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Harm Reduction Practice and Innovation in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in San Francisco

Executive Summary Amid a significant spike in deaths among individuals experiencing homelessness in San Francisco, including a rise in overdose deaths, expanded harm reduction practices and substance use treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic have shown promising results in reducing death and harm from opioid use. The interventions include providing emergency shelters for higher-risk adults and […]

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Struggling to Breathe: Asthma, Pollution, and the Fight for Environmental Justice

Executive Summary Asthma rates in the United States are intimately connected with environmental policy choices. Weak regulation or non-compliance with pollution control has resulted in uneven air quality across the country and corresponding elevated health risks. The disease burden has fallen primarily on nonwhite communities, and particularly nonwhite children, who—due to America’s racialized housing geography—tend […]

The Case for Social Housing

INTRODUCTION The United States is in the midst of a housing crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic catastrophe are making it worse. Over 40 million people may soon be at risk of being thrown out of their homes at a time of great uncertainty. While the recent federal eviction moratorium keeps some people […]


How Trump Could Steal the Election

Executive Summary This election has put the basic tenets of our democracy at stake. The vote will place unprecedented stresses on our system of electing a president. Whether the system will be able to withstand these pressures is another matter. American history suggests that our system is vulnerable to periodic breakdowns. Ordinarily the risk of […]

Why We Need a New Civilian Conservation Corp – And How To Do It

Executive Summary The United States currently faces three deepening and converging crises. The first and most obvious is the health crisis produced by COVID-19, which has killed more than 200,000 people nationwide and resulted in acute social isolation for millions of Americans. Second, the state and local lockdowns imposed to stem the virus’ spread have […]

How Cities Can Protect Workers From Wage Theft

Executive Summary Addressing wage theft is an essential part of providing economic security for working people, and if done correctly with robust enforcement, local wage theft ordinances can provide significant protections. These ordinances are also popular among voters. New polling from Data for Progress and The Justice Collaborative Institute shows overwhelming bipartisan support for local […]

How to Demilitarize the Police

Executive Summary As peaceful protesters throughout the United States challenge the police killings of Black women and men, they are confronted today with fully militarized police forces, equipped with M4 rifles, sniper scopes, camouflage gear and helmets, tanks and mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles, and grenade launchers from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Heavily weaponized […]

The Dangers of Police-Created Crime

Executive Summary Police-created crime is not a path to public safety. In most cases, undercover police stings target individuals who officers know nothing about, including whether they were already committing the targeted crime. Rather, these stings tend to ensnare the most vulnerable individuals, often by focusing on low-level drug crimes and poverty-induced offenses. Creating crime—in […]

Sexual Assault Victims Want Services Tailored to Their Needs

Executive Summary For decades, prosecutors and advocates strove to make the criminal legal system more victim-centered. This resulted in more money being funneled towards prosecutions and policing as well as laws that now require harsher penalties and more regular notifications for victims. But it has also produced, paradoxically, a downgrading of social services, counseling, medical […]

The Case for a Federal Job Guarantee Program

Executive Summary The coronavirus pandemic has brought the country to the brink of economic collapse. While the CARES Act provided some temporary relief, sustained economic recovery requires a plan to give unemployed workers an opportunity to support themselves and their families with dignity. New Deal-style federal jobs programs can help eliminate working poverty and create […]


Racism is a Public Health Crisis

Executive Summary Racial disparities in health and wellbeing are well documented. In 2003, the Institute of Medicine issued the landmark report Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare, which connected racism in mortgage lending, access to housing, employment, and criminal justice to racial health disparities. This report and the World Health Organization’s 2008 […]

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Water Regulation and Injustice in the United States

Executive Summary The notion of “environmental justice” reflects the disproportionately high burden of environmental hazards—such as pollution—borne by low-income communities, communities of color, and indigenous communities, as well as the disproportionately low access of these communities to environmental benefits—such as clean water. This already unequal distribution of environmental costs and benefits has been gradually exacerbated […]

Prosecutors Should Not Take Money From Police Unions

Executive Summary Over the past several months, protests against police violence and the criminalization of communities of color have increased focus and attention on calls to defund the police and limit their political influence. This development has forced elected prosecutors to reckon with their role in a system that has long failed in its mission […]

A Path to Non-Police Enforcement of Civil Traffic Violations

Executive Summary To reduce police violence and abuses of power, officers’ contacts with the public can be limited by transferring some policing functions to non-police agencies that can better promote individual and societal well-being. One proposal to significantly decrease police encounters without compromising public safety is to remove civil traffic law enforcement from the duties […]

The Case for Same-Day Voter Registration

Executive Summary Same-day voter registration—where a voter can both register and vote on Election Day—improves democracy in the United States by making it easier for people to vote. Same-day voter registration promotes greater participation: states with this policy tend to have higher turnout than states with onerous registration deadlines. This reform has a notable, positive […]

The Case for Comprehensive Marijuana Reform – Policies & Public Opinion

Executive Summary In a national poll, we asked voters whether they support comprehensive marijuana reform that would legalize marijuana and begin to address the historic, intergenerational harms wrought by decades of racially disparate enforcement. We specifically asked about the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment & Expungement (MORE) Act, legislation that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level […]

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The Need for a Pandemic Merger Moratorium

Executive Summary During a pandemic, any greater consolidation of corporations is a risk to health, jobs, and small businesses. Instead of charging forward with more mergers during the coronavirus-created economic crisis, we should impose a moratorium until the Federal Trade Commission can determine that small businesses, workers, and consumers are no longer under the financial […]

Ending Dispossession Through Student Loan Collection – Policies & Polling

Executive Summary The student loan debt crisis is leading to tremendous dispossession of wealth and income from borrowers—and disproportionately from Black and Latinx borrowers, as well as women borrowers of all races, with Black and Latinx women faring the worst. Aggressive student loan collection practices, which may even involve arrest or threat of arrest, are […]

Congress Must Provide Real Aid To people in the Next Stimulus Package

Executive Summary Congress has the ability to provide comprehensive aid to households in the next stimulus package. At its core, the new legislation must provide recurring, inclusive, and long-term relief for individuals and families. This relief must not end at an arbitrary date by which Congress wishes the coronavirus will magically disappear. It must give […]


The Case for a Community Health Corps – Responding to COVID-19 With a Jobs Program to Build a New Infrastructure of Care

Executive Summary COVID-19 has caused intertwined health and economic crises: the virus threatens the health of millions of Americans, and the resulting economic harm is devastating, especially for working people and families. The burden of these crises has not fallen equally. Communities of color, especially Black and Latinx people, have borne the brunt of the […]

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The Case for a Right to Counsel in Housing Court

Executive Summary The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically and ominously shifted the scale of the eviction crisis in the United States. Short of extensive, multipronged legislative action, estimates suggest that anywhere from 19 to 23 million renters (or 11 million renter households) are at risk of eviction between summer and fall 2020. Congress must take immediate […]

The Inclusive Value Ledger – Digital Dollars and Digital Platforms for Digital Public Banking

Executive Summary Since Facebook announced Libra, its proposed “global crypto-currency,” a bit over a year ago, central banks and monetary authorities worldwide have accelerated their efforts to develop central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Sweden and China, for example, were nearly ready to test their own proto-CBDCs even before last summer. Thanks to CBDCs’ promise to […]

Police Misconduct Records Should Be Public – Policies & Polling

Executive Summary When a police chokehold led to Eric Garner’s death back in 2014, a bystander caught it all on video. Protests across the nation called for fundamental reforms—and for the punishment of Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who executed the chokehold. Anyone watching the video could see that something was wrong with the officer’s […]