Civil Rights & Social Justice


Lincoln’s ‘House Divided’ speech teaches important lessons about today’s political polarization | Opinion

BY: - February 19, 2019

Lincoln didn’t claim that perfect equality could be achieved. But he saw broad commitments to the idea of equality as essential to the ongoing work of creating, as the Constitution puts it, a more perfect union – and a freer one for all.

The ACLU is taking Pennsylvania’s corrections department to court over copy-and-save legal mail policy

BY: - February 18, 2019

According to the ACLU, "Pennsylvania is the first and still only state prison system in the country to copy and store legal mail."


President Trump says there’s a crisis at the border. The data says something else | The Numbers Racket

BY: - February 18, 2019

President Donald Trump did an end-run around Congress last week, declaring a national emergency that will enable him to redirect roughly $8 billion from across the government to fund the construction of his much-ballyhooed wall at America’s southern border with Mexico. Key to Trump’s claim is that there is “an invasion of drugs, invasion of […]


GOP’s Down syndrome bill is a reminder that states are the battleground over abortion rights | Opinion

BY: - February 15, 2019

The invasive bill that Klunk and Turzai want to forcibly deliver into law is most likely unconstitutional, practically unenforceable, and undeniably hypocritical.


This week, a celebration of everything that’s great about being ‘Black in the ‘Burg’ | Anwar Curtis

BY: - February 15, 2019

(*This column has been updated to accurately identify the organization Young Professionals of Color. It was misidentified in an earlier version.) By Anwar Curtis February is Black History Month. I won’t bore you with the back and forth text expressing my thoughts on why black history is much more than a 28-day celebration. Yet I […]

State lawmakers introduce ‘red flag’ gun bills on anniversary of Parkland shooting

BY: - February 14, 2019

On the one-year anniversary of a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Pennsylvania lawmakers and activists renewed calls for a “red flag” law that would limit firearm access for troubled individuals. Two state senators introduced bills to create an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law, which would allow a judge to temporarily restrict a person’s […]

Honoring ‘The Great Migration,’ Pa. state agencies celebrate Black History Month

BY: - February 14, 2019

The event, in the Forum Auditorium, behind the state Capitol, focused on the legacy of "The Great Migration."

Pa. House Speaker Mike Turzai will reintroduce Down syndrome abortion ban bill

BY: - February 13, 2019

Pennsylvania’s state House Speaker has fired the first shots of 2019’s culture war, saying he plans to reintroduce a controversial bill that would ban abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome, even though critics say the legislation is practically unenforceable and most likely unconstitutional. Rep. Mike Turzai, an Allegheny County Republican, sponsored a similar […]

This is what hate and extremism looked like in Pennsylvania last year | The Numbers Racket

BY: - February 12, 2019

Welcome to The Numbers Racket, an occasional Capital-Star feature offering deep, but user-friendly, dives into some important data.

Could this be the year Pennsylvania lawmakers ban LGBTQ discrimination?

BY: - February 11, 2019

The legislation, nicknamed the Fairness Act, has never been brought up for a vote. This year could be different.


Pa. can’t be a role model on criminal justice reform if we undermine peoples’ rights | Opinion

BY: - February 9, 2019

By Andy Hoover Elected officials and corrections administrators in Pennsylvania have been doing a bit of a victory lap after the recent announcement that our state prison population dropped by 1,000 people in 2018. On the heels of the passage of the Clean Slate Act — a new law to automatically seal some people’s criminal records […]

Philly lawmaker wants Major League Baseball to honor Roberto Clemente

BY: - February 8, 2019

In 298 career games against the Philadelphia Phillies, Roberto Clemente — baseball’s first Latino star and a Pittsburgh Pirates great — slashed a .330 average against the cross-state rivals. That was his second best against any team. But even if Clemente tormented the Philly fanbase in life, Rep. Angel Cruz, a Democrat from the city, […]