Confronting Poverty

Confronting Poverty Through Curbing Abusive Lending: President Obama to Sign New Credit Card Regulations Tomorrow

Yesterday, the House passed the bipartisan Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (Credit CARD) Act of 2009 (HR627) by a vote of 279-147. The Senate passed equivalent legislation on Tuesday by a vote of 90-5.  President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law tomorrow, enacting a large-scale reform of the credit card industry that would crack down on interest rates and fees.

A good summary of the bill can be found at the Center for Responsible Lending's Action Page, which identifies the key reforms as:

 

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10:02 AM May 21, 2009 - 0 comments permalink


JCPA Op-Ed on Reforming the Federal Poverty Line Published in The Washington Post's 'On Faith'

Today, Thursday May 14th, The Washington Post's "On Faith" Forum published an op-ed by JCPA's Rabbi Steve Gutow and Melissa Boteach, exploring the parallels between the biblical commandment to conduct a census of all the tribes of Israel, and the necessity of determining better methods of keeping track of and measuring the condition in which people live in the United States through a reformed Federal Poverty Measure. 

Please read the op-ed below, or click here to read and leave comments about the piece.

 

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03:44 PM May 14, 2009 - 0 comments permalink


JCPA and UJC Release Joint Principles on Healthcare Reform

Background: Last week, Congress passed a FY2010 Budget that accommodated the possibility of healthcare reform taking place this year. Pertinent committees in the House and Senate are currently gathering the information they will need to mark-up healthcare reform bills later this spring. Given the strong momentum for health and long-term care reform efforts in Washington, this is the time for the Jewish community to act upon shared principles in healthcare. It is an historic moment and we want to play a leading role in these endeavors.

Healthcare reform is a vital Jewish communal priority, which will have far-reaching effects both on Jewish social service providers and on our community relations efforts. It is thus imperative that we coordinate our efforts to advance reforms that will strengthen our healthcare system as well as the most vulnerable that our communities serve across the nation.

 

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02:34 PM May 07, 2009 - 0 comments permalink


Ending Gender-Based Wage Disparities

This past Tuesday, April 28, was Equal Pay Day, which marks the point in 2009 when the average woman's wages will finally catch up with those paid to the average man in 2008. This week is a poignant time to reflect on the wage gap between men and women, its poverty implications, and what we can do to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.

In every state in the country, women still earn less than men for equivalent work. In 2007, women working full-time, year-round earned an average of only 78 cents for every dollar earned by men. Some try to attribute this disparity to women's career choices in lower-paying jobs or the balance many women strike between work and family. However, many recent, authoritative studies (including a 2003 study by the US Government Accountability Office) demonstrate that even when all relevant career and family characteristics are controlled for, there is still a significant gap in earnings based on gender, with women earning about 80% of what their male counterparts earn.

This wage gap does not only have civil rights implications; it also has poverty implications. Approximately one in eight women currently live below the federal poverty line, and in 2007, women were 42% more likely to live in poverty than men (The National Women's Law Center). However, if there were no wage gap, women's family income would rise by about $4,000/year, cutting women's poverty rates in half!

 

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02:35 PM Apr 30, 2009 - 0 comments permalink


Holocaust Remembrance Day: A Time to Honor Survivors and Promote Their Dignity

Background:

This week, millions of people across the world commemorated Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. This day represents a time of deep reflection, particularly in the Jewish community, where we mourn the victims of the Holocaust and honor the survivors.

However, honoring the survivors is not only looking backwards; it is taking stock of the present and moving forward to ensure that the needs of this special population are met, enabling them to age in dignity. Holocaust survivors are a Jewish treasure; they are beloved grandmothers and grandfathers, but also our last link to first-hand testimonies that show the world the horrors of the Holocaust. However, today many Holocaust survivors live in abject poverty, unable to meet basic human needs.

 

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03:17 PM Apr 23, 2009 - 0 comments permalink


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