All posts by Lissa Harris

Time to act on health care

Time to act on health care

There’s a proposed law, the New York Health Act, that would create a single-payer health program in the state, and make healthcare free at the point of service for all New Yorkers. In the long-term, this would save us billions. The prospect of passing the taxes needed to pull it off, which would fall heavily on the state’s wealthiest households, seems radical, but not unimaginable.

Awkward moments in local racism

Awkward moments in local racism

I confess I feel like a real Pollyanna being surprised by this, but a SUNY New Paltz professor’s avuncular dogwhistling honestly shocked me more than anything else in the news this week.

Fighting the opioid crisis: It takes a village

Fighting the opioid crisis: It takes a village

I was surprised at how much a few minutes of training affected me. Walking out of the event into the cool evening air, with a few dozen of my neighbors who had all been newly empowered to save a life in a crisis, I felt an unexpected rush of optimism. It’s not much, having a plastic baggie of naloxone to keep in the glove compartment in case of emergency, but it made me feel like part of the solution, not just a helpless, hand-wringing spectator.

The value of outrage

The value of outrage

Truth be told, as this administration slides deeper and deeper into wanton cruelty, I long for incivility. I yearn for it. I am filled with intemperate rage.

Masterpiece Cakeshop theater

Masterpiece Cakeshop theater

Pride Month kicked off with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of a baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. Much is being made in the discussion around this ruling of how narrow it is. To my LGBTQ friends and family, it’s a frightening decision anyway. For those who fear that their basic humanity is conditional, and might be revoked at any moment, Masterpiece looks like a foot in the door. Today, it’s a cake. Tomorrow, it might be a lunch counter.

A voice in the night

A voice in the night

The voice of the small and frail is a mighty thing. And it is astonishing how ferocious even the tiniest combatants can be, when they decide not to surrender.

Building a human habitat

Building a human habitat

To get help from a Habitat for Humanity, a household needs to be making less than 60 percent of local median income; in Ulster County, that’s about $48,000 for a family of four. Habitat seeks to help families that are living in unsafe or overcrowded housing, or paying more than 30 percent of their income in rent. That’s a description that fits a shockingly large slice of the local population.

Bugs — a satire

Bugs — a satire

New York State’s political world was turned upside-down this week by the abrupt resignation of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has been credibly accused of being a meat suit filled with centipedes.