Thursday, October 27, 2011

Videos: How Are State Budget Cuts Affecting You?

Map of Delaware County, Pennsylvania
Today the Southeastern Pennsylvania Budget Coalition and PathWays PA held an event to bring together members of the community to talk about how the budget cuts are impact their lives.  Below are videos from the speakers and audience members who shared their story. 

Marianne Bellesorte of PathWays PA leads off the discussion at the PathWays PA and Southeastern PA Budget Coalition event. Then Esther Smits, a Consumer Volunteer from the Freedom Valley Disability Center, talks about how budget cuts have impacted her life.



Patricia Roberts of the Mental Health Association



Kate Scully form PathWays PA talks about how budget cuts are impacting PathWays PA's clients.



Gerry Gonzalez of Child Guidance Resource Center shares how budget cuts impact their services and clients.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

PathWays PA Job Postings - October 27, 2011

Part-Time Math and English Teacher (Bucks, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties)
PathWays PA is in need of a Math and English teacher to teach Healthcare Contextualized Math, English and Science to adult students preparing for the TEAS test and other careers in the healthcare sector. Classes will be held late afternoons and/or evenings and weekends in the Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery County areas. The classes will run for 6-8 weeks with 1, 2 or 3 classes per week. 6-8 hours per week and 1 hour of paid prep per week. Pay is competitive. INSTRUCTOR SHOULD HAVE EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH ADULTS. A Bachelor's degree is a minimum requirement. Please fax resumes to: LD/EVE at 610-328-2807.

Learning Center Group Supervisor
Experience in preschool setting and knowledge of early childhood development required. Willing to adapt to the goals and philosophies of our program and provide an environment that is non-punitive and strength based. Write curriculum for each age level as well as plan and implement daily lessons/activities. Coordinate the activities of the staff and aids in the Learning Center. Supervise all classrooms. Ensure health and safety standards are met within the learning center. Help out in the Learning Center as required to Supervise and provide physical care for children in the daycare. Encourage children to actively participate in educational and structured activities. Complete developmental screenings on children. Develop and implement individualized educational goals for children. Requires a minimum Associates Degree from an Accredited College or University, including 30 credit hours in early childhood education, child development, special education, elementary education, or the Human Services field and three years of experience with children. BSW preferred. E-mail or Fax resumes to: LD/CFF/LC at 610-328-2807.

Employer Account Representative
To develop employment opportunities for participants by networking and establishing relationships with the regional business community and matching customers to permanent, family-sustaining career-track jobs.
Job Requirements include:

  • Associate’s or bachelor’s degree preferred with at least 4 years of experience in human resources, job development, marketing and/or sales
  • Strong Analytical Skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Computer literate (Word/Excel)
  • Bilingual in English/Spanish preferred.
  • Identify, cultivate and maintain relationships with employers that offer appropriate jobs and internship opportunities for customers. Ensure that a majority of these jobs offer living wages and benefits.
  • Establish contact with customers in order to determine previous work history and employment interests to help customers chart an employment course.

Fax resumes to: 610-328-2807, attn: LD/JP/EARN

Part-Time Mentoring Coordinator
The Mentoring Coordinator will have experience with issues related to older adolescents and will have some knowledge and understanding of volunteer recruitment and retention. They shall possess the ability to identify with and adapt to the goals and philosophies of the program. They shall be a mature individual with knowledge of parenting issues, community resources, and the skills necessary to live independently. They shall demonstrate insight, empathy, flexibility, perseverance, and team orientation. A BSW or bachelor’s degree in related field of study is required. Please e-mail or fax resumes to: 610-328-2807, attention: LD/KM.

Part-Time Residential Worker
Need caring and motivated individual to provide support and supervision for Delco group home serving women and children; HS/GED, Associates Degree and experience preferred; driver’s license required. Hours are 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Fax resumes to: LD/CFF at 610-328-2807.

PathWays PA is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Gloria Steinem’s Top Ten Pieces of Advice for Women Today

PathWays PA was pleased to participate in yesterday’s Pennsylvania Conference for Women. The Conference is an opportunity for women through out the state to come together for information, advice, and support.

The keynote speaker, Gloria Steinem, spoke to a large crowd of women giving her own advice for women. Below is her top ten list:

10. Treat yourself as well as you treat others.
9. Fear is a sign of growth.
8. Anger can be precious.
7. Use your own unique talents.
6. Measure yourself by the real not the ideal.
5. Look for allies everywhere – do not be bound by conventional hierarchies.
4. There are great advantages to feminine human qualities – use them.
3. Just about everybody can learn to change, even us, even them.
2. Ask for help and surround yourself with people who make you feel smart, not dumb.

And the number one piece of advice from Gloria Steniem is…

1. Remember your humanity, equality and self determination is the key to everything.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Daily Times to be honored as PathWays' Trailblazer"

"PathWays PA will celebrate its 33rd anniversary and honor their 2011 Trailblazers - including the Delaware County Daily Times - at a special dinner on Nov. 1.

The gala will help PathWays commemorate over three decades of helping low-income women, children and families in the Greater Philadelphia region achieve self-sufficiency. To help mark the PathWays to the Stars 33rd Anniversary Celebration, PathWays PA will be honoring six local community leaders and organizations with the 2011 Trailblazer Award.

The event, which will take place at the Radisson Hotel in King of Prussia from 6:30-9PM, is a time to celebrate the work of PathWays PA, but also a time to recognize those in our community who make a difference."
To read the whole article, please visit The Delaware County Daily Times website.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bid Online for Great Auction Items to Support PathWays PA!


The online bidding for auction items is now open. Our auction link, http://www.pathwayspa.org/auction_items.html, will take you to a world of shopping and fun, while providing support to 6,000 women, children and families!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Urgent: Vote to Cut SNAP Categorical Eligibility on Table for Senate

US-Senate-LogoFrom our friends at FRAC.

The Agriculture Appropriations bill is currently on the Senate floor, and Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has introduced an amendment (810) that would eliminate categorical eligibility for SNAP. Such a cut would take 1 million needy people from more than 40 states out of the SNAP program, take free school breakfast and lunch away from 200,000 low-income children, increase hunger among children and seniors alike, and vastly increase state administrative costs and red tape.

The vote on this amendment can happen as early as tonight.

With one in six households struggling against hunger, this is not the time to make drastic cuts and add unnecessary red tape in valuable nutrition programs.

Contact your Senators immediately and urge them to oppose any attempt to harm SNAP.

Urge PA Legislators to Increase Funds for Industry Partnerships

Pennsylvania Capitol dome lanternThis past summer, the Pennsylvania legislature passed an Industry Partnerships bill that permanently established the Industry Partnerships program as part of the state's workforce development strategy. While Industry Partnership advocates and our legislative champions were dismayed by the lack of funding that Industry Partnerships received in the 2011-12 Pennsylvania budget, we are happy to report that efforts to find additional funds for Industry Partnerships are ramping up.

A new House bill sponsored by Thomas Murt and Eugene DiGirolamo would designate 2% of the funds from a proposed natural gas drilling fee to Industry Partnerships—an estimated $2.7 million in this fiscal year and $11.2 million by 2017.

The first step in preserving Pennsylvania's Industry Partnership Program was passing SB 552. The next step is adequately funding the Industry Partnership Program. Since competition for funds is intense, your continued communication with legislators about the value of Industry Partnerships remains critical--any new revenues will go to programs that legislators hear about from their constituents.

Please email a letter to your member of the House Representatives asking them to support dedicating a portion of drilling fee receipts to Industry Partnerships. Make sure to include the information requested in brackets in the letter.

For more information please visit the Workforce PA website. You can also see a video of client telling their stories of how Industry Partnerships have helped them on PathWays PA’s Policy Blog.

Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act Coming Soon

TeacherFrom our friends at the Coalition for Human Needs.


The Senate will vote on the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act within the next 24 hours.
Call 1-888-245-0215 NOW to tell your Senators to support the bill!

The Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act (S. 1723) will save or create nearly 400,000 education jobs through critical investments in the education of our nation’s children. With the majority of states facing budget shortfalls in 2012 totaling more than $100 billion, cuts to state and local spending on education place thousands of teaching jobs at risk.

This act will provide states with an additional $30 billion in funds that will support nearly 400,000 education jobs, in addition to $5 billion to keep thousands of police officers and firefighters working. The $35 billion cost of the bill will be paid for by asking millionaires to pay their fair share with a surcharge of less than 1 percent on income over $1 million.

The Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act will grow the nation’s economy without adding a dime to the deficit.

Ask your Senators to vote “yes” on S. 1723
Call 1-888-245-0215 to be connected with the Capitol switchboard.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Harrisburg Takes a Step to Help Stop Human Trafficking

Yesterday, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Act (SB 338) was unanimously voted out of the Senate Labor & Industry Committee! This state legislation would require posting of the National Human Trafficking Hotline - 1-888-3737-888 - so trafficking victims can call to get help or individuals can call if they see anything suspicious.

The Hotline is a run by a national organization called the Polaris Project. They answer calls 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Calls can be kept confidential or if a response is needed the Polaris Project will link the caller with local police and/or a social services agency.

The legislation requires posting of the hotline number at locations where trafficking victims might see it including: hotels, motel, bars, restaurants, and bus stops. It could be a lifeline for someone being trafficked or a way for someone to take action when they see something they believe is trafficking occurring.

The Philadelphia Anti-Trafficking Coalition, of which PathWays PA is a member, is excited that this bill has moved out of Committee and will continue working to ensure passage by both houses and a Governor’s signature.

Congress Passes a Law to Help Improve the Lives of More Vulnerable Children and their Families Across the Nation

UscapitolindaylightPassage of the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act means that states will be better able to invest in initiatives that help improve child safety and family stability as well as move children from foster care into safe permanent homes.

The law reauthorizes two important child welfare programs and incorporates improvements to ensure that children can safely remain with their own parents or be supported by other caring adults. The law renews child welfare waiver authority to allow more states to invest in new ways of serving children at risk of abuse and neglect. In addition, the law establishes a process to create child welfare data standards that can help drive further improvement to foster care systems.

The Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act is the second major piece of child welfare reform that has become law in recent years. The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act in 2008 also provided significant progress in efforts to better serve children in foster care and to help more children find safe, stable and permanent families.

How Are State Budget Cuts Affecting You?


Please RSVP to
http://stopcutstoourcommunity.eventbrite.com
Or call Kate at 215-563-5848 x16

The cuts to the state budget this year have already had a devastating effect on our families, our services, our county, and our state. Now is the time to tell legislators what we need to succeed in future budgets.

PathWays PA and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Budget Coalition are cosponsoring an event with legislators on Thursday, October 27th at noon to discuss the impact of state budget cuts on local families struggling in this difficult economy.

The discussion will have consequences: legislators are debating a tax on natural gas drilling that could infuse close to half a billion dollars into our schools and services for children, people with disabilities, and families reeling from the recession.

The public event is from 12 -1 on Thursday, October 27th at Media Borough Hall, 301 N. Jackson Street, Media, 19063.  We have invited the DelCo legislative delegation.

As a bonus, we are offering a free communications workshop from 10-11:30 at the same location:
"How to Make the Case for Public Funding in an Era of 'Small Government'"

State Budget Training
and Listening Session
October 27, 2011
Media Municipal Center
Parlor Room
301 N. Jackson Street, Media PA

Training: 10 AM to 11:45 AM
Listening Session: 12 PM to 1 PM

Please RSVP to
http://stopcutstoourcommunity.eventbrite.com
Or call Kate at 215-563-5848 x16



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

PathWays PA Job Postings - October 18, 2011

Part-Time Math and English Teacher (Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery Counties)
PathWays PA is in need of a Math and English teacher to teach Healthcare Contextualized Math, English and Science to adult students preparing for the TEAS test and other careers in the healthcare sector. Classes will be held late afternoons and/or evenings and weekends in the Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery County areas. The classes will run for 6-8 weeks with 1, 2 or 3 classes per week. 6-8 hours per week and 1 hour of paid prep per week. Pay is competitive. INSTRUCTOR SHOULD HAVE EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH ADULTS. A Bachelor's degree is a minimum requirement. Please fax resumes to: LD/EVE at 610-328-2807.

Learning Center Group Supervisor
Experience in preschool setting and knowledge of early childhood development required. Willing to adapt to the goals and philosophies of our program and provide an environment that is non-punitive and strength based. Write curriculum for each age level as well as plan and implement daily lessons/activities. Coordinate the activities of the staff and aids in the Learning Center. Supervise all classrooms. Ensure health and safety standards are met within the learning center. Help out in the Learning Center as required to Supervise and provide physical care for children in the daycare. Encourage children to actively participate in educational and structured activities. Complete developmental screenings on children. Develop and implement individualized educational goals for children. Requires a minimum Associates Degree from an Accredited College or University, including 30 credit hours in early childhood education, child development, special education, elementary education, or the Human Services field and three years of experience with children. BSW preferred. E-mail or Fax resumes to: LD/CFF/LC at 610-328-2807.

Employer Account Representative
To develop employment opportunities for participants by networking and establishing relationships with the regional business community and matching customers to permanent, family-sustaining career-track jobs.
Job Requirements include:

  • Associate’s or bachelor’s degree preferred with at least 4 years of experience in human resources, job development, marketing and/or sales
  • Strong Analytical Skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Computer literate (Word/Excel)
  • Bilingual in English/Spanish preferred.
  • Identify, cultivate and maintain relationships with employers that offer appropriate jobs and internship opportunities for customers. Ensure that a majority of these jobs offer living wages and benefits.
  • Establish contact with customers in order to determine previous work history and employment interests to help customers chart an employment course.

Fax resumes to: 610-328-2807, attn: LD/JP/EARN

Part-Time Mentoring Coordinator
The Mentoring Coordinator will have experience with issues related to older adolescents and will have some knowledge and understanding of volunteer recruitment and retention. They shall possess the ability to identify with and adapt to the goals and philosophies of the program. They shall be a mature individual with knowledge of parenting issues, community resources, and the skills necessary to live independently. They shall demonstrate insight, empathy, flexibility, perseverance, and team orientation. A BSW or bachelor’s degree in related field of study is required. Please e-mail or fax resumes to: 610-328-2807, attention: LD/KM.

Part-Time Residential Worker
Need caring and motivated individual to provide support and supervision for Delco group home serving women and children; HS/GED, Associates Degree and experience preferred; driver’s license required. Hours are 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Fax resumes to: LD/CFF at 610-328-2807.

Life Skills Coordinator
The Residential Life Skills Coordinator shall possess the knowledge and skills necessary to teach life skills and the maturity necessary to interact with women from various backgrounds. They shall be organized, non-judgmental, and shall demonstrate good problem solving skills. The Coordinator will work individually with clients who are unable to maintain an acceptable level of safety, cleanliness, and organization. They will assure that the house is maintained in accordance with all licensing and accreditation guidelines and standards. A High School Diploma/GED and three years experience working with women and children is required, but an Associates or BA degree in social services is preferred. Please fax resumes to: 610-328-2807, attention: LD/CFF.

PathWays PA is an Equal Opportunity Employer

PathWays PA E-Newsletter - October 17, 2011

JOIN US IN CELEBRATING 33 YEARS OF PATHWAYS PA!

Please join us on November 1 as we celebrate the Adopt-A-Family program and honor the 2011 Trailblazers:

  • Juliet Welker-President, Coldwell Banker Welker Real Estate
  • Kyra McGrath-Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, WHYY
  • Laney Vogt, Adopt-A-Family Advocate
  • QVC
  • The Delaware County Daily Times
  • Yvonne Norris-Former Chairperson, PathWays PA Board of Directors

Enjoy complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres as well as a live and silent auction.

All proceeds from the event will help over 6,000 low-income families in the Greater Philadelphia Region!

Please consider sponsoring the event or purchasing an ad in our program - click here for more details.

Tickets can be purchased online.

FEDERAL UPDATES
School LunchUSDA SEEKING INPUT ON FREE SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM

The USDA is accepting comments on the Direct Certification and Certification of Homeless, Migrant and Runaway Children for Free School Meals. The temporary rules were set in place to streamline the process of enrolling children in the Free School Meals program by making SNAP and TANF eligibility automatically translate to free meal eligibility, as well as simplifying the process for homeless, runaway and migrant children to become enrolled. The USDA will be accepting comments until October 24th.

To submit your comments, please visit this link. For more information, visit the Food Research and Action Center.

HELP SAVE PROGRAMS FOR WORKFORCE TRAINING

At a time when many people are left without work, a series of proposed cuts to federal workforce programs could have a problematic effect on the workforce readiness of many nationwide.

As much as $2.4 billion in cuts to the Workforce Investment Act have been proposed - meaning many will be left without essential workforce development programs. In addition, as much as $44 billion in cuts have been proposed to the Pell Grants, which allow low income students with a record of academic achievement to attend college.

To write your Congressperson via the National Skills Coalition, visit this link.

STATE POLICY UPDATES

A coloured voting boxPROTECT THE VITAL RIGHT TO VOTE

In 2011, many states - including Wisconsin and South Carolina - have passed laws mandating government issued photo IDs in order to vote. In addition, states like Ohio have placed limits on early voting and same day registration.

Pennsylvania is currently considering its own version of these bills. The Pennsylvania House voted in favor of House Bill 934, a bill requiring voters to present photo ID when voting. HB 934, which is awaiting approval by the Pennsylvania Senate and would create new barriers to voting for many eligible voters, especially senior citizens, students, racial minorities, and the working poor.

How can you help:
  • Contact your State Senator and urge him or her to vote no on bills that would limit Pennsylvanian's ability to vote.
  • Join the Protect OUR Vote Coalition for a Press Conference on October 19th in the East Rotunda of the Capitol Building in Harrisburg. To RSVP, click here. They're also gathering stories of encounters with voter suppression here.
  • Join Nonprofit Vote for a webinar on October 27th at 2 p.m. EST featuring Megan Donovan of the Fair Elections Legal Network, who will speak on the impact of these recent laws, and resources to ensure that every citizen's voice is heard. To register, click here.

INFORMATION / EVENTS

PAID SICK DAYS PASSES CITY COUNCIL

Last week Philadelphia City Council voted 15 to 2 to add paid sick days to the 21st Century Minimum Wage and Benefits Standard. Workers that are employed by businesses that receive money from the city will now be able to earn paid sick days. This is a great step forward for workers in Philadelphia.

Thank you to Councilman Goode and all members of Council who voted for this important bill. It will now go to the Mayor - who previously vetoed a paid sick days bill. Please send a message to Mayor Nutter urging him to sign the bill as it is the right thing for the health and well-being of Philadelphia's families and communities.

First food stampsTAKE THE FOOD STAMP CHALLENGE

As part of its "Working Together to End Hunger" campaign for 2011, Fighting Poverty with Faith will be hosting the Food Stamp Challenge from October 27th to November 3rd. The goal is simple - live at the food funding level of most SNAP recipients. This translates to the 2010 average of $133.79 per month, or around $4.50 per day. The total grocery bill for the week should be less than $31.50.

With over 45 million people receiving help from SNAP benefits, they're an important part of preventing American hunger. To learn more about the challenge, visit the page.

THE NATIONAL WOMEN'S LAW CENTER RELEASES NEW REVIEW OF CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE POLICY

The National Women's Law Center recently released its 8th annual state-by-state review of child care assistance policies. The report, State Child Care Assistance Policies 2011: Reduced Support for Families in Challenging Times, discusses the influence of five factors that determine accessibility, affordability, and quality of assistance in each state and the District of Columbia. These factors include waiting lists for assistance, income eligibility, reimbursement rates for child care providers, eligibility for parents searching for a job, and copayments required from parents.

The report finds that under one or more child care assistance policies, families in 2011 are worse off in 37 states than they were in 2010. Furthermore the report reveals that families in 2011 are worse off than they were a decade ago. In contrast to the NWLC's findings from previous reports, families in only eleven states were better off under one or more child care policies than in 2010. Read the full report here.

SPECIAL PATHWAYS PA INFORMATION/EVENTS

Solar-calculatorPATHWAYS IS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX PREPARERS

PathWays PA's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax preparation so low-income filers can access valuable tax refunds and credits.

By volunteering only 3 - 4 hours a week, you can personally help return over $30,000 to local working families.

Training will begin in November, and our tax sites will open in January all over the Philadelphia and Delaware County area.
For more information, contact John Wenz at jwenz@pathwayspa.org. To view our flyer, click here: http://qr.net/fcdg.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tell Mayor Nutter How You Feel About Sick Days

Phila City Hall TwilightOn October 13, City Council members passed a bill introduced by Councilman Wilson Goode, Jr., that amends the 21st Century Minimum Wage and Benefits Act to ensure all workers whose employers contract with the city or receive public subsidies can earn paid sick days. This bill ensures that city tax dollars only fund jobs that support public health, families, and the community.

The bill now goes to the Mayor's desk, and he needs to hear from you!

Please take a moment to send a letter to the Mayor telling him your feelings about paid sick days.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Harrisburg Update

Market St., looking west, Harrisburg, Pa, from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic viewsThe State Legislature was in district recess last week due to Columbus Day Holiday, but controlling hospital infections, a topic they have consistently focused on garnered some attention. According to an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, reported cases of two common and potentially deadly types of hospital-acquired infections dropped significantly last year at Pennsylvania hospitals, the state Department of Health reported on Wednesday. Bloodstream infections caused by central lines — catheters typically used in intensive care units to deliver antibiotics and fluids into the bloodstream — declined 24.4 percent from 2009 to 1,606 cases last year. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections declined to 3,245 cases, a decrease of 13.2 percent from two years ago. The overall rate of hospital-acquired infections dropped by 3.4 percent last year against 2009 rates. Click here to read the Pittsburgh Tribune Review article.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The National Women's Law Center Releases New Review of Child Care Assistance Policy

Toys blocksThe National Women's Law Center recently released its 8th annual state-by-state review of child care assistance policies. The report, State Child Care Assistance Policies 2011: Reduced Support for Families in Challenging Times, discusses the influence of five factors that determine accessibility, affordability, and quality of assistance in each state and the District of Columbia. These factors include waiting lists for assistance, income eligibility, reimbursement rates for child care providers, eligibility for parents searching for a job, and copayments required from parents.

The report finds that under one or more child care assistance policies, families in 2011 are worse off in 37 states than they were in 2010. Furthermore the report reveals that families in 2011 are worse off than they were a decade ago. In contrast to the NWLC's findings from previous reports, families in only eleven states were better off under one or more child care policies than in 2010. Read the full report here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

PathWays PA E-Alert: October 10, 2011

FEDERAL

URGE THE “SUPER COMMITTEE” TO CONSIDER FAMILIES WHEN MAKING CUTS
As a result of the debt ceiling deal in August, Congress agreed to $1 trillion in cuts to federal spending. Now, a Congressional "Super Committee" is working to find ways to reduce the deficit by an additional $1.5 billion dollars and must submit their recommendations by November 23rd.

The Super Committee is meeting right now to decide what its recommendations will be. It is critically important for our nation's families to weigh in!

Send a letter to your members of Congress telling them that it's unacceptable to balance the budget on the backs of children and families on Main Street.

The decisions that are being made right now will define the direction of our country for years to come. Deficit solutions must create jobs and protect vital programs for children and families.

EVENT SEEKS TO DISPEL SOCIAL SECURITY MYTHS
The Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans will be hosting a seminar entitled “The Facts About Social Security and Medicare.” The seminar will deal with shedding light on some of the facts around these programs - and will also dispel the myths used to discredit them.

Eric Kingson, the co-director of Social Security Works, a professor of social work at Syracuse and a Senior Research Associate at the Maxwell School’s Center for Policy research will be a special guest.

WHEN: Monday, October 17 10:00 am
WHERE: Nazarene Baptist Church Auditorium, 3975 Germantown Ave

For reservations call Dorothea Wilson, AFSCME District Council 47 at (215) 893-3765.

STATE

MEET WITH LEGISLATORS AND LET THEM KNOW: DON’T CUT OUR FUTURE

The cuts to the state budget this year have already had a devastating effect on our families, our services, our county, and our state. Now is the time to tell legislators what we need to succeed in future budgets.

WHEN: October 27th, 10 a.m.,
WHERE: Media Municipal Center Parlor Room, 301 N. Jackson Street, Media PA

Please join The Southeastern Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Coalition and PathWays PA for communications training on how to talk about the budget followed by an opportunity to talk with local legislators.

Please RSVP to http://stopcutstoourcommunity.eventbrite.com or call Kate at 215-563-5848 x16

HELP US PASS THE POSTING OF THE NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE ACT

The Posting of the National Human Trafficking Hotline Act (SB 338), a bill that would require posting of a National Hotline that victims of human trafficking can call for help, may be up for a Committee vote on Tuesday, October 18th. This would be a HUGE step towards passage of this bill. In order to ensure a favorable vote from the Senate Committee on Labor & Industry, legislators need to be hearing from voters all over the state!

Please call the members of the Senate Labor & Industry Committee and urge them to support Senate Bill 338. If you only have time to make a couple calls, please call Senator Gordner, Chair of this committee, and choose one other.

Here is a call script you can use: “Hi, my name is [your name ].  I am calling to ask Senator [name of Senator] to support legislation help end human trafficking in Pennsylvania and assist victims of this horrific crime – SB 338. This important bill requires posting of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline by certain establishments to help victims of this brutal crime access help. Can I count on Senator [name of Senator] to support this life-saving legislation? Thank you for your time and consideration.”

For more information please visit the Philadelphia Anti-Trafficking Coalition’s website.

CONTINUE TO SUPPORT WOMEN’S HEALTH IN PENNSYLVANIA

While the We’ve Had Enough Rally is over, there is still work to be done. As the hundred of people in attendance in person and online shared why they have had enough of the attacks on women’s health it is important for legislators or hear from you. Here is how you can help:
For more information on the attacks on women’s health please visit the We’ve Had Enough website.

INFORMATION AND EVENTS

PAID SICK DAYS STILL ADVANCING IN PHILADELPHIA
Last week Philadelphia City Council held a hearing on a bill (No. 110557) that would require certain employers that contract with or receive money from the City of Philadelphia to provide paid sick days to their employees. This bill is an amendment to the 21st Century Minimum Wage and Benefits Standard ordinance which already requires those subject to the ordinance to pay their employees 150% of the minimum wage.

The bill passed out of Committee by a unanimous vote and is set for final passage this Thursday, October 13th. If passed, this bill is a great step in the right direction as a bill that would have given workers in Philadelphia the opportunity to earn paid sick days was vetoed earlier this year.

What can you do:
  1. Call members of Council at 800-584-6813 and urge them to pass this bill.
  2. Call the Mayor and ask him to sign the bill.
  3. Come to City Hall on Thursday, October 13th at 10:00 and help us show support for this important bill as Council is scheduled to vote on it.
For more information visit the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces' website.

WITNESSES TO HUNGER EXHIBIT IN PHILADELPHIA
Witnesses to Hunger is a project about the participation and action of those who know firsthand the experience of raising a child on a limited income. The photographers of the project are mothers and caregivers of young children who used digital cameras to frame the issues most important to them and to their children.

An exhibit of the photographs will be held from October 10 through October 14 at the Mint Building Rotunda at the Community College of Philadelphia, located at 1700 Spring Garden St., Philadelphia, PA 19130. The Exhibit is open to the public during the hours of 9am to 3:30pm. Artwork from ACHIEVEability will also be on display in the Rotunda.

The Exhibit coincides with the Community College of Philadelphia's "Hunger, Homelessness & Poverty Conference" to be held on Thursday, October 13, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Great Hall. The conference is designed to provide a forum for an dialogue about the increasing issues of hunger, homelessness and poverty among college students and to identify what can be done to meet this growing problem.

There is no charge for attending this conference, however, students and interested persons are requested to register by Friday, October 7, 2011. Please see the brochure and registration form. Or, you can contact the Women's Center at 215.751.8808 or womencenter@ccp.edu.

NUTRITION RESOURCES FOR LOW-INCOME SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN
Join Food Research and Action Center for a webinar on opportunities to increase nutrition resources for low-income children through improvements in direct certification, greater access to school meal applications for families with limited English proficiency, and implementation of the Afterschool Meal Program.

WHEN: Tuesday, October 11, 2011, 1:00-2:00 PM

Learn about actions that you can take right now to improve access and participation in school and afterschool meals for children in your community.

Click here to register.

NEW GUIDE TO FORECLOSURE HELP

The national foreclosure crisis continues to have a devastating effect on communities across the Philadelphia region. To help, the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC) has released the newest edition of its Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide.

The UAC Foreclosure Prevention Resource Guide is designed to help professionals assist their clients in navigating the mortgage foreclosure process. The Guide provides up-to-date information relevant to the Philadelphia five-county region.

SPECIAL PATHWAY PA EVENT

JOIN US IN CELEBRATING 33 YEARS OF PATHWAYS PA!
Please join us on November 1 as we celebrate the Adopt-A-Family program and honor the 2011 Trailblazers:

  • Juliet Welker-President, Coldwell Banker Welker Real Estate
  • Kyra McGrath-Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, WHYY
  • Laney Vogt, Adopt-A-Family Advocate
  • QVC
  • The Delaware County Daily Times
  • Yvonne Norris-Former Chairperson, PathWays PA Board of Directors
Enjoy complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres as well as a live and silent auction.

All proceeds from the event will help over 6,000 low-income families in the Greater Philadelphia Region!

Please consider sponsoring the event or purchasing an ad in our program - click here for more details.

Tickets can be purchased online.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

You're Invited to the PathWays to the Stars 33rd Anniversary Celebration

Please join us on November 1 as we celebrate the Adopt-A-Family program and honor the 2011 Trailblazers:
  • Juliet Welker-President, Coldwell Banker Welker Real Estate
  • Kyra McGrath-Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, WHYY
  • Laney Vogt, Adopt-A-Family Advocate
  • QVC
  • The Delaware County Daily Times
  • Yvonne Norris-Former Chairperson, PathWays PA Board of Directors
Enjoy complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres as well as a live and silent auction.

All proceeds from the event will help over 6,000 low-income families in the Greater Philadelphia Region!

Please consider purchasing a sponsorship in the event - click here for more details.

Tickets can be purchased online.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Will Deficit Reduction Mean More Moms Going Without Food?

MTS 733 - frontFrom our friends at the Coalition on Human Needs.

On October 4th and 5th, people across the country will be calling their Senators to make sure that deficit reduction doesn’t mean more people going hungry.

The “super committee” is currently debating a deal to reduce the deficit. Some proposals could cut essential programs that families need to get by; programs like Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps), housing assistance and other important services.

We need a plan that puts us on the right track by investing in jobs, protecting low-income people, sharing the burden by asking top-income households and profitable corporations to contribute more revenues, and seeking savings from reducing waste in the military and elsewhere. Please, raise your voice and contact your senators, on behalf of parents everywhere who are struggling to put food on the table.  Call toll-free at 888-907-1485.

When you call the toll-free number, follow the instructions and you'll be connected to your Senators. Here's a message you can use:
Hi, my name is ____ and I am from (city, state). No deficit reduction plan can work if it does not rebuild our economy by protecting Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance and other basic safety net programs. And it must create jobs. Such a plan must have increased revenues from upper-income households and profitable corporations, and savings from cutting unneeded military spending. I urge [Senator ___] to support such a plan, and to reject proposals that harm the poor and stall economic recovery.
Please join people of faith, service providers, advocates for children and seniors, working and jobless people, and concerned individuals of all kinds nationwide and call Congress on October 4 and 5: 888-907-1485.

Many thanks to AFSCME for donating the toll-free number!

How Much Does Employee Turnover Really Cost Your Business?

Accessories-calculatorFrom our friends at CLASP/CEPR

Did you know that experts estimate replacing a salaried employee costs 150 percent of compensation? Or that replacing an $8/hour worker costs an average of $5500 per person? If you own a business, now might be a good time to see how much turnover is costing you.
Despite the harm it can cause to the bottom line, many businesses do not actually know how much turnover costs them. Policies that support workers, such as paid sick days, can help decrease turnover and reduce these costs. This turnover calculator provides an estimate of how much turnover costs your organization.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Plans to Address the Marcellus Shale

A Marcellus shale rig located in
Roulette, Pennsylvania.
Earlier today Governor Corbett announced details of his plan for addressing the costs and environmental impact of the natural gas drill in the Marcellus Shale. The governor’s proposal calls for a fee to be placed on each well and establishes environmental standards and enforcement.

Counties would be permitted to set an impact fee of no more than $40,000 per well in a well's first year. The plan estimates these fees would generate $120 million in the first full year, and $195 million by the sixth year.
Most of the money would remain in drilling communities, while 25 percent would go to the state for environmental protection, health, emergency management, and pipeline inspection.

In addition to the Governor’s proposal, State Representatives Thomas Murt and Gene DiGirolamo also plan to introduce a natural gas drilling tax bill.

Their bill would dedicate 29% of revenue to local government impacts and 27% to statewide environmental programs. The remaining 44% would support shared statewide priorities, including Accountability Block Grants that support pre-kindergarten and early childhood education, human services such as support for people with disabilities and victims of domestic violence, and investments in work training.

What plan do you think will be best for Pennsylvania and the communities impacted by the drilling?

PathWays PA E-Alert: October 3, 2011

LET THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR KNOW: WE NEED TO FIND AND ELIMINATE PAY INEQUITY

The Department of Labor is currently in the consideration stages of a tool that would help monitor pay fairness. Though laws like the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 helped make it easier to file gender-discriminated unfair pay claims, to date there is no federal tool that effectively monitors wage discrimination on the basis of gender, race or national origin by private employers.

The National Women’s Law Center is urging people to support the tool, especially as it relates to private employers taking public dollars.

For more information, please visit the NWLC’s site.

HELP PRESERVE FUNDING FOR PERKINS LOANS

Federal Perkins Loans are an important source of funding for college for many students - providing direct, federally subsidized student loans. Though their allocation recently survived the Senate committee, the funding matter has not gone to the floor for a general vote, and the House has yet to pass such a measure.

The National Association of Commissions for Women is urging you to contact your members of Congress to urge them to maintain 2011’s levels of Perkins Loan funding so that higher education is obtainable for many across the nation. To find your House members, click here. For contact information on your Senators, click here.

Impact of Budget Cuts on County Welfare Offices

AnaloguhrIn an op-ed published today, Michael Froehlich and Julie Zaebst depict some of the issues budget cuts have caused in County Welfare Offices, particularly in Philadelphia.  Among the problems they cite:
  • Since 2002, the number of workers in the Department of Public Welfare has dropped by 13%, but caseloads have almost doubled in that time
  • Fewer than one in five calls to the Philadelphia Customer Service Center are being picked up
  • Almost one in six applications for food stamps are rejected due to lost documents or failure to make an appointment; however, Froehlich and Zaebst say that in their experience, "these rejections can often be attributed to documents misplaced by overwhelmed skeleton crews or to ineffectual "phone tag" between officials and applicants [busy with] work, child-care, and school schedules."
The programs offered by the Department of Public Welfare are meant to be ways that families can stay above water in the short-term while they look for family-sustaining jobs and/or get the education they need to qualify for those jobs.  No family wants to spend more time in these programs than they need to.  Yet, as the authors point out, "When low-income families must spend entire days at a welfare office waiting to see a caseworker or return several times to turn in the same piece of paper, it's time they're not spending at work, looking for work, going to school, or tending to their children."

Have you experienced long waits or problems in applying for programs? How have the budget cuts affected your family? Please let us know in the comments.

This Week in Harrisburg

PA Strawberry squareThe House returned to session one week after the Senate and the legislature is taking up many issues this fall. With that in mind, the House and Senate Transportation Committees held their second public hearing on the Governor’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission’s report. Lawmakers heard testimony from the PA State Association of Township Supervisors, the Keystone State Railroad Association, the PA Public Transportation Association, and the Commonwealth Foundation regarding the report’s recommendations. For more information, please click here.