The Clean Slate

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Download this ebook for ways that eliminating penalites and fees fosters economic justice.

The stories we have collected in this ebook, “The Clean Slate,” are about how technology — and smart people — can reduce or eliminate barriers to economic mobility. For example, Code For America developed an algorithm that systematically identifies and scrubs the records of those convicted of crimes that are no longer crimes in today’s world. Durham County, North Carolina, combed through thousands of court records to waive $2.7 million in traffic debt from violations that date back to the 1980s, putting an estimated 11,000 drivers back on the road. 

In other words, these stories are about groups or individuals who confronted mundane, bureaucratic problems that caused outsized harm and yet were absolutely solvable. We hope reading about simple fixes like these inspire you to implement something similar in your own city. 

This series was generously funded by the Solutions Journalism Network. Thanks to our authors Roshan Abraham, Cinnamon Janzer, Sandra Larson, Taylor Moore, Sian Mughan, Emily Nonko and Gregory Scruggs for the stories they contributed to this volume. 

As we often say, Next City is a nonprofit newsroom, and we could not do what we do without you, our members and readers. Your contributions and support make this and other ebooks possible. Thank you for your support.

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