Both CREDO and Wired for Change help you tell the Department of Education to make stronger efforts to help students defrauded by colleges to get relief for their student loans. Sounds fairly commonsensical, right? If you get screwed, and it puts you in a financial hole, you should never feel guilty for getting help getting out of that hole. Yet the Department of Education's proposed rules don't go far enough in offering that help -- they don't give all defrauded students full relief, they limit how long they have to get relief, and let colleges use forced arbitration agreements to prevent students from suing them over fraud -- which will, of course, have the effect of denying them the relief they deserve under the law. Why are the Department of Education's proposals so weak? Because the for-profit college corporations fight tooth-and-nail every attempt to civilize them. Our parents and grandparents would laugh at the idea that for-profit colleges are now so powerful that they can actually keep students from getting the relief they deserve under the law. We can fix that, of course, by speaking out in large enough numbers that our government can't ignore us.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Census Bureau has decided that it will continue to count prison inmates as residents of particular prison locations, rather than residents of the communities where they'd be living if they weren't in prison. I know, that also sounds commonsensical, but bear with me: generally, prisoners don't live in a prison forever, and prison isn't a home in any meaningful sense of the word. Also, two U.S. district judges have ruled this year that counting prisoners as residents of their prisons violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, because it forces folks from one Congressional district into another, and thus unfairly dilutes those districts' (and thus their citizens') political power. It's worse, of course, in states where felons can't vote (which is, of course, something we're also working on changing). You may respond if you don't like it, don't do the crime, but I'd merely respond that crimes have specific sentences, and piling on punishments doesn't make anyone tougher. You can leave a public comment with the U.S. Census Bureau, telling them to count prisoners as residents of their homes, rather than as residents of prisons, here.