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Uncovering the Truth about Pennsylvania Crime Guns

April 27, 2022

Brady has used Pennsylvania's Gun Tracing Analytics Platform and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives' (ATF) listing of federal firearm licensees to uncover trends in crime gun trace data — finding that a small number of gun dealers in Pennsylvania appear to be responsible for a large portion of the crime guns recovered by law enforcement in the state.

Philadelphia 2022: The State of the City

April 20, 2022

Two years into the pandemic, Philadelphia is showing signs of an economic and public health recovery, yet some serious challenges remain.

Farm Forward: How Chesapeake Bay Farms Can Improve Water Quality, Mitigate Climate Change, Create a More Resilient Future, and Support Jobs and Local Economies

February 15, 2022

This report highlights the multiple benefits of agricultural conservation practices essential to restoring the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. It examines practices that reduce pollution, combat climate change, improve soil health and farmers' bottom lines, and boost local economies. Measures such as these are especially relevant now as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rolls out multiple initiatives promoting climate smart agriculture and Congress has started hearing on the 2023 Farm Bill with a review of USDA conservation programs.

Water as a Public Good: Pittsburgh's Our Water Campaign

February 8, 2022

This case study is part of Demos's new Economic Democracy project, which asks how poor and working-class people, especially in Black and brown communities, can exercise greater control over the economic institutions that shape their lives. This framework has 3 goals:Break up and regulate new corporate power, including Amazon, Google, and Facebook.Expand the meaning of public goods and ensure that services are equitably and publicly administered.Strengthen "co-governance" strategies so that people and public agencies can collectively make decisions about the economy.This case study showcases all 3 of these priorities. It explores how a local coalition in Pittsburgh, PA, organized both within and outside the government to prevent the privatization of the area's water supply. To better understand this work, we interviewed community organizers of the "Our Water" campaign and employees of the mayor's office and the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, the agency that oversees the city's water system. We also reviewed news coverage and reports that followed the community as it organized to fight privatization and to participate in decisions about their basic needs.

Economic Democracy Case Studies

February 8, 2022

The Economic Democracy Project at Demos envisions liberation for Black and brown people. This requires us to address inequities in economic, political, and institutional power. The concept of economic democracy recognizes that everyone deserves a stake in the system and that the economy should exist to serve the people—the demos. In a moment in which a corporate ruling class exploits racial and class divisions to dodge accountability and accumulate power, preserving our democracy requires creating opportunities for the public to lead and shape economic outcomes.The Economic Democracy Project aims to highlight and develop strategies that Black and brown communities can use to build economic and political power. It has 3 priorities:Break up and regulate new corporate power, including Amazon, Google, and Facebook.Expand the meaning of public goods and ensure that services are equitably and publicly administered.Strengthen "co-governance" strategies so that people and public agencies can collectively make decisions about the economy.The case studies outlined here spotlight 4 community campaigns working across the U.S. to reclaim power over economic resources.

2021 Chesapeake Bay State of the Blueprint: Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia

January 7, 2022

Time is running out. A healthy Bay, clean streams, and resilient rivers are at risk without a major acceleration in pollution reduction.Less than four years remain to the 2025 implementation deadline for the historic Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint—our last, best chance to save the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams. Its success is critical to our region's health, economy, outdoor heritage, and quality of life. Make no mistake, the Blueprint is working, but much work remains in a short amount of time.Our State of the Blueprint report looks at one question: Are the Bay states on track to reduce pollution by the Blueprint's 2025 deadline?Based on our assessment of progress in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, which together account for roughly 90 percent of the Bay's pollution, the answer collectively is 'no.' If progress continues at its current pace, the Bay partnership will not achieve the Blueprint by 2025.

Designed to Deceive: A Study of the Crisis Pregnancy Industry in Nine States

October 28, 2021

This report sheds light on the activities and funding sources of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) -- centerpieces of an extreme anti-abortion strategy that has been quietly unfolding for decades, behind higher-profile legislative and legal battles.The report shows that, rather than offer legitimate healthcare and resources, CPCs target pregnant people of color and pregnant people with lower incomes with deceptive marketing; provide few or no real medical services; and systematically mislead clients about services they do provide, potentially resulting in delayed care and unnecessary risks to their clients' health.

Supporting Career and Technical Education in Peoria and Pittsburgh

October 8, 2021

Between 2015 and 2018, the AFT Innovation Fund supported innovative career and technical education (CTE) efforts in four communities: Miami, Peoria, Pittsburgh and San Francisco. This report focuses on the priorities, activities and outcomes achieved in two of those communities: Pittsburgh and Peoria. These two communities used three years of grant funding to the local teachers unions to launch, strengthen and build out two very different approaches to modernizing high school CTE efforts. There is much to learn from each community—about the power of collaboration and partnership, of combining top-down and bottom-up innovation, and the role of leadership. In the current environment, with public and policymaker interest in career preparation and experiential learning in high school still cresting, the AFT believes that the stories of CTE modernization in Peoria and Pittsburgh can be instructive for other communities as they think about how best to serve diverse student populations so that high school can reduce rather than exacerbate education inequities.

Ballots for All: Holding Pennsylvania County Jails Accountable for Providing Ballot Access

September 7, 2021

In Pennsylvania, county jail administrators are not fulfilling their legal responsibility to voters. Jails are required by law to provide registration and voting opportunities to all eligible voters. Currently, Pennsylvania county jails do not have a universal process for voter registration, voting by mail, or voter education. We refer to this as de facto disenfranchisement. The freedom to vote is central to building an America that works for us all, and no eligible voter should be denied this right. Through research, advocacy, and community outreach, we will both support jail administrators with tools to increase rates of voter registration and voting and, critically, hold them accountable to ensure all eligible voters can cast a ballot.

Democracy Defended: Findings from the 2020 Election

September 2, 2021

Despite an unprecedented series of challenges—a global pandemic, extreme weather, rampant misinformation, voter intimidation, and coordinated efforts to disenfranchise millions of voters of color—Black voters turned out in record numbers in 2020 to have their voices heard in one of our nation's most important election years.But let's be clear. The election did not go smoothly. Record turnout nationally and in many states was only possible thanks to a Herculean effort on the part of many non-profit organizations and many thousands of individuals and volunteers, as well as the enormous sums of money spent on election security and countering misinformation.

The Power and Problem of Criminal Justice Data: A Twenty-State Review

June 30, 2021

Despite accounting for a substantial portion of local, state, and federal budgets, our criminal justice institutions are among the least measured systems in our country. In an effort to bring transparency to this sector, MFJ has collected, standardized, and made public 20 states' worth of criminal justice data.The purpose of this report is to share what we have learned through this effort, including: (a) what we cannot see when data are missing, and (b) the value that data can provide when they are available and comparable. In particular, we identify patterns around the following:There is a substantial lack of data around pretrial detention and release decision-making, as well as individual demographics (particularly indigence).New data privacy laws are also making it needlessly difficult to obtain certain data. This poses challenges to understanding how individuals experience the system in cases that do not result in conviction.There is great variation in how counties dispose of and sentence nonviolent cases; how financial obligations are imposed on individuals; and the collateral consequences that individuals face when convicted.Across many of these findings, where demographics are available, we have an opportunity to identify and respond to significant disparities in group outcomes.This report challenges stakeholders and policymakers to dig deeper into these patterns and missing data. It also implores policymakers and legislators to improve criminal justice data infrastructure to ensure a more transparent, fair, and equitable implementation of justice.

Considering Re-enactments: The Battle of Germantown in the Light of 21st–Century Gun Violence

March 30, 2021

In response to feedback from the local community and an era of gun violence in the United States, Cliveden initiated conversations with local and re-enactment communities about the relevancy and impact of the site's signature event, the Revolutionary Germantown Festival featuring re-enactments of the Battle of Germantown. The central purpose of the project was to gather reactions from key stakeholders and input from scholars to wrestle with the organization's interpretation of the American Revolution. How can Cliveden tell the authentic story of the Battle of Germantown that is relevant to the community and not an over-simplified version front loading violence? How can Cliveden include different perspectives in the re-enactment? With societal shifts over the past 40 years and an increase of violence, Cliveden was compelled to confront these questions to face the reality of gun violence in everyday American life. The hope was to discover the impact the current interpretation of Revolutionary-era history has on the communities Cliveden serves.Through eighteen months that included the start of a worldwide pandemic, Cliveden with project partners and consultants met both virtually and onsite with small groups to hear from constituents what mattered, what worked and what needed help. Data was also gathered using surveys and in-person interviews during a re-vamped Revolutionary Germantown Festival forced by COVID-19. Through this project participants listened and learned from one another. Cliveden looks forward to using the information gathered and the relationships forged and deepened during this project to expand the site's interpretation of the American Revolution.