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Sidney A. Shapiro | August 12, 2020

Administrative Procedures and Racism

Regulatory agencies do not appear to be permeated by overt racism, but structural or institutional racism exists if bias is built into existing institutions. We tend to think of administrative procedures as being neutral between competing points of view, but as the environmental justice movement (EJ) keeps reminding us, this is not necessarily so. It is no secret, for example, that the rulemaking process is dominated by corporate interests, and the same is true of the lobbying that occurs at agencies. Environmental and other public interest groups are hard pressed to match this advocacy. Less noticed is that the fact that there is little or no participation by marginalized communities in rulemaking, although as the pandemic has taught us, our most disadvantaged citizens are the ones that bear the brunt of inadequate government protections. Efforts to reach out and speak to such communities are simply not a regular part of rulemaking practice. True, there is no legal barrier to such participation, but there are considerable structural and economic barriers, which we simply overlook. The administrative process can be more inclusive, and it is time, past time really, to have a discussion how to make it so.

Alice Kaswan, Amy Sinden, Brian Gumm, Catherine Jones, Darya Minovi, David Flores, James Goodwin, Joel A. Mintz, Katie Tracy, Katlyn Schmitt, Matt Shudtz, Matthew Freeman, Robert L. Glicksman, Robert Verchick, Sidney A. Shapiro, Thomas McGarity | June 1, 2020

CPR Will Stand with Those Who Cannot Breathe

Staff and Board members of the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) denounce the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on Memorial Day. We stand with the peaceful protestors calling for radical, systemic reforms to root out racism from our society and all levels of our governing institutions and the policies they administer. CPR Member Scholars and staff are dedicated to listening to and working alongside Black communities and non-Black people of color to call out racism and injustice and demand immediate and long-lasting change. Racism and bigotry cannot continue in the United States if our nation is to live up to its creed of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.

Liz Fisher, Sidney A. Shapiro | March 25, 2020

Three Steps for an Expert Response to COVID-19

Whatever one's political views, the end goal regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) is the same – to minimize the number of people dying and suffering from severe disease. As commentators have repeatedly noted, we need genuine expertise for that. Beyond involving scientists and physicians in decision-making, there are three steps in determining what that expertise should look like and how we tap into it most effectively.

Martha McCluskey, Sidney A. Shapiro | October 18, 2018

The Hill Op-Ed: As Hurricanes Expose Inequalities, Civil Courts May Be ‘Great Equalizer’

This op-ed originally ran in The Hill.  While hurricanes like Florence are technically “natural” disasters, the Carolinas are experiencing the ways that the distinctly human-made problems of social and economic inequality reinforce and aggravate storm damage. Exhibit A is the catastrophic breaches and spills from the enormous manure “lagoons” located on North Carolina’s many factory-scale hog […]

Robert Verchick, Sidney A. Shapiro | October 2, 2018

Environmental Justice Is Worth Fighting For

Originally published in The Regulatory Review as part of a series on social justice and the green economy. Reprinted with permission. The reactions to our article, Inequality, Social Resilience, and the Green Economy, have a clear message: We, environmentalists, have our work cut out for us. We wrote our article to start an overdue conversation about environmental policy and […]

Robert Verchick, Sidney A. Shapiro | September 24, 2018

Regulating the Green Economy

Originally published in The Regulatory Review as part of a series on social justice and the green economy. Reprinted with permission. A green economy will generate thousands of new jobs — many more than will be lost to regulations on carbon pollution. But a green economy may also increase wealth inequality in some parts of the […]

Sidney A. Shapiro | September 5, 2018

From Surviving to Thriving: Equity in Disaster Planning and Recovery

This is the first in a series of posts from CPR's new From Surviving to Thriving: Equity in Disaster Planning and Recovery report and provides a preview of the preface and executive summary. From September 6-26, CPR will post a new chapter from the report each weekday on CPRBlog. The full report, including a downloadable PDF, will […]

Sidney A. Shapiro | April 5, 2017

News and Observer Op-ed: Bill Would Weaken Neighbors’ Ability to Be Compensated in Hog Farm Lawsuits

This op-ed originally ran in the Raleigh News & Observer. The civil justice system in North Carolina exists to protect people and their property from unreasonable actions by others. One of the longest standing causes of action in civil courts is for nuisance claims, which allow you to bring suit when your neighbor creates a […]

Sidney A. Shapiro | July 7, 2016

Old and New Capture

Originally published on RegBlog by CPR Member Scholar Sidney Shapiro. Although it is well known that regulatory capture can subvert the public interest, it is becoming increasingly clear that there are two forms of capture that can affect the performance of regulatory agencies. The “old capture”—which is what most of us think of when we think of […]