PathWays PA E-Newsletter: April 27, 2009

May 12: Save the Date!

Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling To Make Ends in Pennsylvania will be released in the Capitol Rotunda at on May 12 at 9 AM.

This report shows how many people live above and below The Self-Sufficiency Standard of Pennsylvania.

RSVP now to Ann DelCollo at or by calling 800-209-2914.

Sign a Letter in Support of the Budget We Need!

Congress is close to an agreement on the federal budget. We must make sure the budget is strong in supporting rebuilding and renewing out economy through health care reform and investments in education and other vital services.

Please send an email to your Representatives and Senators asking them to support the best possible budget during final negotiations - and to vote for the final budget when it reaches the House or Senate floor.

PA Hunger Network Forum!

Come and join in the discussion.

Hunger is a significant problem in Pennsylvania with 1,400,000 at risk of hunger and 423,000 of them experiencing hunger. While there are many public and private programs designed to help food insecure people they are not always well connected or coordinated with each resulting in service deliver gaps and redundancies.

When: June 2, 2009 8:00 – 3:00

Where: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Show Building, VIP Room

Cost: $60 per person (includes AM break, lunch, and materials)

Registration Deadline: May 22, 2009

If you would like to register or have any questions please contact the PA Hunger Action Center at 717-233-6705.

Urge Governor Rendell and Representative Evans to Support the Homeowners’ Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP)!

In light of the rising numbers of unemployed Pennsylvanians and the increase in the number of mortgage foreclosures, it is imperative that funding for the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s HEMAP program be increased to $20 million. HEMAP is designed to loan money to unemployed or ill homeowners to make mortgage payments until they can get back on their feet. With a 74% increase in foreclosures and an unemployment rate on the rise, programs like HEMAP must be expanded.

Join the Pennsylvania Unemployment Project by sending letters to Governor Rendell and Representative Evans, urging them to support HEMAP. Click to access the letter to Governor Rendell and to Representative Evans. To sign on, email John Dodds at

Urge Senators Specter and Casey to Support the Paycheck Fairness Act!

The Paycheck Fairness Act, passed in the House and now pending in the Senate, aims to strengthen current laws against wage discrimination and requires the federal government to be more proactive in preventing and battling wage discrimination. It is critical for the bill to have more co-sponsors for it to successfully pass the Senate.

Please join the National Women’s Law Center by sending letters to Senators Specter and Casey, urging them to become co-sponsors of the Paycheck Fairness Act. Click here to access the letters to Senator Specter and Senator Casey.

Turn Up the Volume for Equal Pay Day 2009!

As we approach Equal Pay Day 2009, the point in the year when women’s earnings finally catch-up to those of men from the previous year, we must make a louder noise than ever before, using our votes and our voices to win economic justice.

Please join 9to5 in their efforts to turn up the volume by clicking here to find an Equal Pay Day Know Your Rights factsheet, sample op-ed, and sample letter.

You can use the Know Your Rights factsheet to become more familiar with the issue and then pass it along to help educate your co-workers, friends and family.

Use the sample op-ed to make your voice heard in community newspapers and other local media outlets.

The sample letter is a way that you and others can let your U.S. Senators hear your support for the Paycheck Fairness Act.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Free Advocacy Training for Direct Care Leaders

Please join Direct Care Alliance at its 2nd Annual “Voices Institute” Retreat.

When: September 22 – October 3, 2009

Where: Racine, Wisconsin

Online Application due Thursday, April 30, 2009.

This is a one-week intensive leadership and advocacy training retreat to help direct care workers, worker association and coalition staff, and other advocates develop their leadership, advocacy, and organizational development skills, so they can advocate more effectively for better direct care jobs.

For more information on applying for this retreat please click here.

Urge Pennsylvania State Legislators to Ensure the PA Tuition Relief Act Passes!

The Pennsylvania Association for Continuing Education (PAACE) is urging the Pennsylvania state legislators to ensure that the Pennsylvania Tuition Relief Act passes making college tuition more affordable for every Pennsylvania family earning under $100,000 a year. It will help more than 170,000 students and it will put a college degree within reach of 10,000 students who otherwise would be unable to afford tuition.

PAACE has created an online petition and is urging you to sign. Please ask your students, volunteers and community partners to also get involved. The petition can be accessed online at:

PA 7th Congressional District: Pennsylvania Institute of Technology Veterans Scholarship

The PA 7th Congressional District is offering a Veterans Scholarship that provides the necessary funds to pay all tuition and fees of eligible veterans who receive full Pell and PHEAA funding and enroll in select degree programs at the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology (PIT).

For more information, you can contact Jack Dixon at PIT via email at or by phone at 866-275-7616.

Swine Flu? Whoops, Forgot to Provide Paid Sick Days.

Outbreaks of a potentially pandemic flu virus, called the "swine flu" are being reported all over the world, including in the U.S. White House officials monitoring the situation are recommending that: "If you're sick, stay home, get treatment, go see a doctor."

This is easier said than done. In the U.S. today, nearly half of workers are not allowed to earn paid sick days. How do the experts expect people to stay home when they are sick , if they don't have any paid sick days?Click here to sign the petition today! The United States needs to allow all working individuals to earn paid sick days to ensure our economic security, and protect public health.


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