Certain cities and communities are watched much more closely than others

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The 2nd largest police force in the country has added a controversial new tool to its arsenal. The Chicago Police Force announced on September 2, 2020 that it was partnering with Amazon Ring for a new neighborhood surveillance program. The CPD joins 1,694 police departments across the country that have created similar partnerships, hoping that Amazon can help these communities reduce crime and increase security.

However, state and local governments have had to navigate the uncharted waters of tech governance in…


Certain cities and communities are watched much more closely than others.

Robert Williams was the first American to be arrested for a crime he did not commit based on the judgement of a facial recognition software. In January 2020, police officers drove up behind Robert as he was parking at his house and blocked in his car. They handcuffed him in front of his wife and two daughters. When they took him to the police station, they showed him two blurry photos of a heavyset man, dressed in black, and wearing a red St. Louis Cardinals cap, standing in…


Trinity Colon grew up thinking that everyone had asthma and that it was normal to wipe the soot off your windows at the start of summer. She now realizes that 100,000 people die every year from preventable pollution related illnesses.

Source: EPA

Pollution is killing Americans in every single state. Our factories cough particles into the air, our cars sputter smog into our communities, and our industries ravage the forests that could reduce the spread of harmful greenhouse gases. …


Mapping inequality & closing the divide

I’m excited to announce that I’m launching a blog series called American Inequality. Every article will dive into inequality topics that don’t get as much coverage — inequality in life expectancy, social services, food access, and more. I’ll present some totally new data visualizations on these topics that show the regional divides that our country is facing.

Inequality is increasing in America and millions of families are getting left behind. We often know exactly the towns, cities, and counties where the divides are the greatest, which is why we need to shed light on these challenges.


America is experiencing the greatest gap in life expectancy across regions in the last 40 years

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America is seeing the greatest gap in life expectancy across regions in the last 40 years. While most people will live to 78, some Americans are likely to die a decade earlier if they happen to be born in a handful of other counties in the US. Average lifespan has generally been increasing over this period as advances in medicine, social factors, and quality of life have helped people live longer, however, many Americans have…


Internet access is not equally distributed in America

The internet was supposed to be open to all, but it is closed to many. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that without reliable internet access, Americans often cannot work, attend school, or access government services. If you’ve ever felt the frustration of losing your WiFi or getting caught in a dead zone with no connection, you know the pain that millions of American feel every day. The difference is that those families cannot just reset the router and go on with their lives.

According to the FCC, 21 million Americans and…


The United States has now hit the worst levels of hunger in decades with 54 million Americans having no reliable access to food.

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Somehow in the 21st century, millions of Americans have no food. Lines for food banks routinely stretch for tens of miles, millions of children go to bed hungry each night, and countless families are stuck making tradeoffs between buying groceries or paying rent. New analysis from the Association of American Medical Colleges and USDA shows that 54 million people are food insecure and 23.5 million live in food…


Internet access is not equally distributed in America

For more stories like this, follow along at American Inequality.

The internet was supposed to be open to all, but it is closed to many. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that without reliable internet access, Americans often cannot work, attend school, or access government services. According to the FCC, 21 million Americans and 10 million school-age children do not have internet access. This means 15% of all children in school will not have the same education as their peers, will struggle academically, and will have fewer economic opportunities as they grow…


The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is America’s most successful poverty alleviation program, but too few families are actually claiming this benefit.

Many low-income families refer to tax season as “Second Christmas.” Although tax refunds are certainly not gifts that appear whether you’ve been naughty or nice, these refunds are often the salvation that millions of families look forward to every year.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) lifted 5.8 million people out of poverty in 2018, 3 million of those were children. The policy has been around since 1975 and has been expanded by both Republicans and Democrats…


To: Marc Brouillard, Chief Technology Officer of Canada
From: Jeremy Ney, Sr Associate at Harvard Digital Government

Subject: “Ask Once” Policy for Digitization of Government Services
Date: September 14, 2020

Issue: The Canadian Government has the opportunity to move the country towards seamless digital public services. Should the government prioritize and implement an “Ask Once” policy?

Interests and Priorities:

Serve Citizens Seamlessly — The Canadian Government’s Policy on Service and Digital says that the country has an obligation to advance the delivery of services and effectiveness of government whenever possible. “Ask Once” would allow allowing the Canadian Government to collect and integrate citizen…

Jeremy Ney

MIT Grad Speaker 2020, now writing about inequality || follow along @ bit.ly/SubstackAmericanInequality

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