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Showing posts from April, 2012

PathWays PA E-Newsletter - April 30, 2012

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State Policy Updates

$1 BILLION BUSINESS TAX CUT EXPECTED TO CUT SERVICES THAT HELP KIDS, FAMILIES: REACH LAWMAKERS ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK

The first priority before the Pennsylvania House when lawmakers return to session next week is to vote on a bill that will cut corporate taxes by close to a billion dollars by the end of the decade, with no commitment from companies to put people back to work. Cutting these taxes will also encourage deep cuts to domestic violence services, education, adult literacy and food pantries due to lost revenue. Billed as a measure to close corporate tax loopholes, House Bill 2150 is paired with such big tax breaks for businesses that it will be a huge net revenue drain on the state for years to come.

If you have feelings about this bill, you can send a Message to Lawmakers on Facebook and Twitter.

Sample messages include:

@Lawmaker Vote no on HB2150. Corporate tax cuts will hurt children and families. PA can’t afford a decade of deep #Pabudget cuts.

Plea…

Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Funding Threatened

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According to our friends at Women in Transition, two funding sources for domestic violence programs is being threatened at the state level.

The first source, funding for Domestic Violence Medical Advocacy programs, may be eliminated by the Department of Health.  This funding ensures that domestic violence advocates are available at hospitals and clinics to work with violence survivors as they come in.  Medical settings are often one of the few places where domestic violence survivors can safely call hotlines, undergo counseling or make a safety plan.

At the same time, a proposal has also been made to cut 9% of funding from the Victims of Crime Act.  While this seems like a small amount of funding, every penny is important at a time when women and families are already being turned away from shelters.

Through these cuts, 93,000 women will lose access to counseling, shelter, legal aid, public assistance, and many other services.

If you support these services, please reach out to Governo…

Try, Try Again

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From our friends at MomsRising
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!

Last year, thanks in large part to the efforts of MomsRising members like you, we came incredibly close to enacting an earned sick days law in Philadelphia. We know how important earned sick days are for families – and we are going to try, try again! With your help, we can get the bill over the finish line this time!

Take a moment to contact the At Large members of City Council and urge them to support the earned sick days bill.

The 2012 earned sick days bill is very similar to last year's bill, but with one important difference: Survivors of domestic violence will now be able to use days they have earned to obtain treatment or counseling.

What else is new this year? City Council. First-year Council members have brought new energy to City Hall, and new momentum for earned sick days.

Last year, City Council members voted to pass the earned sick days bill, but it was vetoed by the mayor. This year, w…

Violence Against Women Act Could Be Voted on as Early as Today

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From our friends at AAUW
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has set the stage for a vote as early as today on the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (S. 1925)! Senators are beginning to discuss the bill on the floor.

This vital bill would update and streamline the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and help ensure VAWA-supported programs receive funding for the next several years.

Call TODAY: Ask your senators to vote for S. 1925!

AAUW knows that VAWA programs often provide the only or best support for victims of domestic and sexual violence. Now, VAWA reauthorization is ready to go -- the Senate just needs to act. The vital programs supported by VAWA are in desperate need of updating, and we can't allow our leaders to dawdle on such an important issue.

Help lead the charge for women and girls nationwide: Ask your senators to vote for the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (S. 1925)!

To call your senators and ask them to vote for the bill to rea…

Senate Agriculture Committee Mark Up and Call to Action

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From our friends at FRAC 
Last night Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) announced that today’s planned mark up of the 2012 Farm Bill has been postponed. News reports suggest that negotiations over the commodities title have delayed action. See “Action on farm bill postponed,” by David Rogers, 4/24/12, posted at http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75562.html.

Today please call Senate Agriculture Committee staff to inquire about the status of the mark up and urge Senators on the Agriculture Committee to
Strengthen and protect SNAP.Cosponsor Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) Sense of the Senate amendment to hold children harmless from any nutrition cuts.Oppose amendments to cut SNAP, such as those from Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) to cut SNAP categorical eligibility, SNAP Employment and Training funding, and state SNAP bonuses, from Senator John Boozman (R-AR) to eliminate “Heat and Eat,” and from Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) to cut SNAP Employment an…

PathWays PA Special Budget Alert

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THE LATEST BUDGET INFORMATION FROM HARRISBURG

While no new budget legislation has emerged from Harrisburg in the past two weeks,  constituents across the state are keeping up the pressure against budget cuts.  Here are some of the clips we've found detailing the potential impact of the budget throughout Pennsylvania:
"Proposed Budget Cuts Would Hit Home" - the proposed cuts to the Human Services Development Block Grant could mean the end of Compeer, a Lehigh Valley organization that recruits and trains volunteers to build friendships with adults receiving mental health services.  According to the article, local programs that provide help to families dealing with autism and prevents the placement of children in foster homes may also be cut."Pennsylvania budget cuts, policy changes are ravaging services, disability advocates say" - Despite 16,000 people waiting for services, agencies in Cumberland and Perry Counties are concerned that they will again have to cut …

Photo ID Required for November 2012 Election

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(This flyer was given out at a Pennsylvania poll location this morning.  Additional information is available at http://www.votespa.com/portal/server.pt/community/preparing_for_election_day/13517/voter_id_law/1115447.)

ALL voters will be required to show a photo ID before voting at a polling place
All photo IDs must be current and contain an expiration date, unless noted otherwise. Acceptable IDs include:

Photo IDs issued by the U.S. Federal Government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:Pennsylvania driver's license or non-driver's license photo ID (IDs are valid for voting purposes 12 months past expiration date)Valid U.S. passport (not expired)U.S. military ID - active duty and retired military (a military or veteran's ID must designate an expiration date or designate that the expiration date is indefinite). Military dependents' ID must contain an expiration dateEmployee photo ID issued by Federal, PA, County or Municipal government'(not expired)Photo ID cards from…

Support the Violence Against Women Act

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From our friends at the Center for American Progress Action Fund
This week, the U.S. Senate is set to vote on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

The bill has never been controversial, but now many in the House and Senate are opposing reauthorization.

This landmark legislation empowers local communities by providing essential resources to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Expiration is unimaginable. Yet that’s where we’re headed.

Our progress could be reversed at a time when we need to push forward. We have to act now, before the vote.

Click here to tell Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act immediately. This can’t fail.

Since its passage in 1994, this law has been an unqualified success. The number of women killed by an intimate partner has fallen 34%.

The new version of the bill not only continues proven programs, but extends protections to more people, including those in same-sex relationships.

We can’t stand…

PathWays PA Newsletter - April 23, 2012

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HELP MAKE CALLS FOR EARNED SICK DAYS

In Philadelphia, over 40% of workers do not have a single paid day that they can use to care for themselves or a family member when sick. Last year the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces and PathWays PA passed a bill in City Council that would give workers the opportunity to earn a minimum number of paid sick days. Unfortunately, this bill was vetoed by the Mayor.

The proposed 2012 earned sick days bill is very similar to last year’s bill, but with one important difference. After studying earned sick days bills across the country, the Coalition added a “safe days” option to the bill so that workers who are survivors of domestic violence can receive the medical attention and support they need to leave an abuser.

To pass this bill again, and to pass it with a veto-proof majority, we need your help. Will you call your City Council member right now?

If you see your City Council member in the list below, please call and tell them you supp…

National Drug Take-Back Day on April 28

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The National Drug Take-Back Day provides an opportunity for the public to surrender expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications for destruction. These drugs are a potential source of supply for illegal use and an unacceptable risk to public health and safety. More than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Survey on drug use and health.

Each day, approximently 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time, according to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

National Drug Take-Back Day is:
Saturday, April 28, 2012
10:00AM - 2:00PM

Details about National Take-Back Day:
The program is anonymous.Prescription and over the counter solid dosage medications (i.e. tablets and capsules…

"Building a Healthy America: A Profile of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program"

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From our friends at the USDA
For the last four decades, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has played a critical role in the lives of millions of Americans in the fight against hunger and improved nutrition. In fiscal year 2011, SNAP served nearly 45 million people. As re-authorization of SNAP approaches, policymakers and interested citizens need reliable information to assess the program’s strengths and identify opportunities for improvement.

A new FNS report, Building a Healthy America: A Profile of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides a summary of past research on program operations and outcomes. We hope you find the information useful and look forward to continuing our work together to provide SNAP benefits to those Americans in need.

PathWay PA E-Newsletter: April 16, 2012

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Federal Policy Updates

EQUAL PAY DAY

Equal Pay Day is held annually in April to signify the point into a year that a woman must work to earn what a man made the previous year. Census statistics released in September, 2010 show that women still earn 77 percent of what men earn, based on the median earnings of full-time, year-round workers in 2009.

Gender wage discrimination has been illegal since President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963 but the wage gap persists. Women earned 59 cents to every dollar earned by men in 1963, but progress has slowed and the gender wage gap widened slightly from 77.8 to 77.1 percent between 2007 and 2008.

For more information about Equal Pay Day and ways to be involved visit Business and Professional Women’s Foundation. Also be sure to reach out to your members of Congress and urge them to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

TAKE A STAND WITH JUVENILE JUSTICE ADVOCATES

Juvenile justice advocates in the Mid-Atlantic region have been making tremendo…

New Toolkit Helps Young People Make Smart Career Choices

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From our friends at NNSP
Young people sometimes struggle to connect their education with the job market, especially in this economy. It can be hard to know which jobs will be hiring, what to study, and where to go to school. Meanwhile, NNSP hears more and more often from employers that young people need to get going as soon as possible on gaining the skills and credentials required for good jobs.

We’re happy to say that there’s a new resource that can help. Our partner organization in the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce, Young Invincibles, has created the Skills That Work toolkit in order to help young people make smart choices. It provides labor market information for each state in a format designed to help them understand their options.

The toolkit can help guide young people into successful careers. For example, it makes it possible to quickly find out what fields of study have the best employment prospects in a state, and what educational credentials the fastest growing…

SNAP Call-In Days - Tuesday, April 17 Through Thursday, April 19

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From our friends at FRAC
Strengthen and Protect Our Nation’s First Line of Defense Against Hunger

Background: Both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are poised to take up SNAP legislation in the coming weeks. Bad choices could weaken SNAP/Food Stamps or do worse damage. It is critically important that your Senators and House Members hear a roar from constituents opposing proposals to cap or reduce funding, restrict eligibility or reduce benefits in SNAP – and that efforts should be made to strengthen, not weaken, the program. Members of Congress should also support efforts to strengthen TEFAP, so it too can better respond in times of increased need.

Messages:

Call Your Senators Toll Free: 1-877-698-8228* - You will be directed to the offices of your SenatorsCall Your House Members: 202-225-3121 (Capitol Switchboard)
SNAP Message: Every communication to your Members of Congress and the media should contain these three words: strengthen, protect, SNAP.

TEFAP Message: U…

Save Pennsylvania's Bridge to Self-Sufficiency

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From our friends at PA Cares for All:

The Media Mobilizing Project, in conjunction with the NorthEast Treatment Center, have produced a great short video featuring several people whose lives have been saved by General Assistance. You can watch it below.



If you support General Assistance, please plan to join the Coalition in Harrisburg for a rally on May 7. Please fill out the form available here or call us at 267-765-6488.


Equal Pay Day Roundup

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In the almost six years I've been at PathWays PA, the topics I talk about seem to fall into a few main categories: earned sick days, self-sufficiency, budget issues, and equal pay.  So naturally on Equal Pay Day, I like to do a special event, take part in a blog carnival, and do other things to mark the occasion.  Sadly for me this year, the day is half over and I haven't had time to do very much. So, instead, here's a roundup of the best I've seen online today.

And for those of you who really miss reading something that I wrote (Hi Mom!), here is a piece from International Women's Day back in March.
New Study: Men Earn More Than Women Within Nearly All the Most Common Occupations Women's Work: A Political Flashpoint and an Urgent Policy Imperative:National Partnership InfographicFactsheet: Working Women and the Wage GapROC United Action in Support of Increasing the Tipped WageMomsRising Blog Carnival

Get Your Taxes Done For Free Today!

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PathWays PA and Sovereign Bank invite you to get your taxes done for free!

WHEN: Monday, April 16, 2012 10:00 a.m.— 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Sovereign Bank at Suburban Station, Concourse Level, 1500 Market Street in Philadelphia

PathWays PA’s FREE Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offers:
IRS certified tax preparers specialized in maximizing tax credits
Electronic filing of federal and state returns
Direct deposit to bank accounts or prepaid debit cards, available on-site, for refunds within eight days to two weeks
Purchase of US Savings Bonds simply by checking a box on your tax forms

To schedule an appointment or receive further information, call Ann DelCollo at 1-800-209-2914 or 610-543-5022 x221.

Walk-ins are welcome!

Taxpayers MUST have Social Security Cards for taxpayer, spouse, and dependents. Proof of identification and all tax forms issued for the 2011 tax year are also required.

AmeriCorps VISTA positions with PathWays PA

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PathWays PA is currently recruiting for AmeriCorps* VISTAs to work in our self-sufficiency department and several other locations. There are five positions open, all which will begin in June, doing the following work.  To apply for these positions, please visit http://bit.ly/agUJVG and search for "PathWays PA" under Program Name.

Veterans/Underserved Financial Education (2-3 positions)
The VISTA member will play an essential role in our financial literacy program, which provides financial education and public benefits outreach. He or she will be directly contributing to the overall success of the program by working to disseminate information to new and current partners, recruiting new organizational contacts, and developing new publications and resources. This work will ultimately improve the impact of our program.

Economic Opportunity (2-3 positions)
PathWays PA is pursuing several new opportunities to build capacity in financial education work. A VISTA member as part of an…

No More Junk in School Foods National Webinar

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Concerned about junk food in schools? Want to get the inside scoop on upcoming USDA action to improve the nutritional quality of foods sold in schools? Or want to participate in MomsRising's upcoming blog carnival on school foods and not sure what to write?

Bring your questions, comments and concerns to: No More Junk in School Foods National Webinar

FRIDAY, April 13, 2012 at 12PM ET

MomsRising is hosting this webinars with their partners at PreventObesity.net. Join them for this informative and interactive session on important data related to the impact of junk food on children's health and the upcoming USDA proposal for nutrition standards for snack foods sold in schools.

To register the free 45-minute webinars click below:

Friday, April 13th at 12pm ET - http://bit.ly/HgKplf

Jessica Donze Black, the Director of the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project – a joint initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-- will give the keynote presentati…

Special Budget Alert - April 11, 2012

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State

In the past month, Pennsylvania collected higher than expected revenues, with $4.1 billion entering the General Fund in March 2012. This amount represents a 2.4% increase over projections. A small part of the additional revenue can be traced to Pennsylvania’s casinos, which posted record profits for the month, adding $126.5 million in tax revenue.

Although the Secretary of Revenue is still reporting a $389 million dollar loss for the year, the increased funds could mean a lower than expected total loss. According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, the Governor’s budget assumes a loss of $719 million, and the additional revenue could be used to ameliorate some of the cuts in the Governor’s budget.

In looking at other ways to raise revenue, citizens, advocates, and lawmakers have been putting forth ideas for preventing this year’s budget cuts before they happen. In late March, the Better Choices for Pennsylvania Coalition held a press conference in Harrisburg asking f…

PathWays PA Job Postings

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Achieving Independence Mentoring Supervisor
Candidate must possess knowledge and understanding of volunteer recruitment and retention. Will have experience with issues related to older adolescents. Possess the ability to identify with and adapt to the goals and philosophies of the mentoring program. Be a mature individual with knowledge of parenting issues, community resources, and the skills necessary to live independently. This person shall demonstrate insight, empathy, flexibility, perseverance, and team orientation. Generate reports and supervise 1 full-time and 1 part-time employee. Must be able to make presentations to businesses, corporations and other service groups to provide information and elicit interest. A BSW or Bachelor's Degree is required for this position. Please fax your resume to: LD/BD at 610-328-2807.

Controller/Finance Director (Delaware County, PA)
PathWays PA is seeking an experienced hands-on financial leader to oversee all finance and IT functions. Must …