Thursday, February 28, 2013

Workforce Funding in Danger with Looming Sequestration.

Workforce funding is not just another line item in the budget. It is a lifeline to workers and industries all over this country. We've been telling Congress that further cuts will devastate re-employment efforts, but now your stories are needed.

Tell your story about what's been lost due to cuts already and what stands to be lost if sequestration is not stopped. We will share these stories to illustrate the need for lawmakers to find a balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not further disinvest in America's workforce.

If you have questions, please contact Josh Spaulding.

Ask Congress to Keep WIC and Meals-On-Wheels Off the Chopping Block!

Unless Congress acts within the next week, vulnerable children, families and seniors will face deep cuts in the services they depend on to put food on the table.

Across the nation, hundreds of thousands of pregnant women and children will lose nutrition assistance provided by the WIC program. Seniors will receive 4 million fewer meals through Meals on Wheels. And nearly a quarter of a million people will lose the housing assistance that helps them afford a safe place to live. 

Join advocates around the country and ask Congress to not harm our community and struggling families.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Join A Conversation with Elected Officials: Balancing Needs and Budgetary Resources



On Friday, April 5 beginning at 8:30AM, the Bucks County Women's Advocacy Coalition and the Buxmont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship invite you to engage coalition partners, legislators, and citizens in a dialogue that will clarify the budget discussions taking place throughout our state and the nation and shed light on the impact of budgetary decisions on the women and families of Bucks County.

We look forward to seeing at BuxMont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship located at 2040 Street Road (Routes 611 and 132), Warrington, PA.

Please RSVP by Friday, March 22.

How Will Sequestration Particularly Impact Pennsylvania?

Sequestration is scheduled to take place on Friday, March 1, and Pennsylvania will lose $4.4 million in funds that support mostly disabled and formerly homeless adults and their families in permanent housing programs, and transitional housing for homeless persons and families.

Please see this chart showing how each region in Pennsylvania might be affected. As you can see from the chart, Philadelphia alone stands to lose almost $1.5 million.

We strongly urge you to contact Senators Toomey and Brady, and your Congressional House member today to speak out against this looming threat to the people and families that we serve.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Report Suggests Expanding Medicaid Would Bring 41,200 New Jobs to Pennsylvania in 2016

A report last week from Families USA and the Pennsylvania Health Access Network said expanding Medicaid would lead to 41,200 new jobs in 2016, as $3.5 billion more in Medicaid funding would flow into the state to cover as many as 682,000 uninsured low-income Pennsylvanians.

Neal Bisno, Pennsylvania health-care director for the Service Employees International Union, which represents 25,000 health-care workers in the state, notes:
"In so many communities, health-care institutions are the largest employers. Pennsylvania is literally denying good-quality jobs to tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians - good jobs providing vital care to people in need." 
If Pennsylvania does not accept the Medicaid expansion, it will see $1.9 billion in cuts from for charitable care that would have been offset by lower income families being placed on the Medicaid roles. Most Hospitals are registered as charitable groups or 501c(3) organizations.

PA General Assembly Introduces Bills to Prevent Private Insurance Reproductive Health Coverage

This month, two bills were introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly - Senate Bill 3 and House Bill 742 - that would ban private insurance plans sold in the health insurance exchange, which will begin in 2014, from covering even medically necessary abortion services.

These exceptions to receive abortion coverage are very narrow and there is no exception made for catastrophic health situations such as a cancer diagnosis. Protect Pennsylvania women's access to comprehensive, safe, affordable reproductive healthcare.

Please contact your legislator(s) and urge them to vote NO to SB 3 and HB 742!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Public Sector Job Fair Thursday!

This Thursday from 10AM-2PM at the William H. Gray Youth Center on 12th & Cecil B. Moore Avenue will be an opportunity to explore job opportunities with a wide-range of city, state and federal agencies. 

Participating employers include:
  • Careerlink 
  • Mercy Philadelphia Hospital 
  • PA Dept. of Corrections 
  • School District of Philadelphia Philadelphia 
  • Urban League 
  • North Philadelphia Health Systems 
For more information, contact Phil Murray at: (215) 560-3261 or pmurray@pahouse.net

Monday, February 18, 2013

Author Event-Behind the Kitchen Door with Saru Jayaraman Tomorrow Night

Tuesday, February 19 beginning at 6PM at the Philly Free Library located at 1901 Vine St. Philadelphia. 

ROC-United invites you to a discussion with Saru Jayaraman, co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, about her new book Behind the Kitchen Door. 

How do restaurant workers live on some of the lowest wages in America? And how do poor working conditions--discrimination, exploitation, and unsanitary kitchens--affect the meals that arrive at our restaurant tables? In Behind the Kitchen Door, Saru Jayaraman sets out to answer these questions by following the lives of restaurant workers in nine major cities.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Tell HCAN Your Prescription Drug Story

If you or a loved one is forced to stretch medication doses and leave prescriptions unfilled, please tell your story so HCAN can explain how Americans would benefit from lower drug prices. 

Cutting benefits won’t reduce the deficit, it will just shift costs to seniors, people with disabilities, their families and the states.

Instead of cutting benefits, Congress should cut waste by letting Medicare use its vast purchasing power to bargain with prescription drug companies and drive down prices. That will save $112 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

That’s why across the country, seniors, people with disabilities and families are struggling to afford their medicines, resorting to stretching doses and leaving prescriptions unfilled.



Right now, insurers, hospitals and the Department of Veterans Affairs all bargain with pharmaceutical companies for lower drug costs. But Congress won't let Medicare use its buying power to reduce drug costs for seniors and people with disabilities.

Friday, February 15, 2013

United Way Launches 2-1-1 to Access Health and Human Services!


As we all know, navigating the nonprofit landscape and a host of government services can be overwhelming if you don't know where to start, and unfortunately many go without the services they need.  Enter 2-1-1. Callers reach a trained specialist who can help them identify the challenges they face and connect them to the services they need in their communities.

Being a part of the 2-1-1 database will also make it easier for your case managers to serve their clients more effectively. 2-1-1 offers great capacity- building potential to help improve service delivery and program efficiencies, such as decreasing the number of misdirected calls to state, local and other nonprofit agencies, and improving access to additional resources to best meet your clients’ needs. And what’s more, together we’ll help identify emerging trends in our communities to facilitate an informed response and improve our region.

2-1-1 call specialists will be available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (TTY and language services available in more than 170 languages and dialects). Assistance is available 24 hours a day at www.211sepa.org.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Webinar on the Federal Budget and How it Affects Families Tomorrow!

The Family Economic Success team at the Annie E. Casey Foundation invites you to participate in a webinar at 12 PM on February 12 to discuss the ongoing federal budget debate and the implications for children and families across the country, with a particular focus on family economic success policies and programs. Sharon Parrott, Vice President at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), will brief you on the budget and fiscal debates that continue in Congress.

RSVP to Crystal Simpkins at the CBPP.

Join The Medicaid Expansion Press Conference in Harrisburg Tomorrow!

Join the new Medicaid Coalition on February 12, 2013 at 1 PM as they ask Governor Corbett and the Legislature to Cover the Commonwealth!

Under the Affordable Care Act, 700,000 hardworking Pennsylvanians will get health coverage next year -- unless state lawmakers turn down Medicaid Expansion. By refusing $43 billion that's already set aside for Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth will leave over a half million people uninsured and lose the opportunity to create thousands of jobs across the state.

Join the One Billion Rising Campaign on Thursday!

V-Day, an organization who advocates to end violence against women around the world, is celebrating its 15th anniversary with the One Billion Rising Campaign.

They invite everyone to dance, rise up, and demand an end to the violence.

There will be a number of events taking place throughout the day in Philadelphia including a FREE Zumba session in Love Park at 2:14 PM sponsored by Women's Way.

Find all the events here.

Friday, February 8, 2013

New National Elder Economic Security Standard Now Available

The Gerontology Institute of the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts has just released a new, updated version of the National Elder Economic Security Standard Index report.

The index measures how much income a retired older adult requires to meet his or her basic needs-without public or private assistance. The measure is based on individuals 65 and older and living in the community, not in a institution.

The report highlights the growing cost of health care for the elderly across all states and estimates that a married couple must have between $29,448 and $32,204 to meet all expenses in the U.S. For a married elder couple in Pennsylvania without a mortgage, their yearly income should be about $29,916 with health care costing almost twice as much as other expenses.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Help Pass VAWA in the Senate!

Last week, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Michael Crapo (R-ID) introduced S. 47, a strong, bipartisan bill that would reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act!

This bill closely mirrors the bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Leahy and Crapo last Congress and would improve VAWA programs and strengthen protections for all victims of violence.

Call your Senator at (202) 224-3121 and ask them to support S. 47. Look up your Senator.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ask Congress to Protect Workforce Funding!

Sequestration is now set to be enacted on March 1. This is a measure that was part of the original debt ceiling increase compromise. A bipartisan budget committee that was assigned to find savings, cuts and revenues available was unable to meet its deadline, so sequestration is what has followed. It is comprised of deep cuts to domestic programs such as LIHEAP and TANF as well as defense spending.

Congress and the Administration are engaged in intense negotiations to prevent this from happening, however, no agreement has been reached. We need to protect critical programs that are vulnerable to further devastating cuts.

Sign the letter asking Congress to avoid sequestration through a balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not include further cuts to NDD programs.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

PathWays PA Providing FREE Tax Prep Again This Year!

PathWays PA's Self Sufficiency team wants to remind you to take advantage of our free tax preparation service.

Our basic tax preparation service provides free tax filing for households whose income does not exceed $51,000. We also want to reach tax filers who are disabled or who do not speak English as their first language. Our goal is help tax filers access their Earned Income and other tax credits.

We are offering a number of service locations, including SEPTA's Suburban Station where you can drop off you tax forms to be done while you are at work, or you can make an appointment.

PathWays PA Affiliation Event

PathWays PA and Women in Transition are creating a partnership to better serve women in the Greater Philadelphia Region.

Please join us for our Affiliation Announcement and Reception sponsored by The Philadelphia Foundation and the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Join the FMLA Tweet Storm Tomorrow!

Tomorrow from 1PM-2PM, as part of the festivities for the 20th anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the National Partnership for Women and Families is coordinating a tweet storm.

Join in and help raise the profile of this landmark legislation and the need for next steps.

Use #FMLA20

Friday, February 1, 2013

Earned Paid Sick Days in Philadelphia Would Benefit Business, Reduce Health Care Costs



The report is available on IWPR's website


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2013

Washington, DC—Providing paid sick days is expected to save Philadelphia employers more than half a million per year, according to a new analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). The city’s proposed paid sick days legislation under Chapter 9-3300, would not only reduce costs to employers in Philadelphia, but would also reduce the spread of contagious diseases yielding further public health costs savings.

Of the over 543,000 private sector workers in Philadelphia, about 123,900 currently have no paid leave benefits of any kind and are eligible to receive new leave under the proposed new legislation.

“Providing paid sick days makes sense for businesses and it’s time to do the right thing to protect workers, reduce the spread of contagious illness, and improve public health,” said Barbara Gault, Vice President and Executive Director of IWPR.

Additional research has found that having paid sick days reduces the rate employees voluntarily leave jobs by three to six percentage points. Workers value paid sick days and are more likely to return to a job that provides them following a health care crisis.

Paid sick days can also reduce both business and public health costs by cutting down on the spread of disease at work, helping employers avoid paying for low productivity, holding down nursing-home stays, reducing norovirus outbreaks in nursing homes, and preventing unnecessary hospital emergency department visits.

IWPR’s analysis has found that workers typically take fewer paid sick days than they earn, using the benefit as a form of health insurance to rest or seek care in the event of an illness. When workers receive a maximum of seven days off work for paid sick days, they miss an average of 1.6 days annually for illness and injury, excluding maternity leave. When they receive four days, workers with paid sick days miss an average of 1.2 days.

About half of all workers who are covered by paid sick days plans do not take any days off for illness or injury in a given year.

“This report confirms that earned sick days is smart economically because it saves businesses money, keeps workers in their jobs, and protects protect public health,” said Marianne Bellesorte, Senior Director of Public Policy and Media Relations at PathWays PA. “Earned sick days is a modest policy that will have a big impact and Philadelphia, and our city’s economy will be healthier for it.”

When workers can take needed time off without fear of being fired, they and their families can obtain necessary health care more promptly, leading to improved health outcomes, speedier recoveries, and reduced total health care spending.

The report is available on IWPR's website

About the Institute for Women's Policy Research
IWPR conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women and their families, promote public dialogue, and strengthen communities and societies. IWPR is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that also works in affiliation with the women's studies and public policy programs at The George Washington University.