Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pathways PA E-Alert: September 6, 2011

FEDERAL UPDATES

FEDERAL UPDATES
 
Tell your legislators the importance of skilled jobs programs
 
We know that across the country, Americans are looking for jobs so that they can support their families and acheive their dreams.  What is less known is that across the country, employers are searching for workers - but too often they come up empty because they can't find workers with the skills and education needed to perform in the workplace.  We need job-training opportunities as part of any job plan to ensure that all workers and employers can take advantage of the current job market and help prepare America for the future.  Please take a moment to tell your legislators how important job-training is.
 
To write your legislator, click here.
 
 
Support Programs That Keep More Money in Your Pocket! 
 
As Congress takes on the task of deficit reduction, we have a unique opportunity to advocate for programs and services that ensure families have more access to the money they earn each year.  Among these programs are refundable tax credits - usually seen in the form of the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC.  
 
The EITC and other refundable tax credits have resulted in extraordinary economic impact to the nation in general,and our state and local communities in particular. Just as important, the EITC is designed to – and has been proven to – promote work. Without earning anincome, families do not qualify for the EITC and other refundable tax credits, a fact which brings adults into the labor force.
 
Please take a moment to tell your legislators how important these programs are, and ask them to ensure they remain in the budget during the deficit reduction process.
 
To send a customizable letter, please click here.


 
HHS TO HOST WEBINARS ON ANTI-TRAFFICKING OUTREACH


WHEN: Wednesday, September 14th

The United States Department of Health and Human Services is hosting a series of webinars devoted to anti-human trafficking education. The first, scheduled for September 14th, will be an information session on training, recruiting and retaining volunteers.

The presenter is Sandy Morgan of Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, California, where she teaches women’s studies, family violence and human trafficking related classes, in addition to founding the Lydia Today Foundation and Live2Free, two anti-violence, anti-trafficking organizations.

To register, click here. The web-and-phone based presentation will include a question and answer period.
 
 
 
PENNSYLVANIA UPDATES
 
 
1000 Women Leaders seeks support against anti-choice legislation
 
1000 Women Leaders has been working against some potentially devastating bills in the Pennsylvania legislature – ones that could force the closure of many women’s health providers, create requirements of fetal ultrasounds before abortion services can be provided or ban insurance companies from providing coverage for abortions. One-third of the legislature’s time has been devoted to anti-choice legislation, according to the Women’s Law Project.
 
1000 Women’s Leader campaign is joint collaboration between the Women’s Law Project and Pennsylvanians for Choice. Their goal is to build a strong coalition of people who support pro-women laws to send a big message to the legislature – “We’ve had enough.”
 
On September 27th, members of the coalition will rally at the capital to bring this message, and they want a strong show of support. Click here to add your name to the 1000 Women Leaders List! Additional information and social media outreach can be found on the We’ve Had Enough site.
 
Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission seeks to educate public on potential fracking problems
 
A coalition of local environmental non-profits has come together to educate the public on the potential hazards of hydraulic fracking, a controversial means of harvesting natural gas.
 
The Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission, chaired by former state representatives Carole Rubley and Dan Surra, is holding five meetings across the state to explore issues related to fracking, including water and air quality, the social impacts of gas drilling, a natural gas drilling tax, and the impacts of drilling outside Marcellus communities.
 
The next one is in Philadelphia tonight at the Free Library Vine Street Branch, 1901 Vine St., from 6 to 9 p.m. To register, click here. Unable to make the meeting‌? Submit your comments to the Commission online, or check the schedule of future meetings.
 
 
Help bring HEMAP funding back and save Pennsylvanians from foreclosure
 
The Homeowner’s Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) has been helping Pennsylvanians protect their homes since 1983 by providing emergency loans to those facing foreclosure due to circumstances beyond their control, such as job loss.
 
But in June, Governor Tom Corbett slashed funding for the program from $10.6 million to $2 million. By July, HEMAP was unable to take new loan applications. This in a time of foreclosure crisis, and a rising need for programs like HEMAP, including the HEMAP-modeled Emergency Homeowners Loan Program (EHLP), a federal program whose own program ends on September 30, 2011.
 
The Pennsylvania Housing Alliance has put together resources on HEMAP, including tools to contact your representatives to ask for restored funding. And if you, or the clients you serve, are currently facing trouble, the deadline for EHLP loans is September 16th.
 
Request for Input - Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Application
The Office of Child Development and Early Learning state program is taking comments on their application to the Race to the Top Early Development Challenge, a federal grant program dedicated to increasing the participation of middle-to-low-income children in high quality pre-kindergarten early learning programs.
The application has a need to address five priority areas:
  1. Successful State Systems
  2. High Quality, Accountable Programs
  3. Promoting Early Learning and Development Outcomes for Children
  4. A great Early Childhood Education Workforce
  5. Measuring Outcomes and Progress

Further descriptions of the priority areas can be found on the application sheet on the Race to the Top site.

Comments must be sent by September 12th to ra-ocdelrtt@pa.gov. When writing your suggestion, please indicate the priority area it falls under.
 
 
 
INFORMATION / EVENTS
 
Let’s Show City Council We Still Need Paid Sick Days!
 
It has been a long and somewhat crazy ride for the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces but we have a great success – Philadelphia’s City Council passed the Earned Sick Days Bill!  Our amazing and hard fought victory was unfortunately dashed by the Mayor’s veto of the bill- but that does not mean the fight is over.
 
Join us to welcome City Council back after their summer recess and show them that we are still fighting for paid sick days for Philadelphia’s workers. 
 
WHAT: Welcome Back City Council
WHEN: September 8th at 9:00
WHERE: Philadelphia City Hall’s 4th Floor Hallway
 
REGISTER HERE
 
We will be welcoming City Council back by reminding them that Philadelphia is not only returning to work and school, but, without sick days, they are returning to environments where germs can spread quickly.
 
Please bring signs and write letters to your members of City Council urging them to remember that Philadelphians need and deserve paid sick days. 
 
 
Webinar will show how best to use Census survey of poverty in America
 
The Coalition on Human Needs will hold a webinar in anticipation of the Census Bureau's annual survey on poverty, income and health insurance coverage.
 
WHEN: September 8th at 1:00
 
Early reports from the survey have shown that the number of people in poverty grew by 7.1 million from 2006 to 2009, and that the number of uninsured rose. In addition, one-third of our nation was at or near poverty level.
 
The webinar is intended for those who want to know the best predictions about the data, and best uses moving forward. It will also include how to look up state data and prepare press releases and other media advisories based on the data.  Presenters will include Arloc Sherman of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Deborah Weinstein of the Coalition on Human Needs.
 
To register, click here
 
 
 
 
NLWC hosting two webinars on Social Security
 
For those approaching retirement age, or just uncertain about the planning for that age, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) is hosting two webinars about Social Security and retirement planning that can help you, or the people you provide services to, plan for the future:
 
Planning for the Future: What Women Need to Know About Social Security

WHEN: 2:00 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Find out more about the benefits Social Security can provide, including before retirement, and about how your decisions (and your spouse's, if you are married) about when to claim benefits can affect your retirement income.

Planning for the Future: What Women Need to Know About Pensions and Savings

WHEN: 1:00 p.m. Eastern on Monday, September 12, 2011

Find out more about ways you can save for retirement and manage your savings to improve your retirement security.
 
For more information or to register, click here. The events are free, but registration is required.
 
Save the date for the Women’s Wellness Fair: September 20th
 
The Friends of Delaware County Women's Commission will be holding the Women's Wellness Fair. The event will feature free health screenings, as well as information on nutrition, fitness and smoking cessation.
 
WHEN: Tuesday, September 20th - 10:00 to 2:00
WHERE: The courtyard of the Delaware County Government Center, 201 W Front Street in Media.
 
For more information, go to friendsofdcwc.org.   

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