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Top Reads, Week of 11/5

Check out our top three reads of the week. They cover the challenges and opportunities facing American communities right now. This week, we’re delving into a report on jobs that fall short of the middle-class salary threshold, Opportunity Zones, and the impact a felony charge has on one’s ability to participate in democracy.

Have something to add to our list? Let us know on Twitter at @LISC_HQ

Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life after accounting for cost of living
By Paul Davidson, USA TODAY

“The rankings highlight some vivid contrasts. A factory machinist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, earns an average $45,470 a year, more than enough to meet the $40,046 threshold for a middle-class job in that area. A similar machinist makes more – $57,220 on average – in San Francisco, but that’s far short of the $82,142 minimum for a middle-class job in that area, according to the report. It costs an average $32,440 a year to rent a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco, compared with $7,368 in Cedar Rapids.” Continued [+]...

Much-Awaited Guidelines Opening the Opportunity Zone Floodgates
By Oscar Perry Abello, Next City

“If you are still getting informed on Opportunity Zones, you’re far from alone. The program has only been around since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act at the end of 2017. The program offers tax breaks on capital gains income for investing in designated Opportunity Zones across the country.” Continued [+]...

Why So Many Kentuckians Are Barred From Voting on Tuesday, and for Life 
By Michael Wines, The New York Times

“Kentucky is an outlier. Nearly one in 10 of the state’s adults, and one in four African-Americans, has a felony record that bans them from voting for life, according to The Sentencing Project, a criminal justice advocacy group. It is the nation’s highest rate of black disenfranchisement, the group says, and among African-American males like Mr. Harbin, the rate is considered even higher: an estimated one in three.”  Continued [+]...

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The views and opinions expressed in the articles above are those of the authors and publications we are listing, and do not necessarily reflect LISC’s perspective.