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Showing posts from August, 2012

Thanks Delco Deals Diva for Donating!

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A great local blogger has just donated back to school items to PathWays PA with help from Gutzy Gear and Madame Deals Media!  Read more about the donation on her blog, Delco Deals Diva.

Labor Day Twitter Chat w/ Hilda Solis

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On Thursday Aug. 30th at 2 pm EDT, the U.S. Department of Labor will host a live Twitter chat with Secretary Hilda Solis. According to the Department of Labor's website:
"Every year, on the first Monday in September, we honor the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. In advance of Labor Day 2012, Secretary Hilda Solis -- "America's Job Counselor" -- will host a live Twitter chat at 2 p.m. EDT, Thursday, August 30. This is a great opportunity, especially for high school and college students, to ask questions and receive information on entering the workforce, finding job training programs and identifying up-and-coming careers. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #LaborDay2012 or tweet questions in advance to @HildaSolisDOL." You can register for the event and find more information at http://webapps.dol.gov/DOLEvents/Event/View/107/Labor-Day-Twitter-Chat. This is a great chance to acknowledge Labor Da…

Twitter Chat Today: #AskUSDA

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The US Department of Agriculture will be hosting a live twitter chat with USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, Dr. Janey Thornton, at 1 PM today, August 29th.
Dr. Thornton will answer questions about school lunches and nutrition in response to the implementation of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kid's Act. The law will increase the availability of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in children's lunches this school year.

Before following the twitter chat, check out the USDA's "School Lunches Just got Healthier" toolkit, which contains more information about the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act.

To participate in the twitter chat, use the hashtag #AskUSDA or follow @USDA.

Voter ID Blitz Day!

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From our friends at SEIU

Wednesday August 29th, 12 pm
PennDOT Office at 8th and Arch

Stand Together and Protect the Right To Vote!

The Commonwealth has announced that starting the week of August 27th, Pennsylvania residents who are unable to obtain the necessary documentation for a standard PennDOT ID will be able to request a free Department of State photo ID card for voting purposes only at any PennDOT Driver’s License Center.

On Wednesday August 29th we will be sending volunteers to PennDOT locations to assist people with getting an ID. We hope to help as many people as possible, to raise awareness of any problems that occur, and—if the process is significantly flawed—to try to block the photo ID law in court.

If you need an ID for voting, but have been unable to get one because you do not have a
birth certificate or other necessary documentation,
or if you what to make sure all Pennsylvanians can vote,
Join Us!

For more info, contact SEIU toll-free at (855) 4PA-VOTE or pavot…

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: August 27, 2012

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Special Alert

During the Election Season, PathWays PA will send out a special email with important updates and services as we learn of them.  If you have a service or issue you would like us to discuss, please let us know by email at policy@pathwayspa.org.  For those of you who are interested in learning more about helping your clients register to vote, you may want to learn more about tomorrow's webinar from the Better Choices Coalition.
Federal Policy Updates

MEETING ON MEDICAID EXPANSION - 8/28

The Pennsylvania Health Access Network, Maternity Care Coalition,  the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, the Pennsylvania Health Law Project, Community Legal Services, the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Unemployment Project, Resources for Human Development Inc, Consumer Health Coalition, and SEIU Healthcare PA would like to invite you to a strategy meeting about Medicaid expansion under the ACA.
The Medicaid expansion is a tremendous opportunity for…

Webinar: Registering Your Clients to Vote

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Interested in helping your clients or consumers register and vote, but not sure how to get started? Uncertain about the guidelines for 501(c)3 organizations interested in doing civic engagement work? Help has arrived!
The Better Choices for PA Coalition is partnering with Pennsylvania VOICE to offer free technical assistance to service providers interested in setting up nonpartisan voter registration programs for their clients. This assistance includes: A trainer who can come to your site, train staff and volunteers, and offer hands-on help with setup and startupAll the materials you will needInformation on the state's new Voter ID law and answers to any questions about what civic engagement activities are pemissible to 501(c)3 organizationsA follow-up phone call to the voters you register to encourage them to go to the pollsTo get more information,please join the Coalition's webinar Tuesday, August 28th at 4pm.  Details below:
Log into the Go to Meeting website: https://www2.goto…

Chester Woman is Fined $600/day for Feeding Children From Her House

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Since many children in lower-income families acquire their sustenance from school meals during the year, the summer can be a difficult time for these children to get the food that they need. In some families, breakfast and lunch at school are the only meals that kids get to eat in a day, prompting some organizations such as Feeding America to start BackPack Programs to send children home with food to eat for dinner.

This summer, Angela Prattis has been attempting to alleviate this problem by distributing free meals (provided by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia) out of her driveway.

However, she is facing fines of $600 a day from Chester Township officials for every day that she has fed the kids. Township officials state that the violation resulted from conducting commercial activities in a residential zone. To continue, she has been asked to request a zoning variance which costs about $1,000.

What do you think? Is Angela Prattis guilty of a zoning violation? If so, do you agree that s…

Female Olympians

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I cried, and I don’t mean the quiet, almost elegant tears that trickle down an athlete’s face on a medal stand; these tears were messy, but were filled with pride and hope. As I watched Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani, the first female athlete from Saudi Arabia to compete in the Olympics, take a hesitant step onto the mat, I felt my whole being screaming “you go girl!” And yes, I know it is a cliché, but I couldn’t help myself.

82 seconds later, the 16 year old Shaherkani had been defeated in her elimination judo match, and was bombarded by reporters clamoring for her attention. An 82 second judo loss is not usually a noteworthy feat, but the political, social, and cultural implications of Shaherkani’s competition reach far beyond her scores and skill as a judoka.

Saudi Arabia had never allowed a female to compete in the Olympics until this year, when they traveled to London with Shaherkani and with Sarah Attar (who participated in track and field). Within the confines of thei…

Philadelphia Housing Authority Information Sessions This Week

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From our friends at Vote for Homes!

In response to questions from community allies like yourselves, the Philadelphia Housing Authority are hosting two information sessions/trainings on its program, policies, and procedures.

Tuesday, 8/21/12 - 10am-12pm or
Thursday, 9/6/12 - 10am-12pm
Training location: PHA Warnock Facility at 2850 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19133
Sign-up here: http://bit.ly/PHAinfoFALLSUMMER

Topics:
Overview of PHA Programs
Eligibility
Waitlist and Tenant Selection
Tenant Policies, Procedures, and Services

All are welcome, but space is limited, so signup here ASAP to reserve your spot. (http://bit.ly/PHAinfoFALLSUMMER)

What is Sequestration?

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From our friends at CLASP

Sequestration was created in August 2011 as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which ended the showdown over raising the federal debt ceiling. Because Congress failed to come up with a deficit reduction plan, the Budget Control Act calls for $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts over the next decade.

Unless Congress acts to create a balanced package that includes budget savings and increased revenues, these cuts will hit families hard.
1.6 million fewer adults, dislocated workers and at-risk youth will have access to job training or education and employment services; 80,000 fewer children will receive child care subsidies, making it harder for their parents to go to work; 96,000+ fewer children will be served in Head Start; and 1.8 million fewer disadvantaged students will receive education services through Title I.  With so many millions of workers, families and children struggling, we can't let these indiscriminate cuts happen. CLASP has joined…

Social Security Offers Workshop on Disability Claims

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The Social Security Administration is conducting a free seminar for disability advocates, social services workers, congressional staffers, attorneys and other professionals who work with the disability community in Philadelphia.

Anatomy of a Disability Claim will focus on the Social Security and SSI disability benefit programs, eligibility factors and the application process.

WHEN: Thursday, August 23rd, 9:00 – 12:30

WHERE: Temple University Hospital

For more information, email Richard Gaudiosi or call 1-866-964-7397, ext. 22429.

Homestead Exemption Deadline Extended for Philadelphia Homeowners

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Homeowners in Philadelphia will now be able to save money on their real estate taxes thanks to legislation passed by the City of Philadelphia providing a Homestead Exemption to all Philadelphia homeowners.

Because the Actual Value Initiative, which will make massive changes to the real estate tax system, will not be implemented until next year, the deadline for the Homestead Exemption has been extended to November 15th.

A Homestead Exemption means that if you own your home, you can qualify for a reduction of your home's reassessment, and therefore reduce your tax bill. There are no age or income restrictions and all homeowners in the city are encouraged to apply.

For more information, go here.

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: August 13, 2012

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Federal Policy Updates 

CONGRESS LEAVES WITHOUT A FARM BILL

Congress has been working on the reauthorization of the Farm Bill, which includes funding for the food stamp, or SNAP, program.

The House Agricultural Committee passed a bill out of Committee that cuts $16 billion from the program. If that bill becomes law 2 to 3 million people would lose their food assistance and 280 million children would no longer qualify for free school lunches. This at a time when in the United States 1 out of every 7 and in Philadelphia 1 out of every 4 people are struggling with hunger.

Congress left for the August recess without coming to agreement on a Farm Bill. The current 5-year bill is set to expire on September 30th. That leaves the SNAP funding and other farm programs unresolved until Congress returns in September.

If you support funding for SNAP there is still time to contact your legislators and urge them not to cut these important programs.


State Policy Updates 

ESTIMATED ANNUAL COST OF CHIL…

HEMAP is Back!

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Applications for the Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) are now being accepted.

The HEMAP program is officially back in business as of today! Thanks to the efforts of many advocates and homeowners the Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program has been restored in Pennsylvania. Funding has come from the National Mortgage Settlement which resulted from the law suit by the state Attorney's General against the largest mortgage banks. 90% of the $66 million coming to PA is targeted for HEMAP over the next five years.

To apply you can contact non-profit housing counseling agencies throughout Pennsylvania. Click here to find an agency near you

From our friends at the Philadelphia Unemployment Project

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: August 6, 2012

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Federal Policy Updates 

CONGRESS IN AGREEMENT TO WORK ON A 6-MONTH CONTINUING RESOLUTION

Last week House and Senate leaders announced that a deal has been reached to pass a 6-month continuing resolution to fund the federal government through next spring.

Details of the agreement have not yet been made public, but the continuing resolution will reportedly fund federal agencies at current spending levels. With both chambers of Congress on summer recess, a vote on the agreement will likely be held in September, before the end of the fiscal year.

If this agreement is enacted it will ensure that the government will not be shutdown at the end of September when the current spending plan ends.

HELP MOVE THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT FORWARD

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) needs to be reauthorized to ensure the continuation of vital, life-saving programs and laws. It was the first piece of American legislation that recognized the pervasive nature of domestic violence, dating violence, …