Pathways PA E-Alert: September 12, 2011

Special Updates

Stop the Real Contagion

Have you seen the preview for Contagion - the new blockbuster film about a global flu pandemic?

What's most frightening about this star-studded film is that flu epidemics are real, and they can spread quickly - especially in the Philadelphia, where over 200,000 hard hard-working people without paid sick days are forced to choose between their financial security and their health when they get sick. During the recent H1N1 outbreak, seven million of the people caught the flu from their co-workers. Less serious flus and colds can also disrupt our lives.

Please take a moment to send this video to City Council so that they can stop the real contagion in Philadelphia.

To view the video, click here.

What Else Can You Do?

1. Call your members of City Coucil today by simply dialing 800-584-6813. Before the call is put through there will be a short message you can listen to for information about what you can say. After you place that call you are welcome to call any of the other Council members as well. Make this call today and please share the number with others. City Council spoke for the people of Philadelphia when they passed the paid sick days bill. Don’t let the Mayor silence us with his veto – call City Council today and let them know that Philadelphians want and deserve paid sick days.
2. Come out to City Hall on Thursday, September 15th to urge City Council in person to override the mayor’s veto. For more information, click here.

Federal Updates

House votes to strip funding for McKinney Vento from HUD bill

A bill in the House of Representatives for the fiscal year 2012 budget for the Department of Housing and Urban Development failed to include reauthorization of McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants, which have empowered homeless families to transition back into housing since 1987.

The National Alliance to End Homelessness is asking people to contact their representatives to urge restoration of funding for the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Grants.

For more information on talking points and contacting your representative, check the Alliance’s update on the matter.

Urge Congress to renew the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act was originally passed by Congress to establish safeguards for victims of human trafficking by establishing a specific T Visa and providing a pathway to federal and state benefits so that the victims might begin to rebuild their lives. Like many congressional acts, it needs periodic reauthorization.

The deadline for the latest reauthorization is September 30, 2011. If it fails to pass by then, it would stymie federal efforts to combat modern day slavery, and prevent agencies from assisting in relocation efforts.

If you’d like to contact your Senator and urge them to pass the reauthorization act, Catholic Relief Services has an online tool where you can do just that, including talking points.

Tell USDA You Want to Keep the National School Lunch Program Strong and Available to All Children

Through September 15, USDA will be accepting comments on its interim rule, National School Lunch Program: School Food Service Account Revenue Amendments Related to the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
This interim rule requires school districts to increase their paid school lunch fees each year if they are charging less than the federal free lunch reimbursement rate. This provision is expected to decrease participation in the National School Lunch Program among children who are not qualified for free or reduced-price school meals. USDA’s cost benefit analysis of the rule estimates that 1.6 million children who live in households with incomes between 185 and 200 percent of poverty will be impacted negatively by the rule.

The rule also requires schools to conduct cost-accounting of their nonprogram foods (i.e. a la carte, snack bar and other vended snacks) to ensure that they generate enough revenue to cover costs. This provision of the rule is expected to generate increased participation and revenue in the National School Lunch Program.

Follow this link to find out how to submit comments.

Click here to find FRAC model comments (MS Word document).

The proposed regulations are open to public comment through September 15, 2011.

Pennsylvania Updates

(These are from last week but it wouldn’t hurt to include them again, sorry about the formatting, they shouldn’t need much editing)


1000 Women Leaders has been working against some potentially devastating bills in the Pennsylvania legislature - ones that could force the closure of many women's health providers, create requirements of fetal ultrasounds before abortion services can be provided or ban insurance companies from providing coverage for abortions. One-third of the legislature's time has been devoted to anti-choice legislation, according to the Women's Law Project.

1000 Women's Leader campaign is joint collaboration between the Women's Law Project and Pennsylvanians for Choice. Their goal is to build a strong coalition of people who support pro-women laws to send a big message to the legislature - "We've had enough."

On September 27th, members of the coalition will rally at the capital to bring this message, and they want a strong show of support. Click here to add your name to the 1000 Women Leaders List! Additional information and social media outreach can be found on the We've Had Enough site. 


The Homeowner's Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) has been helping Pennsylvanians protect their homes since 1983 by providing emergency loans to those facing foreclosure due to circumstances beyond their control, such as job loss.

But in June, Governor Tom Corbett slashed funding for the program from $10.6 million to $2 million. By July, HEMAP was unable to take new loan applications. This in a time of foreclosure crisis, and a rising need for programs like HEMAP, including the HEMAP-modeled Emergency Homeowners Loan Program (EHLP), a federal program whose own program ends on September 30, 2011.

The Pennsylvania Housing Alliance has put together resources on HEMAP, including tools to contact your representatives to ask for restored funding. And if you, or the clients you serve, are currently facing trouble, the deadline for EHLP loans is September 16th.

Information / Events

Join the founding convention of Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild

In the past year, Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild (POWER) has been meeting with members of the community and public and private sector leaders to determine ways to improve Philadelphia for the future. Through these, they identified five key policy areas needing improvement in Philadelphia: Jobs, Schools, Safety, Housing and Health.

As part of their plan moving forward, POWER will be holding a Founding Convention on September 25th at 5:30 p.m., identifying the need to:
·         Publicly announce and celebrate the formal launch of POWER - the coming together of dozens of congregations from across the city to build broad-based power for policy change;
·         Publicly present their multi-year platform for change in our five priority policy areas;
·         Secure commitments from city leaders to partner with POWER towards a goal of putting 10,000 Philadelphians back to work in the coming years; and
·         Enlist allies who share these aims.

The Founding Convention will take place at Tindley Temple United Methodist Church ,
750 South Broad Street. To register, click here. For more information, go to the POWER Facebook page.


Popular posts from this blog

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

Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania

Supporting PathWays PA throughout the year