Showing posts with label MAP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MAP. Show all posts

Friday, April 15, 2022

MAP: The 10 Policy Trends Transforming Voting & Elections in America

The 2020 election transformed options for mail and absentee voting, enabling a record voter turnout. However, some politicians used the new systems as part of their rationale for launching false claims about voter fraud. As a result, state legislatures are considering diametrically opposed approaches to voting policy changes. Some states are embracing the changes that allowed for record democratic participation, and other states are seeking to undo the changes and further restrict voting access.

The Movement Advancement Project’s (MAP) newest report, The 10 Policy Trends Transforming Voting and Elections in America, examines a number of legislative proposals across the states that seek to make policy changes in three main areas: registration & eligibility, casting a vote, and vote counting & certification. The report is part of MAP’s Democracy Maps project, which tracks more than 40 laws and policies related to voting and elections.

This year alone state legislatures across the country are considering thousands of voting-related bills. While most other democracies have a single voting system for national elections to ensure equal access to voting, America’s voting systems differ dramatically by state—and those differences are growing sharply.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

MAP: Transgender Day of Visibility 2022

By Logan Casey, PhD, MAP Senior Policy Researcher & Advisor

Thirteen years ago today, transgender advocate Rachel Crandall established Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV), an annual event to celebrate transgender and nonbinary people while also recognizing the discrimination our communities face worldwide. Now more than ever, TDoV is an important reminder to celebrate the strength, joy, and leadership of transgender and nonbinary people, especially amid a surge of unprecedented efforts by state legislatures across the country targeting transgender people.

As a transgender person myself, it is often with a heavy heart—and always with a deep sense of responsibility to our community—that I update and maintain our Equality Maps tracking these laws and policies in the midst of one of the worst legislative sessions for transgender people on record.

In 2021, Arkansas became the first state to ban best practice medical care for transgender youth, and over half of states have considered similar bills. Last month, Texas ordered the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services to begin investigating families of transgender children for potential child abuse. And just in the past week, four anti-LGBTQ bills were signed into law in Florida, Oklahoma, and Arizona—all targeting transgender youth.

Dozens of states have also considered or passed bills that undermine a safe school environment for students, especially transgender youth. This includes bills banning transgender students from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity—and the number of these bills more than tripled from 2020 to 2021, with many states continuing to introduce these bills this year.

And yet, transgender people are still thriving and working in community to create a world of safety, love, and support.

In my work with MAP, I’ve written about incredible trans-led grassroots and advocacy organizations like Gender Benders and the Nationz Foundation. These organizations and many others serving transgender people in the U.S. South, in rural communities and big cities alike, give us blueprints on how to build coalitions and nurture community.

Trans leadership and innovation also show us ways to simultaneously meet immediate needs and address problems like economic insecurity at their root. The Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico’s Thrift-A-Lot store, for example, empowers transgender and nonbinary people through job opportunities and wraparound supports—especially critical given the high rates of discrimination and other barriers to employment that transgender people face. And through legal services provided by LGBTQ community centers across the country, transgender people are getting the help they need to change their legal name to better reflect their gender identity and reduce their risk of experiencing discrimination.

I am reminded of the strength, joy, and leadership of transgender people when I see this incredible work, activism, and community-building happening across the country. I am reminded of our resilience when I see transgender kids and their families meeting with lawmakers to share their stories of love, faith, community, and how harmful bills will impact them.

I also grieve that resilience is something we must measure ourselves by, and I give thanks for everyone working for a day when our humanity is no longer contested or legislated. Their stories—our stories—are reminders of the strength of transgender people and the importance of love, acceptance, and community.

Only three months into 2022, we know it’s already been an impossible year for transgender people, for parents of transgender kids, and for advocates working on behalf of transgender and nonbinary communities.

But today, on Trans Day of Visibility, let’s take time to honor our successes and joys as we continue to create a world where all people have a fair chance to pursue health and happiness, be safe in their communities, and take care of the ones they love.

Another world is possible, and I’m thankful to be part of the work to make it happen.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

New MAP Report: Curriculum Censorship & Hostile School Climate Bills

In recent years, a growing number of states have considered or passed legislation that censors discussions of race and LGBTQ people in schools and that creates a hostile climate for students. Among these political attacks are attempts to ban critical race theory and Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, but it doesn’t end there.
MAP’s newest report, Curriculum Censorship & Hostile School Climate Bills, examines this concerning wave of state bills and makes clear that these are coordinated efforts to radically undermine public education in this country. Released in partnership with the Equality Federation, the report highlights that from 2020 to 2021 these kinds of bills nearly quadrupled in number and were considered in nearly every state.

Over 59 million young people live in the 42 states that considered these kinds of bills in the previous two years. Even when those bills did not become law, the public debate about them causes harm. According to a 2021 national survey from The Trevor Project, two-thirds (66%) of LGBTQ youth said their mental health was negatively impacted by recent state legislative debates about transgender people.

As of March 2022, at least 280 hostile school climate and curriculum censorship bills have been introduced — more than in the previous two years combined.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

MAP Analysis: How the Freedom to Vote Act Would Improve Democracy in the States

As Congress and states across the nation prepare to battle on voting rights legislation, the Movement Advancement Project’s (MAP) new Democracy Maps initiative released analysis of how the national landscape—across 44 election laws and policies—would change if Congress passed the federal Freedom to Vote Act.

Currently, nearly 60% of Americans live in states with inadequate voting laws, according to the Democracy Maps. If the Freedom to Vote Act—a comprehensive federal bill that would create critical standards for voting rights in all states—passed, state voting policies would shift dramatically to 100% of Americans living in states with at least a medium Democracy Tally.

Today MAP released a new brief, How the Freedom to Vote Act Would Improve Democracy in the States, outlining some of the emerging threats to the independence and integrity of our democracy, and also shows the startling difference in access to voting and democracy by state.

It also emphasizes the impact the Freedom to Vote Act would have for voters nationwide, including: establishing national standards for automatic voter registration and same day voter registration, expanding voting locations and early voting, cutting wait times to vote in person, streamlining voter ID requirements, and protecting election independence and integrity. If Congress passes this legislation, every state would have either a High or Medium Democracy Tally rank.