Category Archives: Rural Issues

Two New Reports: “California ‘s Attorney Deserts: Access to Justice Implications of the Rural Lawyer Shortage” & “Disasters in Rural California: The Impact on Access to Justice”

Two New California Access to Justice Reports:

News Coverage: The Shocking Lack of Lawyers in Rural America

News Coverage: Jessica Pishko, The Shocking Lack of Lawyers in Rural America, The Atlantic, July 18, 2019. While cities are trying to reform their criminal-justice systems, smaller, more far-flung locales are struggling to provide basic services.




New Book: Holes in the Safety Net: Federalism and Poverty

I’m excited to share that Holes in the Safety Net: Federalism and Poverty (Ezra Rosser ed., Cambridge University Press, 2019) has just been published and is now available. As can be seen in the list of chapters below, the book has a great group of contributors:

Introduction by Ezra Rosser

Part I: Welfare and Federalism

Federalism, Entitlement, and Punishment across the US Social Welfare State by Wendy Bach

Laboratories of Suffering: Toward Democratic Welfare Governance by Monica Bell, Andrea Taverna, Dhruv Aggarwal, and Isra Syed

The Difference in Being Poor in Red States Versus Blue States by Michele Gilman

Part II: States, Federalism, and Antipoverty Efforts

States’ Rights and State Wrongs: Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program Work Requirements in Rural America by Rebecca H. Williams and Lisa R. Pruitt

State and Local Tax Takeaways by Francine J. Lipman

Early Childhood Development and the Replication of Poverty by Clare Huntington

States Diverting Funds from the Poor by Daniel Hatcher

States’ Evolving Role in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program by David A. Super

Part III: Advocacy

Federalism in Health Care Reform by Nicole Huberfeld

Poverty Lawyering in the States by Andrew Hammond

Conclusion: A Way Forward by Peter Edelman

Though it will be a year before a cheaper paperback option is sold, the hardback version of the book mainly targeted at libraries is now available. Here is the publisher’s page on the book, and here is the Amazon page. Please check it out and consider forwarding a request to your school’s librarian to get a copy of the book. The chapters really are great!

That is the main message, but I think it is within my fair use rights to share the book’s Acknowledgments’ page below because the first part of it speaks to the poverty law community generally:

This book is a product of the poverty law scholarly community. I would not have considered working on it if I had not been confident that I would find a great group of scholars willing to participate in this project. This is my third collaborative poverty law book project and it truly is wonderful to be part of a community that is primarily motivated by concern for the poor. My confidence was justified and I would like to thank especially the great group of contributors who wrote chapters for this book.

This book grew out of a conference hosted by American University Washington College of Law (WCL). I would like to thank Dean Camille Nelson, as well as Jennifer Dabson, Shayan Davoudi, and Karina Wegman for their support not only of the biannual poverty law conference but also of the Economic Justice Program at WCL. Daniel Hatcher’s eye-opening book, The Poverty Industry: The Exploitation of America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens (2016), inspired both that conference and this edited volume. Hatcher’s book is well worth reading in its own right.

I would like to give a special shout-out to my phenomenal research assistant, Oliver Jury. Often it was Oliver who caught the stray period mark or came up with the best way to fix a troublesome sentence. His attention to detail and skills as a writer are truly impressive.

Finally, I owe a big thank you to all those who cared for my young children while I worked on this project. In the United States, I want to thank Glenda, Onestina, and the staff at Play, Work or Dash; in El Salvador, thanks to my mother-in-law and to Elba. And everywhere, at all points in time, and for everything, thanks to Elvia. This book is dedicated to our children, Mateo and Mario. May they realize both the value of hard work and tremendous privileges they enjoy, and may their lives be filled with happiness and meaning. Un fuerte abrazo.

Thanks again to the contributors and to the larger community. And I hope you get a chance to read the many great chapters in the book.

News Coverage: In rural Iowa, homelessness is often an invisible issue. Here’s how Iowans are working to solve it

News Coverage: Ian Richardson, In rural Iowa, homelessness is often an invisible issue. Here’s how Iowans are working to solve it, Des Moines Register, July 11, 2019.

-Thanks to Lisa Pruitt for the heads up!

News Coverage: ‘This Is All We Can Afford’: Shrinking Lives in the English Countryside

News Coverage: Ceylan Yeginsu, ‘This Is All We Can Afford’: Shrinking Lives in the English Countryside, N.Y. Times, May 13, 2019 [Includes good photos.]

New Blog Post: From Gentrification to Decline: How Neighborhoods Really Change

concentration of povertyNew Blog Post: Tanvi Misra, From Gentrification to Decline: How Neighborhoods Really Change,, Apr. 10, 2019.

New Article: Returns to Community Lending

New Article: Indraneel Chakraborty, et. al, Returns to Community Lending, available at SSRN:  Abstract below:

For forty years, at a large scale, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has encouraged U.S. banks to lend to lower income neighborhoods. We estimate costs and benefits of providing incentives to privately-owned banks to reduce poverty. Regarding costs, to comply with CRA, rather than lend more overall, banks perfectly substitute away from small business lending to other income groups. Regarding benefits, 0.5% of the population is lifted out of poverty per year through the CRA small-business lending channel. The incidence of the act is on smaller banks who lend more and face higher loan losses. Large banks show no effects.

News Coverage of Poverty: India’s poor don’t want money — they want health care

News Coverage of Poverty: Kelsey Piper, India’s poor don’t want money — they want health care,, Apr. 12, 2019.

New Blog Post: How ‘Heartland Visas’ Could Reduce Geographic Inequality

heartland visas.jpgNew Blog Post: Richard Florida, How ‘Heartland Visas’ Could Reduce Geographic Inequality,, Apr. 11, 2019.

New Blog Post: The Utter Inadequacy of America’s Efforts to Desegregate Schools

desegregationNew Blog Post: Alana Semuels, The Utter Inadequacy of America’s Efforts to Desegregate Schools,, Apr. 12, 2019.