First, the Good News

1) National: Today is the final day of Public Service Recognition Week. Writing in Route Fifty, Bob Lavigna says, “Since 1985, the first full week in May has been the annual celebration of the contributions of public servants in federal, state, local and tribal government. Across the nation, more than 21 million dedicated people serve in government, including in our public schools and universities. (…) And they do make a difference, day in and day out. These public servants also want the people they serve to understand and appreciate the contributions the government makes to our nation, our states and our communities. It is especially fitting during Public Service Recognition Week that we acknowledge and celebrate these contributions. But we should do this year-round.”

2) National: In these stressful times, did you know there is a Medicare program covering mental health and substance use disorders?

3) National: Thanks to USDA, school meals are getting an upgrade. The Center for Science in the Public Interest reports that “Aligning school meal nutrition standards with science-backed guidelines will improve the healthfulness of foods and beverages served in schools, which in turn could help kids form lifelong healthy eating habits. Additionally, research shows that aligning school foods with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans could improve kids’ health, reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases, and lower US health care costs.”

But, “in a push to loosen school nutrition standards, lawmakers have introduced bills that would override, or, in the case of state legislation, circumvent federal school meal standards by permitting whole and reduced-fat milk in school meals. Congress must stay out of the science-based process of determining school meal standards. Accordingly, CSPI’s work on school meals is far from over. You can support CSPI’s efforts to strengthen school meals so that children have the nutritious foods they need to succeed in school.”

And, “finally, CSPI is working with advocates for incarcerated people to stop the privatization of food services at correctional facilities. Healthy food is a human right. Many reports indicate that outsourcing food services to the lowest bidder has driven down the nutritional quality of foods and beverages, creating an unjust health burden.”

4) National: Another thing to celebrate on Mother’s Day. In the Public Interest’s Jeff Hagan reports that “under President Biden, postpartum Medicaid coverage has expanded from two months to twelve. (…) In 2021, President Joseph Biden signed into law the massive $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act. It included a time-limited provision that didn’t get much attention at the time that gave states a new option to extend Medicaid postpartum coverage from 60 days to 12 months. In June 2022, President Joseph Biden released his administration’s Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis which included calling on Congress ‘to improve and expand coverage by closing the Medicaid coverage gap and requiring continuous Medicaid coverage for 12 months postpartum…’ The effort succeeded and the option was made permanent by the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2023.”

April 11-17 was Black Maternal Health Week. Writing in Columbia News, Teresa Janevic says, “On this Black Maternal Health Week, the promise of postpartum Medicaid extension legislation should be applauded, while understanding its limitations and not losing policy momentum to seek additional solutions. (…) Nevertheless, there are reasons for hope that this policy can improve Black maternal health in New York and other ACA expansion states. (…) Because of these benefits, even in states where there is not a large number of Black women losing postpartum coverage (and even larger benefits in states where there is), the extension of Medicaid to 12 months is an achievement. At the same time, policy makers must double-down on other policy avenues to address the ongoing crisis.”

5) National: Have a look at all of these dozens of scientists and public interest advocates praising the EPA’s regulation of “forever chemicals” in drinking water, pulled together by the Environmental Working Group.

Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: “We’ve been waiting for federal regulation of these chemicals for a long time. We know that drinking water is a very significant source of the contamination.”

Ken Cook, president, Environmental Working Group: “More than 200 million Americans could have PFAS in their tap water, and for decades Americans have been exposed to toxic ‘forever chemicals’ with no oversight from their government. Today’s announcement of robust, health-protective legal limits on PFAS in tap water will finally give tens of millions of Americans the protection they should have had decades ago. It is the most consequential decision to regulate drinking water in 30 years.” Statement

Sarah Doll, national director, Safer States: “This is a huge victory. These new rules will give communities across America access to safer drinking water. For years, states have led the way in addressing PFAS contamination. We applaud the administration for stepping up to ensure that all states and communities have these protections.” Statement

The good news is that the good government scientific work is continuing beyond drinking water. “Yelena Sapozhnikova from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) spoke to The Column about her innovative research investigating PFAS in plastic food storage bags using targeted and non-targeted liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS). Rigorous QA–QC procedures were implemented to overcome challenges associated with background contamination and interferences.” On the other hand, the Natural Resources Defense Council has weighed in to say that many toxic chemicals will be missed by the EPA’s tests.

But the privatization industry is, not surprisingly, using this tightening up of federal regulations as an opportunity to push its agenda. Politico, which is owned by the right wing mega-media corporation Axel Springer, is using the fact that cleaning up PFAS from our national drinking water system will be expensive to create an opening to erode or end public ownership and control of the precious liquid resource—despite the disastrous, expensive and inefficient record of water privatization over decades.

Thus Politico: “We’ve already had several municipalities talk to us and say, ‘Look, this is one more thing on top of all the other things that we’re trying to deal with, this is a regulation that’s going to be a real challenge for us. We know we need to privatize,’” said Cheryl Norton, chief operating officer for American Water, the nation’s largest private water company. At least one community—Salem, New Jersey—has already opted to do so. Its beleaguered water system was bleeding more than $1 million annually after years of deferring rate increases and instead plugging budget holes with tax revenue. The utility was just beginning upgrades to deal with state-level PFAS regulations when Salem voters approved a referendum last fall to sell their system to American Water.”

“In announcing the new standard Wednesday, the Biden administration said it would send states and territories $1 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to cover the cost of testing and treatment. The money is part of $9 billion provided in the IIJA for PFAS treatment.”

The privatization industry is hungry to make a killing. “In announcing the new standard Wednesday,” the Bond Buyerreported, “the Biden administration said it would send states and territories $1 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to cover the cost of testing and treatment. The money is part of $9 billion provided in the IIJA for PFAS treatment.” [Sub required]

And, of course, the litigation will likely be coming. While antiregulatory forces can, as usual, be expected to come up with some novel legal arguments to defend poisoning our water, among the more bizarre to appear so far is the claim, advanced by the National Association of Manufacturers, that discovering the chemicals dirty businesses dump into our drinking water would violate their private proprietary rights to conceal the chemicals they’re dumping. You can’t make this stuff up.

Anyway, here it is in their own words: “The rule ‘is unprecedented and threatens manufacturers’ ability to attract and retain talent,’ said NAM Managing Vice President of Policy Chris Netram. ‘In addition, [it] puts at risk the security of intellectual property and trade secrets—anathema to an industry that accounts for 53% of all private-sector R&D.’”

6) National: Here’s a pop quiz. What language is this? Let’s hear it for the U.S. Labor Department’s accessibility efforts.

7) Alabama/National: The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights is representing six incarcerated people bringing “a state court lawsuit against Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) Commissioner John Hamm with the goal of abolishing involuntary servitude in the state’s prisons. (…) Until the fall of 2022, Alabama still permitted slavery and involuntary servitude in prisons, exploiting an infamous loophole in the Alabama Constitution and the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But following a successful labor strike by incarcerated workers, Alabama voters approved an amendment to the state constitution that expanded the ban on slavery and involuntary servitude to prison. With their state court lawsuit—the first of its kind—the plaintiffs seek enforcement of the amendment.”

Listen to Margaret Kimberley’s interview of Jessica Vosburgh, a senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights which represents the plaintiffs. She joined Kimberley from Birmingham, Alabama. [Audio, about 17 minutes].

8) Massachusetts: Let’s hear it for AFSCME’s victory over an attempt to privatize the jobs of school custodians. Pablo Ros reports: ““My co-workers and I, we’ve given our all to this town, and we felt we weren’t being appreciated,’ says Babbin-Disciullo, who is also a chapter chair in AFSCME Local 1700 (Council 93). Privatization of public service jobs, often motivated by cost cutting, can have serious negative effects not just on the workers, who may lose their jobs or see their wages and benefits reduced, but also on the community. That’s because privatization almost always leads to lower-quality public services. ‘These things almost always start out the same,’ says Jim Durkin, legislative director for Council 93. ‘Management always uses the same talking points. They say this is just exploratory, no decisions have been made. “We’re just looking into this.” But it’s a slippery slope. Almost invariably, those explorations lead to privatization. So, you have to act from the beginning as though it’s going to happen.’”


9) National/California: EdSource says two new reports have proposed dozens of fixes to try and head off the kinds of massive charter school frauds exposed in the A3 Education case. A third is on the way.

“Audacious, multimillion dollar scandals by two California charter school operators within the past decade exposed vulnerabilities to fraud resulting from inept and negligent oversight and inadequate auditing. A pair of inquiries into those weaknesses have concluded that several dozen actions could help spot, address and potentially deter future attempts by charter school operators to evade state laws and regulations. Both reports were issued within the past two months. One is a joint effort of the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) and the Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team, a state fiscal oversight agency known as FCMAT. The other is by the Anti-Fraud Task Force of the California Charter Authorizing Professionals, a nonprofit association for school districts and county offices of education…

“A third and final report, concentrating on auditing reforms, will be released before June 30 by a multi-agency task force. Chaired by state Comptroller Malia Cohen, it was commissioned by San Diego Superior Court Judge Robert Longstreth, who presided over a jaw-dropping case of financial abuse.”

10) National: In a new salvo against our public education system, the pro-privatization, pro-charter Wall Street Journal is again whining that there are too many schools. [Sub required].

But the National Education Association has the receipts to refute such nonsense. “According to the National Education Association (NEA), the ideal classroom should number from 13 to 17 students, for an optimal average class size of 15 individuals. The average classroom size in 2023 was 24 students, or about 60 percent above NEA recommendations. Public schools have a 16 to 1 student-to-teacher ratio, while research indicates that ratios of 15 to 1 or better can significantly improve student performance, particularly among younger students and students enduring socio-economic challenges. It should be noted that the student-teacher-ratio does not always correlate with class size—certain classrooms may require multiple full-time teachers, for example.”

A National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) study found that “an estimated 14 percent of the nation’s schools had enrollments exceeding intended capacity by up to 25 percent, including 8 percent of schools that were severely overcrowded, exceeding capacity by more than 25 percent. Overall, about one quarter of the nation’s schools, or 17,400 facilities, can be categorized as overcrowded, or overenrolled, though it can be said that the majority of America’s schools are within 5 percent of their maximum enrollment capacities.”

11) National: “The pulpit and the people must see it as our duty and divine calling to condemn the privatization and commodification of public education,” said James T. Morris, senior pastor of Carter Tabernacle C.M.E. Church in Orlando. “We have been ordained to tell the likes of (Florida Gov.) Ron DeSantis that our children have a right to public education regardless of race, creed, economic status or gender identity.” Morris was speaking at the recent Pastors for Children Orlando conference last week along with Jennifer Berkshire, co-author of A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door and The Education Wars, due for release July 2; and James Ford, executive director of the Center for Racial Equity in Education.

12) Arizona/Think Tanks: Arizona’s “universal” education savings account program has become a handout to the wealthy, says a new report from Brookings. “Critics contend that ESA programs lack protections for students and taxpayers. They also contend that ESAs have little track record of success and siphon off funds that would be better spent on public schools. While ESA programs remain young and confined to certain states, they are beginning to account for a sizable share of school funding in some places. Here, we’ll examine who is getting public funds through Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account, the oldest universal ESA program in the United States.”

13) Georgia: “Don’t rob us of our right to fully funded public schools,” say Georgia students in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Unfortunately, we find ourselves in yet another moment of massive resistance to public education, with increasingly aggressive efforts on behalf of the state of Georgia to privatize our public schools and return us to a two-tiered system marked by racial segregation. As public school students in high schools across Georgia, we believe that the 70th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education is not just a cause for celebration but an invitation to recommit ourselves to the promise of a public education system that affirms an essential truth: Schools separated by race will never be equal.”

14) Iowa: Writing in NwestIowa, in the most conservative quarter of the Hawkeye State, Pat O’Donnell, a resident of Sioux Center and 37 year veteran of Iowa public schools as a teacher, principal and superintendent, says “vouchers are not about choice but destroying public education.” And he has the address of some of the main culprits. “The forces behind school voucher plans embrace hardball tactics. In Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America, Christopher Leonard wrote that the political network conservative industrialists Charles and David Koch established ‘says it wants to remake public education. That means destroying it.’ Charles Koch backs Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a libertarian conservative political advocacy group. In a recording obtained by Nashville TV station WTVF, AFP Tennessee state director Tori Venable can be heard threatening a Republican legislator who was reluctant to back a voucher bill. ‘I can’t protect you if you ain’t on the right side of this,’ Venable said. Rep. Todd Warner voted against the bill anyway. Meanwhile, a memo attributed to an AFP staff member said legislators ‘won’t have jobs’ if they voted against the voucher plan.”

15) California: Parents and teachers feel abandoned by the sudden closure of a Newark charter school. “The email from [Principal and Owner] Dawson caught parents off guard. Sheena Verma, whose two children have been attending since junior kindergarten, said, ‘We were all shocked, my kids were crying, all the parents, everyone was really upset about this.’ Two months ago, parents learned some teachers were not being paid. More recently, it was revealed that utilities and the lease were also unpaid. ‘The owner-principal of the school just disappeared. He sent us a couple of emails here and there, saying he was trying to obtain a loan, but it never happened,’ said Verma. Many parents hadn’t seen Dawson for weeks. Last month, he offered a three to five percent tuition discount for families willing to pay in advance for the next year. year. ‘About 20 parents pre-paid the approximate $14,000 tuition. Altogether, that’s about $250 thousand dollars, and they don’t know if they’re going to see that money again,’ said Verma.” A complaint was filed through the California Department of Labor for the unpaid wages of teachers and staff.

16) North Carolina: Justin Parmenter reports on the new punitive legislative attack on public teachers’ peace of mind and efficiency. “The 2024 North Carolina General Assembly session has barely begun, and already Republican legislators whose favorite reelection campaign tactic is punching down on public schools are taking aim at our state’s long-suffering teachers. Only weeks after the Department of Public Instruction released data showing North Carolina teachers are quitting in record numbers (1 in 9 resigned last school year), and just in time for Teacher Appreciation Week, four House members have filed a bill titled ‘Academic Transparency’ which would force all teachers to post their lesson plans online with their names attached ‘no later than 10 days after the lesson was given.’ The bill’s primary sponsors are Jake Johnson of Polk County, Union County’s David Willis, Hugh Blackwell of Burke County and Allen Chesser from Nash County. All four of these distinguished gentlemen have histories of fanning fake culture war flames and encouraging the public to distrust public schools because they believe it may help their chances at being reelected and holding on to power.”

 17) Ohio: Denis Smith, a retired school administrator and former consultant in the Ohio Department of Education’s charter school office, says school vouchers are undermining democracy. “Take a moment to look around your neighborhood and beyond. In your observations, have you noticed an increasing number of children out and about during school hours? If you have, you’re witnessing the warning signs of future societal instability. And yes, those warning lights are blinking red. Surprise? Not really. It’s been coming for decades. Recent examples of the misdeeds of right-wing legislatures are legion. Gerrymandering, voting limitations, and reproductive rights restrictions quickly come to mind. But here is perhaps the most important offense against democracy: the Republican war on public education.”


18) National: In an in-depth piece in Mother Jones, René Kladzyk, an investigative reporter for the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), reports on how the long running scandal of privatized military housing has evolved from toxic mold to fraud. “In fact, the Defense Department has never canceled a contract with a military housing company. A 2023 GAO report cited unnamed Pentagon officials saying that ‘the likelihood of project termination is low.’ And a senior DOD official who asked not to be named said that doing so, while possible, would compromise the ability of the government to provide quality housing to service members. That is in part due to the role third-party lenders play in the military housing landscape. These firms provide military housing companies with financing for capital improvements and maintenance in exchange for a return on their investment. Because of that role, military housing contracts typically give these investors the ability to intervene to protect the housing companies’ agreements with the Defense Department from being terminated.” Military housing was first privatized under the Clinton administration.

19) National/Mississippi: The NAACP has condemned the U.S. EPA’s decision in a racial discrimination case concerning the Jackson water disaster. “NAACP President & CEO, Derrick Johnson, released the following statement in reaction to this week’s news: ‘The NAACP is outraged at the inadequate findings presented by the EPA this week. Since day one of this crisis, we have been on the ground, speaking with residents and community leaders. One thing remains clear—racial discrimination and neglect have left a majority Black, capital city in crisis. While it is our hope that state leaders take the necessary steps to enact EPA’s recommendations, we know that this fight is far from over. The NAACP remains committed to using every tool at our disposal to ensure that all Black Americans have access to clean drinking water. When elected leaders fail us, it is our community that carries us forward. Together, we will make clean drinking water a reality for all.’”

20) New York: “Public housing residents are being poisoned by ARSENIC in their water. This is beyond unacceptable,” says Food & Water Watch. And although Mayor Eric Adams “said their water was safe, public housing residents say they’re getting sick,” according to Politico. “Nevertheless, residents and elected officials are voicing a familiar concern — that conditions at the housing authority are deteriorating to the point of causing physical harm to residents. Former mayors Mike Bloomberg and Bill de Blasio were similarly unable to fix problems at the housing authority, despite increasing funding, hiring a nationally renowned housing leader and tapping into an Obama-era program to partner with private developers. Adams inherited an agreement signed by de Blasio that requires the city to spend $2.2 billion over a decade to fix living conditions for some 361,000 residents of the housing authority’s 335 developments. That deal stemmed from a Justice Department investigation in 2018 that found NYCHA endangered tenants by covering up its failures to address lead paint and other hazards.”

21) National: The Senate has passed a huge infrastructure bill—FAA reauthorization. The House is expected to take it up tomorrow. “The Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2024 allocates $105 billion to the FAA through fiscal 2028. It increases appropriations for the Airport Improvement Program, a key airport funding program that provides grants for runways, taxiways and new roads, to $4 billion a year, or $20 billion over the five-year period. The funding had been set at $3.4 billion annually. It’s the first AIP increase in 20 years, said the Transportation Construction Coalition in a May 7 letter to Congressional leaders urging passage.” [Sub required]

22) Georgia: The Georgia Water Coalition released its annual “Dirty Dozen” list for 2024, a combination of specific polluted waterways across the state and policies that threaten the health of Georgia’s water resources. Read the report and watch their press conference.

23) Maryland: South Baltimore is a sacrifice zone, say advocates and residents. Last Thursday a panel discussion was held on the problems. “Curtis Bay, the highest in the state, is Maryland’s poster child for environmental injustice. Industrial areas near Curtis Bay house oil tanks, a wastewater treatment plant, chemical plants, landfills, the country’s largest medical waste incinerator, and more. Heavy diesel trucks frequent residential streets. (…) We speak with a panel of residents of South Baltimore about how they have seen their communities change over the years, what it feels like to be ‘sacrificed’ by industry and their government, how they and their neighbors are fighting for change, fighting for justice, and what others in Baltimore and beyond can do to help.” Listen to it here and check out the reading list. About an hour long.

24) Wisconsin: Are homeowners associations and the rules that govern them in the public interest? “The village president of Mount Pleasant is facing public criticism for using a village-owned property slated to become a public park as a dumping ground for the waste created by his homeowners association’s dredging of a pond in his neighborhood. Residents who live near the property say the president, Dave DeGroot, has used his position to skirt permitting rules for dumping and to help him and his neighbors avoid a hefty price tag to haul the waste elsewhere. On Monday, DeGroot announced he’s running to unseat Assembly Minority Leader Greta Neubauer (D-Racine) in the state Legislature.”

25) International/South Africa: Maritime Executive has a report on the titanic legal battle between Maersk and Transnet over the privatization of Durban’s port. “Maersk is reportedly challenging in the court filing the financial strength of ICTSI and whether the company met the terms of the tender offer. Bloomberg, which has seen a copy of the court filing, is reporting that it says ‘ICTSI ought to have been disqualified for failing the solvency requirement.’ The tender required a company with the financial strength both to invest in the port and its facilities as well as to attract other investors. The new joint venture is set to gain a 25-year concession for the operation of the terminal and was to serve as a model for other privatizations in South Africa.

Public Services

26) National: Where does Medicare go from here, profit-driven chaos or patient-centered community? Writing in American Prospect, Matthew Cunningham-Cook says “Medicare, the country’s largest and arguably most successful health care program, is under duress, weakened by decades of relentless efforts by insurance companies to privatize it. A rapidly growing Medicare Advantage market—now 52% of Medicare beneficiaries, up from 37% in 2018—controlled by some of the largest and most powerful corporations in the world, threatens to both drain the trust fund and eliminate Medicare’s most important and controversial component: its ability to set prices.”

27) National: Your tax dollars at work, at least in part. CoreCivic reports that it returned almost $40 million to shareholders. While you’re thinking about their first quarter 2024 results, have a look at this piece on how “The Private Prisons Industry Is Changing What Constitutes ‘Food.’

28) National: The private healthcare giant Steward Health Care has filed for bankruptcy, “citing challenges in reimbursement from government payers while rising labor costs, inflation and ongoing expenses associated with the pandemic have hampered its ability to remain solvent. However, behind the scenes, the real issues that have driven the chapter 11 proceedings have been the predatory and parasitic financial deals that have enriched venture capitalists, shareholders, and the executives of the largest physician-owned hospital chain in the country to the tune of over $1 billion, while it owes $300 million in unpaid compensation and $558 million to its non-insider creditors that include the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.”

29) National: Economist Richard Wolff weighs in on the latest panic by those who wish to privatize Social Security and move its trust fund into their trust funds. “He examines the repeated narrative by corporations and the wealthy that these programs are insolvent, attributing this claim to ideological opposition to government-run programs and a desire to privatize them for profit.” [Audio, about 25 minutes]

30) California: The Republican majority on the Huntington Beach City Council has steamrolled over widespread public opposition to the privatization of the town’s public library and their demand for a vote on the issue. “Public speakers at the meeting were overwhelmingly in support of putting the library privatization question on the ballot—only one commenter over two hours of speakers endorsed the city council moving forward alone.” The OC Register reported that “Teamsters Local 911 President Carlos Rubio in a letter to the council supported putting the proposal before voters. The union represents city library workers. Several residents during public comment had spoken in favor of putting the question before voters. ‘Privatizing the library will never be an achievement, it will always be seen as the failure of local government that it is,’ said Dina Chavez, a volunteer with the Friends of the Huntington Beach Public Library.”

31) Florida: Will Broward County’s “Mount Trashmore” reach 325 feet? If the private, for-profit garbage company Waste Management has its way, it will.

32) Maryland: Gov. Wes Moore (D) has signed a bill into law taking water privatization off the table as Baltimore plans for its future. “As this new workgroup takes its time to study the future of the city’s water and sewer system, community advocates will keep a close eye to make sure that the voices of impacted Baltimore residents are heard,” said Food & Water Watch Southern Region Director Jorge Aguilar.”

33) Minnesota: Broadband companies around the state are complaining about public regulation of their activities and want legislation. They object in particular to a process for certifying broadband installers.

32) Washington: The Spokane Regional Health District is looking to outsource its opioid treatment services, the Spokesman-Review reports. “Before the board unanimously approved the study, health board member and Spokane City Councilman Michael Cathcart praised the planned study as ‘exactly’ what the health district needs to focus on in the midst of the opioid crisis. ‘I think to not conduct this feasibility study, especially right now when there is so much need in this area, would be a disservice both to the existing patients, future patients and the community at large,’ he said. The vote does not guarantee opioid treatment services will be privatized and absorbed into a private nonprofit or for-profit company. But it begins a process to answer what has been a question for the health district since it first began directly treating opioid addiction.”

33) International/Canada: Residents outside of Brampton Civic Hospital protested decades of underfunding and a recent privatization of services. “We are not protesting healthcare workers who work so hard, who have been given so little to care for a huge population,” said Janine Herrmann-McLeod, Co-Chair of Brampton Caledon Health Coalition. “The lack of investment to adequately serve the population and continued privatization by Premier Doug Ford’s PC government were highlighted by residents who drew attention to the ongoing healthcare crisis in Brampton. ‘Healthcare workers have been betrayed by this government and we are here to fight for them and to fight for us,’ she said.”

All the Rest

34) New York: The Town of Hempstead, on Long Island, is looking to privatize its animal shelter. “It’s unclear what privatization would mean to the dozens of town employees who work for the animal shelter. In 2023, the town employed 42 full-time employees in shelter operations, according to town payroll records. This included 13 kennel workers or supervisors, five animal control officers, a veterinarian and two veterinary technicians, and a director and assistant director. The town also employed 46 part-time employees at the shelter last year, payroll records show.”

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