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PathWays PA E-Newsletter: October 11, 2010

Special Announcements
Still Time to Register - Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces: Press Conference and Lobby Day

Over 40% of workers in Philadelphia have no earned sick time, while 78% of restaurant and accommodation workers are forced to choose between going to work sick (or sending a child to school sick) and losing a day's pay or possibly their job.

The Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces is holding a Press Conference and Lobby Day, complete with Lobby Training, to provide information for Philadelphia's City Council about the importance of earned sick time and to urge them to continue work on the Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (Bill No. 080474).

WHEN: Tuesday, October 12th

There will be a Lobby Training held at 123 S. Broad Street, 8th Floor, Room 8B at 11:00 AM. Food will be provided.

The Press Conference will take place at 1:00 PM, in the Mayor's Reception Room in City Hall, with visits to City Council Members throughout the afternoon. Come for the whole day or for as long as you are able to.

You do not need to be an expert or have lobbying experience to take part in this exciting day. We will provide you with everything you need to advocate for this important issue!

For more information about the event, please contact Kate Scully at PathWays PA at 610-543-5022 or Rebecca Foley at WOMEN'S WAY at 215-985-3322.

Please join the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces to give workers the ability to earn sick time to care for themselves and their families. To RSVP for this event please visit: http://earnedsicktimelobbyday.eventbrite.com.

Join us in November for our PathWays to the Stars 32nd Anniversary Celebration Sports-tacular!

PathWays PA will celebrate 32 years of services to low-income women, children and families this year by hosting the PathWays to the Stars 32nd Anniversary Celebration Sports-tacular.

WHEN: Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 6:30 – 9:00PM
WHERE: Radisson King of Prussia’s Waterford Ballroom.

The silent auction will feature Phillies, Flyers, Eagles and Sixers tickets and memorabilia. Also, as part of the festivities, we will present this year's Trailblazer Awards to five inspiring individuals. To read about the 2010 Trailblazer Honorees, click here.

To bid on silent auction items, click here.

Tickets to the event are $50 and may be purchased online. Further information on corporate and individual sponsorships can be found here.

Federal

Ask Your Senators to Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act
 
In this tough economy, more and more families are counting on women’s earnings. Unfair pay practices make things even harder, especially for those families who rely solely on female earnings. Help us by telling your Senators to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act!

The Paycheck Fairness Act would deter wage discrimination by closing loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and barring retaliation against workers who disclose their wages to coworkers. Time is running out — the House already has passed the bill and when the Senate returns it must do the same.

Click here to write a message to your Senators.

Urge Your Representative to Sign onto the Adult Literacy Celebration of Literacy 

For millions of adults across the country, improving basic literacy skills is the key to a bright and successful future. Literacy transforms lives, breaking cycles of poverty and social injustice.

The 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy found that there are approximately 93 million adults in the United States who do not have the literacy skills needed to reach their full potential. Thirty million of those individuals have such low levels of literacy that it significantly impedes their ability to fully function at home, at work, and in their communities. Many live in poverty, lack a high school diploma, and struggle to find and retain living wage jobs.

The new House Adult Literacy Caucus in Congress is working to advance adult literacy issues to that these cycles can be broken. To help, you can contact your U.S. Representative’s office and ask to speak to the staff over adult education issues. Let the staff person know that there is a new House Adult Literacy Caucus and ask if your Representative will join the Caucus to help advance adult literacy issues in the U.S. and internationally. Find out if the staff person would like a copy of the Dear Colleague letter that contains information about joining the House Adult Literacy Caucus. Be sure to follow up in a couple of days to learn of your Representative’s decision.

Support the VITA Act of 2010

(From our friends at NCTC)

As Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs struggle to meet the growing need for their services, legislation has been introduced to help meet that need. Last week Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced S. 3865: The VITA Act of 2010. This legislation will authorize the VITA Grant Program at $35 million, greatly strengthening the capacity of VITA programs and their ability to serve working families.

With a large number of calls from the field, NCTC believes they can gather at least 20 Senate cosponsors over the next 2 weeks. But they need your help to do it. They have offered the following tips:
  • Step 1: Find your Senator's DC Phone Number
  • Step 2: Ask to speak with the tax staffer. If they are not available, leave a voicemail but make sure to follow-up.
  • Step 3: Ask the staffer if the Senator will cosponsor the 2010 VITA Act (see fact sheet).
  • Step 4: If the Senator is interested in cosponsoring, they should contact Patrick Jackson (Patrick_Jackson@brown.senate.gov) in Senator Sherrod Brown's office.
  • Step 5: Email the staffer the following information immediately following the call: Interested offices should contact Patrick Jackson (Patrick_Jackson@brown.senate.gov) to cosponsor S. 3865.  Include a copy of the VITA Act Fact Sheet with the email.

Once you have the appropriate staffer's name, you can go ahead and email them the information listed above and follow-up with a call. Standard Senate staffer emails are: Firstname_Lastname@senatorslastname.senate.gov

After connecting with your Senator's office, please send an update to Lucy Mullany, NCTC's Manager of Government Relations.

Information/Events

PathWays PA presents the First Annual Network for Strategic Asset Building (NSAB) Symposium on Financial Education & Asset Building in the Workplace

How can you help your employees build assets to boost their financial stability during these challenging times?

PathWays PA presents the First Annual Network for Strategic Asset Building (NSAB) Symposium on Financial Education & Asset Building in the Workplace on Tuesday, October 26th, 2010.

This free symposium will be held in two locations. Attend the symposium at the location/time that is most convenient for you!
  • 8:30-11:00am at the United Way of Southeastern PA at 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103 or
  • 2:00-4:30pm at the Drexelbrook Corporate Events Center at 4700 Drexelbrook Ave, Drexel Hill, PA 19026.
This unique Symposium will offer free or low-cost strategies employers can implement to boost the financial stability of their employees and their families. National and local experts will share new and proven tools for building financial knowledge and assets. Implementing these strategies in the workplace can increase worker productivity, decrease absenteeism, and improve worker retention and loyalty. Connecting employees with financial education and asset development tools and services builds employee goodwill and morale – so important during these challenging times.

PathWays PA offers free onsite tax preparation through its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which can play a key role in building financial stability for individuals and families, even when employers cannot offer wage increases. During tax season, PathWays PA’s IRS-trained and certified volunteers prepare taxes at sites throughout the Greater Philadelphia region. PathWays PA’s free tax service helps filers apply for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) refunds, Childcare tax credits and any other applicable credits, and also offers valuable asset building services that will be discussed in the Symposium … all absolutely free!

All employers hosting PathWays PA VITA mobile sites are encouraged to attend , as well as employers who may be interested in offering free tax preparation services for their workers . For additional information, please call Ann DelCollo at 610-543-5022 x221 or email adelcollo@pathwayspa.org.

New Federal Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program Brings $105 Million to PA to Help Homeowners in Distress

Federal HEMAP is here - almost! HUD has announced their intention to begin their new Emergency Homeowners Loan Program (EHLP) by the end of the year. Pennsylvania is expected to receive $105 million of the $1 billion total national allotment.

According to a HUD summary, the program will offer a declining balance, deferred payment "bridge loan" (non-recourse, subordinate loan with zero interest) for up to $50,000 to assist eligible homeowners with payments of arrearages, including delinquent taxes and insurance plus up to 24 months of monthly payments on their mortgage principal, interest, mortgage insurance premiums, taxes, and hazard insurance. It will be administered by PHFA.

Image courtesy of http://appetiteforequalrights.blogspot.com/2010/04/fair-pay-now.html

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