Monday, November 23, 2009

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: November 23, 2009

Federal

Reproductive Rights National Day of Action - December 2

Are you outraged over the Stupak-Pitts Amendment? Do you want to help fight this attack on women's reproductive rights?

Please join the reproductive justice community in Washington DC on December 2nd as we raise a collective voice to lobby Congress for health care reform that ensures access to the full-range of reproductive services for all women, which includes access to abortion services!

Book your seat on the bus to D.C. here.

If you are unable to attend, but would like to help someone else afford the opportunity to attend, please click here to give via our online donation form. Please write in "Send Someone to Day of Action" in the In Honor Of field.

For more information about this event and the Raising Women's Voices of Southeastern PA Coalition, please contact Rebecca Foley.


Take Action on Earned Sick Time

48 percent of workers in the United States have no access to earned sick time, which means that if they are sick (or if their family members are sick) they must choose between working sick or losing their pay (or their jobs). If you are one of the 48 percent who have no earned sick time - or one of the 52 percent who do - please take our survey and tell us more!

There are bills at the federal, state, and local level to support earned sick time for everyone - here is what you can do:
  • Support the Federal Healthy Families Act! Under The Healthy Families Act, workers would have the opportunity to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 7 days of sick time per year. This time could be used to care for workers or their families, or could be used as "safe days" in cases of domestic violence. Tell your legislators that we need paid sick days now!
  • Support the paid sick days campaign in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia! Become our friend! Show your support for earned sick time by visiting Facebook. You can support earned sick time in Pennsylvania and in Philadelphia. Support both!
  • If you don't live in Pennsylvania, you can still support earned sick time. Visit The National Partnership for Women and Families website to learn more about campaigns in your area.
  • Tell us your story! Are you a parent who lost their job to stay home with a sick child? Are you a business owner who provides/supports paid sick days? Email your story to us at policy@pathwayspa.org.
  • Call your Representatives! If you live in Philadelphia, call your City Councilperson and urge them to support "Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces," which guarantees earned sick time for all working Philadelphians. Not sure who your City Councilperson is? Click on this link and type in your home address to find out which district you live in: http://www.phila.gov/citycouncil/districtform/districtform.html.
  • If you live in Pennsylvania (but outside of Philadelphia), call your state Representative. Tell him/her you support earned sick time for workers. Not sure who your Representative is? Simply type your address here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/find.cfm.

Urge Your Senator to Support Working Women and Families

According to an eight-year, 190-country study released this week, the U.S. lags far behind other economically successful nations in terms of adopting policies that support working women and their families. The study finds that
  • 177 nations guarantee paid lead for new mothers while the U.S. does not.
  • 74 nations guarantee paid leave for new fathers while the U.S. does not.
  • 13 of the 15 most competitive countries in the world provide paid leave for new mothers while the U.S. does not.
The Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act (FEPPLA) will provide federal workers with up to four weeks of paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child. FEPPLA will help our federal government recruit and retain dedicated and talented workers, enable working parents to care for and bond with newborns and newly-adopted children, and show that the federal government truly values families.

The House has passed this important piece of legislation but the Senate still needs to act. Please write or call your Senator to tell them to take action on paid parental leave for federal employees.

It is time for the US to lead the way in creating successful workplaces!


Please Thank Your Legislator for Participating in the 2009 NCTC Day of Action

The National Community Tax Coalition (NCTC) held a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Day of Action on October 21, 2009.

VITA, or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, is a program sponsored by the IRS to help low- and middle-income people file their income tax returns. Through the program, community partners engage and train volunteers and set up sites where clients can come to have their basic returns completed. VITA was created especially to promote the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a refundable credit that means big returns for the low and middle-income filers.

Staff from two Pennsylvania legislators’ offices participated in a briefing that day, Representative Dahlkemper (who was represented at the briefing by Steven Soltesz) and Representative Carney (who was represented at the briefing by Amanda Smith). If either are your representative please contact them and thank them for participating and learning more about this vital program.


Women & Workforce Investment for Nontraditional Jobs Act Needs Co-Sponsors

Members of the House of Representatives circulated a letter to colleagues on Thursday asking them to co-sponsor the Women & Workforce Investment for Nontraditional Jobs (Women WIN Jobs) Act.

Women WIN Jobs authorizes $100 million for competitive grants in every state to recruit, educate, train, place and retain low-income women into high-wage, high-demand occupations in which women currently are fewer than 25% of the workforce. Local grants would go to multi-sector partnerships, including non-profits, community colleges, employers and labor unions. The bill authorizes public education and policy development activities at both the state and national levels.

Please urge your Representative to co-sponsor the bill.


Help Make Children a Priority

The Children's Leadership Council, a coalition of child advocates representing over 50 leading national policy and advocacy organizations, is putting together a report (through NACCRRA, Voices for America's Children, the National Women's Law Center, and Every Child Matters) which would contain illustrative budget cuts in every state that affect children. They are asking for your help today to provide any examples you might have of such cuts.

The idea is to have 5 or 6 short bullets per state that show budget cuts affecting children and their impact. These bullets should represent cuts in any program affecting children, from child care to child protective services.

For example:
  • In x state, child care was cut by $___, which means that ___ fewer children will receive child care assistance
-OR-
  • In x state, child protective services funds were cut by $____, which means that about ___ children could live in dangerous situations where their health and well-being are in jeopardy

Even if you don't know the specific impact (but you know the budget cut of a program affecting children) please send your bullets today! Please include the name of the program or category of spending, the dollar amount, as well as your name, position, agency, and state in your response. They will not attribute individuals, but need to be able to sort budget cuts by state.

The deadline for assistance on this project is close of business on Tuesday, November 24th. Please send responses to Grace.Reef@naccrra.org.

The children's budget report will be used to provide a framework to show state budget decisions affecting children, demonstrate the need for additional federal assistance to help states during this poor economy, and help provide a visual for the need for additional resources for children's programs.


Information/Events

Do You Need Help Paying for Post-Secondary Education?

PathWays PA offers Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), a matched savings program that offers financial education while helping you save for school. Through the program, your savings can be matched at a rate of three-to-one. If you save $500, we will give you an additional $1500 to go towards your school expenses.

Applicants must meet program income guidelines, be working (full or part time), and be enrolled or accepted into an accredited institution.

If you are interested or have any questions, please e-mail Kelly Binder at kbinder@pathwayspa.org.


Need Assistance With Public Benefits Applications?

PathWays PA provides assistance to those who need help applying for food stamps or other benefits. For further information, you can contact our office in Philadelphia 215-387-1470 or Delaware County 610-543-5022.

For more information about the services provided by PathWays PA please visit our website.

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