News and Action Summary for February 12, 2016

Download a pdf version of the February 12, 2016 News and Action Summary!

News Summary 2-12-16

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News Posts, February 12, 2016

Here are news articles posted since the previous News and Action Summary:

Wage Theft Is an Epidemic. Here’s How We Can Help Fix It

The Impact of Raising the Minimum Wage to $10.10 on the State Budget

What Would a “Right Side Up” Tax Policy Look Like?

Obama’s Clean-Power Plan Put on Hold by U.S. Supreme Court

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Advocacy Positions Available—February 12, 2016

Here is the most recent posting of jobs available in research and advocacy:

Organizer for United Home Care Workers of Pennsylvania — Philadelphia

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Sign the Paris Pledge to Reduce Carbon Emissions

From Interfaith Power and Light (http://interfaithpowerandlight.org):

I was honored to visit a city famous for love and romance last year: Paris, France. But it wasn’t romantic love that sent me there: it was love for God’s Creation. And by the end of the COP21 climate conference I was inspired to see what we can do when we put our love of Creation into action, with people from all over the world gathered to create a more just and sustainable world.

In Paris, IPL presented an 11-foot-long scroll with the names of more than 4,500 congregations and individual households who took the Paris Pledge to cut their carbon emissions in half by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2050. In the past two months, we now have over 5,000 pledge takers across the nation! Will you add your name today and make the pledge?

Go to http://www.parispledge.org/ to take the Paris Pledge and show your love for the planet.

Since Paris, faith communities across the nation have continued to pledge their support to shift away from their own reliance on fossil fuels and toward a clean energy future. If you haven’t already signed the Paris Pledge, now is the time to inspire others in your faith community to play their part.

Add your name to join more than 5,000 IPL supporters who have signed the Paris Pledge.

Your knowledge can guide others to make an even bigger impact across this nation. Consider hosting an activity or plan a talk or sermon for Faith Climate Action Week. You can find guidance on how to spread the word on the Faith Climate Action Week website.

As the French poet Victor Hugo says: Let us love always and more! Let us unite better each day, Trees grow their foliage; That our souls should grow in love.

Let’s put our love for Creation and for our neighbors around the world into action. Let’s lead by example, and show the way to a sustainable future and a safe climate for all.

 

 

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Organizer for United Home Care Workers of Pennsylvania — Philadelphia

Come be part of the United Home Care Workers of Pennsylvania!

The fastest growing, most dynamic organization of home care workers is looking for a gifted and committed person to join us. We are over 20,000 working people who provide care for people with disabilities and seniors across Pennsylvania. We’ve created an innovative organization for uniting caregivers. Together, we fight for social justice and tackle the gender, racial, and economic inequality that holds back working families. We know that the aspirations of caregivers and consumers for well-being and independence are bound together. We collaborate with home care consumers and advocates in the community of people with disabilities and senior citizens to build power. Work with us is demanding and exciting. Come help us build a movement to change Pennsylvania.

United Home Care Workers of Pennsylvania is affiliated jointly with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Responsibilities

The organizer’s main job is to:

  • Build UHWP’s membership base and build strong relationships with members and leaders through systematic outreach and follow up;
  • Develop our members’ organizing skills and political awareness through systematic, formal work and informal relationships; and
  • Engage our members in organizing campaigns to achieve concrete victories for home care workers.

Duties

  • Building a strong base of members: The organizer will recruit members using various methods, maintain recruitment and contact records, assess potential members and meet turn out goals to meetings, actions and other organizational activities.
  • Developing the skills, leadership and political awareness of our members: The organizer will identify potential and emerging leaders from our membership and create individual leadership development plans with current and emerging leaders that will build their political framework and organizing skills. A significant component of this work will include the development and implementation of a member brigade, in which members are brought on as part-time organizers to lead a variety of organizing projects.
  • Campaign strategy, development, and implementation: The organizer will work with other members of the organizing team to identify opportunities for policy reforms at the city and state level and build strong active campaign committees of members to implement issue-based organizing campaigns utilizing a variety of creative campaign tactics.
  • Strategic ally work: The organizer will strengthen current and develop new relationships with stakeholders and allies to advance our issue-based agenda while building power for our members.
  • Communications: The organizer will recruit members to contribute to organizational communications including website, social networking applications and video, as well as working with members on campaign messaging and media training.

Qualifications

  • A strong commitment to social, racial, and economic justice and the desire to work hard to win concrete change;
  • Strong community and/or labor organizing experience, preferably with low-income people and a demonstrated capacity to effectively carry out the above responsibilities;
  • Ability to communicate, motivate and listen to people and the ability work with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures;
  • Ability to work independently with a strong sense of accountability to a numbers-based plan;
  • Ability to work evenings/weekends as necessary; and
  • Computer literate — particularly Microsoft Office and database applications.
  • Depending on experience, the position may begin with a three-month apprenticeship program.

Travel:

Although the position is based in Philadelphia, all positions require a car and willingness to travel. The union provides mileage reimbursement at the federal rate and lodging when working away from home.

Compensation:

Competitive salary package and benefits including defined-benefit pension (with contributions beginning after six months employment), optional 401(k)-type plan, and fully-paid health insurance

Equal Opportunity:

The union is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, LGBT people, and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

Location:

Philadelphia, PA

To Apply:

Send a resume and cover letter explaining your interest to jobs@seiuhcpa.org.

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Obama’s Clean-Power Plan Put on Hold by U.S. Supreme Court

Posted at http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-02-09/obama-s-clean-power-plan-put-on-hold-by-u-s-supreme-court

By GregStohr & Jennifer A Dlouhy

February 9, 2016 — 6:25 PM ESTUpdated on February 9, 2016 — 10:32 PM EST

A divided U.S. Supreme Court blocked President Barack Obama’s sweeping plan to cut emissions from power plants, putting on hold his most ambitious effort to combat climate change.

The 5-4 order Tuesday halts the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan until at least the final months of Obama’s presidency — and casts doubt on its ultimate fate before the nation’s highest court by suggesting concern among a majority of the justices.

Utilities, coal miners and more than two dozen states say the agency had overstepped its authority and intruded on states’ rights.

The court action blocking implementation until an appeals court can rule “confirms that the legal justification for the Clean Power Plan should be examined by the courts before scarce state and private resources are used to develop state plans,” said Melissa McHenry, a spokeswoman for American Electric Power Co., one of the biggest coal users among U.S. utilities.

The delay is a blow to Obama’s environmental agenda, highlighting the prospect that his signature program for combating climate change could be in legal jeopardy. It also risks undermining the U.S. commitment to pare greenhouse gas emissions as part of an international accord reached in Paris last December.

Read more at http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-02-09/obama-s-clean-power-plan-put-on-hold-by-u-s-supreme-court.

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What Would a “Right Side Up” Tax Policy Look Like?

From CFED (http://cfed.org/):

Today, 140 million Americans are financially insecure—nearly half the population. At the same time, unfair tax programs channel billions of federal dollars to help those at the topTax policy grow their wealth, while doing little or nothing for most working families.

Our tax code is upside down. So what would a right-side up tax code look like?

Today, we have an answer. We want a tax code that ends the multi-billion-dollar bonanza for those at the top and helps every American build wealth. We want a tax code that creates more homeownership, more college graduates, more secure retirements and less financial insecurity.

Find out more at http://cfed.org/assets/pdfs/Right-Side_Up_Principles_Infographic_2.pdf.

We don’t know who will be the presidential candidate for either party, but the debate on these issues is happening now. Now is the time educate the candidates and raise awareness about these upside down tax policies.

That’s why the Turn it Right-Side Up campaign is kicking off a year of action with the release of this statement of principles about what this campaign is all about: wealth inequality and the unfair tax programs that restrict economic opportunity.

We can stop accepting the status quo of inequality and limited opportunity. But we need your help to make it happen.

Join the citizens from the across the country who have already signed up to stay informed and lend a hand. Get engaged. Get angry. And join us to get to work.

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The Impact of Raising the Minimum Wage to $10.10 on the State Budget

By Mark Price &  Stephen Herzenberg

February 8, 2016

Raise the Wage PA (http://raisethewagepa.org/), a statewide coalition of community, labor, faith-based, and other organizations is urging the Pennsylvania General Assembly to raise the state’s minimum hourly wage above the federal level of $7.25 to $10.10.

This Policy Watch estimates the impact of this proposed increase on the state budget.  Specifically we estimate that a minimum wage increase will increase state tax revenues by $121.5 million and generate another $104 million in savings in reduced Medicaid spending.

Medicaid Expansion

Increasing the minimum wage pushes more families from the range in which the state pays nearly half the cost of Medicaid (48% in 2016) into the range in which – under the Medicaid expansion program – the federal government pays most or all of the cost.[1] More specifically, a minimum wage increase to $10.10 per hour would shift an estimated $104 million in Medicaid payments from the state to the federal government – that shift represents savings for the Pennsylvania General Fund budget.[2]

Personal Income and Sales and Use Taxes

The state would also benefit financially from a $10.10 minimum wage increase because the resulting increase in wages and incomes would generate an estimated $121.5 million more in state income and sales tax revenue.[3]

This estimate is based on Economic Policy Institute figures that show how the $1.9 billion in total wage increases from a $10.10 minimum wage would be spread across the family income distribution and on Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy estimates of the state income and sales tax rate on each part of the family income distribution.

Conclusion

Adding $121.5 million in state tax revenue to the $104 million in state Medicaid cost savings yields an estimated total of $225.5 million in benefits to the state budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Min wage table


[1] For incomes low enough to qualify for Medicaid even before Medicaid expansion, the share of Medicaid costs paid by the state and federal government each year can be found online athttp://kff.org/medicaid/state-indicator/federal-matching-rate-and-multip…

[2] This $104 million estimate is based on Rachel West and Michael Reich, A Win-Win for Working Families and State Budgets: Pairing Medicaid Expansion and a $10.10 Minimum Wage, Center for American Progress and the Institute for Research on Labor and the Economy at U.C.-Berkeley, Appendix D, p. 30. Pairing Medicaid Expansion and a $10.10 Minimum Wage

[3] Our estimates assume the minimum wage is increased to $10.10 on July 1st 2016.

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Urge Congress to Support High Quality Care for Young Children

From the National Women’s Law Center (http://www.nwlc.org/):

Parents and caregivers want the best for their children. They spend hours researching the safest strollers, most educational games and toys, healthiest snacks… the list goes on! But when it comes to choosing child care, many families simply can’t afford the high-quality care they want for their children, particularly their littlest ones.

When high-quality early care is not available in a family’s community or out of reach due to cost, infants and toddlers miss out on early learning opportunities.

Tell Congress to support high-quality care for young children at https://secure2.convio.net/nwlc/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1403.

  • Urge your lawmakers to co-sponsor legislation that invests in child care for low- and moderate-income infants and toddlers.
  • A new bill aims to give infants and toddlers the early learning opportunities today that will help them succeed tomorrow. Here’s what the plan would do:
  • Ensure families with children under age four who are living at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level have the resources to get high-quality care.
  • Pay child care workers fair wages.
  • Strengthen skills and competencies of the child care workforce so that the care children receive is of the highest possible quality.

This new legislation can make a difference right away — but it needs your help to get off the ground. The more co-sponsors this bill gets, the stronger message we send.

Take action now for young children and their families.

The research is overwhelmingly clear. A child’s early years are critical to her development. Top-notch child care and early learning programs are good for children, families, and the economy. But we also know that there is not enough of it around.

It’s time to raise your voice for the littlest learners — tell Congress to invest in infants and toddlers.

Thank you for everything you do to help children and families succeed.

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Urge PA Legislators to Pass Discrimination Protections This Year

From Equality PA (http://equalitypa.org/):

On February 9, Gov. Wolf pointed out that discrimination protections can still be passed this year. Now we need all of the legislators to do everything they can to push the legislation forward.

Please email your legislator today at http://equalityfederation.salsalabs.com/o/35029/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=1709 and ask her/him to make it a priority to pass discrimination protections in 2016.

All LGBT people in Pennsylvania deserve the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families. That’s why we need legislation now.

Tell your legislator to do whatever he/she can to make sure nondiscrimination legislation passes this year.

Click here to email your legislator now.

Now is the time and with your help we can make this happen.

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