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Just Transition Fund Leverages More Than $2.5M in Federal Grants

RFF and the Appalachian Funders Network created the Just Transition Fund (JTF) to help communities affected by power plant and coal mine closures to develop economic alternatives. In 10 weeks the Fund raised $500,000 from national funders and awarded capacity-building grants to local organizations to help them apply for federal POWER Initiative grants. In October 2015, the first round of POWER Initiative funding provided over $2.5 million to support the economic development proposals of 8 JTF organizations. A second round of funding is expected soon.

 

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Pres. Obama Expands Earned Sick Leave to Federal Contractor Employees

On Labor Day, President Obama signed an executive order requiring federal contractors to provide both full- and part-time employees with up to 7 days of earned sick leave.  Recognition of the need for family-friendly policies at the federal level reflects the growing momentum created by successful paid sick days campaigns in cities and states. From the first win in Connecticut in 2011, RFF and its partners have been leading this game-changing effort. Read the Department of Labor's report on the "Cost of Doing Nothing."

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IEEFA Advises Norway to Divest

RFF's former project and now grantee, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) convinced Norway's Parliament to divest its $890 billion pension fund from stock companies with 30% or more coal holdings. See the New York Times.

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Criminal Justice Reform

RFF grantee, the Marshall Project, is dedicated to raising awareness about systemic problems that plague America's prisons and courts. Read its commentary on how mainstream press has missed the point on fixing Riker's Island.

Updates

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Environmental/Labor Coalition Provide Hope:

A collaborative effort involving the Clean Air Coalition of Western NY (CACWNY) and organized labor to not only help retire the Huntley coal power plant, but also to address the economic needs of Tonawanda associated with the closure's financial impact, is the first of its kind in the country.  Based on an analysis researched by IEEFA, CACWNY has initiated a community planning process for Tonawanda to consider how it would transition to a post-coal future.

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Two RFF Grantees Win MacArthur Awards:

RFF's grantees have won two of the nine awards for Creative and Effective Institutions announced by the MacArthur Foundation for 2015. The Campus Network program of the Roosevelt Institute, with more than 120 chapters in 38 states, strives to train and engage the next generation of leaders to identify and participate in national policy debates, and advocate for just and sustainable solutions. And the...

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...Nat'l Inst on Money in State Politics:

...also chosen by the MacArthur Foundation, tracks campaign contributions across 50 states to reveal trends in political giving, show how contributions drive public policy debates, and document how special interests fund candidates across state lines.  

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AAAS REPORT DEBUNKS CLIMATE DENIERS:

The AAAS’s “What We Know” report, sponsored by RFF, continues to reverberate and is cited regularly as a touchstone of credibility about the scientific consensus on climate.  A recent article in Salon uses the report to eviscerate the Wall Street Journal for allowing discredited and industry-paid advocates to continue to spread misinformation about accepted science in an Op-Ed piece.