An exit interview with founders of the COVID Tracking Project!

And a look at efforts to remove police from schools


Many of you reading this have probably heard of the remarkable COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer effort to collect information about the pandemic in the U.S. Even if you never heard of it, chances are many articles you’ve read or news broadcasts you’ve seen or podcasts you’ve listened to over the last year have relied on it, as it has grown to be one of the most trusted sources of information on the pandemic we have.

On March 7, the 1-year anniversary of its founding, the project is going to end its daily data compilation efforts. I had the opportunity to interview two of the project’s co-founders about what they’ve done, and whey they’re winding down at this moment. It was really interesting and hope you can check it out in GQ here.

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I also have a story at The Appeal looking at efforts to remove police from schools, a movement that’s grown more energized since the 2020 racial justice protests. Last summer school boards in cities like Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Denver and Portland, Maine, voted to end contracts with local police, and activists in Los Angeles pressed leaders to divest $25 million from the school police budget, and steer the funds to social workers and counselors. On the federal level, Reps. Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar and Sens. Chris Murphy and Elizabeth Warren introduced legislation to end federal funding for school cops, and new bills introduced this year in states like Connecticut and Oregon would also phase out police from public schools.

My story looks at the successful effort in Massachusetts last year to repeal its state mandate requiring all schools have police. Massachusetts passed its mandate in response to the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting. The only other two states to have state-level requirements are Maryland and Florida, both of which passed their laws in response to the Parkland shooting in 2018. I wrote about all three states, as well as ongoing efforts in other cities. You can read that here.

Thanks as always for reading, and subscribing! Have a great weekend.

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