3 stories from my first month at vox
I have been meaning to send out an update sooner, but April and now May has slipped away more quickly than I expected, so I apologize for that. (Though the upside to this new job is if anyone ever wants to see if anything new has been published, you can go to my Vox author page.)
I’m in week 5 of the new job. I really like it so far! And have been delighted to discover some of the ways working for the company can help me do better and different kind of reporting than I could really do as a freelancer. I’m enjoying being part of a creative team. Everyone’s been really nice and welcoming.
I also had a good feeling when they let me publish this story as my first article. It’s titled, “How to fight the affordable housing and climate crises at once” and it’s a close look at how so many people — particularly low-income families — are effectively excluded from federal weatherization subsidies, because they live in homes with outstanding repairs and home health hazards. The problem of course is that it costs money to make the repairs the tenants either don’t have, or the landlords aren’t incentivized to make.
There’s a really innovative bill being considered in Pennsylvania that would aim to fix this, so people could stand a greater chance of staying in their homes, and keep them in the housing stock at all. It was introduced by a left-wing Philly state senator, but I looked at why it’s locked in some heavy-weight Republican support in Harrisburg. It stands a good shot of passing this year, and I explore the idea of it expanding nationally. You can read that here.
2. The second piece looks at the politics around extending the expanded Child Tax Credit, which were monthly payments worth hundreds of dollars that landed in the bank accounts of some 35 million parents across the U.S. from July-December. Congress failed to reach a deal to extend those payments, so they expired, and families are not happy about it. Plus child poverty shot back up as a result. There are signals it could have real electoral consequences in November, too. The piece, “Can the expanded child tax credit come back from the dead?” looks at some of the political incentives at play — for progressive advocates who have urged against a compromise, to Republicans, who are not inclined to give Democrats a big win before the midterms, to Democratic senators and Joe Biden who have found blaming Joe Manchin to be fairly convenient. While the story is about the CTC, the dynamics described here play out with a lot of different issues in D.C. You can read it here.
3. The third piece is about a group called Aid Access, an Austrian-based nonprofit that delivers abortion pills where U.S. providers can't. They believe their unique model can prevail even post-Roe, but they're battling with Big Tech to get their message out, saying they’re penalized by algorithms / rules that don’t understand the crisis. You can read “The abortion provider that Republicans are struggling to stop” here.
Thanks for reading and as always, feel free to send me things you think should be on my radar!