Today, the Census Bureau released new data, revealing for the first time the impact of the "Great Recession" on poverty, family income, and the uninsured. The results were not pretty. In 2008, the U.S. official poverty rate rose from 12.5 percent to 13.2 percent; in real terms that means that last year, 2.5 million people in the United States fell into a state of true material deprivation, from 37.3 million to 39.8 million. And this is just the data from 2008. Since that time, the unemployment rate has risen from 7.6 percent in January of this year to 9.7 percent in August, promising that the 2009 numbers that will be released next summer will be even worse.
What the New Census Data Tells Us About Poverty in America and
What the Faith Community Can Do About It.
September 14th at 2:00 PM Eastern Time
On September 10, 2009, the Census Bureau will release new data, revealing for the first time the impact of the "Great Recession" on poverty, family income, and the uninsured.
Join us for a free webinar on September 14, at 2:00 PM Eastern Time to hear national experts discuss how to use the newly released poverty data to make the case for the "Good Jobs, Green Jobs" agenda and receive more information about how to engage your community in the Fighting Poverty with Faith mobilization, a national project co-chaired by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs that will take place October 14-21.
Click here to register for the webinar or go to: http://fightingpovertywithfaith.com/f2/
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs and Catholic Charities USA are co-chairing a national mobilization to create a united faith voice on poverty in America. We have already been joined by over 30 national faith organizations-including 13 national Jewish agencies-and expect more to sign on in the coming weeks. The centerpiece of the initiative is a week of action entitled "FIGHTING POVERTY WITH FAITH: GOOD JOBS, GREEN JOBS" to take place between October 14-21, 2009. Check out the mobilization's website at www.fightingpovertywithfaith.com.
From October 14-21, 2009, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs is co-chairing a national project with Catholic Charities USA called "Fighting Poverty with Faith: Good Jobs, Green Jobs." So far, almost 30 national faith-based organizations have committed to participating in this week of action designed to urge our elected officials to make poverty-reduction a key goal of the transition to a new green economy. Click here to see the endorsement form and the most updated list of participating organizations.
During this week, we will be facilitating opportunities for our local congregations, student organizations, faith-based service-providers, and other affiliates to engage in interfaith volunteer projects, community relations building, public education, and advocacy on the issue of shared economic prosperity and workforce development that includes innovative, green pathways out of poverty.
On August 17th, a "Fighting Poverty with Faith" website will go live, where you can download action and advocacy templates, upload local community events taking place during the week of action, and get policy, messaging, and program resources on the "Good Jobs, Green Jobs" agenda. By coordinating our messaging, holding joint events, and promoting partnerships among our respective faith groups, we hope to enhance our work to build the political and public will to reduce poverty.
However, you don't have to wait until October to make your voice heard. During the August recess, JCPA is encouraging Jewish communities across the country to reach out to their members of Congress on two specific policy items related to the climate and energy legislation moving through the Senate.
The latest news on healthcare reform: Neither the House nor the Senate will vote on healthcare reform proposals before Congress breaks for August recess.
In the House, three committees have jurisdiction over healthcare reform, and each needs to mark-up a bill before the entire House takes a vote. The House Education & Labor Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee finished their mark-ups earlier this month. However, intraparty disputes in the House Energy & Commerce Committee delayed the mark-up until a deal was struck earlier this week between the Committee's chairman, Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and a group of more fiscally conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats (Reps. Mike Ross of Arkansas, Bart Gordon of Tennessee, Baron Hill of Indiana, and Zack Space of Ohio), who were concerned about the cost of the bill.
Unfortunately, in order to reach a deal that would allow the mark-up of the bill to resume, Chairman Waxman had to trade one of the provisions of JCPA and UJC's common principles for healthcare reform: a robust public option. For more information on what a public option is and why it is so necessary, please click here. According to the latest CBS News/NYTimes poll (covering July 24-28), 2/3 of Americans (66%) support a public plan like Medicare to compete with private health insurers.