The Justice Report

Virginia Poverty Law Center

The Justice Report explores what our low-income neighbors struggle through and endure in Virginia. Hosted by Salaam Bhatti and Jamshid Bakthiari of the Virginia Poverty Law Center, the show will highlight stories of struggling Virginians and examine the systems that prevent communities from escaping poverty.

All Episodes

What's going on in the Governor's Mansion? In this tenth episode of Season 3, Salaam and Jam talk to Pamela Northam, First Lady of the Commonwealth of Virginia, to learn about her background, the legacy of First Ladies, and her work as the Chair of Virginia's Children's Cabinet. More info on the VPLC: vplc.org Got a story or question? Email us at radioshow@vplc.org --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Nov 24

29 min 28 sec

Where did it all begin for our intrepid young podcasters? In this ninth episode of Season 3, Jam sits down with his father, Ali Bakhtiari, to talk about his immigration from Iran, the value of immigration and education, and the challenges of living as an Iranian immigrant during a period of heightened paranoia in America. More info on the VPLC: vplc.org Got a story or question? Email us at radioshow@vplc.org --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Nov 10

26 min 16 sec

Where did it all begin for our intrepid young podcasters? In this eighth episode of Season 3, Salaam sits down with his father, Naweed Bhatti, to talk about his family's immigration from Africa, immigrant life in America, and the challenge of raising a family while lower on the income scale. More info on the VPLC: vplc.org Got a story or question? Email us at radioshow@vplc.org --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Oct 27

29 min 40 sec

How is it that in the world's richest nation, millions still go hungry? And how can Virginia's policies fight against it? In this seventh episode of Season 3, Salaam and Jam sit down with Stephanie Hodges, M.S., Founder of The Nourished Principles, to talk about food apartheid, malnourished communities, the racist roots of hunger, and school meals. More info on the VPLC: vplc.org Got a story or question? Email us at radioshow@vplc.org --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Oct 14

30 min 58 sec

UBI, Guaranteed Income, Minimum Income--one solution to poverty that's been rising has a simple premise: give people money. In this sixth episode of Season 3, Salaam and Jam talk Guaranteed Income to Danielle Greene, Chief of Staff of the Richmond Resilience Initiative, and Reggie Gordon, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Human Services for the city of Richmond. More info on the VPLC: vplc.org Got a story or question? Email us at radioshow@vplc.org --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Sep 29

27 min 42 sec

Parenting is expensive--but the federal government might be able to lend a hand. In this fifth episode of Season 3, Salaam and Jam dive into the Child Tax Credit passed as part of the American Rescue Plan earlier this year. They talk with Chris Wodicka, Senior Policy Analyst at the Commonwealth Institute to learn more about the policy--and then take to the streets of Richmond for some Street Justice, learning how the Child Tax Credit has impacted everyday Virginians. More info on the VPLC: vplc.org Got a story or question? Email us at radioshow@vplc.org --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Sep 22

22 min 44 sec

With most of the world shut down over the last year, unemployment benefits became critical for millions unable to go to work. So if someone in need missed out, it was a serious problem. In this fourth episode of Season 3, Salaam and Jam tackle the issues in Virginia's unemployment system. State Delegate Sally Hudson to discuss her bill to patch up holes in the unemployment benefit system, as well as Steve Fischbach, Litigation Director at the VPLC (steve@vplc.org), who led a class-action lawsuit to hold the Virginia Employment Commission accountable for processing claims in a timely manner. More info on the VPLC: vplc.org Got a story or question? Email us at radioshow@vplc.org --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Aug 25

28 min 53 sec

On July 1, 2021, a whole host of new laws passed in Virginia finally came into effect. In this third episode of Season 3, Salaam and Jam tackle the end of Virginia's state of emergency--and what that change means for pandemic-era benefits. They're joined by Carmen Bingham, Project Coordinator for the Affordable Clean Energy Program at the VPLC (carmen@vplc.org) to discuss the impending end of the utility moratorium and the possibilities for public aid, as well as an up-and-coming public benefits attorney named Salaam Bhatti (salaam@vplc.org) to discuss reductions in SNAP and other public benefits. More info on the VPC: vplc.org Got a story or question? Email us at radioshow@vplc.org --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Aug 6

17 min 42 sec

On July 1, 2021, a whole host of new laws passed in Virginia finally came into effect. In this second episode of Season 3, Salaam and Jam are joined by Sara Cariano, ENROLL Virginia! Policy Specialist and Lead Health Insurance Navigator at the VPLC (sara@vplc.org) to discuss changes to Medicaid in the new year. They're also joined by a little-known public benefits attorney by the name of Salaam Bhatti (salaam@vplc.org) to discuss changes to SNAP and other benefits for low-income Virginians. ENROLL Virginia Helpline: 888-392-5132 More info on the VPC: vplc.org Got a story or question? Email us at radioshow@vplc.org --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Jul 29

29 min 59 sec

On July 1, 2021, a whole host of new laws passed in Virginia finally came into effect. In this first episode of Season 3, Salaam and Jam are joined by VPLC's Executive Director Jay Speer and Laura Dobbs, Attorney with the VPLC Housing Advocacy Team, to break down how several of the new housing laws affect renters and borrowers in Virginia. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Jul 14

25 min 22 sec

Joanne Goldblum and Colleen Shaddox, authors of Broke in America: Seeing, Understanding, and Ending US Poverty, join Salaam and Jam to talk about their book. We had a great conversation about the myths surrounding poverty, why poverty still hasn't been eradicated, and so much more. Broke in America offers an eye-opening and galvanizing look at life in poverty in this country: how circumstances and public policy conspire to keep people poor, and the concrete steps we can take to end poverty for good. In clear, accessible prose, Goldblum and Shaddox detail the ways the current system is broken and how it's failing so many of us. They also highlight outdated and ineffective policies that are causing or contributing to this unnecessary problem. Every chapter features action items readers can use to combat poverty--both nationwide and in our local communities, including the most effective public policies you can support and how to work hand-in-hand with representatives to affect change. The book will be available in February 2021. Pre-orders available here: link  --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Dec 2020

34 min 36 sec

Join Salaam and Jam for a roundtable discussion about reparations with John Tateishi (author of Redress, chronicling his experience in an internment camp and the resulting advocacy for redress), Sonya Renee Taylor (co-founder of Buy Back Black Debt), and Steve Fischbach (family benefited from reparations following the Holocaust). This hour-long chat is incredible on so many layers. What are reparations? Do they need to be in the form of money? And when money enters the picture, why do people begin fighting amongst themselves? All this – and more – only on The Justice Report. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Dec 2020

58 min 20 sec

Delegate Lashrecse Aird returns to our show to conclude our 2 part series on VA's 2020 Special Session. A few months ago, we spoke with Delegate Jeff Bourne about the Legislative Black Caucus' agenda for the Special Session. He outlined a lot of policies which centered around helping our low-income neighbors and criminal justice reform. Delegate Aird joins us to tell us how it all went.  --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Dec 2020

34 min 31 sec

Emily Griffey from Voices for Virginia's Children joins us to talk about child care. We speak about the impact it - in its current form - has on society, especially on low-income families. We journey through the intersections of child care & child support and child care & child protective services. There's a lot of issues in this space and we are happy to see that Voices is at the helm to vanquish them! --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Nov 2020

31 min 58 sec

Wealth and income inequality is a plague ravaging America. Dr Victor Chen, author of "Cut Loose - Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy" and professor of sociology at Virginian Commonwealth University, joins us today to talk about these inequalities.  --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Nov 2020

29 min 27 sec

In this episode, we explore Todd's story about how our economic system failed him at every turn - from losing his job, to not receiving unemployment, to losing his home, and more. We also speak with Marty Wegbreit, director of litigation at Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, on the policies, procedures, and failures that got us here. Tune in for a heck of an episode that is merely the tip of the iceberg of what millions are facing across the nation.  --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Oct 2020

31 min 28 sec

David Broder i.e. The Brodinator joins us to talk about the history of the minimum wage struggle and the efforts to turn it into a living wage.  --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Oct 2020

25 min 26 sec

We spoke with David Broder, president of SEIU 512, and a few union members, about what a union is, how does it help workers get out of poverty, and what being in a union means to them. We also dove into right-to-work and what the future looks like for unions. If you don't know much about unions, then this is a great place to start! --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Sep 2020

30 min 54 sec

Laura Wright joins us to talk about evictions in this pandemic-laced world. If you have questions or concerns around evictions in Virginia, call the VPLC Eviction Legal Helpline at 1-833-NoEvict. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Sep 2020

28 min 48 sec

Jam and Salaam speak with two parents and a union leader to discuss the maladies of re-opening school during a pandemic and the affect it will have on those from low-income families.  --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Sep 2020

31 min 16 sec

Imagine being down on your luck and taking out a payday loan. It was quick, easy, and super convenient. Time to breathe a sigh of relief? NOPE. Let's dive into the sordid world of predatory loans and see what historic reform just took place in Virginia. We chat with VPLC's Executive Director Jay Speer, VA State Delegate Lamont Bagby, and Pew Charitable Trust's Alex Horowitz to learn more. Predatory Loan Hotline: (866) 830-4501 This is the season finale. Thanks so much for being with us for our inaugural season. We'll be off for the rest of August and will return in September with our new season! If you like what you heard, then please leave a rating.  --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Aug 2020

23 min 12 sec

After years in the works, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline - a celebrated, bipartisan project - was abruptly canceled. Was this an overnight change of heart? Or were there other powers at work? And what's this about the Mountain Valley Pipeline? Join us for the thrilling conclusion of this two-part series as Delegate Sam Rasoul and Union Hill resident Richard Walker share their stories.  --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Jul 2020

25 min 42 sec

After years in the works, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline - a celebrated, bipartisan project - was abruptly canceled. Was this an overnight change of heart? Or were there other powers at work? Jessica Sims (VA Sierra Club)  and Jonathan Sokolow (attorney, writer, and activist) joined us to discuss their advocacy  in this fight. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Jul 2020

26 min 3 sec

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the hottest of times, it was the "Winter is...not coming?" of times.  Jam and Salaam talk about two of the biggest bills in the VA State Assembly this year - the Green New Deal and the Virginia Clean Economy Act. They were joined by:  State Senator Ghazala Hashmi and Activist Harrison Wallace, who supported the Virginia Clean Economy Act,  and Delegate Sam Rasoul presented his case for the Green New Deal. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Jul 2020

31 min 27 sec

Jill Hanken, health law attorney with over 30 years experience, joins Salaam & Jam to talk about incredible advancements in Virginia's Medicaid and health law realm. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Jul 2020

43 min 43 sec

Jeff Bourne, VA State Delegate (D-71), joins Salaam & Jam to talk about the Legislative Black Caucus' special session priorities.  Also, Salaam gets tongue twisted. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Jul 2020

30 min 20 sec

Kenda Sutton-EL, executive director of Birth in Color RVA Foundation, joins Salaam & Jam to talk about maternal mortality in the black community, its racist background, and how she plans to solve it.  --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Jun 2020

27 min 38 sec

State Senator Jennifer McClellan, Community Organizer Omari Al-Qaddafi, and VPLC Housing Attorney Daryl Hayott joined Salaam & Jam to chat about the history of redlining, how it manifests today, and how to solve it.   --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Jun 2020

30 min

**This is the extended interview. If you listened to the original, feel free to forward to 29th minute.** State Senator Jennifer McClellan, Community Organizer Omari Al-Qaddafi, and VPLC Housing Attorney Daryl Hayott joined Salaam & Jam to chat about the history of redlining, how it manifests today, and how to solve it. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Jun 2020

54 min 12 sec

Delegate Josh Cole joined Salaam to chat about the protests happening around the nation and in Virginia. Are these protests solely fixed on police brtuality? Or are we seeing 400 years of injustices coming to a head? This is a must-listen as we explore the intersection of poverty and racism! --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Jun 2020

29 min 50 sec

Salaam and Jam talk about how people with drug felonies on their records are banned from public benefits FOR LIFE. We spoke with Carl Phillips, who was in that boat. He told us about what he did to advocate for change. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Jun 2020

30 min 23 sec

Salaam and Jam talk about the Petersburg water crisis with Delegate Lashresce Aird and a Petersburg resident. This crisis began long before the pandemic and continues through the crisis. Briefly, Petersburg residents had their water completely shut off for months, with some still experiencing the shut off. Listen as we talk about why this happened and what is being done to move forward. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

May 2020

31 min 9 sec

Adele McClure joins Salaam and Jam to talk about her struggles through and out of poverty. Her journey is not the rule - it is the exception. Adele talks about how she uses her powers for good to spread equity like Senator Mark Warner spreads mayo.  --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

May 2020

31 min 23 sec

Salaam & Jam chat with attorneys Christie Marra, Daryl Hayott, and Laura Wright about the eviction crisis plaguing Virginia.  --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Apr 2020

30 min 51 sec

Salaam and Jam explore COVID19's effects on elders and loan borrowers. Emily Hardy and Dana Wiggins of the Virginia Poverty Law Center join to chat --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Apr 2020

26 min 31 sec

In this episode, Salaam and Jam explore how being at home maybe enjoyable  for some, but for others, it could mean facing more abuse from their partners. Susheela Varky of the Virginia Poverty Law Center joins to chat. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Apr 2020

30 min 19 sec

In this episode, Salaam and Jam explore COVID19's effects on Family Law and Public Benefits. Valerie L'Herrou of the Virginia Poverty Law Center joins to chat! --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thejusticereport/message

Apr 2020

28 min 33 sec