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Election Day Registration

One of the biggest challenges in raising voter turnout is address the rate of voter registration. The vast majority of states have registration deadlines weeks before Election Day. The schedule poses problems for busy Americans who simply forget to register or re-register and find themselves unable to vote on Election Day. During the 2000 Presidential election alone, nearly 3 million voters were disenfranchised due to registration problems. Luckily, a simple solution is available: Election Day Registration (EDR).

MD: Zoning a Path to Affordable Housing

The Baltimore City Council is considering a bill that would require developers to include affordable housing units in all of Baltimore's residential projects. Under the proposal, up to 20 percent of all housing units would be reserved for low to moderate income people. Baltimore is not the first city in Maryland to consider such a proposal. Montgomery County, MD, in an effort to combat the loss of affordable housing, requires between 12.5 and 15 percent of the total units in every new subdivision or high-rise building be sold or rented at specified, affordable prices.

US: The Sorry State of our Education Infrastructure

While conservatives obfuscate their support for No Child Left Behind (see today's Eye on the Right), a much more pressing issue faces America's education system: the state of school buildings and the physical infrastructure. In a new report from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the union surveyed its own members to evaluate the state of school buildings. The result is "Building Minds, Minding Buildings: Turning Crumbling Schools Into Environments for Learning."

Defining Health Care Down

In states across the country, progressive leaders are stepping up to discuss how to achieve universal coverage for health care. At the same time, many on the Right are trying to define "health care coverage" to mean bare-bones care with often unaffordable cost-sharing for individuals and families.

CA: A Living Wage for Airport Hotel Workers

This week, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa approved a new city law requiring hotels near the LAX airport to pay the same living wage as those companies receiving government contracts: $9.39 an hour if the hotels provide health insurance or $10.64 an hour without benefits.

MI: Opposition to Video Franchise Bill that Fails Michigan's Communities

Like many other states, Michigan is struggling with how to build a technology infrastructure that can grow the state's economy and educate its children. Unfortunately, meeting in a lame-duck session, the Michigan's State Senate is considering an industry-backed bill, HB 6456, to create statewide franchises for video services by cable and telephone companies that will just increase company profits at the expense of consumers, low-income families, and technological innovation. Opponents of the bill range from the Michigan Municipal League protesting the destruction of community control to groups, led by Free Press, demanding Net Neutrality in access to Internet services.

"Values Voters" and the 2006 Elections

Back in early October, we highlighted The Fragmenting Religious Right & Emerging Progressive Faith Networks-- a foreshadowing of the gains progressives would make among faith voters in the mid-term elections. With the November election victories for progressives, this Stateside Dispatch will analyze the polls on how religious voters shifted in this election, what issues really matter to "values voters" and the success of "religious left" activists in mobilizing faith voters towards progressive election results.

The Emerging Progressive Majority

Even more than simply marking the end of one-party rule in Washington, last Tuesday's elections indicated what may be the beginning of long-term progressive strength: a strength fueled, in part, by increasing strength among Latinos and young voters, as well as huge turnout from American workers, who voted for change.

The Latino Vote

For years, Latinos have been among the most important swing bloc of voters in the country. While typically breaking for Democrats, Republicans knew that with the right campaigning, they could perform well among this large and growing demographic group. In 2004, exit polls showed Bush receiving as much as 44% of the Latino vote.

The Youth Vote

The Millenials are with us. America's youth -- the biggest generation since the Baby Boom -- are voting more frequently than Generation X and are voting far more progressively than the Reagan-raised generation that proceeded them. You have probably already heard one of the most impressive stats: young voters went for Democrats by a margin of 60%-38% according to exit polls and 2 million more turned out to the polls than in 2002 -- the last mid-term election.