Kalena Thomhave, American Prospect

Kalena Thomhave

American Prospect

Ann Arbor, MI, United States

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Recent articles by Kalena:

How to Make Philanthropy Actually Address the Crisis

A major new proposal could generate $200 billion in donations to nonprofits—and make wealthy ‘do-gooders’ actually do more good. → Read More

The Journey of the Jobless

Congress boosted unemployment benefits. Now the challenge lies in getting them out to the unemployed, through underfunded state-level programs. → Read More

Sanders’s Must-Win Effort in Michigan

In a state where he’s done well, Bernie Sanders pulls out all the stops to slow the Biden juggernaut. → Read More

Poverty Doesn’t Sell, but We Wrote About It Anyway

For the past two years as a Prospect writing fellow, I’ve carved out a beat on poverty and inequality, writing about marginalized populations and overlooked issues. Stories on inequality are depressing. They don’t sell ads. But in an era where the chasm between rich and poor is only widening, and wages have stagnated for decades, this is the stuff we need to talk → Read More

Trump Two-fer: One New Policy Will Attack Both Immigrants and the Safety Net

President Trump’s attacks on the safety net continue, and all the better for him if he can disenfranchise multiple marginalized populations in one fell swoop. This week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finalized its “public charge” rule, which targets both welfare recipients and immigrants. The rule will both limit immigration and discourage current → Read More

How California Left Undocumented Immigrants Out of Its EITC Expansion

It costs a lot to be poor: There’s the cost of transportation to get to a low-paying job, for instance, or the cost of health care when that low-paying job doesn’t provide benefits. The assistance from the social safety net might help a little, but for the most part those programs don’t meet the need.Yet it is even more exorbitant to be poor and undocumented. → Read More

The Trump Administration Plans to Kick Three Million Off Food Stamps

The Trump administration has shown that when it fails to pass priority agenda items legislatively, it will push forward through other means, while ignoring Congress.The regulatory process has already been used to introduce restrictions to the nation’s largest nutrition program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly called food stamps. In → Read More

Live Free or Die—Literally

New Hampshire delayed its Medicaid work requirement deadline, as it seemed that more than two-thirds of recipients’ health coverage would be jeopardized. → Read More

Without Congressional Input, Trump May Further Widen the Gap Between Rich and Poor

On the heels of the revelation that the Trump administration is considering changing how the poverty line is adjusted for inflation, which would reduce public benefits for millions, the administration may further use the inflation measure as an excuse to cut taxes for the rich. → Read More

How the Democratic Candidates Talk about Poverty

Medicare for All and income inequality are gaining traction among the party platform, but the candidates must frame all issues of poverty in terms of basic rights. → Read More

Banning Private Prisons—and Prisoner Exploitation

Last Friday, Senator Elizabeth Warren vowed as president to terminate all federal private prison contracts, and to pressure local and state governments to do the same. “The government has a basic responsibility to keep the people in its care safe—not to use their punishment as an opportunity for profit,” she wrote in a Medium post.Warren’s plan also promises to → Read More

Confronting Politicians with the Reality of Poverty

In the gym on the campus of Washington, D.C.’s Trinity Washington University, with bleachers pushed to the side to make room for more than 1,000 attendees, a banner hung from the balcony reading, “Fight poverty, not the poor.” Just outside, more banners and posters, declaring the immorality of poverty, papered the walls of the lobby. → Read More

Benefits on the Line

This article appears in the Summer 2019 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here. Detroit resident Walter Travier-EL just got out of prison after serving 48 years. He wants a job, but the state is having issues helping him secure a state ID and a new Social Security card—his old one is long lost. For now, Travier-EL survives on Supplemental → Read More

Check a Box for Free Health Care

The Trump administration has spent the last two and a half years doggedly attacking the Affordable Care Act (ACA). From limiting advertising and outreach, shortening enrollment periods, and killing the individual mandate at the federal level, to approving state plans to eliminate health coverage for many Medicaid recipients, the administration has undermined and → Read More

American Call Center Workers Rally for Their Filipino Counterparts

While American call center jobs are offshored to the labor-hostile Philippines, some American call center workers are publicly supporting Filipino workers’ right to organize. → Read More

Democrats Battle Over How to Raise the Minimum Wage

The call for a $15 minimum wage is getting louder, and more people are hearing it. The Fight for $15 has won numerous victories, as states (including California and New York) and localities have passed their own laws to institute a $15 minimum wage—or even higher. In January, Democratic Representative Bobby Scott of Virginia and independent Senator Bernie Sanders → Read More

How to Help the Multiple Victims of a Wrongful Conviction

Restorative justice may open a path to healing for the exonerated, the state, and even the victim of the original crime. → Read More

Another GOP Brainstorm Struck Down in Court

A federal judge rejects Medicaid work requirement programs in Arkansas and Kentucky because kicking people off their health insurance won’t somehow improve their health. → Read More

Could California End Childhood Poverty?

This article appears in the Spring 2019 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here. If there’s one state we can call the progressive homeland, it’s most likely California. The state is overwhelmingly Democratic and disproportionately liberal. Democrats hold more than three-quarters of the seats in the legislature, while Governor Gavin Newsom has → Read More

New Legislation Would Rein In Corporate Offshoring

As the president continues to extrapolate on all the jobs he says he’s saved from corporate offshoring, the GOP’s actual record on trade has prompted Democrats to target offshoring in a new bill. Last week, Democratic Representative Lloyd Doggett of Texas and Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island introduced the No Tax Breaks for Outsourcing Act → Read More