Energy, Environment, Global Warming, Social Problems

Demise of Gasoline Cars? What We Know About N.Y.’s Ambitious Climate Goals

It’s one of the world’s most far-reaching climate plans. Here’s what it could mean for your work, health, neighborhood and bank account.

The plan calls for New York to all but eliminate its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

By Anne Barnard, June 20, 2019

The sweeping climate plan that New York lawmakers have agreed to pass sets the country’s most ambitious goals for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions: getting planet-warming carbon emissions almost down to zero by 2050.

The law would transform the way New York State residents get their electricity. By 2030, the state would have to draw 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources and, 10 years later, reach a point where the electricity it uses generates zero carbon emissions.

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African-Americans, Race, Social Problems, Stratification

Opinion: Black People’s Land Was Stolen

Any discussion of reparations must include how this happened, who did it, and the laws, policies and practices that allowed it.

By Andrew W. Kahrl

Dr. Kahrl is an associate professor of history and African-American studies at the University of Virginia.

June 20, 2019

A House Judiciary subcommittee on Wednesday held the first hearing in over a decade on the issue of reparations for black Americans. The hearing took place, fittingly, on the Juneteenth holiday, commemorating the announcement of the end of slavery in the United States, and five years after the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, who testified, reignited the debate with his 2014 essay “The Case for Reparations.” Once a fringe topic, reparations has emerged as an issue in the 2020 presidential campaign, with several leading candidates for the Democratic nomination expressing support for various measures to atone for America’s racist past.

Thanks to Mr. Coates and others, today’s movement for reparations places as much emphasis on the racist public policies of the 20th century, which denied black Americans opportunities to build wealth and left them vulnerable to all manner of economic exploitation, as it does on the crimes of slavery.

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Healthcare, Social Problems, Social Safety Net

Opinion: The Big, Feminist Policy Idea America’s Families Have Been Waiting For

How Universal Family Care could help people throughout their lives.

By Ai-jen Poo and Benjamin W. Veghte

Ms. Poo and Dr. Veghte are architects of Universal Family Care.

June 23, 2019

A vast majority of Americans cannot afford to take care of their families. But they see it as their responsibility, and too often their failure. To get by, they cobble together solutions, even quitting their jobs to look after a newborn or when a parent becomes ill. Things are getting worse as baby boomers age into their 70s. America’s piecemeal and expensive care infrastructure, created a half century ago, has reached a breaking point.

Our organization will unveil a new social insurance program on Monday called Universal Family Care that could fix this crisis. It would provide affordable early child care, paid leave, assistance for people with disabilities and elder care for people of all incomes. We need an integrated approach because no one experiences needs in isolation: We might need help right after an injury, or over the course of our lives to help a disabled family member thrive.

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Gender, Social Movements, Social Problems

Past Tense: The First New York Pride March Was an Act of ‘Desperate Courage’

It wasn’t always feathers, floats and celebrities.

The Christopher Street Liberation Day March was held on June 28, 1970 — the first anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. “Thousands of young men and women homosexuals from all over the Northeast” participated, The Times reported, “proclaiming ‘the new strength and pride of the gay people.’”

By Andrew Solomon

June 27, 2019

When we hear of Pride marches today, we tend to think of fuss and feathers, of men more than half-naked waving from rainbow-hued, Lurex-draped parade floats, of Dykes on Bikes who gun their motors in defiance of gender norms, of waving gay and trans celebrities. They are fiestas that percolate through the cities and sometimes small towns of the developed world, as well as some parts of the rest of the world, and they mark the fact that gay people exist in numbers, provide documentary evidence that we have more fun and are more fabulous than anyone else, that we are gay in the old sense of the word. The drag queens and gender-nonbinary youth at such events can appear preoccupied with their own ecstatic exhibitionism.

But Pride was not always so unabashedly celebratory; for a long time, it was a radical assault on mainstream values, a means to defy the belief that homosexuality was a sin, an illness and a crime, that gay people were subhuman.

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African-Americans, Race, Social Problems

California Poised to Become First State to Ban Discrimination Based on Natural Hair

The state’s Legislature approved a measure banning the form of racial discrimination. It now heads to the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat.

Image: A woman getting her hair braided at Djene Hair Braiding in Harlem.

By Liam Stack

June 28, 2019

California is poised to become the first state to ban racial discrimination against people based on their natural hairstyle.

The State Assembly voted unanimously on Thursday to approve the measure, which the State Senate approved in April. It now heads to the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, to be signed into law.

The bill would update the definition of race used in existing law to be “inclusive of traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.”

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Drugs, Family, Social Problems

Reefer Madness or Pot Paradise?

The Surprising Legacy of the Place Where Legal Weed Began Colorado’s first-in-the-nation experiment with legalized marijuana has infused the drug into almost every corner of life. Workers prepared for marijuana planting on Woody Farms in Pueblo, Colo. The state’s first-in-the-nation experiment with legalizing recreational marijuana put it on the front lines of changing America’s drug laws. By Jack Healy

June 30, 2019 DENVER — Serenity Christensen, 14, is too young to set foot in one of Colorado’s many marijuana shops, but she was able to spot a business opportunity in legal weed. She is a Girl Scout, and this year, she and her mother decided to sell their cookies outside a dispensary. “Good business,” Serenity said. But on the other side of Denver, legalization has turned another high school student, David Perez, against the warehouselike marijuana cultivations now clustered around his neighborhood. He said their skunky aroma often smacks him in the face when he walks out his front door.

These are the ripples of five years of legal marijuana.

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Media, Social Media, Social Problems, Technology

House Opens Tech Antitrust Inquiry With Look at Threat to News Media

David Pitofsky, the general counsel for News Corp, left, and Kevin Riley, editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, were among the news media executives who testified at the hearing.

By Cecilia Kang

June 11, 2019

WASHINGTON — A congressional investigation into the power of big tech companies began on Tuesday with bipartisan concern from lawmakers that the government’s lax oversight of the industry may be doing more harm than good.

In its first hearing about the power held by Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple, lawmakers focused on the decline of the news industry. They said they were troubled that the online digital advertising market, which is dominated by Google and Facebook, had siphoned off too much revenue from news organizations.

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