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Information is power. Our mission at Portside is to seek out and to provide information that empowers you -- that empowers the left. Every day we search hundreds of sources to connect you with the most interesting, striking and useful material. Just once a year we appeal to you to contribute to make it possible to continue this work. Please help.

 

The Untapped Power of Rural Voters

LaTosha Brown New York Times
Rural voters hold enormous potential for progressives. When Donald Trump came in 2016, many rural voters were desperate. He promised to bring back factory jobs. He promised to bring back coal-mining jobs. Sure, these were lies. But they were lies.

‘If You Don’t Want Us, Tell Us To Go Back’: The Making of a California Prison Town

Sarah Tory, High Country News High Country News
Adelanto, a town of 32,000, is home to three prisons. This was not a coincidence. With a history of agriculture, excessive water use, the Great Depression, cheap vacant land filled with a military base which closed in the 1990s, Adelanto turned to prisons. During the 1980s, under increasingly stringent drug laws and harsh sentencing policies, demand for new prisons had grown. So had the belief that prisons could nourish economic development in rural communities.

books

Inside the Sacrifice Zone

Nathaniel Rich The New York Review of Books
We know the rancid politics of the Tea Party, but what is behind the thinking of white, rural and hard-scrabble far-right supporters whose economic self-interests are at odds with their hard-right political and social beliefs. Berkeley sociologist Hochschild spent five years doing field research in western Louisiana, describing what people say, how they live, reconciling their contradictions and what lessons can be learned by knowing these people in a deeper way.

How the Geography of U.S. Poverty Has Shifted Since 1960

Jens Manuel Krogstad Pew Research Center
Over the past 50 years, the poor have increasingly lived in the 20 most populous counties. In 2010, about one-in-five poor Americans (21%) lived in these high-density counties.
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