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Future in Context

Playing the Religious Card: A Long American History

Trump is not the first president to portray his opponent as anti-religion or of the wrong faith. The tradition goes back to the beginning of the republic. But the controversy has gained momentum recently.

By Clay Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  August 13, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Work

Government Workers Risk Their Lives, Receive No Compensation

Thousands of federal, state workers risk their lives each day by showing up to work. Legally, they should be receiving hazard pay, but many haven’t gotten anything. For those that did, the payments stopped months ago.

By Zoe Manzanetti, Staff Writer  |  August 13, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Work

Local Government Employees to Work Remotely Until 2021

State and local government workers in Washington will continue to work remotely through the end of the year. Officials hope that the advanced notice allows time for adjustment and preparation.

By Zoe Manzanetti, Staff Writer  |  August 13, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Work

Though July Saw Job Recovery, Many Still Have Concerns

Even as cases of COVID-19 surged, public-sector employment — like the rest of the economy — continued a slow, steady recovery in July. But state and local governments foresee danger as they prep for next year's budgets.

By Ben Miller, Government Technology  |  August 13, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

It's Uncomfortable: A Mayor's Life During the Pandemic

What’s it like to be a front-line government official in the COVID era? The mayor of Hattiesburg, Miss., talks candidly about "awful moments,” as he navigates a pandemic, an economic meltdown and racial tensions.

By Carl Smith, Senior Staff Writer  |  August 12, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Finance

The Tricky Question of When to Tap Budget Reserves

For local governments coping with the fiscal pressures brought on by the pandemic, it might seem that now is the time. But public leaders first should ask themselves some important questions.

By Fran David, Former City Manager and Finance Director  |  August 12, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Technology's Mixed Record in Responding to a Pandemic

While it's helped a lot of Americans who are displaced from their offices get their work done, it's fallen short in areas like education and disease tracking and has once again highlighted the digital divide.

By Aaron M. Renn, Urban Analyst  |  August 11, 2020
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22.5 million

The number of posts containing hate speech that Facebook removed from its site during the second quarter of the year. The figure was a significant increase from the first quarter’s 9.6 million posts that were removed.

THE FUTURE OF Security

Will Virginia Lead the U.S. to Adopt Smart Tracing Apps?

Silicon Valley was going to help America keep track of COVID-19 with badly needed technology. Yet, states never embraced the idea, and tech firms couldn’t overcome privacy concerns. But the idea is getting a reboot.

By Tod Newcombe, Managing Editor  |  August 11, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Community Design

Route 66: Images of a Fading American Highway Legend

It’s the country’s most famous road, and like so many other iconic pieces of mid-century Americana, it has been nearly obliterated by progress. But a few bits remain if you know where to look.

By David Kidd, Photojournalist and Storyteller  |  August 10, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF What’s Happening Now

Prosecutors' Vital Role in Reforming Criminal Justice

To address racial disparities, they need to collect and analyze more data to evaluate promising policies and better inform their indictment decisions and sentencing recommendations.

By Lucy Lang, Institute for Innovation in Prosecution  |  August 10, 2020
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THE FUTURE OF Finance

Why Federal Aid Remains a Tough Sell for States and Localities

President Trump remains opposed to a bailout for "poorly run states." The administration may end up agreeing to help, but warnings about dire spending cuts have not yet prompted action.

By Alan Greenblatt, Senior Staff Writer  |  August 7, 2020
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Sharon Greenberger Fights for New York as YMCA President, CEO

As president and CEO of the New York YMCA, Sharon Greenberger is constantly working to make New York a healthier, happier community. Now she uses her decades of experience to transform The Y into a place of hope amid COVID-19.

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