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Politics

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.

Civil rights attorney and author Geeta N. Kapur on pushing UNC to confront its systemic racism

October 7, 2021 - The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was built by enslaved Black people but refused to admit Black students until the 1950s and only after a protracted legal fight — and the school continues to struggle around issues of race today. Civil rights attorney Geeta N. Kapur documents UNC's troubling history in her new book "To Drink From the Well: The Struggle for Racial Equality at the Nation's Oldest Public University," which she discussed with Facing South.

In fight over COVID mask rules, Southern appeals courts side with GOP over schools

September 29, 2021 - Governors and legislatures across the South have banned public schools from requiring masks to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The bans have been successfully challenged in lower courts, but appellate courts overturned some of those rulings. Federal courts in several states are taking up the question of whether mask mandate bans violate the rights of students with disabilities.

A Senate fight is brewing over the Freedom to Vote Act — and the filibuster

September 29, 2021 - Senate Democrats recently introduced the Freedom to Vote Act, a compromise alternative to the For the People Act, far-reaching pro-democracy legislation blocked by a Republican filibuster. If the GOP again uses the filibuster to obstruct the bill, Democrats say they'll take on reforming the Senate policy, which requires 60 votes to end debate on a measure. But that will require moving conservative Democrats like West Virginia's Joe Manchin, a filibuster defender who's also among the new bill's sponsors.