Arizona Judge Blocks Law That Treats Fetuses as People
The law granted embryos and fetuses the same rights as a person. Civil rights groups sought an injunction out of concern the law could criminalize people who provide or obtain abortions.
Supreme Court Overturns Roe, Opening Door for Mass Criminalization of Abortion
Police and prosecutors will now be tasked with enforcing state anti-abortion laws.
New York’s Prison Package Ban Places New Burdens on the Incarcerated
Advocates say the policy, aimed at eliminating contraband, will harm prisoners and their loved ones by making it much harder to send fresh food and other essentials into prisons.
Criminalized Abortions Loom Over Phoenix’s Biggest Prosecutor Election
Maricopa County elects a new top prosecutor this year. In the meantime, state law could let the county’s conservative county attorney prosecute abortions if Roe falls.
It’s Time to Take a Clearer Look at Bail Reform
In the raucous debate over bail reform, simple facts have fallen out of sight.
What Would the End of Roe v. Wade Mean for Pregnancy Behind Bars?
A Supreme Court decision overturning the constitutional right to an abortion could force thousands of incarcerated people to carry pregnancies to term.
The Pandemic Spurred Governors to Grant Clemency, But Advocates Say It Isn’t Enough
Despite sentencing reforms, hundreds of thousands of people who have been incarcerated over the last several decades are ineligible for parole.
California’s New Attorney General Has A Reputation As A Criminal Justice Reformer. But His Biggest Test Is Yet To Come
Rob Bonta’s career has hinged on the idea that the law can be used to engender social justice. His elevation to California’s “top cop” position, where he will become responsible for the vast bureaucracy of the state’s criminal legal system, will be a crucible for that belief.
San Antonio Activists ‘Cannot in Good Faith’ Support This Year’s Mayoral Candidates
Local activists have soured on incumbent Mayor Ron Nirenberg, and no other candidate offers a compelling alternative.
Cincinnati’s Upcoming Mayoral Race is ‘Make or Break’ for Policing and Housing
True public safety, advocates say, is one of the most urgent issues facing Cincinnati voters ahead of Tuesday’s primary election.
How Policing Is Shaping the Pittsburgh Mayoral Race
Incumbent Bill Peduto’s policing record is under scrutiny after protests last summer. He is facing what may be his most competitive race yet.
‘It Tears Families Apart’: Lawmakers Nationwide Are Moving to End Mandatory Sentencing
Repealing state and federal mandatory minimums will help address the mass incarceration crisis, advocates hope.
The Major Real Estate Donors Influencing the St. Louis Mayoral Race
Days before the election, campaign finance reports show that real-estate and construction industries favor Cara Spencer over Tishaura Jones.
These Progressive Candidates Could Flip The Balance Of Power In St. Louis City Government
Four first-time candidates could grant progressives a majority on the Board of Alders and transform public safety and housing policy.
Anchorage’s Anti-Homeless Movement May Elect the City’s Next Mayor
One of the leading candidates for Anchorage’s mayoral race is backed by a far-right Facebook group tied to the U.S. Capitol riot.
The St. Louis Mayoral Race Reflects a Progressive Shift In Local Politics
Two progressive candidates will move on to the general election, while Lewis Reed, a figure in St. Louis’s Democratic party establishment since 1999, couldn’t carry a single ward.
How Teri Castillo Plans to Protect San Antonio From ‘Salivating’ Housing Developers
The housing advocate’s run for city council could be a Texan litmus test for the broad appeal of policies popular with working class voters.
Tishaura Jones Wants to Change St. Louis
Jones says her experience transforming the treasurer’s office will make her an effective mayor. Voters will let candidates know what they think next week.
Virginia Governor Candidate Says It’s Time To ‘Treat Poverty Like the Emergency It Is’
Jennifer Carroll Foy is a former public defender and state legislator who wants to overhaul school funding and extend an eviction moratorium until the end of 2022.
Virginia Bans Mental Health Evidence in Trials. Lawmakers Could Soon Change This
Proposed legislation would allow people accused of crimes to tell juries if they had a mental illness, autism spectrum disorder, or an intellectual or developmental disability at the time of a crime. The bill could have helped individuals like Matthew Rushin.
This Election Could Decide St. Louis’s Future
The four candidates vying to replace the mayor are each promising to build a better St. Louis, and in a little over a week, voters will decide which visions they endorse.
Police Violence Puts the Heat on Rochester Mayor as She Seeks a Third Term
Months after footage emerged of officers fatally suffocating Daniel Prude, police were caught on video pepper-spraying a 9-year-old girl. Advocates say the incident highlights the shortcomings of Mayor Lovely Warren’s crisis response team.
Choosing Adam Schiff For California Attorney General Would Be Ignoring What Californians Want
The U.S. representative has been a chief architect of mass incarceration in the state and an instigator of racial injustice.
How the Killing of Breonna Taylor Is Reshaping Louisville Politics
The political paradigm emerging in Louisville is being formed by newcomers to local politics.
A Florida Senator Wants to Exclude People With Felony Convictions From the State’s Minimum Wage Increase
It’s the latest bill in the state legislature’s long history of meddling with voter-approved amendments.
Joe Manchin’s Voters Aren’t Letting Him Stop $2,000 Checks
The intense backlash to his recent comments criticizing $2,000 stimulus checks signal the growing momentum for guaranteed income programs—and the emerging power of voters who care more about substantive results than partisan skirmishes.
Members of Congress Call on Biden to Commute Everyone on Federal Death Row
More than 35 members of Congress signed a letter asking Biden to commute the sentences of the remaining 50 people on federal death row.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s Legacy of Empty Promises
There may be one reason for local progressives to support Walsh for the U.S. secretary of labor: He’ll leave town.
Democrats’ Win in Georgia Shows What Voters Really Want From Government
It’s time for political leaders, no matter their party, to listen to voters—and provide financial relief from the pandemic.
The Future of Voting Rights Is at Stake in the Georgia Runoffs
By winning a narrow majority in the upper chamber, Democrats could at last stop the Republican assault on voting rights—if its centrist members have the courage to do so.
To Turn Election Wins Into Policy, House Progressives Need More Committee Power
Progressive policies face a committee structure that distorts democracy and favors corporate-backed centrists.
Police Funding Is a Pivotal Issue in Two Austin City Council Runoffs
Incumbents Jimmy Flannigan and Alison Alter have been targeted by conservative challengers because of the council’s votes to cut police funding and repeal a ban on public camping.
Two Rising Democratic Stars May Be Vying for Pennsylvania Governor. On Criminal Justice, They’re Very Different
Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman has jumpstarted the state’s pardons process, while Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s self-styled progressivism isn’t winning over advocates.
Some Texas Elections Suggest Voters Aren’t Afraid of Defunding Police
None of the Austin City Council members who voted to cut police funding lost their elections, but a police union vice president who fearmongered about the defund movement did.
Americans Are Getting Tired of Willie Horton-Style Fearmongering
In North Carolina, Attorney General Josh Stein’s Republican opponent painted him as soft on crime. Voters re-elected him anyway.
Joe Biden Has to Be More Than the Man Who Defeated Trump
A Democratic president who politely listens to progressive rhetoric while failing to act on it is one who just watches the planet burn a little more slowly.
In a Blow to the Progressive Prosecutor Movement, Allister Adel Wins the Maricopa County Attorney Race
Voters decided to keep Adel in charge of the third-largest prosecuting agency in the country. She is recovering from emergency surgery for bleeding in her brain.
Carroll Fife’s Fight For Unhoused Mothers Sparked A Movement Across The Country. Now She’s On The Oakland City Council Ready To Transform The City.
Fife has pledged to reinvest in the local community, aggressively combat the housing crisis, address income inequality, education, healthcare and more.
No, Defund The Police And Medicare For All Didn’t Lead To Democratic Losses In The House
Party leaders have blamed progressive left policies for disappointing electoral results. A close examination of winners and losers suggests otherwise.
Law Enforcement Reformers Sweep Major Races In Los Angeles County
Candidates promising to remake Southern California’s legal system, won major races for DA, county supervisor, and City Council, among others while overcoming significant spending by pro-law enforcement groups.
George Gascón Wins Race for Los Angeles D.A. in Major Victory for Progressive Prosecutor Movement
Los Angeles County, with the country’s largest jail system and largest local prosecutor office, is considered a crown jewel in a nationwide push for criminal justice reform.
Michigan Supreme Court Flips to Democrats
The ideological change is a boon for the left, as states prepare for redistricting in 2021 and the challenges that may come with it.
Holly Mitchell Wins Supervisors Race With Big Implications For Criminal Justice Reform In Los Angeles County
The LA County supervisors are poised to tackle a wide range of criminal justice reforms, including moving children and people struggling with mental health issues out of the criminal legal system, and redirecting millions of dollars away from law enforcement and back into communities.
San Francisco Voters Abolish Mandatory Staffing Levels for Police
Current law mandated that the city have at least 1,971 full-time police officers.
Mondaire Jones Is Bringing the Fight Against Systemic Racism to Congress
Jones has vowed to support expansion of the Supreme Court, back the Green New Deal, and push for criminal justice reform.
Francesca Hong Wins A Seat In The Wisconsin Legislature. She’s Fighting For A Living Wage And Workers’ Rights.
The chef and restaurant owner says she plans to support the fight for a $15 minimum wage and other reforms that will make ‘Wisconsin work better for more people.’
Esther Agbaje, Fighting For Affordable Housing And Prison Reform, Becomes Minnesota’s First Nigerian-American Legislator
“I have always had a focus on public service, always a desire to make sure that I’m using my skills and talents to help people and to make the community around me a little bit better,” she said.
Athena Hollins Wins Seat In Minnesota State House, Pledging To Fight For Broad Police Reforms
Hollins’s ‘very personal’ decision to run was sparked in part by the Trump administration ‘catching everything on fire.’ Now she wants to advocate for subsidized child care, police reform, and more.
Reformer Ed Gonzalez Wins Second Term As Harris County Sheriff
Houston area voters re-elected Gonzalez after he supported bail reform, cleaned up the county jail, and provided aid to incarcerated people living with opioid use disorder.
California Voters Reject Regressive Measure That Would Have Rolled Back Years Of Successful Criminal Justice Reforms
The ballot initiative would have bloated prisons and jails in the state and undone important criminal legal reforms, advocates say.
‘The Squad’ Is Growing—And So Is Its Power
Members of The Squad are already among the Democratic Party’s most influential voices.
Tarra Simmons Becomes First Person Formerly Convicted Of A Felony Elected To Washington State Legislature
Simmons, an attorney, is fighting to give people “a first chance so they won’t need a second chance later on in life.”
Omar Fateh Wins Chance to Bring ‘People Power’ to Minnesota’s State Senate
Minnesotans, Fateh said, “should be able to access the folks that are representing us and make sure that they’re partnering with the community.”
Teresa Leger Fernandez Wins In New Mexico’s Third Congressional District. She’s Fighting For ‘A Politics Of Opportunity.’
Leger Fernandez wants to pass universal healthcare and improve infrastructure in tribal and rural communities.
Marie Newman Wins Illinois House Seat, Pledging To Fight For Working Families And The Middle Class
“This economy doesn’t work for everyone; it works for very, very few people,” Newman said.
Jamaal Bowman Is Headed To Congress, Pledges To Make Democrats ‘The Party Of Dismantling Mass Incarceration’
Bowman has also advocated for an eviction moratorium and for rental payments to be cancelled for the duration of the pandemic.
Cori Bush Wins, Heads To Congress Committed To ‘Fighting For The Regular Person’
Bush’s victory in Missouri’s First Congressional District makes her the first Black woman elected to represent Missouri in Congress.
It’s Time To Lower The Voting Age To 16
Grown adults have voted their way into the current morass in this country. Now is the time for a younger generation to lead the way.
A Clash of Housing Philosophies Is At The Heart of a High-Profile California State Senate Race
First-time state Senate candidate Jackie Fielder’s housing plans are geared toward government investment, while incumbent Scott Wiener’s plans have relied on the construction of market rate housing with some affordable units.
The Senate Filibuster Is Hollowing Out American Democracy
If Democrats win control of the Senate, allowing this archaic tradition to survive will make everything of significance the party hopes to accomplish virtually impossible.
Lorenzo Sanchez Wants to Provide Healthcare to Uninsured Texans
Sanchez is running for one of the state House seats that Democrats are hoping to flip.
Armed Michigan Protesters Fueled Jon Hoadley’s Commitment To Run For Congress
If he wins his bid to represent the state’s Sixth District, Hoadley says he would reallocate police funding, improve health care, and invest in rural communities.
Kara Eastman Looks to Represent Nebraska in Congress With An Eye On Improving Healthcare
The Second District candidate, who has been endorsed by more than 50 Black leaders in Omaha, also wants to make investments in Black and Latinx neighborhoods.
Texas House Candidate Celina Montoya Is Running To Expand Medicaid and Fund Public Education
She is running for a historically Republican-controlled seat, and if she wins, it could help turn the state House blue.
Candace Valenzuela Is Running to Give All People a Chance at the American Dream
If she’s successful in her bid to represent Texas’s 24th Congressional District, Valenzuela will flip the district to blue and become the first Black and Latinx member of Congress.
Francesca Hong Wants ‘Wisconsin to Work Better for More People’
The chef and restaurant owner is running for State Assembly in part to fight for a $15 minimum wage and other pro-worker reforms from within the halls of government.
Democratic Candidate Brandy Chambers Wants to Help Turn the Texas House Blue
If Chambers can unseat the Republican incumbent in her district, she said she’ll prioritize expanding Medicaid, improving public education funding, and lowering property taxes.
What Raquel Terán Wants To Accomplish If Democrats Take The Arizona State Legislature
The state representative wants to pass paid family leave, repeal Arizona’s pre-Roe vs. Wade abortion ban, and increase access to the ballot through automatic voter registration and same-day registration.
This California Teacher Wants Environmental Justice
Fatima Iqbal-Zubair, who seeks to represent South Central Los Angeles in the State Assembly, wants 'clean air, clean water, and clean food' for her constituents.
3 Transformational Candidates That the Working Families Party Is Excited About
The party's national director tells The Appeal about candidates in New York, Washington, D.C., and New Mexico that the WFP would like to see oust the establishment.
In Her First Run For Office, Teresa Leger Fernandez Wants To ‘Protect What We Love’ About New Mexico
Leger Fernandez, whose district includes Navajo Nation and several Pueblo reservations, wants to pass universal healthcare and improve infrastructure in tribal and rural communities.
In California Rent Control Battle, Controversies Swirl Around Funders on Both Sides
Corporate backers of a group opposed to Proposition 21 don’t match the protective image it portrays. And a nonprofit that has contributed to supporters has been accused of financial improprieties.
For Illinois Democrat Marie Newman, Progressive Is ‘Practical’
Newman, who is running for a U.S. House seat, wants Medicare for all, green jobs, and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Raph Graybill Is Running To Be A Better Attorney General For Montana
Graybill’s experience with suing the state’s current AG, Tim Fox, to protect a land easement program “really pushed me over the edge,” he told The Appeal.
As Arizona Politics Shift, Martín Quezada Hopes This Term Is His Most Significant
Quezada has supported progressive policies since starting out in the state legislature in 2012. He’s now running for his final term, which could be his most important, given the state’s changing power dynamics.
How Julie Oliver’s Personal Experiences With Healthcare And Housing Have Influenced Her Run For Congress
‘Our Congress should be reflective of the people here, and it’s not,’ the Texas resident said.
Omar Fateh is Running to Bring a ‘Working-Class Agenda’ to Minnesota’s State Senate
The current Democratic state senator, Jeff Hayden, lacks the progressive vision that Minnesotans seek, Fateh says.
Teens Younger Than 18 Could Soon Have The Right To Vote In San Francisco
A measure on the ballot next month would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote, a change that advocates say would crucially expand the voting pool.
How One Race Could Change Police Accountability in Arizona
Incumbent Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel is backed by police unions and has declined to charge officers in high-profile killings. Challenger Julie Gunnigle says she wants to create an independent unit to review police use-of-force cases.
Michigan Lifers Are Organizing Their Families to Vote
The Adolescent Redemption Project, a new group organized by Michigan prisoners sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, is advocating for progressive prosecutors.
In Effort to Slow Climate Change, Texas Democrat Seeks Seat On Oil Regulation Board
Chrysta Castañeda wants to use the state Railroad Commission’s powers to stop energy companies from engaging in environmentally harmful practices like burning excess gas.
‘Democracy Pressure-Tested’: Voter Suppression Efforts Underway As Election Nears
Efforts by elected leaders in several states are making it harder to get to the polls and fomenting misinformation about the election amid a pandemic.
This Los Angeles County Election Could Have A Big Effect On Criminal Justice Reform
The Board of Supervisors wields enormous power over a county government apparatus that includes the DA’s office, probation department, and sheriffs.
Black Voters Matter Co-Founder Says Voting Enthusiasm Is Strong Despite Rampant Suppression
The group is seeing real challenges posed by the pandemic, voter suppression tactics, and threats of intimidation.
Tarra Simmons, Candidate for Washington State Legislature, Is Fighting To Give People A First Chance
The attorney, who is a person formerly convicted of a felony, has attracted support and praise from people around the country.
Cori Bush Wants To Make Sure That Someone Is ‘Fighting For The Regular Person’ In Washington
If she wins her bid for office in November, Bush will become the first Black woman elected to represent Missouri in Congress.
Esther Agbaje Wants to Solve ‘The Million Dollar Question’ of Racial Disparities Across Minnesota
If she wins at the ballot box in November, Agbaje would become the state’s first Nigerian American state legislator.
Reform Advocates Want To Oust Illinois Judge Who Fought To Detain Young Children
A coalition of organizations is hoping Michael Toomin, who is also unwilling to implement diversion programs, loses his retention election.
Athena Hollins Takes On Public Safety, Housing, And Affordable Child Care In Her Run For The Minnesota House
When it comes to public safety, Hollins doesn’t want to stop with reallocating police funding. She’d like her state to track both proven and alleged instances of police misconduct.
Tenant Organizers Are Running To Keep New Yorkers In Their Homes
After defeating long-time incumbents in Democratic primaries, progressive candidates are championing cancelling rent and banning evictions.
From Criminal Justice Reform To Protecting The Democracy, Mondaire Jones Wants To Bring ‘Big Structural Changes’ To Congress
Jones, who is running in New York’s 17th District, says fighting systemic racism and hyperpartisanship are top priorities.
Election Night Coverage Is Broken. In 2020, It Could Be Dangerous
In a presidential election likely to take weeks or months to decide, the race to name a winner on Nov. 3 could do tremendous damage to the integrity of the vote-counting process.
Sara Innamorato Is Fighting to Reduce the Harms of COVID-19’s Economic Crush
The state representative wants to bar landlords in Pennsylvania from reporting missed or late rent payments to credit agencies.
Democrats Could Break the Republican Trifecta in Arizona
The party needs to win two state House seats and three state Senate seats in next month’s election to flip the chambers. Here are the candidates running in hotly contested races.
Los Angeles D.A. Candidates Spar on Police Shootings, Death Penalty
DA Jackie Lacey and challenger George Gascón outlined diverging visions for the top prosecutor’s office in the nation’s most populous county.
California’s Proposition 20 Would Roll Back Years of Criminal Justice Reform
The ballot initiative, supported by police, corporations, and even big grocery chains, would use more taxpayer money to incarcerate people, rather than invest in other social services.
As More States Turn To Mail-In Voting, Problems Pop Up Across Country
Last week’s problems in New York were part of a widespread series of issues, both systemic and targeted, that are only now becoming fully apparent, activists say.
Portland Civil Rights Activists Want A Mayor Who Can Stand Up To Police
Mayor Ted Wheeler’s popularity has declined after a summer of protests against police violence in the Oregon city.
California Voters Have An Opportunity To Chip Away At Jim Crow-Era Voting Law
Proposition 17 would allow people with felony convictions to cast ballots while they are on parole.
Maricopa County’s Top Prosecutor Releases Misleading Attack Ad
Allister Adel paints herself as a reformer, but her record shows otherwise.
Another Way Chaos Could Erupt on Election Day: Delayed Absentee Ballot Processing
Although some GOP election officials have moved to allow mail-in ballots to be counted early, outdated rules in other key Republican-led states could feed President Trump’s Election Day fearmongering.
Carroll Fife Is Fighting To Make Oakland Safer And More Equitable For Everyone
In her run for City Council, Fife pushes back on the institutional barriers to Black people that come from a history of oppression.
Joe Biden Should Use Federal Dollars to Fund Alternatives to Police
If he becomes president and Democrats win the Senate, Biden should push a federal spending bill that includes money for civilian first-responder programs.
California Prison Guard Union Responsible for ‘Bullseye’ Ad Donates $1 Million to Jackie Lacey’s Re-election Campaign
Late-stage donations to the Los Angeles DA race increase concerns about the influence of law enforcement money on politics.
Tiffany Cabán: Why I Am Running For New York City Council
In the face of a pandemic and police violence, elected leaders have failed to keep us safe and to champion the voices of marginalized communities like mine. Now it is time to determine our own future.
Governors’ Coronavirus Decisions Put People of Color In Harm’s Way
As the country reopens, we can’t quickly forget these failures of government, which have disproportionately harmed Black, Latinx, and Native people.
Mississippi Has Tested Fewer Than 1% of State Prisoners and Staff For COVID-19
Governor Tate Reeves has touted the state’s testing efforts as ‘aggressive,’ but testing rates in the state’s prisons, where the coronavirus has already claimed at least one life, remain low.
Coronavirus Cases Soar For The Navajo Nation As Federal Funding Shortfalls Strain Efforts To Respond
‘This is by far, by far, the biggest impact on our people since our return from the Long Walk in 1868,’ a Navajo Nation leader said.
South Dakota Governor Doubles Down On Her Anti-Native Reputation By Targeting Tribes’ COVID-19 Checkpoints
Governor Kristi Noem’s threat to sue two South Dakota tribes shows the callousness of her coronavirus plan, which seems to encourage exposure and prioritize the economy over the lives of at-risk Natives.
Hospitalized With COVID-19 and Handcuffed for Days
After a man incarcerated in a New Jersey state prison was hospitalized with COVID-19, he said he was handcuffed for 36 hours. The cuffs got tangled in his IV, causing it to rip out, he said. “It was so painful. You have no idea.”
Why Is COVID-19 Hitting Black Communities Harder? Residential Segregation Is a Key Factor.
Segregation not only increases individuals' exposure to the novel coronavirus, it also leaves them more susceptible to its effects and limits the quality of care they will receive, experts say.
The Case For Universal Healthcare During A Pandemic
An overwhelming majority of Americans support the federal government paying all healthcare costs for the duration of the coronavirus emergency.
A Man With Coronavirus Symptoms At Rikers Island Describes His Ordeal
‘I would go to the hospital very often and they wouldn’t do anything for me.’
Judges Are Exploiting the COVID-19 Pandemic to Advance the Conservative Agenda
A trio of cases in Wisconsin and Texas illustrates how Republican judges are feigning helplessness in the face of a public health crisis while furthering their own ends.
New York City Must Take Action to Ensure the Most Vulnerable Survive the Pandemic
The city has created the structural conditions that have engendered disproportionately high rates of infection and death among its Black and Latinx residents.
Emptying Prisons to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus Will Save Lives on the Outside, Too
By letting people out now, we can avoid overwhelming our healthcare system with sick prisoners later.
Methadone Rules Requiring In-Person Visits Are Putting Patients At Risk Of Coronavirus
For many people across the U.S. who need methadone treatment, sheltering in place during the coronavirus outbreak is impossible.
Transgender Sex Workers in New York City Struggle to Survive the Pandemic
Advocates say the “progressive” city has left them to die.
A Public Health Focus On Coronavirus Shouldn’t Sideline Overdose Prevention Efforts
Recent successes in stemming the opioid crisis could be reversed if public health budgets are cut or the crisis is seen as secondary to the pandemic.
Black Women Have Long Faced Racism in Healthcare. COVID-19 Is Only Amplifying It.
A Brooklyn teacher tried three times to get treatment for the coronavirus. Now she’s fighting for her life.