Questions in the Law & Government category.
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November 11

Fair Housing Act & Re-Zoning

Can the FHA be used to stop a re-zoning effort? As I read it, It has two main goals: "Ending housing discrimination", and "Promoting diverse, inclusive communities" Can these ends, or any others in the Act, leverage against efforts to rezone a poor neighborhood?
posted by ebesan at 7:07 PM - 2 answers

How do I handle noise disturbance from elderly tenants? (MA)

I'm managing a duplex in Massachusetts. I'm not affiliated with any sort of property management company, just doing this as a favor. The tenants one apartment are elderly and disabled. We installed railings for them, they're in contact with their grandkids, and they have aides and probably nurses who regularly come to their home. The problem is, one of them has started screaming and crying during the night. The other tenants had to move their bedroom, and they can still hear the sound clearly in the bathroom. I asked if the elderly tenants could address the disturbance issue, and it's improved a little, but it's still going on. The owners and I are working together on how to best resolve this. What do we do? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 7:10 AM - 35 answers

November 9

Why would we trust Trump's tax returns?

If Trump did release his taxes, or if they got leaked: do we have any reason to think there's incriminating information on them, other than that he's not already releasing them? Why wouldn't his tax forms be bullcrap? Surely his accountants have ways to make him look squeaky clean, especially if they're not hindered by the truth?
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:22 PM - 15 answers

November 8

Is a contract requiring free work illegal?

My union negotiated a contract that requires some employees - not all - to be required or potentially be required to work for free. The union says since it's the contract there's nothing to be done. I say it's a violation of Federal law, which trumps the contract. Who's right, or is there an additional factor I'm overlooking? [more inside]
posted by Lt. Bunny Wigglesworth at 3:40 PM - 18 answers

November 7

In what order do I change my name and gender on ID documents?

What's the best order to change my identity documents and gender marker? (Difficulty level: I live in Oregon where changing legal name/gender and state ID is super easy, but my birth certificate is from a state where I need to have gender affirmation surgery first. Details inside.) [more inside]
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 2:15 PM - 5 answers

What's the latest on how to best fight suppression of POC votes?

Since this 2016 post, what are some of the best ways to contribute to fight voter suppression in purple districts with significant populations of people of color? [more inside]
posted by matildaben at 1:06 PM - 2 answers

Best Practices for Cooking and Cocktails and Copyright?

I'm a graphic designer working on a cookbook/activity book with a client/friend that I've worked with several times before, and I'm trying to figure out how copyright law may affect this project and what the best style of attribution may be. [more inside]
posted by sometimes_a_pony at 10:31 AM - 10 answers

When was the last time the Texas congressional delegation was this Blue?

Democrats picked up several congressional seats in Texas, making the next congressional delegation from Texas noticeably bluer than the current one. When was the last time Texas sent this many Democrats to the House of Representatives? (Secondary question: is there an easy way to figure this out?)
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:35 AM - 6 answers

Beto and Ted

Is there an action somewhere to verify that Ted Cruz really won? [more inside]
posted by nantucket at 8:26 AM - 5 answers

November 6

What should I do about a polling problem?

I noticed a problem with my polling place today. Essentially google and Apple map the wrong location, and across the street from the incorrect location is a different polling place that says “vote here”. It’s confusing and I’m concerned that people will lose their chance to vote, especially towards the time the polls close. [more inside]
posted by [insert clever name here] at 12:44 PM - 9 answers

"Big board" midterm election display options?

Looking for an airport arrivals/departures-style display to follow tonight's election returns as they come in. [more inside]
posted by stewiethegreat at 9:30 AM - 3 answers

November 4

What's the best way to last minute donate to support the Blue Wave?

I'm looking to donate about $50 tonight or tomorrow in support of the Democrats this election. I know it's pretty last minute--what's the most effective way to lend financial support at this juncture? My priority is for the Democrats to take back the House of Representatives. Thanks!
posted by overglow at 8:12 PM - 1 answers

What is the value of political leaflets?

Do the people who send me political leaflets in the mail and hang them on my door actually think they will influence me? Have there been studies showing that they are effective? They go straight into my recycling bin without a glance. Thanks.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 8:33 AM - 24 answers

Burnt Sienna Santa is making a list and dissidents will be punished

How dangerous is it to criticize a political regime using your real name? [more inside]
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:32 AM - 15 answers

November 3

Fighting fascism and building a movement

I am terrified about where the Trump administration is leading us and I want to build, or join, a movement to support democracy in the USA, even if it's just a leafletting or letter-writing campaign I do with my friends. Even if the Democrats win in Congress I believe we're going to have to be hypervigilant about not letting the white supremacist authoritarians hold and keep power. And I have some ideas. [more inside]
posted by Beethoven's Sith at 6:34 PM - 8 answers

Setting aside a County Court Judgement, England

I had a judgment made against me for a debt, which I didn't know about until 2 weeks before the bailiffs turned up. I have applied to have the judgment set aside and will find out in the coming week whether that application has been successful. It's a small sum (big enough) and I will pay up if my application isn't allowed. In the meantime I'm looking for evidence to support my application. Basically in 2010 I was sold a phone that stopped working, I've been looking for reviews of the phone but can't find the right search terms to turn up anything at all about this 8 year old phone or the contract it was sold under. Can anyone help me with search terms, or with making the argument that I was sold an item that was not fit for purpose? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 12:33 AM - 6 answers

November 2

ERA: what is it for

I am trying to understand the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) and neither the internet nor my feminist sisters are particularly edifying. Can someone please explain, in simple terms, the practical implications of how women's rights will be advanced if the ERA is adopted at the state and Federal level? [more inside]
posted by rada at 3:53 PM - 8 answers

US citizen abroad: best way to support democracy before the midterms?

I live in the UK & I've sent in my absentee ballot & have donated to various organizations & campaigns, but what -- if anything -- else can I do in these last few days from abroad to try & mobilize the vote/support non-Republican candidates to win? Do any of the texting-voters sites work with international phone numbers, or... ?
posted by diffuse at 12:15 PM - 6 answers

November 1

"We are fucked in the following specific ways but probably no fuckeder"

I belong to a vulnerable far-left community where a lot of misinformation flies around about government policy. I'd like to do a better job of refuting that misinformation — and in particular, of saying "Here's why that policy change doesn't go as far as you fear it does." Among other things, I'm looking for media that will help teach me to do that on specific issues. My usual diet of NPR, the NYT, and occasional Snopes aren't really helping, for reasons discussed inside. [more inside]
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:44 AM - 20 answers

omg pls vote k thx bye

I'll have some time in the days leading up to the election on Tuesday, November 6th to do some last-minute text message "canvassing" for Democrats. Which campaigns have easy-to-use platforms for texting voters? [more inside]
posted by melissasaurus at 7:34 AM - 9 answers

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