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#5SmartReads - May 10, 2023
Madison on public transit being a safety net, a free grocery store, and the PUMP Act
Madison works as a full-time freelance writer, part-time college counselor, and is launching Grief Cards, a small business that offers sympathy cards that don't suck. This spring, you can find her on the kickball field with Babe Ruthless, on the sand volleyball court with Taller On Tinder, or cheering on the KC Current.
The vast majority of heartbreaking, headline stories stem from systemic issues. As far as I can see, the murder of Jordan Neely is no different. Racism and militaristic superiority complexes played significant roles in this entirely preventable tragedy.
So did the fact that public transit has become one of the last safe places for the also entirely preventable surge in people experiencing homelessness, especially in big cities. I don’t have any answers, but I do know that this is not working, that this can’t continue.
60 Days To Find A Job Or Leave The Country (Rest Of World)
Not having a visa’s expiration deadline hanging over my head has been life changing. And my visas were always in situations where I actively chose to be in a different country, knew I had a safe permanent address to return to in my home country, and was solely responsible for my own well being -- still, being able to live without a deadline on a place has been a bigger change than I ever expected.
U.S. tech layoffs, in particular, continue to have ripple effects that aren’t “eye-catching” enough to warrant attention from the largest media outlets. This is a deep dive into the real-life experiences of people who are in the United States on H-1B visas and who were recently let go due to any number of avoidable business decisions at higher levels.
Whether you’ve ever needed to jump through work visa hoops or not, this read is an exercise in empathy and unseen turmoil.
This Free Grocery Store Is Trying To Address Atlanta’s Food Access Problem (Capital B Atlanta)
Y’all know I love highlighting economically accessible systems that are positively impacting peoples’ lives each day. This mutual aid grocery store in Atlanta is rejuvenating a food desert, offering healthier alternatives in a sea of fast food, and easing valid concerns of food scarcity - all at no cost to its customers.
Through donations and the repurposing of perfectly good food “waste,” the Grocery Spot ATL is showing that rising grocery prices and greed-based inflation doesn’t have to continue being our reality.
Until this article came across my inbox, I had no idea the PUMP Act existed.
The first part of this bill is a requirement to provide both space for lactation and time to use that space, and it went into effect at the end of December 2022. As of the end of April 2023, the second part of the bill has also gone into effect, empowering workers to sue an employer if they violate this law.
Do I wish these workplace protections weren’t needed because the U.S. had a guaranteed parental leave policy nationwide? Of course. And. This is still a positive movement that will extend protection to at least 9,000,000 other nursing parents.
‘No Love Is Ever Wasted’ (New York Times)
This Modern Love essay deserves all of the accolades. It’s a great reminder that small humans have big emotions, that big humans don’t always handle challenging situations well, and that most of us can trace our way back to one time or another where we realized a part of our childhood had been permanently lost.
My partner recently adopted a seven-year-old Shih Tzu that we found in a parking lot. His name’s Shiloh, but he looks an awful lot like my childhood stuffed dog Scruffy, especially when Shiloh’s due for a haircut. So this particular subject has been top of mind for the last two months: I don’t know when I stopped needing Scruffy by my side to fall asleep at night but, damn, it’s been nice to fall asleep with Shiloh hogging the blankets.
As Edna St. Vincent Millay said, “Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age the child is grown, and puts away childish things. Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.”