Why the census is really, really important–and in jeopardy right now

Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 14.52.56

1. Literally every American social program uses census numbers to allocate resources.

Your fire department, your schools—the data gathered in the decadal census, determines, for example, whether new schools are opened or current schools are shut down. Transportation grants and education grants, among others, are distributed proportionally. If the Veteran’s Administration wants to place a hospital for elderly veterans, they obviously want to select a location heavily populated by elderly veterans. If the numbers are off, the hospital gets mis-sited—and the vets don’t get health care.

pub. 05/2017

Inspire a young activist!

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 15.52.06

This reading list, put together by YA Resists, a group of Los Angeles-based YA authors, and sponsored by PEN USA, has something for everybody. And no matter how old you are, the right story can motivate you to fight the good fight, whatever that may mean to you.

pub. 03/2017

An easy-to-digest listicle version of smart guy Umberto Eco’s “Ur-Fascism”

screen-shot-2017-02-18-at-15-01-32

6. Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration.

That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups. In our time, when the old “proletarians” are becoming petty bourgeois (and the lumpen are largely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority.

Excerpts pub. 11/1995, orig. pub. 06/1995

Contacting reps when their phones are slammed

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-12-52-45

If you still want to talk to a staffer, remember that your congressperson has more than one office. In addition to a big office in Washington, DC, they will have several offices across their state or district. The DC office will employ staffers for various topics, but the local offices are just a few people. They’re also less busy. You’re a constituent if you live anywhere in the state (for senators) or the district (for representatives), so feel free to call any of the offices to get your message through.

pub. 02/2017

For more tips and resources, see the Resources lists, What to Do and What to Read.