Our thoughts and condolences go out to all who were injured and to the families of those that were killed in Tucson at an event held by Representative Gabrielle Giffords. It was an unspeakable tragedy. We look forward to the recovery of Representative Giffords and all those injured on Saturday.
Due to this tragedy, scheduled votes at the federal level have been postponed. We will keep you updated on any federal events or action alerts on our Policy Blog.
State Policy Update
GENERAL ASSEMBLY IS BACK IN SESSION
Pennsylvania’s legislators returned to Harrisburg on Tuesday, January 4 for swearing-in day and to kick off day one of the 2011-2012 legislative session.
- In the Senate, 25 members elected this fall, including three new Democrats, were sworn in. Senator Joe Scarnati (R – Jefferson) was voted in for a third term as president pro tempore.
- In the House, 21 Republican and eight Democratic freshmen took office while Republican Sam Smith, who held the position of minority leader last session, was unanimously elected Speaker of the House.
- Governor-elect Tom Corbett will take office on January 18.
The only piece of business conducted during the day in the House was the passage of House Resolution 1, which made internal rule changes spelling out the mandate not to engage in campaign work on legislative time.
PENNSYLVANIA LOBBY DAY TO END HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Did you know that human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world, and it is a crisis taking place right here in Pennsylvania? It is a horrific crime that drastically impacts women as 80% of transnational human trafficking victims are women and girls.
Please join the Philadelphia Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition as we head to Harrisburg to raise awareness around human trafficking, and build support for important state legislation that would assist victims and help put an end to this brutal crime.
WHEN: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (registration starts at 8:30 AM)
WHERE: Room 8 E-A East Wing, Capitol Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120
This lobby day will provide an opportunity for us, as constituents, to educate legislators about this serious crime and urge them to take steps to address it. You do not need to be an expert or have lobbying experience to take part in this day. We will provide you everything you need to advocate for this important issue! Please join us in Harrisburg for an exciting day of advocacy to help end human trafficking in Pennsylvania! RSVP Now!
You can find more information here. If you have any questions, please contact Rebecca Foley, WOMEN'S WAY's Director of Education & Advocacy Initiatives.
COMMIT TO ADVOCACY IN THE NEW YEAR!
Please take a look at the ideas below to help inspire yourself to commit to advocacy in the New Year (and thanks to the National Coalition for Literacy's 11 Ways to Recommit to Advocacy, which inspired this article!)
- Remember what inspires you: 2010 was a hard year for many advocates, especially as we dealt with budget deficits, program cuts, and increased waiting lists for those in need. 2011 promises more challenges with new legislators coming into office and new budget cuts looming, but it can also be an opportunity. Take a moment to remember why advocacy is important to you, whether it is a sense of justice, a personal story, or a client's success, and share that story with legislators and with friends. And if 2011 starts getting you down, continue remembering these stories and the people that you care about in your advocacy.
- Commit to responding to 5 alerts this year: We stole this right from the National Coalition, and with good reason - it is a great idea. Many alerts take just a minute to respond to, but your response could make a real difference with a legislator, especially if you add a personal note. If you are looking for alerts to sign up for, PathWays PA has an Action Center you should check out. You can find others by googling the advocacy issues you care about.
- Share important stories with friends, families, and colleagues: Social media has made it easier than ever to share information. Many websites allow you to share stories directly through Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. Take the time to let your friends and family know what is important to you.
- Learn about a new issue: When advocating, it is important to know how your issue interacts with other topics and needs. This year, commit to learning about a new issue and taking action on it. Looking for ideas? You can read our posts on earned sick days, education, health care, and Industry Partnerships.
SAVE THE DATE: PUBLIC HEALTH SOLUTIONS FOR CHILD HUNGER -A CONVERSATION WITH USDA UNDER SECRETARY CONCANNON AND LOCAL LEADERS
Kevin Concannon, USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, will be speaking along with a panel of local experts at Drexel University.
WHEN: January 18th at 1:00 pm
WHERE: Mitchell Auditorium in the Bossone Research Enterprise Center (Market Street between 31st and 32nd Streets)
The Under Secretary will be discussing the public health implications of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization, as well as what Philadelphia can do right away to implement the new law. The session will be followed by a reception.
HELP CELEBRATE THE 38TH ANNIVERSARY OF ROE V. WADE
Please join the Raising Women's Voices Coalition, of which PathWays PA is an active member, and Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania as we celebrate the 38th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade!
We will be hosting an outdoor visibility event in Philadelphia to urge our incoming legislators to protect women's continued access to safe and legal abortion!
WHEN: Friday January 21st - 12:00 - 1:00 PM
WHERE: Center City, Philadelphia (exact location TBD)
Please RSVP here: http://www.ppaction.org/site/Calendar?id=100314&view=Detail.
GRANT OPPORTUNITY FROM BREAD & ROSES
The Lax Scholarship Fund was established in 1994 by the late entrepreneur and inventor Jonathan R. Lax for the purpose of encouraging out gay men to be active leaders in their communities and to obtain higher education.
The Lax Scholarship for Gay Men is open to out gay men who are from the Philadelphia area or who attend school here. The deadline is right around the corner, on Tuesday, January 18th.
If you or someone you know qualifies for this scholarship, click here for more information or to begin an application.
Lax Scholarships are intended for tuition and can be awarded in amounts up to $20,000. This scholarship is available to both undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in accredited programs of higher education. Since its inception, the scholarship fund has awarded more than $600,000 to students in the five-county greater Philadelphia region.
Bread & Roses Community Fund administers this scholarship fund as a part of our larger mission for social justice in the Delaware Valley.
For more information about the Lax Scholarship visit the website or email email@example.com or call (215) 731-1107 x 204.
Women & Influence is a FREE conference that allows women to come together to focus and voice their opinions on issues of importance to women, girls, and their families in our region.
This year's conference, Community Voices: Taking Action for Women and Girls, will provide the tools, skills, knowledge, and resources to enable individuals and nonprofits to participate in and lead grassroots advocacy efforts to create meaningful, positive change in our communities. By educating ourselves to enhance our community outreach work, together we become a stronger voice for women. Kate Scully of PathWays PA will presenting be information on how to non-profits can use social media.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided.
WHEN: Saturday, February 5, 2011 - 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
WHERE: Moore College of Art & Design, 20th Street and the Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Conference attendees must register by Thursday, February 3, 2011 for one morning workshop and one afternoon workshop.
Special PathWays PA Information/Events
PATHWAYS PA HONORED BY FORMER CONGRESSMAN JOE SESTAK
This week, Congressman Joe Sestak presented a proclamation to PathWays PA on behalf of the work they have done for the past 32 years. The outgoing Congressman took the time to come to the PathWays PA office in Holmes to personally give the proclamation to Carol Goertzel, President/CEO of PathWays PA, and other PathWays PA staff. The text of the proclamation can be viewed by visiting our Policy Blog.
SAVE THE DATE: ANNUAL TAX SEASON KICK OFF AND EITC AWARENESS DAY
A consortium of agencies, educational, and financial institutions dedicated to promoting financial literacy in Delaware County, including PathWays PA, are hosting an event to kick off their work this tax season.
WHEN: Friday January 28 at 1:30
WHERE: Chester Housing Authority Booker T. Washington Community Center, 611 Central Ave, Chester PA
This tax season volunteers will file federal and state income tax returns helping low wage workers access the Earned Income Tax Credit of up to $5,666, making it one of the largest anti-poverty tools in the United States.
Please RSVP by Tuesday, January 25th at www.delcoadkickoff.eventbrite.com or calling Georgia Julius at 610-543-5022.
FREE TAX PREPARATION
PathWays PA offers FREE certified tax preparation at our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites throughout Philadelphia and Delaware counties. Free tax preparation is for taxpayers with an annual gross household income less than $50,000.
Keep your full refund and save your money:
- No tax preparation fees
- No E-filing Fees
- No check cashing fees
- Open a no-fee savings or prepaid debit card account
- Purchase a risk free US Saving Bond
- Find out it you’re eligible for SNAP (food stamps)
Taxpayers must being all necessary identification and required tax statement for taxpayer, spouse, and dependents.
- Philadelphia County – 3617 Lancaster Avenue Philadelphia PA
- Delaware County – 310 Amosland Road Holmes PA
Call 610-543-5022 or 1-800-209-2914 to schedule your FREE tax appointment today!
PATHWAYS PA OFFERS LANGUAGE/CIVICS COURSES
PathWays PA is offering a course meant for those interested in learning and improving their English while also covering:
- United States History
- Work Skills
- Citizenship Process
WHEN: Mondays & Wednesdays - 9:30 - 12:00 OR Tuesdays & Thursdays 5:00 - 7:30
WHERE: Darby Borough Hall, 821 Summit Street, Darby PA
For more information about the class, please contact Kelly Binder at 610-543-5022 X 227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.