Monday, July 25, 2011

PathWays PA E-Alert: July 25, 2011

FEDERAL POLICY UPDATES

HELP PRESERVE FUNDING FOR ANTI-HOMELESSNESS PROGRAMS

Next Tuesday, July 26, the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-H) Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled to vote on its draft FY 2012 funding bill.

This is the first proposal from Congress on funding levels for key programs targeted toward people experiencing homelessness and we need YOUR help to make sure it's as good as possible. Specifically, we need to make sure that this bill includes $135 million for Runaway and Homeless Youth Act Programs and $75 million for the Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program.

What You Can Do:

NOTE: Congressional office phone numbers can be found by dialing the congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121. Click here for more information on contacting your Member of Congress.

Find out if your representative is on the Labor-H appropriations subcommittee. Click here to see a list of committee members.

If so, call your representative's DC office and ask to speak to the person who handles youth issues. Request that his/her boss provide $135 million for HHS' RHYA programs in FY 2012.

If not, call your representative's DC office and ask to speak to the person who handles youth issues. Request that his/her boss ask Labor-H appropriations committee leaders to provide $135 million for Labor-H programs in FY 2012.

The Alliance can provide sample language for the Member if it is requested by the office.

Let us know which office(s) you contacted by emailing Kate Seif at cseif@naeh.org.

Update on FY 2012 Appropriations Process and Timing

There is little doubt that Congress is going to cut spending even more than they did in the final FY 2011 bill. It's up to us to make sure that those cuts don't happen on the backs of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness! Right now, congressional and White House leaders are negotiating about the larger debt/deficit situation. Whatever deal they reach (which is expected in the coming weeks), it will likely set the overall amount of funding available to the appropriations committees for FY 2012. Then, the appropriations committees will divide that up among the various subcommittees (including the Labor-H subcommittee).

For the most part, the Senate is expected to wait for these larger issues to be resolved before it moves forward with its own appropriations bills. The House, however, is moving forward anyway, as the scheduled markups suggest. As a result, the bill being released next week will almost certainly be very different from the final FY 2012 funding bill. It gives the House a chance to demonstrate its goals for cutting spending. This means that the bill may not be quite as good as we would like - but we need to make sure that the funding levels for these critical programs are as robust as possible and that Members of Congress understand how absolutely CRITICAL it is to provide $135 million for RHYA and $75 million for EHCY programs in the final FY 2012 budget. This will be a starting point for other bills, and we need a STRONG opening proposal.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or need any help with reaching out to your Representatives.

From the National Alliance to End Homelessness


HELP ENSURE SOCIAL SECURITY STAYS INTACT

You know that the budget talks in Washington are heating up. But you may not have heard that Social Security cuts are on the table.

That's because they're not talking openly about cutting Social Security. Instead, they're saying that they are making a technical change in the way the cost-of-living adjustment is calculated for federal programs like Social Security.

But this is a stealth benefit cut that would mean insecurity for all Social Security recipients, especially women. And, because the cut would grow deeper the longer you receive benefits, it would especially hurt women, who live longer than men, rely more on income from Social Security, and are already more likely to be poor.

Tell your Members of Congress and the Administration: Don't cut Social Security!
Women can't afford cuts to Social Security benefits because:

The average Social Security benefit for women 65 and older is just $12,000 per year.
Without Social Security, half of women 65 and older would be poor.
This cut would especially hurt the oldest and poorest beneficiaries, who are overwhelmingly women.

Take Action Today! Women and their families shouldn't bear the brunt of deficit reduction-and time is running out. Tell your Members of Congress and the Administration that Social Security and programs vital to low-income families must be protected - and millionaires and corporations must contribute to any deficit reduction plan. Demand Fair Change, Not Spare Change™ in the budget debate.

From the National Women's Law Center.
NEW DEPT. OF LABOR RESOURCES FOR FEMALE VETERANS

Women are enlisting in the military more than ever today. But too many women return from their deployments victims of trauma. On Wednesday, Secretary Solis released a new online guide for service providers to better help female veterans after they return from duty. At a special ceremony at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Theater on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery, Solis announced "Trauma-Informed Care for Women Veterans Experiencing Homelessness: A Guide for Service Providers."


From the Department of Labor


JAM SEEKS TO END FAILURE RATES OF UNDER-PREPARED ADULTS IN HIGHER ED

Join the Discussion: Ending the Failure of Severely Under-Prepared Adults in Higher Education in a Time of Fiscal Restraint
How do we close the higher education gap for severely under-prepared adults? We need new ideas. The issue can't only be funding.

Alignment is part of the answer but not all of it. What do you think? Join practitioners and policy influencers in an online Jam on Wednesday August 4. We start at 11 AM and end at 6 PM (Eastern) - come and go as your schedule allows.

Who: Practitioners, researchers, policymakers, government officials and consultants interested in discussing the "best processes" for increasing college attainment rates for those most in need of the developmental education.

Register: Fill out a short survey to register. You will receive the URL of the Jam site and your username and password after you have registered.

What is a Jam? A Jam is an online, text-based discussion that is time-limited, and is moderated by experts in the field. Since it is asynchronous, you can join the discussion when you are able, and come and go as your time allows. Results from the Jam, which will be published, can lay the groundwork for policy and practice.

Learn More: Visit the Getting Past Go Web site for blog posts and updated information about the Jam.

Questions: If you have any questions about the Jam, please contact Lisa Levinson at Knowledge in the Public Interest: llevinson@kpublic.org

From Knowledge in the Public Interest
USDA SEEKS TO INCREASE ENROLLMENT OF LATINOS IN SNAP PROGRAM

Outreach Coalition Webinar Series:
Increasing Nutrition Assistance Program Participation Among Latinos: Highlights in Best Practices from Around the Country
Wednesday, 8/17/2011, 2:00pm - 3:00pm Eastern Time

Registration Link: http://vovici.com/wsb.dll/s/17fb9g49532

In the U.S., one out of four Hispanic households is food insecure, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture research. In 2006, just 56 percent of the eligible Hispanic population participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), compared with a 67 percent national average SNAP participation rate.

In an effort to increase participation among Latinos in nutrition assistance programs, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is hosting a webinar that will highlight organizations from around that country that are successfully reaching Latinos and discuss their promising practices. FNS will also provide an overview of outreach materials, toolkits, and other resources that are available in Spanish to help organizations in their Latino outreach.

***Has your organization found an effective way to dispel myths about program eligibility for immigrants? How are you successfully dealing with cultural or language barriers in the outreach or application assistance process? FNS is looking for organizations to highlight in the webinar. If you have an innovative and successful practice related to increasing Latino participation in nutrition assistance programs that you would like to share with the group, please submit the promising practices form found here by August 1. Several practices will be chosen to feature in the webinar.***

This session will be available via Microsoft Office LiveMeeting (Webinar) and is free for all participants. You will need access to a phone line and a computer with internet access for this webinar. Check your system before the meeting to make sure it is ready to use Microsoft Office Live Meeting. We highly recommend you check your system prior to the session to make sure you can access the webinar.

To participate, please complete the online registration. Further information will be forthcoming to registered participants. You must register to receive additional information.

Registration Link: http://vovici.com/wsb.dll/s/17fb9g49532

Questions?

If you have any questions about the content of this webinar, please contact: Gretchen Ruethling
Gretchen.ruethling@fns.usda.gov

If you have any questions about registering for or connecting to this webinar, please contact: Emily Buckham Buday Emily.buckham@fns.usda.gov

From the United States Department of Agriculture.

PENNSYLVANIA UPDATES

IT'S TIME TO SAY WE'VE HAD ENOUGH!

In the last session of the General Assembly a number of bills were put forward that would limit a women's access to an abortion. These bills put women's health at risk by limiting access and her choice.

For instance, one of the proposed laws would not allow a women purchasing insurance through the state exchanges that will be available in 2012 to have that insurance include coverage for an abortion. This limits coverage for even medically necessary abortions.

Another bill would add to the already strict restrictions and regulations that medical centers providing abortions face. The new regulations would require facilities to either make costly changes, therefore increasing the cost of their services, or to close their doors.

Many people throughout the state are upset about these bills and have come together to let their legislators know their feelings.

in telling the Legislature to stop the attacks on women's health in Pennsylvania!
Help fight these dangerous bills and join in declaring that...

WE'VE HAD ENOUGH!

From the We've Had Enough campaign.


INFORMATION/EVENTS

COMCAST OFFERS AFFORDABLE INTERNET FOR NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM ENROLLEES

For families enrolled in the National School Lunch Program, Comcast has begun to offer a low-cost Internet solution.

In today's world, Internet access is increasingly becoming vital to finding jobs, receiving many services and providing educational access to working families. As such, we're passing along the word on this.

The price is $9.95 a month for the Internet Essentials program. In addition, they have low cost computers at just $149.99 plus tax.

For more information, please visit their site.

NORRISTOWN FORUM ON WOMEN'S HEALTH ISSUES

Women's Health Forum
Norristown Library (1001 Powell St.)
Tuesday, July 26 6:00-7:00 PM


What's in it for you?

LOTS of information about what's in the new health care law, changes to state programs and what it means for you and your family. PLUS resources to help you get the care you need.

At a time when...
Medicaid is being cut at the federal level
Health insurance in PA doesn't cover pregnancy
Our Governor is axing important health care programs
Pregnant women on Medicaid have to wait 14 weeks for an initial pre-natal visit in Norristown
We all need to step up and fight back!

For more information, contact Antoinette Kraus at akraus@philaup.org or 267-691-1680.

For pdf version of flyer click here.

From the Pennsylvania Health Access Network

DAILY NEWS LOOKING FOR COMMUNITY MEMBERS FOR "PEOPLE'S EDITORIAL BOARD"

The Philadelphia Daily News is looking for community members to participate in their People's Editorial Board:

To us, the more people talking, the better. That's why, starting today, we're creating a way for more people to be at the table, weighing in on how to make this city better. Today, the People's Paper is launching the People's Editorial Board.

The board will be a group of eight to 10 citizens who meet to discuss and deliberate over Philadelphia's hot topics, like "Should police use 'stop-and-frisk' tactics?" or "What should we do about those damn bicyclists who don't follow traffic rules?" The board will meet once a month at the Daily News, get a chance to question experts and elected officials, and then tell the city what they think, both in the Daily News and online.

Members will also serve as people's pundits on Philly.com, where they'll get to sound off on video.

Want to be a member of the People's Editorial Board? Send us a short video of yourself (two minutes or less). Tell us who you are, where you live, why your voice should be heard, and an issue in the city that bugs you . . . and what you think needs to be done about it. Email the video by Aug. 3 to DNeditboard@gmail.com.

If you're not sure how to make a video, write your answers and send to the email address above.


For more information, click here.

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