Winter 2017 – 50 Solution
Winter 2017

Table of Contents

50 Solutions

From the Editors

Get Ready for Our Favorite Solutions Across the U.S.

We’ve learned a lot in 20 years of solutions journalism. We know that we can fix what’s broken in our communities, regardless of who inhabits the White House.

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I Found the Spirit of Standing Rock in Communities Across the Nation

A four-month road trip showed me how many of us are already building a better America by working together.
Sarah van Gelder

6 Solutions That Support Native Sovereignty—From Tribal Schooling to Bison Herds

Florida’s Miccosukee is the first tribe allowed to run its own school, where students fully participate in family and cultural activities.
Araz Hachadourian & Christa Hillstrom
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6 States With Criminal Justice Reform Wins to Celebrate

In Oregon, incarcerated women stay connected with their children through special visitations and virtual parent-teacher conferences.
Araz Hachadourian & Christa Hillstrom & Jaime Alfaro

What It Takes to Get Women Out of Prison—and Stay Out

The rate of women in U.S. prisons is growing faster than men. But in New Orleans, one group is successfully tackling sentencing for drug use and sex work.
Zenobia Jeffries Warfield
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How Northwest Tribes Joined Forces to Beat Fossil Fuel Initiatives

Their victories have been inspiring to members of the Standing Rock Sioux in the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline.
Terri Hansen

In Conservative States, 2 Cities (and a Church) Helped LGBT Rights Gain Ground

From Idaho to Georgia, people found ways to offer sanctuary and legal protection.
Araz Hachadourian & Liza Bayless

From Goat Farms to Parenting Classes: Immigrants Find Support Across U.S.

Five states where communities are ensuring immigrant rights and wellness.
Araz Hachadourian & Kim Eckart & Liza Bayless

The Fix-It Shop Where Neighbors Repair Your Clothes and Electronics

Three years ago, they started a program to keep salvageable goods from landfills by harnessing the community’s collective skills to fix them.
Araz Hachadourian

From Grocery Stores to Labor Unions, Cooperatives Were the Answer

Worker-ownership economics catch on in Ohio, Nevada, and North Carolina.
Araz Hachadourian & Liz Pleasant
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Worried About Rent Hikes, 301 Families Came Together to Buy Their Mobile Home Park

And five other creative ways Americans are stepping up to build strong local economies.
Araz Hachadourian & Christa Hillstrom & Olivia Anderson

Nashville Teens Mapped Their Daily Routes—And Got a New Bike Lane as a Result

In Nashville, Tennessee, and Chicago, city planners are responding to demands for better neighborhood mobility and bicycling infrastructure.
Araz Hachadourian
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This Small Town Refused to Settle for Wal-Mart When Its Last Local Grocery Store Closed

After 10 years without an independent grocery store, the residents of Iola, Kansas, found a way to bring one back.
Melissa Hellmann

Wisconsin Tribe Halts $1.5 Billion Open-Pit Mine

To protect vital wetlands, the Ojibwe tribe and local scientists and activists pressured industry to abandon plans for what would have harmed thousands of species of plants and animals.
Jaime Alfaro

What It Looks Like When Communities Make Racial Justice a Priority

From conversations that heal to land trusts that fight gentrification.
Araz Hachadourian & Zenobia Jeffries Warfield

How Neighbors Turned Unused Buildings into a Thriving Community Hub

As rents rise and independent businesses in Minneapolis lose their leases to large national chains, a first-of-its-kind co-op found a solution.
Christa Hillstrom
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Where Citizens Can Run for Office Without Big Money—and Win

Maine’s unique solution for clean elections involves $5 contributions and campaigns funded entirely by taxpayers. And it’s working.
James Trimarco

3 Creative Solutions to Protect Water, Wildlife, and a Warming City

In the heat zone of Louisville, Kentucky, 170 residents have been trained as “citizen foresters.”
Araz Hachadourian & Olivia Anderson & Paulina Phelps

Solutions We Love

Explore Section

Meet the 82-Year-Old Grandma Lobbying for Abortion Rights

And two other grandmas we love expanding health care in their communities.
Kate Stringer & Liza Bayless

Culture Shift

Explore Section

My Five-Day Visit to an Abbey Let Me Embrace Stillness and Silence

I fear losing the stillness I gained. But I take comfort in knowing that the abbey is there, that the monks are singing the hours, and that there is silence in between.
Norman Allen

The Myth of Bipartisanship—It’s Time to Get Tough With the Right

Politics is not a parlor game where good manners always win out. It involves questions of power and privilege, which cannot be solved merely with bipartisan brunches.
Sean McElwee

A Healthier Democracy Starts Right Where You Live

The documentary “We the People 2.0” looks at why the rights of neighborhoods and cities are essential to building a better world.
Andy Lee Roth

How I Stopped Mindlessly Buying Things

Stores want me to buy stuff I don’t need. The internet wants me to buy stuff I don’t need. But I finally figured it out.
Sarah Lazarovic
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Introducing Our Next Executive Director

After an exhaustive five-month search, we’ve found a new executive director for YES! Magazine.
Fran Korten