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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Think there's nothing you (we?) can do to fight poverty?


If you think there's nothing you or I--we--can do to fight poverty, think again.  Here's an even dozen:

1)  Support an increase in the minimum wage to more than $11 per hour

2)  Tell Publix: Help end sexual harassment, wage theft, and forced labor in the fields—join the Fair Food Program today

Tell Publix Super Markets CEO William Crenshaw to join the fight against human rights abuses in the US tomato industry

3)  Make a Personal Commitment to Helping Homeless Families
You can visit a local shelter, meet a homeless family and see first hand the damage poverty is doing to young mothers and children. Then, become a big brother or sister, a role model for these young families to help them dream again. You are meeting an immediate need while also helping to stem generational poverty.

You can also contact your local department of social services, United Way or religious organization to find out where the need is in your community. Also, speak with the homeless liaison at your local school to see what needs they have identified in your neighborhood. There are many ways that you (and your children) can help families right in your community. Here are a few other ideas.

4)  Fund the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) at the maximum authorized level

Research by Children’s HealthWatch has shown that energy insecurity is associated with poor health, increased hospitalizations and risk of developmental delays in very young children, and that energy assistance can be effective in protecting children’s health. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides low-income households with assistance in paying their utility bills—particularly those that must spend higher proportions of their income on home energy. To be eligible for LIHEAP, families must have incomes at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level—less than $35,000 annually for a family of four.

5)  This is a big one: Support of a living wage and basic labor protections for home care workers

6)  Urge Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act (H.R. 1286/S.631) and a national paid leave program
More than 40 million workers in this country—and more than 80 percent of the lowest-wage workers—cannot earn a single paid sick day to use when they get the flu or other common illnesses. Millions more cannot earn paid sick days to use when a child is sick.
Urge members of Congress to support the Healthy Families Act, legislation that would guarantee workers the right to earn paid sick days. And sign this petition calling on Congress to take up the national paid leave program workers and families urgently need.

7)  Increase regulation of private student loans and hold Sallie Mae accountable for its role in the student debt crisis

8)  Support Pathways Back to Work

Even as the economy recovers, too many unemployed workers and individuals with low education and skill levels face a difficult job market. Nearly two in five unemployed workers have been jobless for six months or more; 6.7 million youth are both out of work and out of school.

Subsidized and transitional jobs are a proven way to give unemployed workers the opportunity to earn wages, build skills and connect to the labor market, while also giving businesses an incentive to hire new employees when they might not be able to do so otherwise.

9)  Invest in the Older Americans Act

The Older Americans Act encompasses a range of programs that enable seniors to remain healthy and independent, in their own homes and communities and out of costly institutions. Services include healthy meals, in-home care, transportation, benefits access, caregiver support, chronic disease self-management, job training and placement and elder abuse prevention.

Funding has not kept pace with the growth in need or numbers, and recent cuts before the sequester hit have further eroded investments in key services.

10)  Tell Congress no cuts to Social Security and SSI through the Chained CPI
11)  Tell Congress: Increase, Don’t Cut SNAP (Food Stamp) Benefits

Tell your Representatives and Senators that the right course for the nation is to improve food stamp benefits (and support at least the temporary benefit boost the President has proposed) and that they must oppose any SNAP cuts being considered by the Agriculture Committees in the “Farm Bill.”

12)  Tell Congress to stop harmful cuts to anti-poverty programs now
Send this e-mail to your Representative and Senators and join hundreds of thousands who are fed up that Congress would ignore these problems while fixing just one thing—inconvenient delays at airports. Also, for weekly summaries of the impact of these sequester cuts, click here.
More Actions:
 
Stand With Detroit Workers

DC/MD: Labor Picket Outside of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee Spring Ball

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Standing for Communities: ‘The Power of Collective’ (from the Marguerite Casey Foundation via Equal Voice News)

Full, original article here, also, that includes many more links at bottom and supporting documentation: http://www.thenation.com/blog/174273/week-poverty-twelve-things-you-can-do-fight-poverty-now#ixzz2TLBIeAUC

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