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Economy

INSTITUTE INDEX: An opening for change at the beleaguered U.S. Postal Service

November 19, 2021 - The term of Ron Bloom, chair of the U.S. Postal Service's Board of Governors, ends on Dec. 8, and hundreds of public-interest organizations are urging President Biden to replace him. They object to his support for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump appointee embroiled in numerous controversies over service cuts, financial conflicts of interest, wage theft, and a pattern of questionable campaign contributions at his former North Carolina-based logistics company.

VOICES: Frontline workers and communities demand real solutions at COP26

October 28, 2021 - Effective climate action should center the priorities of those first and most impacted, write Judy Anne Asman of the Just Transition Alliance and Jonathan Alingu of Central Florida Jobs With Justice. Their groups are leading a delegation of frontline workers and community organizers to participate inside and outside the upcoming 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

VOICES: Easing hurricane season's burden through careful American Rescue Plan spending

October 12, 2021 - The Southern Economic Advancement Project is helping local governments plan how to spend funds they're getting from the COVID-19 economic stimulus bill in a way that promotes equity in disaster recovery. It's also tracking innovative efforts to stretch ARP funds to their full potential in cities including New Orleans; Durham, North Carolina; and Mobile, Alabama.

INSTITUTE INDEX: How Entergy thwarted energy resilience in Louisiana

September 10, 2021 - Hurricane Ida's devastation of Louisiana's electric grid and the deadly power outages that resulted show the risk that highly centralized generation systems present in an era of increasingly destructive climate change-driven weather events. Yet Entergy — a Fortune 500 company that's the main power provider for the hard-hit southeastern part of the state, including New Orleans — has fought plans to move toward cleaner community-based generation. Will Ida mark a turning point?

Lawsuit targets HCA's hospital monopoly in Western North Carolina

September 1, 2021 - The same North Carolina law firm that successfully took on Smithfield Foods' hog farm pollution is now representing a group of plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against Tennessee-based hospital company HCA, owner of Asheville's Mission Health System. The suit — which claims the company has monopolized the regional health care market in a way that's hurting patients and caregivers — comes amid heightened scrutiny of health care monopolies.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Remembering West Virginia's Battle of Blair Mountain at 100

August 27, 2021 - This Labor Day weekend, people will gather in West Virginia to mark the centennial of the Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest labor uprising in U.S. history. We look at what led to the bloody battle — when 10,000 Black, white, and immigrant coal miners joined together to fight for union rights against coal companies allied with corrupt law enforcement — and how it's being commemorated.