POVERTY WEBINAR SERIES
For many years, Community Action advocates and others have expressed
their concern that the federal poverty guideline for program eligibility
is too low and not reflective of the circumstances of low-income people
and families. A key first step in rectifying this situation will be
to develop a new supplemental poverty measure, using variables and analysis
such as the recommendations by the National Academy of Sciences. While
the development of this new measure will not change the program eligibility
or existing legislation for federally-funded services and programs,
the refinement and updating of a supplemental poverty measure is a necessary,
important step in the right direction.
If you’re interested in this public policy issue, check out the
item below and register for these webinars as soon as you can.
Now for a
TWO-PART WEBINAR on the
SUPPLEMENTAL POVERTY MEASURE
Supplemental Poverty Measure: What It Will and Won't Do
Learn why a new poverty measure is needed and how the supplemental poverty
measure will compare to the official poverty measure. Find out how the
poverty threshold for each measure will differ. Hear what role Congress
Wednesday, April 14, 2-3 p.m. (ET)
Moderator: Michael Laracy, Annie E. Casey Foundation
Speakers: Arloc Sherman, Center on Budget and Policy
Priorities; Indivar Dutta-Gupta, House Committee
on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support;
and Annette Case, Strategies to Eliminate Poverty
Behind the Scenes: Adopting a Supplemental
Hear from the top about what the administration’s key issues are
and how the process will work. Find out why the supplemental poverty
measure gets and deserves support across the political spectrum. Learn
about state and local efforts to adopt more accurate measures of poverty
Wednesday, April 21, 2-3 p.m. (ET)
Moderator: Clifford Johnson, National League of Cities
Speakers: Rebecca M. Blank, Undersecretary of Commerce
for Economic Affairs;
Ron Haskins, Brookings Institution; Mark
Levitan, New York City Center for Economic Opportunity
THE PARTNERSHIP PROMOTES SAFELINK by Don Mathis
Wireless – Expanding the Safety Net
seems to be some confusion and misunderstanding about what the SafeLink
Wireless phone program is intended to do and what the Partnership’s
role is in encouraging agencies to consider SafeLink. SafeLink is one
company that participates in the Federal Communications Commission’s
Lifeline program which is designed to be used specifically for emergency
or urgent situations. No one is forced to buy minutes. The SafeLink
model is specifically designed to prevent people from spending money
on phone service that they cannot afford, as there is no contract and
no monthly bill, ever.
A few Community Action folks suggest that the cost for extra minutes
beyond the monthly allowance is misleading or deceptive. Much the way
credit cards can be abused, texting addiction can lead to exorbitant
bills, and overeating may cause obesity, if a SafeLink participant does
not manage his/her time, there are other costs. But SafeLink is not
intended for casual usage. SafeLink can be there for emergency services,
urgent family matters and other serious circumstances. Most SafeLink
customers do not find the need to purchase the additional minutes. A
customer may purchase additional time on a prepaid basis.
SafeLink has been available since late 2008. It has helped many people
and families and at no time has the free allotment of minutes been decreased
nor has anyone ever been forced to buy extra minutes. The Partnership’s
role with SafeLink—as it is with every other corporate donor/funder—is
to make that service known to our members, knowing that we’ve
checked out the legitimacy and credibility of all our corporate sponsors.
We encourage everyone to consider SafeLink and to know that the Partnership
appreciates SafeLink’s support.
Wireless is making it easier than ever for Community Action Agencies
to learn more about the free cell phone program for eligible individuals.
SafeLink has set up a website: www.SafeLinkAgencies.com.
Agencies in active states, https://www.safelinkwireless.com/EnrollmentPublic/ParticipatingStates.aspx,
should have received a welcome packet containing login information.
FOR INDEPENDENCE (AFI) GRANTS DUE JUNE 25, 2010
for Independence Announces Spring Webinar Series!
Assets for Independence (AFI) program is pleased to announce its spring
Webinar series for prospective applicants!
Designed for prospective grantees and their partners, this webinar
series includes background on the AFI program, an overview of the
application requirements and procedures, and tips for developing strong
AFI grant applications.
to participate in the next webinar to learn move about AFI application
requirements and procedures from AFI Resource Center Staff. A complete
schedule of Webinars, calls, and events for prospective grantees is
available online at the AFI Calendar of Events webpage.
AFI is the largest Federal funding source for Individual Development
Account (IDA) programs. The AFI program provides funding for non-profit
organizations, qualified state and local governments, community development
credit unions, and other community-based organizations to provide
IDAs for qualified individuals in their area. Each participant sets
up an individual savings account that receives matched funding from
the federal government and another source. The funds can be used for
furthering education, purchasing a home, or starting a business.
The AFI Program is now accepting applications for asset-building programs
nationwide. The next AFI grant application deadline June 25,
More information on the AFI program is available online at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/assetbuilding/
or by contacting the AFI Resource Center by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
or by calling 1-866-778-6037.
SECTOR IS A GREAT CHAMPION FOR THE NONPROFIT COMMUNITY
on Health Care Reform:
Impact and Implications for the Nonprofit Community
Thursday, April 15, 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET
health care reform legislation that President Obama has now signed into
law will profoundly affect the work of nonprofits and foundations.
Join our April 15 webinar on Health Care Reform: Impact and Implications
for the Nonprofit Community to learn more about how these changes will
affect you and your organization.
members register here
• Non-members register here (See note below.)
and Anne Phelps, tax policy and health care experts with Washington
Council Ernst & Young, will examine this legislation's effect
on nonprofits and foundations as employers, its new rules for nonprofit
hospitals, and its implications for our employees and the people we
We'll discuss the timetable for implementation of the changes, questions
that will require further guidance from federal agencies, and issues
that may require further action by Congress and state governments.
This webinar is free to staff at Independent Sector member organizations.
Non-members can also participate, at the cost of $100. If a non-member
organization joins Independent Sector by June 30, the fee will be
credited toward membership dues. For information about becoming a
PARTNERSHIP SUPPORTS THE U.S. CENSUS BUREAU
We need your help to make our 2010 Census “March to the
Mailbox” response-rate boosting campaign a success. On
Saturday, April 10, we’re aiming to have thousands of volunteers
actively encouraging the public to mail back their 2010 Census questionnaire.
These activities can include parades, marches, walks, rallies and motorcades
— in approximately 6,000 low-responding census tract areas in
communities across the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto
Rico. We’d like your help getting out volunteers for these M2M
activities.During this neighborhood blitz, volunteers will converge
on streets and high traffic zones to encourage residents to March to
the Mailbox and mail back their 2010 Census forms. Local leaders will
stand side by side with their community to elevate the message that
it is not too late to mail back the census form.
We have already pre-identified low-responding census tracts to help
focus these activities, and we’ll continue to tailor our activities
using real-time data on actual census participation. As a national partner
we’d like you to encourage your local affiliates/offices to work
with the partnership team in their area to get out volunteers on the
ground! Volunteers may be supplied by the Local Census Office with 2010
Census hats, t-shirts, signs, noisemakers, and/or other materials to
help make these events very visible in these low-responding, hard-to-count
Please spread the word about March to the Mailbox through your own distribution
channels and help us get these important volunteers! For more information
and to follow up, please talk with your partnership contact or call
the applicable regional office partnership management staff from the
For additional background, see the March to the Mailbox partner toolkit
Congratulations to the staff at Little Dixie CAA
in Hugo, Oklahoma, on being featured in the Hugo Daily News
for their work promoting the importance of the 2010 Census. The CAA
is one of thousands of local and national organizations (including
the Community Action Partnership) that are encouraging local citizens
to respond to the Census to create better opportunities for their
TO OUR GREAT COLLEAGUES AT FOOD RESEARCH & ACTION CENTER (FRAC)
Thanks to the incredible leadership and tenacity of Ellen Teller at
FRAC, the Partnership joined other prestigious national organizations
in the letter to Congress (below) advocating for the reauthorization
and strengthening of the child nutrition programs.
Dear Members of Congress:
As Child Nutrition Reauthorization moves through Congress, we urge you
to champion effective efforts to expand and improve program access for
children who rely on these critical nutrition programs while in child
care, school-based and out-of-school time settings. The child nutrition
programs play a vital role in helping children, especially those in
low-income families, achieve access to quality nutrition, child care,
and educational and enrichment activities while improving their overall
health, development, and school achievement. These programs are proven
to work, but too many children continue to miss out on their benefits
because of low participation rates and unnecessary access barriers.
In order to improve access to the child nutrition programs, we believe
a strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill must:
Expand the Afterschool Meal Program to all 50 states (S. 990/H.R.
• Improve the area eligibility test so more communities can
operate afterschool, summer, and family child care food programs
(S. 2749/H.R. 4402);
• Provide funds for grants to support the start-up and expansion
of universal and inclassroom school breakfast programs in low-income
schools (H.R. 4325) and provide breakfast commodity support (H.R.
• Invest in Summer Nutrition Programs by providing funding
for start-up, outreach, and transportation grants (transportation
grants included in S. 3040/H.R. 4734);
• Allow child care centers and homes the option of serving
a third meal (S. 2749/H.R. 4402);
• Eliminate unnecessary paperwork that is a barrier to participation
through data-based eligibility systems in schools in high-poverty
areas and through improved direct certification systems (S. 1343/H.R.
• Streamline afterschool nutrition rules to allow community-based
and local governments in all states the ability to provide meals
and snacks year-round through the rules and paperwork of the Summer
Food Service Program (H.R.4274).
strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill also requires significant
new funding in order to ensure expanded program access and improved
nutrition. President Obama has included in his budget one billion dollars
a year in new funding for the reauthorization effort. We urge the Congress
and Administration to work together to identify funding sources that
will allow millions more children the opportunity to participate in
the child nutrition programs.
the extraordinary challenges facing our nation, investing in our children
makes economic and fiscal sense and is crucial to the nation’s
health, competitiveness and security.
Alliance to End Hunger
Center for Law and Social Policy
Child Nutrition Initiative
Church Women United
Coalition on Human Needs
Community Action Partnership
Congressional Hunger Center
Early Care and Education Consortium
Feed The Children
First Focus: Campaign for Children
Food Research and Action Center
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
Mennonite Central Committee
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Association for the Education of Young Children
National CACFP Forum
National Center on Family Homelessness
National Education Association
National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness
National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education
National Summer Learning Association
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Religious Action Center
Service Employees International Union
School Nutrition Association
Society for Nutrition Education
The United Methodist Church - General Board of Church and Society
Voices for America's Children
World Hunger Year
than 900 state and local organizations also signed
CONNECTICUT STORY—WEATHERIZATION PROGRAM
PROVIDES JOBS, SAVES ENERGY
and heartfelt appreciation to Edith Karsky, executive director of
the Connecticut Association for Community Action and to Lena Rodriguez,
president/CEO of Community Renewal Team, Inc in Hartford for their
effective leadership and savvy media access. Below is another great
news story about Weatherization’s effectiveness. Send us your
success stories and help the Partnership spread the good word!
The Hartford Courant
March 27, 2010
Paul Paris Sr. was already dusty, and homeowner Juanita Lancaster
was having to deal with visitors on her day off — but both couldn't
have been happier.
The statewide weatherization program — funded with $64 million
in federal stimulus money — rolled up Thursday morning to Lancaster's
multifamily colonial in Hartford's North End. The cellulose insulation
that Paris' crew from Zerodraft was shooting into Lancaster's drafty
walls will help her and her tenant cut down on their heating bills.
And this work is keeping weatherization companies like Paris' busy
in metro areas across Connecticut.
"There is nothing in those walls," said Lancaster, clutching
her robe closed and peering into the holes that the crew had drilled
though the clapboard in the front of her house. "No wonder I
have to sit down every time I read my gas bill."
"Come next winter, you'll be dancing when you read it,"
said Jason Smith, who manages the weatherization program for the Community
Renewal Team of Hartford, one of four agencies running the program
across the state for the Department of Social Services.
But in a state with a battered economy that is still shedding jobs,
officials are hungering for a bigger, faster payoff from the weatherization
effort. As of January, the latest state figures available, 80 jobs
were created or retained as a result of the program. Most were in
the Community Renewal Team's district: the Hartford, Middletown and
suburban New Haven areas.
The federal money enlarged the once-obscure weatherization effort
nearly tenfold, and this state, like others, spent a considerable
amount of time through the fall and early winter helping a large roster
of contractors adjust to the new federal wage and reporting requirements
that came with the money.
The four community agencies had to figure out how to get the work
out to the largest group of contractors they had ever dealt with,
while lining up interviews for workers who were newly trained by the
regional workforce boards.
"We would have liked to have been further along than we are,"
said state Social Services Commissioner Claudette Beaulieu. "But
it was difficult to get it going in the beginning. We were going from
a mouse to an elephant in terms of the size of the program. Finally,
we're seeing real progress."
State officials are watching closely, because they see this program
as a promising job producer in a state that badly needs one.
"Of all the stimulus programs we have, we've spent the most time
massaging this program and trying to get it moving forward,"
said Matthew Fritz, one of the point people on the federal stimulus
program for Gov. M. Jodi Rell.
In some respects, state officials see this transformed program as
the jewel of the state's piece of the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act. Though dwarfed by the big-ticket items in Connecticut's nearly
$3 billion stimulus package — Medicaid payments, retaining 5,300
teaching jobs, and funding a spate of highway, bridge, rail, and bus
contracts — no single program received a greater infusion of
federal money in proportion to its size.
The $2.5 million-a-year program has grown to $64 million over three
years. While most of the stimulus funding has gone to shore up state
and local budgets and avoid layoffs, officials are looking to this
program to create new jobs and a ripple of commerce.
"I'm ordering more supplies from local vendors, buying more uniforms,
more trucks, more insurance, more gas from local dealers, I'm staying
open longer," said Paul Paris Jr., who owns Zerodraft and is
Paul Sr.'s son. "This is the original intent of stimulus, and
it's having a local impact."
Of the $64 million, just over $19 million is going to the Department
of Economic and Community Development to weatherize a projected 2,850
units of state-subsidized housing — most of it more than 40
years old. Joan McDonald, commissioner of the DECD, said the agency
is about two weeks away from awarding a contract to an independent
manager to oversee the work.
Fritz said the state housing work will be another important source
Nearly 100 contractors are now involved in the weatherization program
statewide. Many have hired at least one worker and are poised to hire
more as the pace of the work has accelerated this month.These companies
have crews that range from five workers to nearly 40.
Paul Paris Jr. said his company, based in Waterford and Norwalk, has
added three new workers as a result of the weatherization program.
The company now employs 38. If the quicker pace of work continues
in April, Paris foresees hiring five more workers.
Across the state, the precise number of new hires is hard to determine
because some of the community agencies combine "retained"
and "newly created" jobs into one figure that they report
to the state.
But it appears the job totals are increasing beyond the 80 reported
in January. Lena Rodriguez, president of the Community Renewal Team
in Hartford, said the agency makes an effort to track newly created
jobs. She said that to date, contractors have added 69 new workers
to supplement their crews in CRT's area. She said those updated figures
would be reflected in CRT's report to the social services department
next week. Beaulieu said she expects the April report to show considerable
The CRT's Smith said the agency is now smoothly conducting energy
audits, writing up the specifications for each job, sending out work
orders to contractors, monitoring the work, doing post-work inspections
and reviewing the weekly payroll reports from contractors
Smith, a carpenter and builder who was hired by CRT early last year,
said he expects to issue 200 home-weatherization work orders in April
to be completed over two months.
The agency also is working with the Capital Workforce Partners, the
region's job-development board, to link workers who have completed
three weeks of training with the contractors who need them.
Pamela Nabors, vice president of the workforce board, said 40 people
completed training sessions in November and February. Of those, 16
have been placed in jobs and most of the rest are interviewing with
contractors. Another class of 20 trainees is scheduled for May.
She said the goal is to train 60 workers a year in the capital region
and to put 90 percent of them into weatherization jobs. The state's
community colleges also have begun to offer a certification in weatherization
work, Nabors said.The intent, said William Bevacqua of Action for
Bridgeport Community Development, is for these jobs to lead to careers
in the renewable energy and conservation fields.
RESERVE DEVELOPS NEW TOOLS AND STRATEGIES
TO HELP PROTECT VULNERABLE CONSUMERS
From left to right:John Moon, Senior Community Affairs Analyst; Heidi
Kaplan, Senior Community Affairs Analyst; Sandra Braunstein, Director,
Division of Consumer and Community Affairs; Joseph Firschein, Assistant
Director, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs; Don Mathis President/CEO,
Community Action Partnership; David Buchholz, Manager, Policy Analysis;
and Stacy Flowers, Director of Community Economic Development, Community
special thanks to Sandra Braunstein, director of the Division of Consumer
and Community Affairs at the Federal Reserve, three of the Partnership’s
senior staff met with Sandra and her senior staff to plan ways that
both organizations can share information and resources around the Partnership’s
training and technical assistance with community economic development;
consumer protections that will help low-income people, families, and
neighborhoods; green jobs and job creation, and other initiatives like
Federal Reserve materials and resources will soon be posted on the Partnership’s
new website partnershipCED.org.
Don Mathis and Stacy Flowers will participate in the Federal Reserve’s
“Rethink, Recover, Rebuild: Reinventing Older Communities”
conference in Philadelphia in May. Watch for future items in e news
about Federal Reserve resources and opportunities that can help your
Community Action Agency better achieve your goals and objectives.
OF RUBY HARGRAVE
CAA CHAMPION RUBY HARGRAVE PASSES AWAY
Long Time National Board Member
Honolulu Community Action Program (HCAP) long-time executive director,
Ruby L. Hargrave, passed away Sunday, March 14, 2010 at the age of
84. Ruby dedicated 39 years of her life to Honolulu Community Action
Program, spending 28 of those years as executive director. She leaves
a legacy of passionate service and dedication to improving the lives
of disadvantaged families in Hawaii. Ruby would have been 85 years
old on March 29.
Ruby was on the national board of (then) NACAA and Community Action
Partnership for more than 15 years serving as the Region IX representative.
She chaired several national committees over the years. During her
tenure on the national board, HCAP hosted three very successful winter
conferences in Honolulu. Ruby made sure that native Hawaiian culture
and the talent and skills of her staff were always a highlight. She
was well liked and respected by all board members and rarely missed
a national board meeting, with the exception of family or medical
“On behalf of the HCAP ohana (family), I would like to express
a deep appreciation for Ruby’s life, which she selflessly devoted
to the service of others,” said HCAP Board Chair Kevin Souza.
HCAP’s current executive director, Robert N.E. Piper, shared,
“Ruby led HCAP through many successes, as well as challenging
times, and it is a testament to her leadership that the agency is
here and thriving today. She will be remembered as a pioneer of community
action in Hawaii and will be truly missed.”
“Ruby had a big heart and was always advocating for those who
didn’t have anywhere to turn,” said Robert Naniole, Director
of Community Services. “I was fortunate to have worked for Ruby,
who gave me my start in community action twelve years ago. As executive
director, she was strong-willed, fair, and always had a lot of aloha
for her workers and the people we served.” Ruby remained close
with many HCAP staff after her retirement, and her energy and spirit
of caring for all will be deeply missed.
ANNUAL CONVENTION PRESENTATIONS REQUESTS
spent years honing your skills and developing excellence in programs
and services as a Community Action professional. Now share your experience
and knowledge by submitting a proposal for consideration as a presentation
at the 2010 Community Action Partnership Annual Convention in Boston,
August 31 - September 3
The purpose of our Convention is to provide high-quality education
and networking opportunities for our Community Action Network. Our
multiple day, multiple track format offers a self-directed, facilitated
learning environment with education sessions and interactive forums.
Education sessions focus on current and emerging issues, best practices,
and challenges facing Community Action practitioners, board members
and senior staff. Presentations are designed for all levels of experience
- from fundamental to intermediate to advanced topics.
You are invited to submit a written proposal. By submitting a proposal,
you will help shape the educational component of the Convention and
the future of Community Action. Click
here to download the Call for Sessions. Presentation proposals
must be received by April 30, 2010.
On Tuesday, August 31, we are planning to offer an exciting pre-conference
all-day intensive session for Emerging Leaders. Plan to come and participate
in interactive sessions on Community Action in the 21st Century, leadership
versus management, modern branding, public speaking and more! Watch
upcoming issues of the eNews and our website
convention page for detailed information and registration.
To view or download the 2010
Annual Convention Brochure, click here. Hotel rooms are selling
quickly at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. Click
here to reserve online and assure your reservation is confirmed
at the convention rate of $189.00 single or double.