Staff writer at The Atlantic. I write about people doing stuff. alana@theatlantic.com http://www.theatlantic.com/author/alana-semuels/

Contaminated Tap Water Could Become More Common Thanks to Failing Infrastructure

theatlantic.com — In Flint, Michigan, lead, copper, and bacteria are contaminating the drinking supply and making residents ill. If other cities fail to fix their old pipes, the problem could soon become a lot more common.
Jul 29, 2015

RT @gillianbwhite: Poisoned water could become widespread if cities don't find the money to fix pipes @alanasemuels from Flint, Mich. theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Jul 29, 2015

EPA says lead in water shouldn't top 15 parts per billion. In Flint, water in one home had lead content of 2,000 ppb. theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Jul 29, 2015

How Aging Infrastructure Is Poisoning the U.S. Drinking Supply fb.me/7jQHNtY1J

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Chicago's Regional Housing Initiative

theatlantic.com — Please consider disabling it for our site, or supporting our work in one of these ways Subscribe Now > This has a number of benefits. It guarantees that voucher-holders will be able to find units in good neighborhoods. It helps finance construction of mixed-income units in the suburbs, where the price of land often makes it tough to do affordable developments.
Jul 17, 2015

Chicago is asking the affluent counties that surround the city to do their part to make housing fairer - my piece. theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Jul 20, 2015

Why is Chicago suburb Glenview open to low-income-housing development that many, many towns would react NIMBY-ly to?theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Recession's over: Why aren't public services coming back?

latimes.com — KANSAS CITY, Kan. - At Noble Prentis Elementary School, a classroom is crammed with 31 students and all their backpacks and books. Last year, the fifth-grade class had just 17 students, but a teaching position was cut when the school ran short of money.
Jul 17, 2015

Teachers are fleeing Kansas, according to NPR. Last year, I looked at the astounding public service cuts there. latimes.com/la-na-state-bu…

New Horizons: How the Women Running the Pluto Mission Are Making History

theatlantic.com — Bagenal is not the only one who has noticed the "dramatic change" in number of women on the team. It's meaningful at a time when women who are scientists routinely face gender-based discrimination at work.
Jul 13, 2015

Pretty cool: The New Horizons team may include more women staffers than any other NASA project in history. theatlantic.com/technology/arc…

Jul 13, 2015

RT @AdrienneLaF: Pretty cool: The New Horizons team may include more women staffers than any other NASA project in history. theatlantic.com/technology/arc…

Jul 13, 2015

RT @AdrienneLaF: Pretty cool: The New Horizons team may include more women staffers than any other NASA project in history. theatlantic.com/technology/arc…

Jul 13, 2015

RT @AdrienneLaF: Pretty cool: The New Horizons team may include more women staffers than any other NASA project in history. theatlantic.com/technology/arc…

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What Happened to Lincoln Heights, One of America's First Black Suburbs

theatlantic.com — Lincoln Heights, Ohio, once had the potential to become a thriving community, but today it's in crisis. This is no accident. Please consider disabling it for our site, or supporting our work in one of these ways Subscribe Now > LINCOLN HEIGHTS, Ohio-African Americans started coming to Cincinnati more than a century ago, fleeing the violence and economic constraints of the South for jobs and homes.
Jul 13, 2015

Important @AlanaSemuels piece on how a white county government decimated any chance a black suburb had theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Jul 13, 2015

RT @beccarosen: Important @AlanaSemuels piece on how a white county government decimated any chance a black suburb had theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Jul 13, 2015

The deck was stacked against one of the nation's first black suburbs from the start - my piece from Cincinnati. theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Jul 13, 2015

RT @TheAtlantic: How the Cincinnati suburb of Lincoln Heights reflects the destructive effects of segregation theatln.tc/1TxuiF2 pic.twitter.com/mX3gWEpli1

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Can HUD's New Rule Fix Residential Segregation?

govexec.com — Ever since the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968, the federal government has been obligated to try and foster inclusive, diverse communities. In practice, that means moving poor, black families into richer, white neighborhoods and providing grants for improving areas of concentrated poverty.

Community Land Trusts and the Fight Against Gentrification

theatlantic.com — Gentrification is pushing long-term residents out of urban neighborhoods. Can collective land ownership keep prices down permanently? Please consider disabling it for our site, or supporting our work in one of these ways Subscribe Now > But, elsewhere, the idea was slow to catch on.
Jul 06, 2015

Can collective land ownership protect long-time residents from gentrification? My piece on TX community land trusts. theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Jul 06, 2015

RT @urbaninstitute: Gentrification is pushing long-term residents out of urban neighborhoods. One potential solution: urbn.is/1eypWOv (via @AlanaSemuels)

Jul 06, 2015

RT @TheAtlantic: How community land trusts are helping residents fight the effects of gentrification theatln.tc/1J0y4zl pic.twitter.com/BXK19VyIKa

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How cities monitor your recycling bins for violations

theatlantic.com — This has saved the city money, since it costs less to have less trash hauled. Malden's trash tonnage was cut in half between 2006 and 2013, when it implemented the program. Another Massachusetts city, Worcester, saw solid-waste tonnage drop 47 percent in the first year it implemented the program, to 22,810 tons from 43,288 tons.
Jun 26, 2015

A morning with the guy who look through people's trash to make sure they're recycling right: theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Jun 26, 2015

RT @AlanaSemuels: A morning with the guy who look through people's trash to make sure they're recycling right: theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Supreme Court Upholds Fair Housing

Jun 25, 2015

RT @TheAtlantic: In a 5-4 decision, SCOTUS rules discrimination doesn’t have to be intentional to be unlawful theatln.tc/1e6l038 pic.twitter.com/OEoLOy2KSI

Jun 25, 2015

In addition to King v. Burwell, the Court also handed down a major ruling on disparate-impact claims today: theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Section 8 Is Failing Poor Americans

theatlantic.com — Please consider disabling it for our site, or supporting our work in one of these ways Subscribe Now > When a woman in McKinney, Texas, told Tatiana Rhodes and her friends to "go back to your Section 8 homes" at a public pool earlier this month, she inadvertently spoke volumes about the failure of a program that was designed to help America's poor.
Jun 24, 2015

How Section 8, America's biggest housing subsidy, is failing the poor. My piece: theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Jun 24, 2015

This guy got a cockroach in his ear in a Section 8 property. The next one had rats everywhere. theatlantic.com/business/archi… pic.twitter.com/gZA4RycuAO

Jun 24, 2015

RT @AlanaSemuels: How Section 8, America's biggest housing subsidy, is failing the poor. My piece: theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Jun 24, 2015

America's Shame: How U.S. Housing Policy Is Failing the Country's Poor citylab.com/housing/2015/0…

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More Articles →
Jul 31, 2015

“What we’re doing is providing an alternative, equally good educational experience, for the rest of the population.” A new look at college.

Jul 31, 2015

Even Big Ten schools are trying a new type of learning that does away with classes and focuses on subject mastery. theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Jul 30, 2015

RT @SamirMeghelli: "White Flight Never Ended": The Continuing Saga of Segregation by @AlanaSemuels on @CityLab: bit.ly/1Iu53Ql

Jul 30, 2015

White flight is alive and well, and it's making segregation look different but still troubling, a new study suggests. theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Jul 30, 2015

Why the heck do we even have campus police? @GrahamDavidA looks at the question in the wake of #DuBose shooting. theatlantic.com/politics/archi…

Jul 29, 2015

Important to note in #DuBose shooting, officer was university police, not city. City has reformed its police dept. theatlantic.com/politics/archi…

Jul 29, 2015

EPA says lead in water shouldn't top 15 parts per billion. In Flint, water in one home had lead content of 2,000 ppb. theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Jul 29, 2015

RT @gillianbwhite: Poisoned water could become widespread if cities don't find the money to fix pipes @alanasemuels from Flint, Mich. theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Jul 28, 2015

"Dangerously high rent isn’t about just sticker price—it’s about price in relation to income." @gillianbwhite in NOLA theatlantic.com/business/archi…

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