Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“… the Court’s opinion can hardly be described as an exemplar of restrained and moderate decision making. Quite the opposite. Hubris is a fit word for today’s demolition of the VRA [Voting Rights Act]…
The sad irony of today’s decision lies in its utter failure to grasp why the VRA has proven effective. The Court appears to believe that the VRA’s success in eliminating the specific devices extant in 1965 means that preclearance [the requirement that certain states receive federal authorization before making changes to voting rules] is no longer needed…. With that belief, and the argument derived from it, history repeats itself…. In truth, the evolution of voting discrimination into more subtle second-generation barriers is powerful evidence that a remedy as effective as preclearance remains vital to protect minority voting rights and prevent backsliding.
Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes, is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”
– Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. 529 (2013)
Justice Ginsburg, with whom Justice Breyer, Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan join, dissenting.
We at Reinvestment Fund mourn the death of the indomitable Justice of the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who made it her life’s work to dismantle and eradicate the practice of systematic discrimination against women, Black and brown people, and LGBTQ people. Never serving on a majority liberal bench, she is best known for her fierce dissenting opinions, as well as her persistence, tireless work, principles of equality and dedication to the Constitution. Her passing threatens many hard-won civil liberties, for which we all must persevere to fully secure. The ‘Notorious RBG’ stood her ground. Like her, we must not weaken in our resolve to achieve racial, gender and economic justice for all Americans.
We work to advance equity and create opportunity so that the joy, creativity, skills, and solidarity within communities can be brought to bear on the challenges they face. We use our tools and resources to advance equity and reduce racial disparities that stem from discrimination and systemic racism – practices and systems that Justice Ginsburg fought hard to eliminate. And we strive to emulate her unrivaled ability to prevail despite adversity.
Justice Ginsburg embraced the power of dissent to bring about change, saying “Dissent speaks to a future age.” Dissent offers more than another perspective; it shows what is possible. It leaves a mark in history.
At Reinvestment Fund, we see dissent as necessary to create equitable, empowered communities. We “dissent” when we provide resources to sustain early child education facilities run by women in communities that lack adequate supply, when we provide financing to help formerly incarcerated people find good jobs, when we report publicly on the effects of eviction practices on families, when we partner with schools and HBCUs to support the education of a new generation of leaders, when we educate lawmakers about the importance of healthy food access for everyone, and when we provide funds to budding Black and brown entrepreneurs whose small businesses are in jeopardy of collapse due to the consequences of the COVID pandemic.
And we will continue to assert our power to seek and deliver change, with respect and aspiration for the acumen of those who came before and forged a path.
Her death on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and at the time of Shabbat bestow upon her the title tzaddik, “a person of great righteousness”. May her memory be a blessing.
Announcing the Philadelphia Food Justice Initiative (PFJI) 2020 Funding Round. Led by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention (CDIP), also known as Get Healthy Philly, and Reinvestment Fund, PFJI is seeking innovative proposals from community-led projects that grow food justice. Nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses, cooperatives or collectives working on food justice are eligible to apply and can seek up to $100,000 for their project. Applications are due on October 13.Learn More
The communities we serve are feeling the deep financial and social impacts of COVID-19. Reinvestment Fund is working with our borrowers and partners to help them access local, state, federal and philanthropic emergency resources as they become available. Our goal is to help alleviate some of the immediate financial pressures and ultimately to preserve local assets.Learn more
Reinvestment Fund has been awarded the prestigious 2020 Knowledge Challenge grant by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The award is one of 13 announced last week and will support work in partnership with the Neighborhood Development Center (NDC) of Saint Paul, Minnesota and researchers from the University of Pennsylvania.
“We are grateful to the Kauffman Foundation for this award and are honored to be in the company of our fellow awardees who represent some of the best entrepreneurship researchers in the nation,” said Don Hinkle-Brown, President and CEO of Reinvestment Fund. “Together with our partners NDC and the University of Pennsylvania, we look forward to better understanding the connections between thriving local entrepreneurship and social well-being.”Read More
Philadelphia Landlord-Tenant Court processes approximately 20,000 filings each year. Many of those cases are not contested by the tenant and the landlord is given legal authority to take possession of their unit back. However, nearly half of the remaining cases settle with a Judgment by Agreement (JBA) – a process designed to facilitate a resolution of the dispute between the landlord and tenant.
Reinvestment Fund’s research has identified a number of positive and negative attributes to the process and resulting agreements. In this Brief, Reinvestment Fund reviews the learnings from an analysis of JBAs as well as interviews with tenants and landlords (and their respective attorneys) and court observation.
When Philadelphia Landlord-Tenant court reopens after the COVID-19 closure, there will undoubtedly be a backlog of cases that landlords will have been waiting to file. In this moment, when stable housing is more than ever a critical part of public health strategy and landlords need stabilized incomes to provide that housing, it is the time to make significant decisions around court processes and resources to ensure that the eviction process operates in a way that is both fair and efficient.