I started hearing about human trafficking in Wisconsin shortly after my return in 2014. Finally this fall I started to look into what I was hearing. The result was this piece for the Guardian, which was the most-shared story of the day when it went up in early November. There is much more to this issue, and this report focuses only on minors and only on those caught up in sex trafficking. There is, of course, trafficking that doesn’t involve sex, just as there is labor trafficking that does. This work introduced me to Claudine O’Leary along with others in the Milwaukee area who are on the front lines with the young people involved. They are the ones who made this report possible and who are raising awareness that sex trafficking happens in the US every day; it’s not something that just takes place overseas.
Shortly after this was published, Pacific Standard Magazine posted my analysis of the federal lawsuit filed to challenge Wisconsin’s 2011 redistricting plan. The Whitford vs. Nichol lawsuit differs from other lawsuits arguing partisan bias because it is presenting a method for determining whether redistricting processes are fair to the two major parties. Eric McGhee and Nick Stephanopolous developed the “efficiency gap” tool set out in the lawsuit.
For the past few months, I have had the privilege of working with the Guardian to cover the issues related to Tony Terrell Robinson, Jr.’s shooting at the hands of a police officer in Madison, WI. The story I did about the initial aftermath of that tragedy highlighted the city’s racial disparities, putting Robinson’s death in a larger context. In the days and weeks that followed, I worked closely with the Guardian’s outstanding senior reporter, Oliver Laughland, to reveal that Robinson had taken magic mushrooms the day of his death and that his close friends, Javier and Anthony Limon, were unlawfully arrested by Madison police in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. All my US coverage for the Guardian is available here: htttp://www.theguardian.com/profile/zoe-sullivan
Al Jazeera America ran my story about the highest election turnout in 50 years. In spite of the large number of voters who did go to the polls, there were fewer voters than in the 2012 recall election. The photo below is from a polling station at the Madison Municipal Building.
I have had the good fortune to do some reporting for The Guardian on the very intense election season here in Wisconsin. Below are links to three stories I wrote last week. Two deal with the state’s new voter ID law and the large numbers of people who will likely be disenfranchised by its implementation so close to the election. The third focuses on a facebook page that received media attention because of its call for an armed poll watcher “militia” to challenge voters who had signed recall petitions and have outstanding warrants. Later the group’s owner said it was a hoax.