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US Renew Democracy News is an independent news organization, that delivers fearless, investigative journalism – giving a voice to the powerless and holding power to account. Our journey began in 2016 on our belief that America is at a crossroads and that our country urgently needs to RENEW its democracy.

  • We are optimists. “We believe real change is possible. But only if enough well-informed, well-intentioned — and just plain fed up and fired-up — people demand it.”
  • We work to spark action by revealing systemic injustice and providing a platform for progressive and transformative ideas, through in-depth investigative reporting and critical analysis.
  • We seek to always provide access to reliable information, nonpartisan journalism, and real-time tools to inform and engage our readers.

James Madison, the Father of our Constitution, once said, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

Keeping Democracy Alive

Our Mission

The mission of US Renew Democracy News is to report on the policies, programs, and people that are needed to rebuild America and renew its spirit.

We aim to help our readers make informed choices about the public policy issues that affect their lives and support all efforts currently underway to improve and strengthen our practice of democratic governance.

We hope to see political leadership, public policies, and programs developed to deal with the crises that our nation faces in areas such as healthcare, education, the use of technology, income inequality,  racial justice, environmental degradation, and climate change.

We believe that together we can attain a renewed democracy.

How Your Support Matters

Thinkers such as Amartya Sen argue that democratic values are essential to successful development, pointing out that no substantial famine has ever occurred in an independent and democratic country with a relatively free press. He cites the example of India, where the last famine in 1943 took place under British colonial rule.

Your support helps us be a leading light for and a champion of America’s free press. It enables us to continue to do the vital work of publishing quality, inciteful, and engaging independent journalism. We cannot do this without support from you – our readers and subscribers. Whether you can give $5 or $10 a month or $10,000 a year, your gift provides the sustainable funding that US Renew News needs to continue amplifying the voices of democracy across the nation.

Support & Contribute

Meeting Our Contributing Writers

The staff who work for and volunteer many long hours for US Renew Democracy News are from the people and for the people. They are lawyers, teachers, young researchers, and activists who believe that free and independent media is one of the pillars of our democracy.

The journalists who write for US Renew Democracy News are from the people. They are lawyers, teachers, young researchers, and activists who believe that free and independent media is one of the pillars of our democracy.



Ron Israel

Managing Editor

Ron Israel is a leader in the field of human capacity development and education, both in the formal and non formal sectors. He formerly headed Education Development Center’s (EDC) International Development Division. He has worked with groups of scholars and teachers from countries around the world, facilitating projects within a broad array of cultural settings. He has more than 20 years of consulting and project management experience in the fields of education, health, the environment, democracy and civil society programs, and has consulted for clients including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Development Program, UNESCO, UNICEF, World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Bank.

Caroline Howard

Policy Analyst

Caroline has a political science degree from Thomas College. Currently living in her home state of Maine, she is a passionate activist for social and economic change, and a writer / politics streamer on She has worked and volunteered on many campaigns, including being a strategist for the state house campaign of Jane Beckwith in 2022, and being an organizer in 2020, working to help people share their stories of economic hardship, and get people the mail-in-ballots they needed to have their voice heard. When not reading/volunteering, Caroline spends her free time perfecting her Jeopardy quiz skills, cooking, listening to new punk music, or spending quality time with her cat and partner.

Abigail Hunt

Policy Analyst

A transplanted Midwesterner in Texas, Abigail has a bachelors in mass communications and history and a masters in history, writing her thesis on an evaluation of combat herbicides as a weapon of support for troops in Vietnam. Her background is in legal investigation and investigative journalism, including composing complex bio-psycho-social histories of capital defendants as a public defense mitigation specialist. Abigail lives a second-chance life with her husband and their kids and pets, so she’s an advocate for the poor and criminal. When not busy with family life, Abigail volunteers for the Red Cross. Since 2003, she has worked as a journalist, reporter, photographer, and author covering politics, social issues, entertainment, local news, and more.

Arvind Salem

Policy Analyst

Arvind Salem is a high school sophomore in Novi, Michigan. His academic interests include history, economics, and political science.  Arvind is active in many political organizations, including the Institute for Youth in Policy and New Way Forward Strategies, with a focus on breaking down complicated political issues, culminating in the publication of his book Intro To Politics: A Student’s Guide. Arvind has a variety of writing experiences with many organizations including Law Insider, Biasly, and the Harvard Crimson. In his free time, he enjoys practicing Indian Classical music, playing veena, and reading Sanskrit.



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Erika Shannon

Social Justice Analyst

Erika Shannon has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Northeastern Illinois University. Erika was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois where she currently resides. She worked as a writing tutor at her university and was also actively involved in the Organizing for America grassroots campaign for Barack Obama in 2012. Erika also has past involvement with service organizations, such as Epsilon Sigma Alpha Foundation. Her future goals are to obtain a master’s degree in public policy and disaster policy. When not reading or writing, Erika enjoys spending time with her daughter, exploring nature with her dog, or cooking.


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Geoffrey Small

Health & Gender Policy Analyst

Geoff Small is a recent graduate of UMass Boston’s Master of Public Policy and Administration Program. Currently living in Massachusetts, Geoff also works for a Medicaid funded organization called Adult Foster Care of the North Shore, where he serves individuals in his community with disabilities living in a caregiver’s home. Aside from spending over a decade in the health care and social services field, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children in the City of Gloucester.

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Ian Milden

Information to Come.

Information to Come.

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Ibrahim Castro

Foreign Policy Analyst

Ibrahim Castro is a foreign policy analyst and Latin America researcher with a Bachelors degree in International Relations, a minor in Political Science, and certificates of study in Latin American and South Asian studies from Florida International University. He is anticipating pursuing a Masters Degree in International Development in fall 2021 at the University of London. His research areas of focus include U.S. foreign policy, Latin America, neoliberalism, and nationalism.

Inijah Quadri

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Inijah Quadri


Inijah Quadri is a talented writer with a passion for storytelling. He studied English Literature at the University of Denver and has since honed his writing skills, publishing his work in various literary journals and magazines. Inijah’s writing style is unique, with a keen attention to detail and a gift for crafting vivid and compelling stories. Whether he is writing fiction or non-fiction, Inijah has the ability to transport readers to new worlds and leave them with a lasting impression. In addition to his writing, Inijah is an avid reader and traveler, always seeking new inspiration for his work. His love for language and storytelling shines through in everything he does, and he is excited to share his talents with the world.

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Jacob Morton

Environmnetal News Analyst

Jacob Morton has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Since undergrad, he has been working in farm management for various small, diverse, organic farms in California and Hawaii. Jacob now lives in Maine where he is pursuing a graduate degree in Policy, Planning and Management at the University of Southern Maine. Jacob believes many of the solutions to a healthier planet and healthier people reside in our ability to plan and design with the understanding that everything is connected in some way. His current goals are to work with city planners to design cities and communities that contribute to carbon sequestration and the production of local food. Jacob loves to surf, cook, garden and spend time with his dog.

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Katherine Cart

Environmental News Analyst

Katherine Cart has worked in commercial fisheries for the last five years. In Alaska’s Prince William Sound, she was involved in the technical management of salmon hatcheries, before beginning fisheries data collection on Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska commercial fishing vessels. Now, in her home-state of Maine, she works as a lobsterwoman out of Bailey Island. In her land time, she writes about the intersection of industry and marine water.

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Maureen-Darby Swanson

Information to Come.

Information to Come.

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Mindy Spatt

Technology Policy Analyst

Mindy Spatt is a published essayist and freelance writer whose work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines including the San Francisco Chronicle and Lambda Book Report.  She has also worked as an indexer and legal editor at California Continuing Education of the Bar, and as Communications Chief for a  statewide nonprofit advocating for fair energy and telecom policies.   She received her BA from the State University of New York and holds a law degree from Antioch School of Law/DC University.

Reilly Fitzgerald

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Reilly Fitzgerald

Foreign Policy Analyst

Reilly Fitzgerald is a licensed public school teacher in the state of Maine in World Languages and Social Studies. Reilly has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs from the University of Maine, and a Masters of Science in Education (MSEd) from the University of Southern Maine. He worked, prior to teaching, as a Physical Security Planner and Emergency Preparedness Consultant for a large consulting firm.  He has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States. He is an avid skier, and endurance sports enthusiast. Reilly lives in Maine, with his wife and family.

Rudolph Lurz

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Rudolph Lurz

Policy Analyst

Rudolph Lurz received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Florida. He holds a doctorate in Administrative and Policy Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. He has taught and coached for 13 years in Florida, Virginia, Illinois, and Wisconsin. In his spare time, he enjoys golfing and exploring breweries. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife, daughters, and cat.

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Rodney A. Maggay

Civil Rights News Analyst – Senior Writer

Rod Maggay is an attorney and a social activist. Rod is originally from Southern California and attended the University of Southern California (USC) for his B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in International Relations. He also attended Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California where he earned his J.D. and a Certificate in Intellectual Property Law. Rod formerly worked for the U.S. Department of Justice in the Civil Rights Division and the Securities & Exchange Commission (S.E.C.) in the Division of Enforcement. Rod is a former rugby player who enjoys international literature and watching college sports and is always looking for ways to stay active and on the move.

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Scout Burchill

Technology Analyst

Scout Burchill is a writer and educator based out of Istanbul, Turkey. Originally from the Boston area, he left for Santa Fe, New Mexico to study the Great Books curriculum at St John’s College. He is currently a Master’s student at Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey where he studies International Relations with a specialization in Turkey, Europe and the Middle East and a focus on populism and social media. He enjoys writing about tech issues from a global perspective and aims to illuminate shifting attitudes toward technology companies as well as the ways these companies shape our modern societies and lives.

Steve Piazza Education Policy Analyst/Technology Policy Analyst

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Steve Piazza

Education Policy Analyst / Technology Policy Analyst

Steve Piazza is a poet and freelance writer living in Georgia with his wife and cat. A retired K-12 educator with nearly 30 years in the profession, he has taught students in the subject areas of language and literature, government, and economics. He has also spent a number of years facilitating teachers’ professional learning in the use of instructional technology and media. When he is not writing, he spends his time with his family and volunteering.

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Todd J. Broadman

Environmental News Analyst

Todd writes from his perch in northern Idaho where he has resided since the year 2000. After graduating from the Thunderbird School of International Management in 1985, he masqueraded as a corporate executive in the data communications industry and oversaw projects in China, Hong Kong, India, and England. His “soul work” was spent with Hospice and Special Olympics. The deepest connections in his life are the natural world and his two children. Since 2012, his passion to further understand how the globe’s gears turn has fueled his Op-Ed newspaper columns, and now, US Renew Policy Briefs.


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Timothy T. Loftus, Ph.D.

Environmental News Analyst

Tim Loftus is an environmental geographer having earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Forestry and a doctorate in Geography from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Tim served ten years with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning where he managed the Environment and Natural Resources staff and directed various water resource planning projects. Most recently, he served as Professor of Practice in Geography and the inaugural Meadows Endowed Chair in Water Conservation at Texas State University where he enjoyed teaching, doing research, and mentoring graduate students. Tim is currently a free-lance environmental writer living in Austin, Texas. He enjoys being immersed in nature while hiking, paddling, RVing, and exploring.

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Yelena Korshunov

Multinews Analyst

Yelena Korshunov is a Ukraine-born educator and journalist. She earned her academic degrees in education, linguistics, and journalism overseas and in the United States. She lived and worked in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Today Yelena is an assistant principal at the school for children with special needs in New York, US. She publishes developmental workbooks and creates curricula for early childhood education. Yelena is also a founder and president of LAMAD/Brilliant Kids NYC. She has a sincere passion for education, advocating for teachers and students, traveling, and promoting a healthy lifestyle for kids and adults.

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Zack Huffman

Legal News Analyst

Zack Huffman is a reporter who lives in the Boston, Massachusetts area. He writes for Dig Boston, and has previously reported for Courthouse News, the Boston Courant and the Boston Bulletin. His work has also appeared in Vice and Mental Floss.

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