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Arkansas News Service

  • Little Rock, AR – An Arkansas group is taking action against the state's new congressional maps, saying they dilute the voting power of communities of color. Comments from Kwami Abdul-Bey, founder of Arkansans for a Unified Natural State; and Loriee Evans, lead organizer at Indivisible Little Rock and Central Arkansas.
  • Little Rock, AR - Arkansas's Board of Apportionment will redraw state House and Senate district lines, and organizers want residents' concerns to be considered in the mapmaking process. Comments from Loriee Evans, lead organizer at Indivisible Little Rock and Central Arkansas; and Kwami Abdul-Bey, founder of the Arkansas Fair & Equitable Mapping Awareness, Planning & Action Team.
  • Little Rock, AR – Consumer Reports is asking Americans to upload their internet bills so researchers can figure out why the cost, reliability and speed varies greatly between rural and urban areas. Comments from Amira Dhalla, associate director of community engagement and operations, Consumer Reports; and Whitney Kimball Coe, director of national programs and rural assembly, Center for Rural Strategies.
  • The Reimagine Arkansas Workforce Project is helping Arkansans hit financially by the pandemic get back on their feet with new skills – particularly those who have had other employment challenges. Comments from Eddie Thomas, assistant director, Arkansas Division of Workforce Services; and Tara Dryer, senior managing director, University of Arkansas Global Campus.
  • A yearlong fellowship for teachers in Arkansas kicks off today, and educators who are part of it will learn how to advocate for policy change on a state level. Comments from Stacey McAdoo, state director, Teach Plus Arkansas; and Nelvia Johnson, eighth-grade social studies teacher at KIPP Delta Public Schools and one of this year's Teach Plus fellows.
  • Little Rock, AR - After some pandemic-related delays, cannabis advocates in Arkansas are garnering signatures for a recreational-marijuana amendment on the 2022 ballot. Comments from Briana Boling, spokesperson, Arkansas True Grass; and Melissa Fults, board member and treasurer, Arkansas NORML.
  • As part of the emergency response to COVID-19, the federal government is providing $50 direct payments toward internet bills, until funding runs out or the pandemic is declared over by health officials. Experts are urging Arkansans who need assistance to apply quickly. Comments from Nick Ludlum, senior vice president, CTIA, a trade association representing wireless service providers.
  • State Rep. Jimmy Gazaway, R-Paragould, has introduced a bill that would create minimum housing standards for renters and clear up confusion on the state’s eviction process. Comments from Lynn Foster, professor emerita, University of Arkansas William H. Bowen School of Law.
  • Anti-hunger advocates say more innovative strategies are needed for making sure children in remote, rural parts of the state have continued access to nourishing food amid the pandemic. Comments from two Save the Children officials: Audrey Freshwater, Arkansas deputy director; and Tamara Sandberg, U.S. advisor for food security and nutrition.
  • Experts say the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed serious gaps in the country’s healthcare system, and are urging state and local governments to examine lessons learned and increase their preparedness for the next public health crisis. Comments from Dr. Helen Boucher (boo-CHEY), chief of the Division of Geographic Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Tufts Medical Center.