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PathWay PA E-Newsletter: December 12, 2011

Federal Updates


ASK CONGRESS TO MAKE JOBS A PRIORITY BY SUPPORTING PATHWAYS BACK TO WORK

The Pathways Back to Work Act (S. 1841, H.R. 3425) is meant to address the ongoing jobs crisis that has left over 13 million people out of work, millions more underemployed and a disproportionate number of individuals that experience barriers to employment without access to employment opportunities. The measures within the bill are based on successful and widely implemented state and local efforts and would create employment and training opportunities for adults and youth, benefit employers, and promote economic growth. This is a critical step forward in meeting the employment needs of Americans struggling with high unemployment and for those experiencing hardship.

Please join in telling Congress that helping Americans get back to work must be their priority. Three things you can do today:
  1. Tell your members of Congress to co-sponsor the Pathways Back to Work Act.
  2. Keep the pressure on - Tweet Congress by signing our petition on Twitter
  3. Forward this information to your networks and colleagues and urge them to take action also.
Thank you for standing up for the millions of jobless Americans that continue to feel the strains of unemployment, hardship and poverty. If you have any questions contact Melissa Young at myoung@heartlandalliance.org.

URGE CONGRESS TO HELP AMERICANS AVOID THE FLU

Americans are in the same boat right now – doing as much as we can to avoid getting the flu. However, if all efforts at prevention fail, 40 million Americans do not have the safety net of paid sick days. In this economy many are going to work sick, or sending their kids to school sick – rather than risk losing a day’s pay or even losing their job.

A new study estimates that if there had been a national paid sick days policy in place in 2009, 5 million cases of the flu could have been avoided during the H1N1 pandemic.

Please tell your Senators that paid sick days are critical for American families’ economic security. It’s
not okay for families to be one virus away from losing income or becoming unemployed. We need you to support and pass the Healthy Families Act.


URGE CONGRESS TO RENEW UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

Many families are struggling as members are out of work, however, Federal Unemployment Insurance is scheduled to expire on December 31st if Congress does not act to extend it.


Please call your Senators and Representative using 888-245-3381 and urge them to extend this critical program.

Below are some talking points you can use:

Hello, my name is ______________ and I am ________________’s constituent from ____________. I am calling to urge _______________ to oppose any bill that would slash unemployment benefits. Instead, I urge support for immediate Congressional action to renew the full federal unemployment insurance program through 2012.

Without prompt action to reauthorize federal unemployment insurance, more than 6 million hardworking Americans will be cut-off of this critical lifeline next year – nearly 2 million in January alone.

You can also email your Senators and Representatives and ask them to fully renew the unemployment insurance for 2012.

Pennsylvania Updates

WOMEN’S HEALTH CONTINUES TO BE THREATENED – HELP FIGHT BACK

Women's reproductive health continues to come under attack in Pennsylvania! This week, the House of Representatives is likely to vote on House Bill 1977, legislation that would ban private health insurance plans sold in the Pennsylvania health exchange from covering abortion services - even if the woman's health is at risk.

It is estimated that 80% of private insurance plans currently offer such coverage. This bill would have a devastating impact on Pennsylvania women and families by greatly limiting access to fundamental reproductive health care!

Take Action TODAY!

Please take a moment to call your State Representative and urge him or her to vote NO on HB 1977. When you reach the office, please let them know you are a constituent, what town you live in, and that you are calling to urge the Representative to protect women's health by voting NO on HB 1977.

Find your State Representative and his or her contact information here.

We must make our voices heard to end these extremely dangerous attacks on a woman's right to choose! If you have questions, please contact Rebecca Foley, Director of Public Policy and Chair of RWV of SEPA.

ASK YOUR SENATOR TO OPPOSE VOTER SUPPRESSION BILL


Recently, the Pennsylvania House voted in favor of House Bill 934, a bill requiring voters to present photo ID when voting. HB 934, which is awaiting approval by the Pennsylvania Senate, would create new barriers to voting for many eligible voters, especially senior citizens, students, racial minorities, and the working poor. It is now time for us to let our Senators know our concerns and urge them to oppose HB 934.

Click here to send a message to your Senators urging them to oppose this bill.

Info / Events

HOMELESS MEMORIAL DAY

On the shortest day of the year, hundreds of Philadelphians will gather to remember those homeless and formerly homeless Philadelphians who died in 2011 and to call for an end to homelessness.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 21, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: Broad Street Ministry (Outside), 315 South Broad Street, Center City Philadelphia

As they gather this year, they recognize that our nation continues to struggle through a time of economic hardships: Unemployment and poverty are increasing, foreclosures continue at a record rate, and shelters and food pantries cannot meet the increased demand. But we cannot forget our most vulnerable citizens, those who pay the greatest price for our economic and political failures.

We use this occasion to call on all Philadelphians and all Americans to wake up and recommit ourselves to ending homelessness. Warm beverages and ASL interpretation will be provided.

For more information about the event contact Will O'Brien at 215-232-7272, ext. 3047 or willobrien@projecthome.org. Do you know anyone who was homeless or formerly homeless who died this year? If so, email their name for inclusion in the memorial to Juliana Ryan at julianaryan@projecthome.org or call 215-232-7272, ext. 3043.

To help someone who is homeless call the Philadelphia Homeless Outreach Hotline at 215-232-1984

AMERICANS IN STRUGGLE FILM SERIES

Tomorrow, Tuesday the 13th, the Philadelphia Unemployment Project is showing the final installment of our Americans In Struggle film series. This week, it will be Inside Job, which outlines the crooked practices that led to the financial collapse of 2008, and how it devastated our national economy. They will also be showing a short film from Time.com that focuses on the experiences of the 99ers (people who have exhausted their 99 weeks of unemployment compensation and are still out of work).

Refreshments will begin at 5:30pm, and the film will begin at 6pm, following an introduction by Joseph Schwartz, professor of Political Science at Temple University. We're located at 112 N Broad (Broad & Arch), and the film will be on the 2nd floor. If you have questions please call Adam Goldman at 215-557-0822 x127.

WORKSHOPS FOR JOB SEEKERS

Four job-seeker workshops are being offered in December through Chester County's Road to Employment Initiative.

These four-hour workshops are designed to help job-seekers develop a plan for obtaining new employment, acquaint them with important, often-missed steps in undertaking a job search, and to identify the abundance of mostly free resources that are available to help meet their needs during the job search process. This not only includes employment-related information but resources to aid with other important matters, from financial stability to food and health care.

For information on the remaining workshops please click here.

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