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Writer and editor. Previously at Medium, Pacific Standard, Wired

Thirty years after the congresswoman’s statehood bill failed, she’s seeing a light at the end of the tunnel

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton at a hearing on the District of Columbia statehood bill. Photo: Carlos Barria/Pool/Getty Images

On Monday, the House Oversight Committee held a hearing to discuss H.R. 51, the bill to give the District of Columbia statehood. Under the legislation, the federal city would change its name to Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, keeping the same D.C. initials but now honoring famed resident and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, instead of invoking a personification of America whose name derives from Christopher Columbus’s. The town known as everything from “Chocolate City” to “this town” would finally get two U.S. senators and one representative in the House.

The bill, like so many touching on life in Washington, is the work of…


In the vast content wilderness that is Medium, nobody pulls off an arbitrary ranking quite like the fine folks at LEVEL. From the Rocky movies to nacho toppings to the most annoying LinkedIn offenders—if you can think of it, they can rank it.

Given that we’re all stuck inside (at least a little longer), staff writer Tirhakah Love has the perfect, Godzilla-sized list you never knew you needed: the official NBA hair power rankings.

The NBA is, in my mind, the best drama on TV right now. So why not add a new wrinkle to our team-by-team comparisons? As an…


What I saw made me question everything, including myself

Illustration: Grace Duong for GEN

The other night, I walked by a crowded bar. Inside, I saw dozens of people clustered together without masks, laughing and drinking. In an adjoining room, a DJ played ’80s classics to a throng of writhing and jerking bodies.

Six weeks ago, before I took up temporary residence in the South, I would have looked with horror at such a bacchanalian scene, seeing it as a selfish and self-destructive display of disregard for Covid safety protocols. Over half a million dead and nearly 30 million cases in the U.S. A cratered economy, thousands of livelihoods lost. …


We need to acknowledge the Covid-relief bill for what it is: a $1.9 trillion achievement, the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades. As James Surowiecki explains on GEN, the bill’s hefty price tag is perfectly suited to our current moment — one where the unemployment rate is down to 6.2% and the economy appears poised ready for a post-pandemic rebound. The bill also features a number of targeted provisions — child tax credits, rental and homeowner assistance, and full coverage of COBRA for recently uninsured workers through September, to name just a few—that represent huge progressive swings.

“If…


That’s how Alana Casanova-Burgess describes the new podcast La Brega, a limited-run series for WNYC. In a conversation with GEN’s Andrea González-Ramírez, Casanova-Burgess discusses the frustrations of having to constantly explain Puerto Rican issues for a non-boricua audience, and says her show is specifically geared toward Puerto Rican listeners.

“Even if you’re Puerto Rican, you’re going to learn something here!” Casanova-Burgess says. “Or maybe the way I should put that is, especially if you’re Puerto Rican, you’re going to learn something here.”


Kolby LaMarche was a star in the making, but he could no longer support a party pushing the politics of division

Photo courtesy of Kolby LaMarche

Kolby LaMarche is in his first year at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, where he’s studying communications and law. He enjoys food, hiking, and playing with his cat — and until last week, he was the chair of the Burlington Republican Party.

LaMarche was elected to his role in January 2019, when he was 17, which (he’s pretty sure) makes him the youngest chair in state party history. But LaMarche grew concerned with the growing extremism within his party’s ranks, and posted on social media and wrote several op-eds for the local website VTDigger demanding party leaders distance themselves from…


Capitol Terrorists Exposers has been quietly supplying information to a number of major news outlets

Men belonging to the Oath Keepers at the Capitol on January 6. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Over the past few days, a number of outlets, including the New York Times and the New Yorker, have published bombshell investigations identifying rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6 as members of far-right factions, military veterans, and in some cases, former security detail for Trump ally Roger Stone. In those pieces, reporters cited the research done by Capitol Terrorists Exposers, an online group that monitors the far-right, as being instrumental in the identification process. …


Kurt Andersen, author and co-founder of Spy magazine, displayed an eerie knack for political prophecy over the course of his career. His 1999 novel Turn of the Century imagined a future where Trump is running for office, and his 2017 non-fiction book Fantasyland foresaw a further rise in conspiracy theories — and was published months before QAnon first surfaced.

The secret to his forecasting savvy? Looking not at what’s ahead, but rather at what’s in front of his eyes. …


Organized labor remains divided over the transition to clean energy, though there’s reason to be optimistic

President Joe Biden signed an executive order pausing new oil and natural gas leases on public lands on Wednesday. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

In his first seven days in office, President Joe Biden has made clear that climate change is central to his administration’s agenda. Already, he has rejoined the Paris climate agreement, reinstated Obama-era fuel economy standards, restored national monuments like Bears Ears and Grand Staircase–Escalante, canceled the Keystone XL pipeline permit, and, on Wednesday, issued a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands.

Yet all of these actions, significant as they may be, were delivered via executive order, meaning it would take just a few pen strokes from the next president to reverse them. None of them will…


Trump Corruption Index

Some acts were criminal, others impeachable. But it’s important to remember the little things.

Last June, my editors tasked me with an interesting, if arduous, assignment — compile a weekly record of the graft and double-dealing of the Trump administration. The dishonesty had started on day one, so we were admittedly late to the game. (But GEN began in 2019, so cut us some slack!) By summer 2020, the corruption was everywhere; it was a part of everything and everyone. The idea was to create a weekly bulleted index aggregating all the stories and developments. We called it the “Trump Corruption Index.” And we never lacked for material.

Since then, the president has been…

Max Ufberg

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