Center for American Progress. October 27, 2014.
The economic downturn and financial crisis that occurred from December 2007 to June 2009, known as the Great Recession, disrupted both domestic and world markets. In the United States, millions of Americans lost their jobs, and families saw their homes foreclosed. And in the years since this recession—and particularly when the nation’s economy began to recover—the gains made have not been evenly distributed among those who suffered economic losses. In fact, economic opportunities eroded faster for communities of color during the recession compared to non-Hispanic whites. Moreover, the opportunities that have returned during the recovery are arriving slower for communities of color. [Note: contains copyrighted material]
http://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/PublicCollege-brief3.pdf [PDF format, 5 pages]
Urban Institute. October 21, 2014.
This study chronicles the experiences of labor trafficking victims from the point of recruitment for work, their forced labor victimization, their attempts to escape and get help, and their efforts to seek justice through civil or criminal cases. The report finds that legal loopholes and lax enforcement enable labor traffickers to commit crimes against workers in major US industries: agriculture, domestic work, hotels, restaurants, and construction. Interview and case file data detail the ubiquity of trafficking, which occurs both in plain sight and behind lock and key. Detailed recommendations propose next steps for policy and practice. [Note: contains copyrighted material]
http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/413249-Labor-Trafficking-in-the-United-States.pdf [PDF format, 307 pages]
Brennan Center for Justice. October 21, 2014
Using newly released FEC data, Election Spending 2014: 9 Toss-Up Senate Races examines outside spending in 2014’s nine most competitive U.S. Senate races, the outcomes of which will likely determine which party controls the Senate for the next two years. The report found record highs in total outside spending, “dark money” spending by groups that conceal the identity of their donors, and spending by single-candidate groups. In fact, it is likely that eight of these nine races will match or exceed the previous record high for spending in a Senate race, while less than half the expenditures so far have come from the candidates themselves. In other words, outside money made possible by weak regulation and Supreme Court rulings like Citizens United is giving wealthy spenders more power than ever to buy influence over elections. [Note: copyrighted material]