the conditions service members and their families were forced to endure, and a Congressional intervention and legislation. Apparently, the privatization industry is hoping people have short memories. 

22) National: The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ public-private partnership task force has held its inaugural roundtable conference in Atlanta, The Bond Buyer reports. “‘Our first public-private partnerships council meeting laid the groundwork for our objectives in the years to come,’ said Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, who was tapped last year to head up the council. ‘These mayors and industry leaders are bringing their expertise to give ideas and gain ideas,’ Dickens said at a press conference announcing the meeting. ‘The importance of this bipartisan group of mayors is sharing best practices and learning from each other on how to reduce risk and deliver projects that are faster and cheaper for their constituents.’” [Sub required]. Atlanta’s controversial “Cop City,” which has been heavily backed by Dickens, has been promoted as a “public-private partnership.”

23) Connecticut: The Town of New Hartford has sold off its water and sewer facilities to a private company. “The purchase marks the first full privatization of a municipal wastewater system in Connecticut,” according to a company press release. “The $8 million transaction will also result in an immediate reduction of both water and wastewater rates,” the statement says. Aquarian is a fully owned subsidiary of Eversource Energy, which has faced calls it to be broken up because it’s too big.

24) Georgia: After years of controversy over whether nuclear energy is cost efficient when compared to renewable power generation sources (see here and here), Georgia Power has agreed to pay $413 million “to settle a lawsuit accusing the utility of reneging on financial promises to one of its nuclear reactor partners. The payments to Oglethorpe Power Corp., announced Friday, could hold down future bills for millions of electric cooperative customers in Georgia. Oglethorpe sued Georgia Power in June 2022 in a contract dispute over who should pay for cost overruns for a third and fourth reactor at Plant Vogtle, southeast of Augusta. Atlanta based Southern Co., which owns Georgia Power, said it would write off a $152 million loss on the settlement.”

25) International/U.K.: The massive bill to ratepayers for the disastrous privatization of Britain’s water utilities is coming into focus. The corporations’ opening bid to regulators begins at £96 billion (ca. $117 billion). The Financial Times reports that the plans “would see bills rise by an average £156 a year per household by the end of the decade. They cover the period from 2025 to 2030 and represent a near doubling of the £51bn in the previous five-year period. Water companies are natural monopolies so Ofwat decides how much they can charge customers for the maintenance and upgrading of infrastructure over five-year regulatory cycles. However, this year’s discussions will be the most fraught since privatisation 34 years ago with Ofwat required to balance calls for investment with public anger over sewage outflows and the effect of price increases during a cost of living crisis. (…) Feargal Sharkey, a water campaigner, said: ‘The question is what’s happened to our money? Where has it gone? If they had used the cash to deal with sewage and build some reservoirs they wouldn’t be asking for such big increases now.’” [Sub required]

Public Services

26) National: Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is requesting a USPS investigation of what’s happened to the U.S. Postal Service while it’s been under the impact of pro-privatization Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s 10-year plan. “‘DeJoy’s 10-year plan appears to put the USPS on a fast track towards privatization, job cuts, negatively impacted service operations, and a culture of general dysfunction at one of our country’s bedrock institutions,’ Tlaib (D-Mich.) wrote in a letter to U.S. Postal Service Inspector General Tammy Hull. DeJoy, a major donor to then-President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee, was installed as postmaster general in May 2020 by Trump-appointed members of the USPS Board of Governors. His appointment came after Trump’s Office of Management and Budget recommendedthat the USPS—a constitutionally sanctioned agency with more than 600,000 employees—be privatized. ‘I have spoken with countless USPS employees and managers in my area, all of whom are highly concerned that the 10-year plan poses a serious risk to the fundamental capabilities of the USPS,’” said Tlaib.

27) National/California: Good journalism on privatization is appreciated by readers. In a letter to the editor of North Coast Journal, Lynn Crosthwait of Fortuna says, “Thanks to Patty Harvey for her descriptive article about the privatization of Medicare (‘California Says No to Privatizing Medicare,’ Sept. 21). As noted, privatizing Medicare is already underway with a goal of total implementation in seven years. Corporate greed, detrimental to seniors, sits on our horizon if this is allowed to happen. It bears a resemblance to the profit over people in local skilled nursing facilities where residents are at the mercy of a corporate owner with billionaire status achieved on the backs of people with varying states of disability and likely without visible care for their welfare. Similarly, corporate ownership of senior mobile home parks has resulted in space rents rising toward unaffordable levels, thus diminishing that housing option for many seniors. Recently corporate invasion of hospice programs has also become known along with the familiar demand for increased profit.”

28) National: Quote of the week. “Anti-union math is saying you pay a living wage but teach employees how to apply for public assistance during orientation.” [@AFSCME on Twitter/X].

29) Florida: Why does my county allow a private prison company to break its contract? asks Thomas Mitchell of Inverness. “CoreCivic does not comply with several sections of their contract. The contract requires them to provide a law library. Instead, they insist inmates purchase ‘tablets’ for access to the free law library, and if you don’t have money to buy a tablet, there is no law library for you. I wonder if CoreCivic will make a profit on the tablets. The contract requires CoreCivic to have a general library so inmates can read in their spare time. And inmates have lots of extra time. The jail has 700-plus inmates, and fewer than 70 attend once-weekly rehabilitation or education programs. There is nothing else to do. They sit in their cages, waiting to tell a judge their story. Most of these inmates are waiting for a court appearance. They have not been convicted of any crime. (…) I guess paying the fines is far cheaper than hiring extra people to keep the inmates safe.”

30) Maryland: The Baltimore water task force seems to be moving toward a new governance model. “A regional authority would bring Baltimore’s system in closer alignment to a Washington, D.C.-area model. WSSC Water, which serves Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, is run by a board of commissioners selected by the county executives and approved by the county councils. Two people affiliated with WSSC Water sit on the Baltimore-area task force. But after a “no” vote from the vast majority of the task force members on a motion to only consider a regional water authority, other options still will be considered. That includes making improvements to the current framework for water management through an ‘inter-municipal agreement.’ It also includes an arrangement where one of the localities (more likely the city) would function as a wholesaler, and the other (more likely the county) would simply buy the water and wastewater service rather than helping to manage parts of the system. The city currently offers some water on a wholesale basis to other surrounding counties, including Anne Arundel and Howard. But disentangling Baltimore County from the city’s water system might prove difficult, and it would represent a step back for the county, in contrast to the voiced desires of [Baltimore County Executive Johnny] Olszewski, who has called for the county, with its larger population, to have a seat at the table.”

31) New Mexico: Why does New Mexico have a public employee shortage? “Nash Jones sits down with a special roundtable to discuss why government agencies continue to struggle with hiring and retaining employees in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first of two conversations, Jones asks the panelists to identify the scope of the employment problem and detail what it’s like to work at hollowed-out agencies throughout New Mexico.”

Nash Jones gets into the details. “This week’s roundtable discussion on New Mexico in Focus builds on reporting I’ve done at KUNM on the shortage of public employees, which has persisted both nationally and locally since the pandemic. We’ve assembled a group of key players when it comes to working for state and local governments, including the secretary of the Workforce Solutions Department Sarita Nair, Acting Director of the State Personnel Office Dylan Lange, AFSCME Council 18 President Casey Padilla, and Acting HR Director at the City of Albuquerque Patricia Tafoya-Harris. We’ll get a grasp on the scope of the staffing shortages in departments that provide public services—including a nearly 25% vacancy rate at the state. There are a number of factors driving the issue, and we’ll explore what our panelists are hearing from former and would-be employees, as well as what their own data shows. What role has the pandemic played in this? What about retirements amid an aging workforce? How can the public sector keep up with private business wages and hold on to more workers? And what happens when the state’s oil- and gas-fueled record budget inevitably falters? We hear about what it looks like on the ground when public services are short staffed and what efforts the state, city and labor union are taking on to help shore up the workforce.”

32) New York/National: “We need sustainability in public nursing so we don’t keep losing people to the private sector—and so we can better care for the mental and emotional health of our nurses,” Amy Lee Pacholk writes in AFT Healthcare. Pacholk, MSN, AGNP, APRN, is a critical care nurse in a surgical trauma ICU, an executive board member for the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF), the council leader for PEF Division 225, and the chair of PEF’s Statewide Nurses Committee. She is also an adult geriatric nurse practitioner, a professor of adult health and obstetrics, and a lecturer on neurotrauma. [H/t AFT on Twitter/X]

33) Pennsylvania: In a letter to the editor of Triblive.com, Joanne Garing of North Huntingdon lets the privatizers have it. “Look at what happened in 2016 when our lawmakers made it easier to privatize our water and sewer services. Those systems that privatized have significantly increased the cost to consumers. If your lawmakers are promoting a privatizing scheme for our essential public services, will your continue to vote for them? What if they are promoting an anti-union, right-to-work (for less) plan? Do you support lawmakers who promote tax breaks and subsidies for companies who disregard our health and environment (fracking), abuse and under pay its workers and weasel out of paying their fair share of taxes? Don’t let the rights of corporations and the super-rich overshadow those of we the people.”

34) International/Brazil: Last week, railway workers from the São Paulo metro and train systems “initiated a strike against the regional government’s privatization agenda, led by Governor Tarcisio De Freitas. The 24-hour strike has halted services on four metro lines and five train lines, which connect the metropolitan region with downtown São Paulo. Workers from the Sao Paulo State Basic Sanitation Company (SABESP) also joined this protest action. De Freitas, a far-right ally of former President Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2023), aims to sell SABESP to private entrepreneurs. At this moment, however, some metro and train lines have already been granted to the private sector. Sao Paulo authorities have attempted to alleviate the disruptions caused by the strike by reinforcing the operation of bus routes.”

35) International/Brazil: A Catholic ministry has joined the campaign against prison privatization. “A prison ministry program run by the Brazilian bishops has joined a national campaign to oppose efforts by the administration of leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to provide incentives for the privatization of prisons in the Latin American nation. The bishops’ conference’s Prison Pastoral Ministry signed a letter along with 86 other associations and groups that work against mass incarceration in the South American country. Earlier this year, the government approved a program to offer tax exemptions and credit lines to favor the direct participation of private companies in building and managing penal facilities in partnership with the states. The activists argue that private prisons are more expensive than the government-run ones, that the inmates’ rights tend to be more violated in private units, and that the privatization process can lead to higher rates of incarceration.”

36) International/Canada: SEIU Healthcare, OCHU-CUPE, and Unifor have signed a 10-point Solidarity Pact to save public hospitals and fight privatization. “The unions said that their resolve to defend further bleeding in the hospital sector is rooted in an unprecedented crisis caused by the failure of Ford government’s policies including the exodus of staff in the wake of Bill 124. The hospital sector has seen a 19 per cent rise in vacancies over the past year with about 37,000 positions currently unfulfilled. Staffing shortages have prompted hundreds of ER closures since 2022, particularly in rural areas and smaller communities, posing risk to patients seeking care.”

In other privatization news, “Alberta’s auditor general says he will investigate what went wrong with the United Conservative Party government’s abandoned plan to privatize community lab testing provincewide. Doug Wylie’s office said in a statement Friday that he will examine procurement and contracting processes. He plans to make a report available early next year. The Opposition NDP had asked Wylie to investigate the deal, saying Premier Danielle Smith’s government cannot be trusted to determine or divulge what went wrong.”

Everything Else

37) National/Think Tanks: “Housing is one the building blocks of human life. Why is it so scarce in this country?” asks Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. “If crisis indicates a periodic rupture in the otherwise routine occurrence of daily events, then what we are actually experiencing, in the words of Ruth Wilson Gilmore, is the “organized abandonment” of the human and social obligation to shelter our species. This abandonment is abetted by gender and racial discrimination that has left Black women, in particular, facing eviction, homelessness, and the attendant social catastrophes that come when your housing is fleeting.”

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