Monday, June 7, 2010

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: June 7, 2010

Federal

Potential $850 Million Hole in PA Budget

Last week, members of the House left Washington for the Memorial Day break without providing a six-month extension of federal aid to states through enhanced FMAP (the federal Medicaid match) funds. If the Senate does not put the FMAP provisions back into the Jobs Bill, funding for most state programs for children and families will be in jeopardy.

Senators Casey and Specter have worked hard to finalize the FMAP extension, but there is great and mounting pressure to exclude it from the final Jobs Bill. Let Senators Casey and Specter know we appreciate their efforts and need their continued commitment to protect children and families!

Add your individual or organization’s name to a letter to Senators Casey and Specter to send a strong signal that FMAP must be in the final bill and take a moment to call them as well!

Urge the Senate: Put Juvenile Justice Reform On the Senate Floor

During the next 90 days, the U.S. Senate will consider some major pieces of legislation and one should be S. 678, the Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Act reauthorization legislation.

The JJDPA was first enacted in 1974 and provides federal funding to states that comply with a set of best practices aimed at avoiding the detention and incarceration of young people in juvenile and adult facilities. However, this law is three years overdue for reauthorization. The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a JJDPA reauthorization bill but it is awaiting action on the Senate floor.

If you believe that it is urgent to stop putting youth in adult jails and prisons, to end the over-incarceration of youth of color in the justice system, and to instead to devote more resources to effective juvenile justice programs such as alternatives to detention and incarceration, contact the Senate now.

Actions you can take:

(1) Call: Call your Senators and urge them to cosponsor S. 678, the JJDPA reauthorization bill.

(2) Write a Letter: If you would prefer to contact your Senators in writing, please send a letter.

(3) Call Media: Contact your local media outlets and urge them to produce a news story on juvenile justice reform and interview your Senators to find out what they are doing to ensure that the JJDPA is voted on by the full Senate as soon as possible.

(4) Share: Spread the word with your friends by sharing this Action Alert!

For additional information including sample letters, visit www.act4jj.org.

Information/Events

Older Americans Act Reauthorization Roundtable

The Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE) Dorothy S. Washburn Legislative Committee is sponsoring an Older Americans Act Reauthorization Roundtable.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 9 - 9:30 to noon
WHERE: 100 S. Broad Street, 1500 Land Title Building, Philadelphia, PA 19110-1088

Nora Dowd Eisenhower, former Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging, will facilitate the discussion, which will include how to support the health and independence of older adults, elder justice and elder rights issues, and the aging services network. Recommendations from the roundtable will be drafted and submitted to the Administration on Aging (AoA).

The event is free and all are welcome but pre-registration is required by contacting Kathy Cubit at cubit@carie.org or 267-546-3438.

U.S. Federal Plan to End Homelessness Forum

Huge changes are taking place nationally that will affect how local communities serve homeless families and individuals. To help prepare for these changes, we invite you to learn how the Obama Administration will support community efforts to work with those who are homeless.

WHEN: June 25, 2010 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
WHERE: United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Jennifer Ho, Deputy Director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), will present the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. She will be joined by local leaders. The plan is expected to show how nineteen agencies of the Federal government will coordinate their services in ways that improve how people who are homeless are helped.

The forum is sponsored by Project H.O.M.E. and People’s Emergency Center, and supported by the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Housing and Community Development.

To register for the event email you name and organization to PPTFWorkshops@pec-cares.org.

If you have any questions please email jwillard@pec-cares.org or call us at (215) 382-7522 x 264.

Women's Health and Health Care Reform: Where We Landed and Where We Go From Here 

Raising Women's Voices and the Pennsylvania Health Access Network would like to invite you to join us for a special conference call on Wednesday, June 9th 6:00 - 7:00 PM.

Special guest speakers, Rebecca Foley, Director of Education and Advocacy Initiatives at WOMEN'S WAY and Regional Coordinator of the Raising Women's Voices Coalition, and Audrey Ann Ross, Government and Media Relations Coordinator at Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania, will explain what health care reform means for women and women's health.

Health care reform addresses the many challenges women face in our broken health care system. Yet enacting reform means that women's needs have seen both highs and lows. This call will examine what women gain in health reform, and what they have lost. It will also look at how we can move forward despite implementation issues at the state and federal level.

To join the call, please RSVP to Athena at aford@philaup.org for dial-in details.

PathWays PA Information and Initiatives

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.

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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