My formative experiences were spending many weeks alone in the woods as a young child and, after dropping out of school at 13, hitchhiking alone around the eastern United States. The former imbued me with a permanent sense of wonder and an unshaken belief in magic. The latter showed me how freedom and fear may live side by side, revealed the generosity and depravity of my fellow humans, and animated my inborn desire to embrace the common good, to nurture justice and community in the world. These are the gifts that sustain me as a writer.
Factory farm v Historic Preservation
On September 16th, 2021the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals yanked Idaho's federal permit for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), finding violations of the federal Clean Water Act. While a positive step, the ruling comes years too late to prevent one such operation abutting the site of the Minidoka War Relocation Center in Idaho, a National Monument to the devastating consequences of US government-sanctioned racism. Read more.
Climate Change, Writ Large
In April of 2020, one month into the pandemic, we planted an American Chestnut in our Brooklyn backyard. I was still grieving the loss of the 100 year old Ash next door, that had shaded my yard and three others. Read more.
Factory Farm Horror Show
Rural Pennsylvania families tried to keep industrial pig farms out of their community as state elected officials overrode
their constituents’ desire to preserve their local air and water quality, to devastating effect. Read more.
Anti-trust Violations in Agriculture are Suddenly in the News, but They're Nothing New
Anti-trust violations in agriculture are suddenly in the news a dozen years after the US Department of Justice heard from grain, meat and dairy farmers about the devastating consequences to farm families and our food system. Read more.
Feeding America's Kids
The National School Lunch Program is 75 years old but it took COVID-19 to make the program free for all school children. Now there's a movement afoot to keep it that way. Read more.
Could Any of Our Families Immigrate to the US Today?
If you’re an American whose ancestors are not indigenous to North America and you believe you have a right to be here while today’s would-be immigrants don’t, I invite you to discover whether your immigrant ancestors would be allowed in under today’s immigration laws. It’s a bit clunky now but creating this tool was my very favorite project when I was communications director for a tiny nonprofit almost a decade ago. Unfortunately, some things haven’t changed – and when it comes to immigration, have actually gotten worse – so I continue to share Entry Denied whenever I can. Click the image above to take the test.