ISSUE 146 | March 2, 2022
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
PA ranks 24th for legal protections of the LGBTQ community
Although individuals in the LGBTQ community receive federal protections from employment discrimination, they are not protected when it comes to housing and other issues.

The commonwealth also lacks LGTBQ-inclusive laws regarding housing, hate crimes, bullying, adoption, and conversion therapy.

The state’s human relations commission has extended protections, but without codified law, change is not mandated.

Two PA cities rank in nation’s top 50 for energy cost burdens
Philadelphia and Pittsburgh residents experienced increased energy burden costs from between 2013 and 2018.

Philadelphia residents paid 4.9 percent of their incomes on energy in 2018 – up from 4.3 percent in 2013.

Pittsburgh residents paid 4.7 percent – up from 4.5 percent in that period.  

Video games used for sharing messages of extremism
One month before a demonstration in Philadelphia, more than 300 researchers and scholars volunteered to participate in a new effort to curb the spread of extremism.

They comprise Collaborators against Hate, a center supported by the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

Three areas are under study – digital content moderation, extremism in the military, and extremism in youth. 

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
New series aligns rural health trends and opportunities
The Aspen Institute’s Thrive Rural Field Perspective publications illuminate catalysts for change identified from scans of primary practices in two important areas of rural life.

These focal points pertain to public health and health care and economic and community development.

The series ultimately highlights how fostering connections between health and development will facilitate rural prosperity.

Report reveals best practices for addressing health-related social needs
Collaborative research conducted in 2021 identified health-related social needs, highlighting barriers and challenges while proposing solutions to mitigate those issues.

The analysis of the study focused on improvements to the relationships between Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and community-based organization, for purposes of improved service delivery.

Health-related social needs are also termed social determinants of health. 

Foundation reviews tools for equitable mobility
The Barr Foundation is behind a study to advance equity in transportation.

The organization has evaluated existing tools and policies, and recommends complementary strategies to improve access.

The final report is directed to people employed at all levels of the public transportation sector, as well as community advocates and partners.

Research Spotlight!
The Institute's Planning, Land Use, Transportation & Infrastructure Task Force has explored the state of public transportation in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Use the link to learn more about the task force, and to access 15 years of research!
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