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Showing posts from January, 2012

Videos from PathWays PA's EITC Kick Off

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Last week PathWays PA Kicked Off our FREE tax services for this year.  Below are videos taken from the event.

Lyn Kugel from PathWays PA discusses the FREE tax services and how you can contact us to set up an appointment.


Philadelphia Councilman Bill Greenlee came out to support PathWays PA and inform the public about our services.

PathWays PA E-Alert: January 30, 2012

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FREE TAX PREP FROM PATHWAYS PA

PathWays PA’s Self Sufficiency team wants to be sure that you are aware of our free tax preparation service.

Our basic tax preparation service is designed to provide FREE tax filing for households whose income does not exceed $50,000. We are able to serve tax filers who are disabled or who do not speak English as their first language.

Our goal is help tax filers access their Earned Income and other tax credits.  In addition, this year, PathWays PA is offering Tax Counseling for the Elderly, featuring free tax preparation for Senior Citizens without the income constraint.

We are offering free tax preparation service at a number of locations. Our locations and hours can
be found here
. If you or someone you know would like to have taxes prepared by the Self Sufficiency team, please call 610-543-5022 to schedule an appointment.


And please remember to refer your friends and family to our free services!

Federal Policy Updates



REACH OUT TO CONGRESS REGARDING UN…

Free Tax Preparation from PathWays PA

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PathWays PA’s Self Sufficiency team wants to be sure that you are aware of our free tax preparation service.

Our basic tax preparation service is designed to provide FREE tax filing for households whose income does not exceed $50,000. We also want to reach tax filers who are disabled or who do not speak English as their first language. Our goal is help tax filers access their Earned Income and other tax credits. In addition, this year, PathWays PA is offering Tax Counseling for the Elderly, featuring free tax preparation for Senior Citizens without the income constraint.

PathWays PA is offering free tax preparation service at a number of locations. Our locations and hours are detailed below. If you or someone you know would like to have taxes prepared by the Self Sufficiency team, please call to schedule an appointment

PathWays PA has stationary sites in Philadelphia and Delaware Counties

Philadelphia

Women in Transition
21 South 12th Street, 6th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215…

Harrisburg Update

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Last week the state Supreme Court overturned the Legislature`s new maps for 2012 House and Senate races, leaving current districts in place until a five-member commission that designed the plan fixes the court`s concerns. The 4-3 decision gave a glimmer of hope to lawmakers opposed to the changes in the Legislative Reapportionment Commission`s plan.

Sen. Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, one of those who appealed the commission`s maps, said the court decision would present an opportunity to argue for keeping the Brewster seat. Stephen Miskin, spokesman for House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R -Allegheny, said Turzai believes the plan that was submitted “met the standards, and conditions set forth in the Constitution” and in legal precedent. “Until we get an opinion, we can`t know what needs to be fixed but will respond accordingly,” Miskin said. Click here to read a Pittsburgh Tribune Review article for further details.

It's Tax Time - Get Your Taxes Done for Free In Philadelphia!

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Did you know that there are a number of locations in our community where low- and moderate income people can get help filing their taxes at no cost?

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which is funded in part by the IRS, offers free tax help to people making less than approximately $50,000 a year.

In addition to receiving much-needed tax help, families will also learn about important tax credits that they may be missing out on. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a tax credit especially for low-income working families. It helps workers keep more of the money they earned, which helps families pay their rent and buy groceries or new shoes for their kids.

The amount of your EITC refund depends on things like income and family size, but many families receive rebates of a couple thousand dollars – make sure you don’t miss out on your refund! If you didn’t claim the EITC in the past, you may also be able to file amended claims and receive more of the money you’ve earned.

It's Tax Time - Get Your Taxes Done for Free In Delaware County!

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Learn More About the Earned Income Tax Credit

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From our friends at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families

Last year, over 26 million people nationwide received nearly $59 billion in EITC. The EIC has a big impact on families with children as last year 6.6 million people, 3.3 million of them children, were lifted out of poverty last year due to EITC. While these are impressive numbers, the IRS estimates between 20% and 25% of those eligible for the credit do NOT claim it.

Are you eligible to claim EITC for 2011 taxes?
Must have earned income in 2011 Must have a valid Social Security number Investment income limited to $3,150 Generally, must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year Cannot use “married filing separate” filing status Cannot be a qualifying child of another person Cannot file Form 2555 or 2555-EZ (related to foreign earned income)
If you meet these rules, your earned income must also be less than . . .
$13,660 ($18,740 if married filing jointly) with no qualifying childr…

Join a Forum to Discuss What You Want in A Philadelphia School Superintendent

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COMMUNITY FORUM NOTICE - OPEN TO ALL
The School District of Philadelphia recently announced its superintendent search process.

United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, in partnership with the Penn Project for Civic Engagement, wants your input on leadership characteristics the School Reform Commission (SRC) has identified to guide the selection of the next leader of the school district.

Please Join Us. No RSVPs required.

PathWays PA Job Postings

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Controller/Finance Director (Delaware County, PA)
PathWays PA is seeking an experienced hands-on financial leader to oversee all finance and IT functions. Must have five or more years of non-profit accounting/financial management experience. Bachelor's degree in Accounting required; MBA or CPA a plus. Fax resume with salary requirements to JLM 610-328-2807.

Learning Center Group Supervisor
Experience in preschool setting and knowledge of early childhood development required. Develop and implement individualized educational goals for children. Requires a minimum Associates Degree from an Accredited College or University, including 30 credit hours in early childhood education, child development, special education, elementary education, or the Human Services field and three years of experience with children. BSW preferred. E-mail or Fax resumes to: LD/CFF/LC at 610-328-2807.

Part-Time Income Tax Preparers
P/T Income Tax Preparer Needed for Non-Profit Volunteer Income Tax Assistanc…

January 24 Webinar: What Will Healthcare Reform Mean to Your PA Business?

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Your Bottom Line: What Health Care Reform Means for Pennsylvania
From our friends at PHAN
PHAN is partnering with Small Business Majority to offer an important webinar to help small business owners understand how the Affordable Care Act will affect them. RSVP today! We'll cover state and federal provisions aimed at lowering costs, how to apply for the new small business tax credits, and key choices for state lawmakers as they establish a new competitive health insurance marketplace in Pennsylvania. A Q and A session with a small business liaison from the IRS will follow.

WHAT: Your Bottom Line--What Health Care Reform Means for Pennsylvania Small Businesses
WHEN: Tuesday, Jan.24th from 11AM - 12PM
Click here to RSVP!

DelcoAD to Kickoff Free Tax Prep with Mayor of Upper Darby

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Delaware County, PA - On Friday, January 27, DelcoAD will host a press conference and outreach event to promote Earned Income Tax Credit awareness and kickoff the 2012 tax filing season. The event will be held in the main lobby of Upper Darby's 69th Street Terminal from 1:00pm - 2:00pm and will include remarks from Mayor Micozzie, Pennsylvania State Representative Davidson, IRS Pennsylvania Territory Manager Jim Daugherty and PathWays PA President and CEO Carol Goertzel. It will also mark the opening of DelcoAD's ten Volunteer Income Tax Preparation sites, where Delaware County residents earning less than $50,000 annually can receive free tax preparation.

National EITC Awareness Day, on January 27 of this year, is a nationwide effort to raise awareness of and access to the Earned Income Tax Credit, one of the largest and most effective anti-poverty tools in the United States. Millions of workers each year overlook the federal tax credit simply because their earnings do not …

Roe v. Wade Twitter Rally

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Friday, January 20th the We’ve Had Enough Campaign will be commemorating the 39th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made it legal for a woman to choose an abortion. Yet, despite the fact that abortion is a legal and safe medical procedure, and has been for the better part of four decades, there still exists those people who seek to undermine that legal right.


This is why we need to stand up and say “We’ve Had Enough.” If you cannot come out to one of the events going on through out Pennsylvania join them on Twitter from noon to 1:00 for an Online Rally. People will be live tweeting from the events and we want to hear from you why you have had enough and what the decision in Roe means to you.


All you need to do is follow @wevehadenoughpa and #roevwade and then tweet from your own account what your thoughts are on the Anniversary of Roe and the attacks against women’s health. Please use #roevwade in your tweets so we can be sure to see what you are saying …

PathWay PA E-Newsletter: January 17, 2012

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Special PathWays PA Updates

TAX SEASON IS AROUND THE CORNER – SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT NOW

If you made less than $50,000 in 2011, you are likely eligible for PathWays PA’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA helps return thousands of dollars into the community every year and provides free income tax preparation services to those that need it most.

To schedule your appointment, call PathWays PA at 610-543-5022!

PATHWAYS PA IS LOOKING FOR GENTLY USED PROFESSIONAL CLOTHING!

PathWays PA has recently launched our Dress For Your Dreams – MLK Day 2012 campaign! We’re looking for gently used professional and semi-professional clothing. With this, we’ll enable our clients to have the right clothing for job interviews and starting work at new places of employment. If you’d like to donate, contact Chelsea Kohler at ckohler@pathwayspa.org.  For more information, visit the Dress for Your Dreams site.


Federal Policy Updates

HELP RAISE THE TIPPED MINIMUM WAGE

The federal minimum wage…

This Week in Harrisburg: Transportation

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The legislature remained in recess last week, but it was revealed that Governor Tom Corbett will unveil his much-awaited plan for dealing with the state’s transportation funding shortfall during his Feb. 5 budget message or sooner. According to an article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, a top appointee from the Administration the proposal is likely to fall short of the recommendations of the governor’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission, which presented a plan in August to raise up to $2.5 billion in new annual revenue for roads, bridges and public transit. Testifying at a hearing of the House Democratic Policy Committee at Point Park University, state Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch said Mr. Corbett “recognizes the need to make investment in transportation” but also said “the economy’s very fragile now.” Click here to read the Pittsburgh Post Gazette article.

Pennsylvania Plans to Reinstate Asset Limits on SNAP (Food Stamps)

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2/06/2012 UPDATE: Last week, the Department of Public Welfare announced that asset tests would be set at $5,500 for households (age 59 and under) and $9,000 for households with older Pennsylvanians (age 60 and above) or disabled individuals. For more information, please visit http://policypathwayspa.blogspot.com/2012/02/update-on-snap-asset-testing.html

Yesterday, Pennsylvania's Department of Public Welfare announced that it was sending a request to the USDA to re-implement asset tests to ascertain eligibility for the SNAP (food stamp) program.  If the request goes through, asset limits will go into effect on May 1, 2012.

Implementing an "asset test" means that in addition to income eligibility guidelines, applicants may not have above a certain amount in additional resources.  Under the proposed measure, Pennsylvanians with more than $2,000 in savings or assets ($3,250 for adults 60 and over) would not be able to obtain food stamps, even if they meet income guidelines…

January 11th is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

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From our friends at WOMEN’S WAY

Did you know?

Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery. Victims of trafficking are tricked, lured, coerced, or otherwise removed from their home or country, and then exploited for commercial sex or labor purposes.

Did you know?

Human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms trade as the second largest criminal industry in the world and it is the fastest growing.

Did you know?

This horrific crime drastically impacts women as 80% of human trafficking victims are women and girls. Studies indicate that the average age of a U.S. female to be forced to enter into sex trafficking is just 12 years old.

Did you know?

Human trafficking occurs all over this country, including Pennsylvania and in the City of Philadelphia. But the Philadelphia Anti-Trafficking Coalition (PATC), is working to help victims and put an end to this brutal crime.

Want to do something?


Attend a Film Screening and Discussion

On Wednesday, January 11, 2012, the Philadelphia…

PathWays PA E-Alert: January 9, 2012

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YOU ARE INVITED TO A PAID SICK DAYS HAPPY HOUR!

WHEN: Tuesday, January 10, 5PM-7PM
WHERE: El Fuego, 723 Walnut Street, Philadelphia


The Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplacesis hosting a Happy Hour at El Fuego, a restaurant which provides paid sick days to its employees, to celebrate the progress made on paid sick days and to provide the opportunity to learn more about this important issue. Light food will be provided.

Over 40% of Philadelphia workers have no access to a single paid sick day, and many of those workers handle food or work with vulnerable populations.

To RSVP please email kscully@pathwayspa.org or click here.

Thrifty Shoppers Hurt By Rising Food Prices

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In tough economic times, many careful shoppers turn to affordable staples to help feed their families nutritious, filling meals: things like ground beef, potatoes, chicken, and eggs. However, as a recent NPR article describes, basic food items like these have experienced a disproportionately large rise in price in the last year. The 10% spike in the cost of these foods is triple the overall rate of inflation last year (3.4%). The prices of food eaten at home (groceries) rose substantially faster than the prices of foods eaten away from home (fast food, restaurants).

While eating at home is still much cheaper than eating out, these rising food costs can place a large burden for a family with a tight food budget. Although global food prices have begun to drop since their peak in February 2011, food prices in the grocery stores, particularly for beef and wheat products like bread and cereal, should continue to rise throughout 2012.

It's Freezing in Pennsylvania - the Budget, That Is

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While many of us in Pennsylvania are shivering through the first real cold spell of the winter, Governor Corbett's budget announcement yesterday sent new shivers through many programs and services already struggling in a tough economy.  The projected $486 million revenue shortfall led to the Governor's proposal to "freeze" $160 million in spending. (For further analysis of the revenue shortfall, please visit this link from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.) While this funding could be made available again in the fiscal year if revenue picks up, in most cases, budget freezes equal budget cuts.

Below is a partial list of the cuts made to programs - for a full list, visit http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/document/1214310/12_01_04_2011_12_freeze_tr_web_pdf.



Not all line items were frozen. Below are some important items that remain at the same funding levels:

Farmer's Market Food Coupons: $2,079,000State Food Purchase: $17,338,000Basic Education …

Start the New Year off with Human Rights: Apply Now for the 2012 Human Rights Institute

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From our friends at The Human Rights Project.
The Human Rights Project at the Urban Justice Center is pleased to announce that we are accepting applications for the 2012 Human Rights Institute.

The Human Rights Institute (HRI) is an annual three-day fellowship program hosted by the Human Rights Project in partnership with the US Human Rights Network. Each year, the HRI brings together a select group of advocates and activists from across the United States to strategize with leaders in the field around the use of human rights mechanisms and standards in local advocacy efforts. The HRI provides tools for applying the human rights framework to local struggles for economic and social justice, such as the human rights to housing, health, education, decent work, and freedom from racial discrimination. The HRI also offers tailored workshops on organizing, messaging, and more. Interested applicants can find out more about the Institute here.

The 2012 Institute will take place March 28-30th in…