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Editor's Note: Every Thursday, I'll be rounding up my favorite pieces from the past week so that PolicyMic Pundits can more easily read and comment on the great content being written about sex, sexuality, gender, and race in politics and culture, in addition to updates from our community and GIFs galore! You can subscribe to get updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Highlights This Week:

So how about that government shutdown?

This week, PolicyMic has sought out the voices of young people in D.C. who are being directly impacted by the shutdown, and we've featured some amazing stories from folks on the ground.

Carly Pildis writes, "I have lived in the District of Columbia for six years, and like many others I have grown increasingly angry about how D.C. residents are treated. I have had to relinquish my right to a voting member of Congress and have I no senator, which leaves me with no voice in Congress. I have watched my president trade away my city's ability to fund abortion for low-income women. Now, the region I live in stands to lose $200 million in revenue and our access to trash pick up over a budget we don't even have a representative to vote on. That's why, on April 23rd, I voted for a referendum to give D.C. more control over our locally raised funds. The referendum passed at over 80% of the vote and has cleared the 35-day Congressional review period without Congress taking action to overturn it."

Read more: "D.C. Gets Trashed: I'm Tired Of the Indignity Of Living in Our Nation's Capital"

Agree? Disagree? Tired of the trash on your streets? Let Carly know: @CarlyPildis

P.S. The relaunch is coming. Get ready.

Updates From Our Pundits:

A million applause GIFs for our very own Liz Plank, who appeared on MSNBC's "The Cycle" this week to talk about women and Obamacare!

What did you do last week? I'll share any outstanding writing achievements in our community, and highlight the great work that all of our Pundits do offline as well. If you have anything you'd like for me to include about yourself or a fellow PM writer, please send it along!

As always, help us continue to grow our section by sharing our call for new writers! Recommend any friends or colleagues who you think would be interested.

Must Reads From Last Week:

The 3 Questions That Every American Should Ask About Obamacare (Dani McClain, @drmcclain) — From millennials to Southerners, as the Affordable Care Act rolls out this week, keep these questions — and populations — in mind.
[7 Mics, 7 Comments, 172 Shares]
We Weren’t On Food Stamps – But We Should Have Been (Jared Milrad, @JaredMilrad) — Single-parent households like the one I grew up in are struggling to feed their families. Our government should do its part to help, not hurt, them.
[10 Mics, 15 Comments, 51 Shares]

Why a 20-Something Woman Still Cares About Sexist Children’s Toys (Mrinalini Shinde, @MrinShin) — The childhood winner of the Barbie dress-designing contest on why she turned her back on the doll and all it represents.
[5 Mics, 5 Comments, 43 Shares]
President Obama Just Nominated the Very First Native American Woman For Federal Judge (Maribel Hermosillo, @Cualania) — The government can't shut down!
[8 Mics, 2 Comments, 1211 Shares]
What the Government Shutdown Means to Real D.C. Families (Jewelyn Cosgrove, @JewelynCosgrove) — Between suspended garbage pick-up and a Congress that may or may not pay you, a shutdown stinks for D.C.
[4 Mics, 15 Comments, 76 Shares]
An Antidote to the Trader Joe’s Ex-President Who Plans To Sell Expired Food to Poor People (Polina Kroik) — I knew there had to be a better way. I found it in Oregon.
[2 Mics, 1 Comments, 7 Shares]
If Students Get Their Way, Wendy Davis Will Be the Next Governor Of Texas (Samantha Pajor, @SamanthaPajor) — Can millennials make this red state go purple?
[2 Mics, 5 Comments, 0 Shares]
Why I Work With Parents, Not in the Classroom, to Reform Our Schools (Emma Hulse) — I could have joined many of my peers in Teach for American or other programs. But parents teach me more than I could ever teach their kids.
[10 Mics, 27 Comments, 55 Shares]
As the Husband Of a Rape Survivor, Here’s What I Say to Other Men (Tim Tolka, @timtolka) — How to be a better ally in five steps.
[41 Mics, 95 Comments, 1869 Shares]
The Disturbing Truth About New York’s Homeless Population (Darcy Bullock, @darcyk_b) — One in four homeless families include at least one employed adult. Something is very wrong.
[12 Mics, 12 Comments, 157 Shares]

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