Monday, June 6, 2011

PathWays PA E-Alert: June 6, 2011


Make Calls Now in Support of Paid Sick Days!

PathWays PA, a founding member of the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces, is working with the Coalition to pass a bill in Philadelphia that would ensure all workers have the right to earn sick days.  This bill could come up for a vote as soon as this week, but to get there, it needs your support!

Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces would create a minimum standard of sick days for the 210,000 workers in Philadelphia who must “choose” during an illness between the jobs they need and the families they love.  Workers could earn 1 hour of sick time for every 40 hours they work, up to 56 hours per year in a business of 11 or more employees and up to 32 hours per year in a business of 10 or less employees.

If you live in Philadelphia, please call your City Councilperson today to show your support for the bill.  Here’s a script that you can use:

“I am calling today to let Councilperson _____ know that I strongly support Bill 080474, Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces, and I hope the Councilperson will support it as well.  This bill will ensure that families like mine can earn sick days when they work so they don’t have to choose between the jobs they need and the families they love.  Do you know if the Councilperson plans to vote for the bill?”

Please let us know the response you get by emailing us at

Need to find the name of your councilperson? Visit the City Council website. Need to learn more about the bill? Download our FAQ.

And remember, even if you don’t live in Philadelphia, you can like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and read the Earned Sick Days blog.

Federal Policy Updates
Stop the Slashing:
The human needs advocates' simple guide to understanding - and defeating - unprecedented attacks on the federal budget
Tuesday, June 7, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern time

Register today!

Massive cuts in essential services like Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP/food stamps, education and children's services, help to low-income communities such as housing and the Community Services Block Grant, and virtually every other human needs program.  A large number of proposals being floated in Washington would devastate these services and would make it far harder for the federal government to respond to economic downturns and solve looming national problems. 

These proposals don't have straightforward names like "The Act to Slash Health Care for Older Americans" or "The Act to Cut Services for Low- and Moderate-Income Americans in order to Provide Enormous Tax Breaks for the Rich."  Instead, Congress is talking about global caps, balanced budget amendments, debt ceiling increases, deficit reduction...  It's hard to fight back if you don't understand how you're being attacked.

This webinar will help.  The presentations will be clear and simple.  You'll get explanations and graphics you can use to help you and people you know understand what's at stake.  You'll learn about constructive alternatives.  You won't be bored.  But you might get mad.

Presenters:  Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security, National Women's Law Center, Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs, and surprise guests

Don't forget to register!

Co-sponsored by the Coalition on Human Needs and the Community Action Partnership

State Policy Updates
Thanks to all of you who called your legislators, HB 916, which contained large scale, permanent cuts in Unemployment Compensation, was defeated today by a vote of 122-79.  This vote is encouraging and shows that if we work we can preserve our unemployment benefits.

The Philadelphia Unemployment Project has created an online petition to show opposition to cuts in Unemployment Compensation and to continue the Extended Benefits program beyond June 11

Please click on the link and sign onto the petition to your legislators and Governor Corbett:
Let's keep up the fight to protect laid off workers and their families in Pennsylvania!
From John Dodds, of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted 109-92 to approve a state budget that sets spending at $27.3 billion for the 2011-12 fiscal year — the same amount proposed in Governor Tom Corbett's March budget plan. It cuts $1 billion from public schools and reduces Governor Corbett's budget by $471 million for health and human services for women, children and people with disabilities. It fails to enact a drilling tax on natural gas and leaves untouched a $500 million state revenue surplus.

The budget bill now heads to the Senate where it will likely be debated in early June.
Additional Resources
The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center has a detailed analysis of the House budget (House Bill 1485).

Better Choices for Pennsylvania has talking points on the House budget.

Take Action
Through Better Choices for Pennsylvania, you can take action in support of a more responsible budget. Call and email your lawmakers to urge them to use the revenue surplus and enact a drilling tax on natural gas before making deep cuts to education and health care.

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center is a non-partisan policy research project that provides independent, credible analysis on state tax, budget and related policy matters, with attention to the impact of current or proposed policies on working families.

The Pennsylvania Health Access Network is constantly tracking what's happening in Harrisburg and DC and can give you the latest information.

Two experts from Small Business Majority will join PHAN on Tuesday, June 7th from 6:00-7:00 PM to discuss what the new health care law means for small businesses.  RSVP HERE.

Is there a topic you'd like to see featured on a call? Or do you have someone from your organization you'd like to suggest as a guest speaker? Click here to learn more about PHAN’s policy call series or to access resources from previous calls. Contact Athena with questions at

Over 40 percent of Philadelphia's workers don't have the ability to earn paid sick days. So whether it is the need to care for an ailing elder, or a sick child, or for oneself, there are thousands of people facing the choice of caring for themselves or their family and losing their job. Going to work or caring for an ailing family member is a choice no one should have to make. Visit the PathWays PA blog to read one Philadelphia woman’s story about her family’s need for paid sick time.

Click here to sign the petition to Philadelphia City Council if you support Earned Sick Days.

Please sign and share the National, State and Community-based Organizational Letter Opposing Structural Changes and Budget Cuts to SNAP.

FRAC and others in NAHO (National Anti-Hunger Organizations) have written a sign-on letter strongly opposing structural changes (e.g., a block grant) and budget cuts to SNAP.  With your help, we hope to get thousands of national, state and local groups to sign on to this letter.

Please sign your organization onto this letter and send it to other organizations on your e-mail list.

Congressional leaders need to hear a strong message from groups around the country that Congress should protect SNAP from budget cuts and structural changes that would weaken its proven ability to help the poorest and hungriest people in the country.

Click here to read and sign the letter.

From our friends at the Food Research and Action Center.  This information provided by PHENND.

WHEN: Friday June 10th, 10am-2pm
WHERE: Coatesville VA Medical Center
Building 5, Great Hall
1400 Blackhorse Hill Road
Coatesville, PA 19320

20+ employers will be on hand to meet potential employees - like you. Also, plan to attend one of our free employment workshops: Federal Hiring, Networking and Interviewing Skills.

Presented by Work Restoration, a Veterans Affairs program that connects Veterans with employers.

From our friends at Work Restoration

   The Coalition of Advocates for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly has launched CaregiverGPS – The Elder’s Advocate, a web-based resource to help caregivers make decisions about elder care.
   The website offers several interactive tools to help provide a customized experience for individuals facing a critical transition point in the care of a loved one.The purpose of site is to offer unbiased guidance based on a caregiver’s unique situation.  It does
so by gathering information through an on-site review of the individual’s situation.  Users respond to statements about such things as the level of safety in the loved one’s home, opportunities for social contacts, health and personal care needs, financial resources and existing support system.
   The website then offers an analysis that considers users’ responses to help them think about options that may be a good fit for their loved one.   Caregivers in need of further assistance can also utilize CARIE OnLINE, or contact a CARIE LINE counselor at 215-545-5728 or 1-800-356-3506.
    For more information, go here. From our Friends at UWSEPA.

   SEPTA and Philabundance have joined together for their annual food drive at SEPTA stations and other locations from June 6th through June 20th.
   Last year, the drive collected the equivalent of 19.6 tons of food. Now in its third year, the food drive is particularly focused on donations of canned or shelf stabilized tuna, canned pasta, canned beef ravioli, creamy peanut butter (plastic containers only), and jelly (plastic containers only).
   Online donations to Philabundance are also being solicited by going here.  Any monetary contribution will count toward the total collected through the SEPTA 2011 campaign
   For more details, go here. This information from UWSEPA.

   A new series of free 12 Steps Toward Employment workshops for the unemployed and underemployed, part of the Chester County Workforce Investment Board's Road to Employment initiative announced last fall, have been scheduled for June 2011 in Exton, Phoenixville, Coatesville and Kennett Square.
   Further information on the workshops, together with required registration and other employment assistance information for individuals and agencies, is available here.

   PRO-ACT, a grassroots group advocating for better understanding of addiction recovery, has announced a new regional training on How to Talk to Your Legislators and Get Them to Hear You.
   The two-hour workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, June 29th, beginning at 6om at the PRO-ACT Recovery Training Center, 444 N. Third St., Suite 307, in Philadelphia.
   The program will be offered again on Saturday, August 13th at 10am at the same location.
   The workshop will address the legislative process and how to navigate the offices of elected officials, how to build relationships, and how to develop talking points and “leave-behinds” for meetings with legislators.
   The workshop is free. To register, call William Webb at 215-923-1661. From our friends at UWSEPA.

   Pennsylvania Sen. Anthony Williams has created a Youth and Teen Resource Guide as a one-stop shop for young men and women.
   The 16-page booklet provides a comprehensive list of youth organizations, after school programs and mentoring programs in Philadelphia and Delaware County that provide both summer and year round opportunities to engage our children.
   Download the guide here. This information provided by UWSEPA.

   The Freedom Rings Partnership, a federally-funded program to expand access to computers and the Internet, will launch 20 new Computer Centers in Philadelphia on Monday, June 13th, at the People’s Emergency Center, 3939 Warren Street in Powelton.
   PEC, one of the members of the partnership, will manage the centers.  The event will also feature appearances by Mayor Michael Nutter and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell.
   The launch event takes place from 1-3pm.  To RSVP, call Madeline Hoch at 215-382-7522 x269 or email her here. From UWSEPA.

Special PathWays PA Information/Events
Do you need help with education, childcare, welfare benefits, parenting or support? We can help! The Project Peace Teen Parent Program provides one-on-one support for pregnant adolescents and teen parents. Project Peace services are available at the MacDade Goodwill Store, 2137 MacDade Boulevard, Holmes PA, from Tuesdays from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Services provided will help you:
Complete high school and plan for higher education
Become a better parent
Obtain appropriate community resources, such as childcare, supportive services, Temporary Assistance for Needy Parents (TANF), life skills training and employment
Get in home support
For more information call 610-543-5022 or visit

The PathWays PA Path$ 2 Benefits program provides access to counseling and workshops on banking and budgeting assistance, credit and debt management counseling, identity theft repair, financial goal planning, financial crisis management, college planning, housing assistance, and free tax preparation. Clients can also be screened for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/food stamps), the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and many other services. Even unemployed and dislocated workers can take part in programs that improve their credit without costing money.
For more information, please call 610-543-5022 or email

Financial Path$, a new program from PathWays PA, helps individuals and families build paths toward economic self-sufficiency through financial education, asset building and economic empowerment.  This program provides one-on-one financial counseling and financial education workshops. Financial Path$ is committed to assisting everyone carve their path to self-sufficiency.
If you or your clients would be interested in learning more about this program please contact 
For more information become Financial Path$ friend on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.  Stay turned as we will also be launching a blog very soon!

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