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Jonah Baskin


In January of 1969, Santa Barbara, California experienced an oil spill which devastated the local ecology -- but agitated and mobilized local activists. This group would go on to create the first Earth Day and push the passage of some of the foundational environmental laws of our country including the National Environmental Protection Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Superfund Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. 

With Earth Day coming up on Sunday, April 22, we honor the work of these environmental...

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US Capitol building against a cloudy blue sky

Last week, the House of Representatives moved the dangerous ADA Education and Reform Act (H.R. 620) out of committee, and we expect a vote on the bill this week. This bill would undermine key sections of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, for the first time in our civil rights law, create waiting periods for a protected class to enforce their civil rights.

Raise your voice in support of people with disabilities.

Right now, the ADA mandates that places of public accommodation comply with ADA accessibility guidelines. If a person with disabilities encounters a...

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Tree in sunlight

The night of January 30 and day of January 31 mark the 15th of the Hebrew month of Sh’vat, or Tu BiSh'vat. The holiday started as a tax holiday, and was mentioned in the Mishnah as the “birthday for the trees.” It acted as the marker for when a tree became a year older with regards to a host of mitzvot centered around the annual produce of fruit trees. Taxes are still linked with the natural world around us; the recent tax bill contained devastating provisions which open a section of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, disturbing the calving grounds of the Porcupine Caribou...

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The Department of Labor's 2017 National Disability Employment Awareness Month poster. A ribbon shows various people with disabilities at work under a title which reads "Inclusion Drives Innovation"

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and an important time to reflect on the barriers people with disabilities face when trying to find employment. We know the problem is severe: 27.7 percent of people with a disability between the ages of 16 and 64 were employed in 2016 in contrast with 72.8 percent of same age cohort without a disability. People with disabilities face discrimination from employers, and often are so discouraged by discrimination in the hiring process that they stop looking for work altogether. While discrimination can only be solved by changing our...

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Power plant pollution

Scott Pruitt recently announced the repeal of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), a landmark climate change rule which would have dramatically cleaned up the way we produce energy.

To understand why the Reform movement opposes the repeal and the impact of the decision, it is important to know some of the history behind the CPP. The Clean Power Plan is a policy established under the Obama Administration and coordinated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Announced in 2015, the CPP created a joint federal and state plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants, the United States...

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