A Librarian at Every Table
January 2002 - December 2002
January 4, 2002, No. 52
OVERCOMING GAPS FOR AFFORDABLE HOMES
Lower-income families are constrained by a lack of information about how to buy a home, by their inability to provide sufficient, stable income streams for debt service, by their lack of initial equity, and by their inability to find an affordable home of adequate quality in a desirable location. The paper, Mind the Gap: Issues in Overcoming the Information, Income, Wealth, and Supply Gaps Facing Potential Buyers of Affordable Homes, explores each of these constraints, or gaps, and potential solutions for each. Click here for more information.
PARTNERSHIP FOR READING
The Partnership for Reading is making evidence-based reading research readily accessible to educators, parents, policymakers, and the public by building on existing networks to create a comprehensive national dissemination system. Using electronic media, the web, and print materials, the Partnership - which is a collaboration between the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the U.S. Department of Education, and the Institute - will put state-of-the-art information on research-based reading approaches within the reach of teachers, administrators, parents, and caregivers. Read all about a it in a special edition of e*literacy that reviews the National Institute for Literacy's major activities in 2001 and previews 2002 activities. Click here for more information.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the Hazardous Substance Research Centers (HSRC) Program to develop better, more cost-effective, faster, and safer methods to assess and clean-up environments contaminated with hazardous substances. Johns Hopkins University has received an award from EPA as the lead institution for a new HSRC. Click here for more information.
January 7, 2002. No. 53.
LIBRARIANS ARE SUSTAINABLE ONLY IF......
"Information Technology and Global Ecological Crises: Soul and the Sustainability of Librarians" by Cate Gable. See the Electronic Green Journal, a refereed World Wide Web-based Internet professional journal on international environmental topics such as assessment, conservation, development, disposal, education, hazards, pollution, resources, technology, and treatment. Click here for more information.
NATIONAL CENTER FOR CHILDREN IN POVERTY
Promoting the Emotional Well-Being of Children and Families. Many kinds of services are emerging to help emotionally at-risk children. Even in the face of limited resources, by forging new alliances and building on local and state assets that already exist, it is possible to move forward and respond to an arena of child development that has, from a public policy and practice perspective, been too long ignored. See new policy brief at the NCCP website. Click here for more information.
FOSTER TEENS IN TRANSITION
A Special Report on Foster Teens in Transition: Fostered or Forgotten? Too many foster children are in crisis. What are communities and child welfare agencies doing (and not doing) to help them? Appears in AdvoCasey, a policy magazine published by the The Annie E. Casey Foundation. AdvoCasey highlights issues and policies that affect the lives of children and families in theUnited States and seeks to document programs and strategies that work for kids and families through in-depth feature stories and essays that combine hard data and human insight. Click here for more information.
January 9, 2002. No. 54.
PREDATORY LENDING HURTS FRAGILE COMMUNITIES
The United States in recent years has seen a dramatic increase in a form of legalized robbery known as predatory lending. Predatory lending means imposing unfair and abusive loan terms on borrowers, often through aggressive sales tactics, taking advantage of borrowers' lack of understanding of extremely complicated transactions, and outright deception. The damage done is increased by the fact that predatory loans are made in such concentrated volume in poor and minority neighborhoods where better loans are not readily available, and the loss of equity, and foreclosure can devastate already fragile communities. Information on ACORN's Campaign Against Predatory Lending. Click here for more information.
THE NEW PATRIOTISM PROJECT
The New Patriotism Project is the latest initiative from The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation. It is moving Americans beyond flag-waving to a higher level of public and political engagement. It's providing people with the tools and vision to improve the way political leaders, the news media and citizens conduct themselves, community by community across the country. 2002 marks the national launch of this project to create comprehensive change in the way politics is conducted. Click here for more information.
GOVERNMENT'S ROLE IN HELPING LOW WAGE FAMILIES
Several of the key pieces of federal legislation that weave the safety net for low-wage families-- the welfare-to-work Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grants, Food Stamps, the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)--will be up for reauthorization in 2002. At the same time, the federal government will be facing severe budget constraints and most states will be making hard decisions affecting their education and social services budgets that serve vulnerable families. These issues are summarized at CONNECT FOR KIDS in "2002: What's Ahead for Families?" Click here for more information.
January 11, 2002. No. 55.
POVERTY, INCOME INEQUALITY, PUBLIC POLICY,PUBLIC OPINION
New report from "DEMOS- Network for Ideas and Action" analyzes public opinion between 1996-2001 on issues related to poverty, income insecurity and public policy solutions. Data from surveys commissioned by nonprofit organizations, media outlets and foundations. Includes opinion on the causes of poverty, the role of government, support for specific policy solutions. Including: EITC, health care benefits, early childhood education and care, minimum wage, affordable housing, income inequality, economic mobility and more. Click here for more information.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING INFORMATION IN SHELTERFORCE
For-profit housing developers have to know something about the future. Years can go by between the time they decide to undertake a project and when they are ready to start selling units; securing financing, buying land, and carrying out construction all take time. In order to plan the project, developers need to know what the market is going to look like when the units go on sale. That's why they are inveterate trend-watchers. Likewise, nonprofit housing developers and advocates need to know what the future holds in store in order to prepare their plans. Click here for more information.
NURSING HOMES- NATIONAL AGING INFORMATION CENTER
There are approximately 17,000 nursing homes in the United States caring for over 1.5 million older adults. Until the mid-1980s,nursing homes were one of the few housing options adults with disabilities had to help them manage activities of daily living. As a consequence of new housing options such as assisted living and community and in-home long term care services, the demographic profile of nursing home residents has significantly changed to a population which is older, more disabled and in greater need of medical attention. Sites that include information including facility directories, statistics and research articles accessible on-line. Click here for more information.
January 14, 2002. No. 56.
CROSSROADS IN HUMAN SERVICES
The nation is at a critical crossroads in charting the new directions in the delivery of critical public human service programs. In some areas, federal funding streams no longer support the program outcomes states and the federal government seek to achieve. In charting future policy directions the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) urges federal policymakers to examine the potential cross-program implications. The success of human service programs will be measured by the health and well-being of America's children, families, and adults and their reduced dependence on government assistance for generations to come. Click here for more information.
FIRST PRIORITY FOR POLICYMAKERS
Center for Community Change. Click here for more information.
INEQUALITY & POVERTY: GLOBAL RESOURCES FOR COLLECTIONS
The interconnected problems that can be gathered under the heading of "globalization": sweatshops, child labor, the debt crisis, environmental degradation, the effects of "free trade," increasing inequality and poverty are addressed by resources on this list. I could not find a citation to the book in WORLDCAT or on the Rethinking Schools website, but this list highlights signs of hope, efforts to work and teach for social justice. Especially valuable in light of recent events. Click here for more information.
January 16, 2002. No. 57.
WORKING POOR. IS WORK ENOUGH?
Report describes the experiences of women from poor urban neighborhoods who once relied on public assistance and entered the labor market. When surveyed and interviewed in the late 1990s, many of these women were working full time and had been stably employed over the previous two years. Yet most held jobs that paid very low wages and did not offer fringe benefits, leaving the women unable to earn enough to bring their families above the poverty line. In addition, the rates at which the women were participating in public assistance programs such as food stamps were low, suggesting that government policies aimed at addressing the needs of the working poor have fallen short of their goals. From Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation. Click here for more information.
LEARNING IN DEED
Learning In Deed, a national initiative to engage more young people in service to others as part of their academic life. The concept at the heart of the Initiative is service-learning " a teaching strategy that links community service experiences to classroom instruction. The Kellogg Foundation has supported service-learning for decades because they believe it engages youth in a powerful way that can help ensure a bright future for our nation. Click here for more information.
PROTECT CHILDREN INSTEAD OF GUNS
The latest data released in 2001 show that in a single year, 3,365 children and teens were killed by gunfire in the United States "which is one child every two and a half hours, nine children every day, more than 60 children every week. And, every year, four to five times as many children and teens suffer from non-fatal firearm injuries. Community Action Toolkit available on Children's Defense Fund site. Click here for more information.
January 25, 2002. No. 58.
CREATIVITY, CULTURE, EDUCATION, & THE WORKFORCE
The Center for Arts and Culture has released Creativity, Culture, Education, and the Workforce, the fifth issue paper in the Art, Culture & the National Agenda series. Written by Dr. Ann Galligan from Northeastern University, Creativity, Culture, Education, and the Workforce looks at the relationship of education, creativity and the 21st century workforce including preparation, school standards, workplace and workforce conditions, and copyright. Copies of the paper are available for download from the Center's web site. Click here for more information.
FISCAL CRISIS IN STATES
State fiscal conditions, already in decline prior to the September 11 attacks, are rapidly approaching a state of crisis. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, revenues in 43 states are below estimates and 36 states have already planned or implemented cuts in public services. The National Governors Association estimates that total state budget deficits nationwide for the current fiscal year will exceed $40 billion. With no immediate prospects for fiscal recovery, a number of state legislatures have already taken steps to cut spending, raise taxes, and spend down reserve funds. More such actions are highly likely during the 2002 legislative session. Click here for more information.
January 28, 2002. No. 59.
ASSESSMENT OF EMPOWERMENT AND ENTERPRISE PROGRAMS
The Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities (EZ/EC) program was designed by the Federal Government to encourage comprehensive planning and investment aimed at the economic, physical and social development of the neediest urban and rural areas in the United States. Each funded community's efforts at zone transformation were expected to reflect four key principles: Economic opportunity; Community-based partnerships; Sustainable community development; and A Strategic Vision for Change. An interim assessment of the first round of urban EZ/EC sites may be viewed on the HUD site. Click here for more information.
LEGAL AID FOR LOW-INCOME PEOPLE: PROGRESS REPORT
The civil legal services delivery system is strained to the breaking point. Legal services programs nationally have been battered by economic pressures and escalating demand. Legal Services Corporation grantees turn away 4 out of 5 low-income individuals seeking critical legal assistance. Communities are experiencing unrelenting pressures as unresolved civil legal problems result in homelessness, loss of self- sufficiency and growing crime rates. A progress report detailing the advances made in three priority areas identified by the document: expansion of technology to serve more clients, increased coordination and cooperation among equal justice stakeholders and gaining new resources, and closer programmatic oversight to ensure quality and accountability. Click here to read the full report.
RAISING MINIMUM WAGE IN NEW ORLEANS
For over five years, Louisiana ACORN members and their labor allies -- most notably SEIU Local 100 -- fought an uphill battle to place an initiative before the voters in New Orleans that would raise the city's minimum wage one dollar above the federal minimum. Despite gathering 50,000 valid signatures, the campaign faced illegal stonewalling by the City Council and even a new state law aimed at prohibiting localities from raising wages. Undaunted, the campaign persisted: door-to-door in poor neighborhoods, in court, in the media, and in the streets. As a result, New Orleans voters will have the opportunity to raise the minimum wage by ballot on February 2, 2002! If this passes, New Orleans will be the first living wage campaign to have won an increase in the minimum wage for all major private employers. Click here for more information.
January 30, 2002. No. 60.
RETHINKING ECONOMIC PROGRESS
Today we need a shift in our worldview, in how we think about the relationship between the earth and the economy. The issue now is not which celestial sphere revolves around the other but whether the environment is part of the economy or the economy is part of the environment. Economists see the environment as a subset of the economy. Ecologists, on the other hand, see the economy as a subset of the environment. From- Eco-Economy: Building an Economy for the Earth by Lester R. Brown. Click here for more information.
BRIDGING RACIAL AND ETHNIC DIVISIONS
NABRE (pronounced "neighbor") an initiative of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, is a network of community-based organizations working across the country to bridge racial and ethnic divisions. Through dialogue, community improvement projects, school and club exchanges, joint worship services, and other activities, these organizations all work to create more just, inclusive and peaceful communities. As a network, NABRE enables these organizations to communicate with each other in order to share ideas and experiences and to build mutual support. Click here for more information.
Return to Archives Table of Contents
February 1, 2002. No. 61.
SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR ALL- GOING ON NOW
The World Social Forum is an open meeting place for reflective thinking, democratic debate of ideas, formulation of proposals, free exchange of experiences and interlinking for effective action, by groups and movements of civil society committed to building a planetary society centered on the human person. Based on respect and universal human rights, of all nations and the environment that will rest on democratic international systems and institutions at the service of social justice, equality and the sovereignty of peoples. Click here for more information.
YOUTH JUSTICE PROGRAM
The Urban Institute's new Youth Justice Program will identify and evaluate strategies for reducing youth crime, enhancing youth development, and strengthening communities. The Program seeks to help policymakers and community leaders develop and test more effective, research-based strategies for combating youth crime and encouraging positive youth development. Traditional approaches to youth justice research will be expanded by 1) Studying all youth, not just those legally defined as juveniles; 2) Measuring the impact of policies and programs on families, organizations, and communities as well as individuals; 3) Sharing insights from across the justice system, including prevention programs, police, courts, corrections, and community organizations; and 4) Learning from the expertise of multiple disciplines. Click here for more information.
February 4, 2002. No. 62.
COMMUNITY ORGANIZING AND DEVELOPMENT
The COMM-ORG mission is to help connect people who care about the craft of community organizing; find and provide information that organizers, scholars, and scholar-organizers can use to learn, teach, and do community organizing; involve all COMM-ORG members in meeting those goals. COMM-ORG defines community organizing as: people without power getting power, both as individuals and as a community; building relationships, and sometimes this is its primary goal; beginning in a local area, often as small as a neighborhood; building on shared experience--rooted in a place or a cultural identity; often leading to development activities and/or larger social movements when it succeeds. Click here for more information.
LEARNING IN DEED: THE POWER OF SERVICE LEARNING
Studies show that large numbers of young Americans are not fully engaged -intellectually or otherwise - in the teaching and learning enterprise. Disengagement extends to activities fundamental to democratic society, such as voting and keeping up with current events. Service-learning has proved to be a powerful antidote to student disengagement. The National Commission on Service-Learning makes four specific recommendations to achieve the broad goal of making service-learning a universal experience in American public schools. Click here for more information.
SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH
Sustainable community development is concerned with the economic, cultural and political requirements for effecting structural and institutional changes to entire communities. Sustainability in community development suggests that programs be considered within the overall social system, including the interdependent relationships among factors such as: attitudes toward life, work and authority; bureaucratic, legal and administrative structures; demographic patterns; cultural traditions; patterns and trends of property ownership; financial literacy; the effectiveness of government programs and laws; the degree of participation in development decisions and activities; and the flexibility or rigidity of economic and social classes. Click here for more information.
February 6, 2002. No. 63.
RURAL AMERICA AND WELFARE
Rural America, a quarterly publication of the Economic Research Service, features articles covering a wide range of topics related to rural development as well as updates of rural social and economic trends. Feature articles in the latest issue include: Reforming Welfare: Implications for Rural America. Click here for more information.
PUBLIC OPINION ON POVERTY, INCOME INEQUALITY
In this new background paper, Demos analyzes public opinion on poverty-related issues and examines the core American values shaping these beliefs. Report analyzes public opinion between 1996 and 2001. The results outlined in this report indicate that while long-standing disagreements about the causes of poverty endure, the public stands united in support of policies to make work pay and improve the standard of working families' lives. This support appears to emerge from a growing recognition that hard work is no longer a guarantee against poverty and income insecurity. With strong support for public policies ranging from raising the minimum wage to providing health care, there is cause for optimism that a policy agenda around economic security could garner wide public support. First publication of Demos™ Common Wealth Project, which seeks to bring new public and political attention to the issues of poverty and economic security. (thanks to LHW). Click here for more information.
February 8, 2002. No. 64.
WELFARE REFORM'S IMMIGRANT PROVISIONS
For immigrants, welfare reform went well beyond conditioning access to cash benefits on work. Rather, the law set out a comprehensive scheme for determining immigrant eligibility for a wide range of social benefits that are provided by governments at all levels. Reform represented a major departure from prior policy by making citizenship more central to the receipt of benefits, by granting the states rather than the federal government the power to determine immigrant eligibility for benefits, and by drawing a sharp distinction between immigrants arriving before and after PRWORA's enactment on August 22, 1996.There were substantial declines between 1994 and 1999 in legal immigrants' use of all major benefit programs: TANF (-60 percent), food stamps (-48 percent), SSI (-32 percent), and Medicaid (-15 percent). Click here for more information.
CITY FAMILIES & SUBURBAN SINGLES
Household change may serve as a better predictor of changes in housing demand, tax base, and services needs than population change. This BROOKINGS INSTITUTION survey uses 2000 Census data to analyze changes in the number and composition of households in 102 large metropolitan areas between 1990 and 2000. It finds that growing cities are adding population faster than households, and that declining cities are losing population faster than households. The types of households contributing to growth and decline vary widely across the U.S., and challenge conventional notions of who lives in cities and suburbs. Click here for more information.
Quality after school programs are an important part of community schools. As these programs continue to grow, organizations are working to ensure that after school programs are working effectively with schools toward mutual goals. There is also an increasing number of evaluations and resources available that demonstrate the positive impact of after school programs. Click here for more information.
February 11, 2002. No. 65.
STATE OF THE UNION (SOTU): COMMUNITY BUILDERS RESPOND
NATIONAL LOW INCOME HOUSING COALITION ON SOTU
The budget proposal notably calls for ending chronic homelessness in ten years. However, the rhetoric is not matched by dollars. The transfer of $153 million from the FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter Program to HUD should not be misinterpreted as an increase in funding for homeless assistance. The emphasis is once again on home ownership with reference to establishing a homeowner tax credit and increasing the down payment assistance program first appropriated (but not authorized) last year. The cost of this tax credit remains to be seen, but whatever it is, it should at least bematched by new investment in rental housing for extremely low income people, for whom the most serious housing shortage exists. Click here for more information.
February 13, 2002. No. 66.
WELFARE REFORM AND KIDS
Rising joblessness and homelessness could also give Democrats more ammunition in their fight to increase TANF's basic $16.5 billion annual block grant to states. Most states experienced rises in welfare caseloads between March 2001, when the recession is believed to have started, and September 2001, according to the Center for Law and Social Policy, which advocates more generous welfare policy. Bush has called for flat funding "no cuts, no increases for inflation" for TANF. The National Governors Association (NGA) and child advocacy groups support increasing TANF funding to account for inflation. Click here for more information.
ISSUE GUIDE ON GAY RIGHTS
For much of American history, indeed, for much of world history, homosexuality has been a taboo subject. Yet today, millions of gay and lesbian Americans are not only open about their sexuality, they are campaigning for new laws which they say would grant them the same rights accorded to heterosexuals, including the right to marry and protection against discrimination. In this new issue guide on gay rights, Public Agenda examines the facts and public attitudes behind the debate. History of the issue, different alternatives for dealing with it, sources for further research and analysis of public opinion surveys. Click here for more information.
NATIONAL CENTER FOR CHILDREN IN POVERTY
The gap between rich and poor is widening, 40 percent of American children live in poverty, and budget surpluses suggest that although the economic means exist to help the poor, we simply choose not to. But do statistics tell the whole story? When David Cohen hit the road in search of the soul of America, he talked to people at every level of society" from Manhattan real estate brokers and Washington lobbyists to supermarket clerks and illegal aliens. He found equality elusive and the poor increasingly adrift from American society. But he also found hope alive in the most poignant and unexpected of places. Chasing the Red, White, and Blue tells the story of David Cohen's revelatory journey to define America's national character. Click here for more information.
February 15, 2002. No. 67.
PROJECT VOTE is a non-partisan civic participation organization working effectively to register and turn out low-income and minority citizens to vote across the country. Since its creation, Project Vote has registered 2.7 million new voters. Click here for more information.
Housing Winter, beginning in January 2002. Inspired by "Freedom Summer" from the Civil Rights Movement, the campaign will be a series of actions aimed at building congressional and community support for the Trust Fund; and truly affordable housing production as well. Local groups will be given the autonomy to design events appropriate to their communities and political climates. National Coalition for the Homeless. Click here for more information.
ZERO TO THREE
The mission of ZERO TO THREE is to promote the healthy development of our nation's infants and toddlers by supporting and strengthening families, communities, and those who work on their behalf. We are dedicated to advancing current knowledge; promoting beneficial policies and practices; communicating research and best practices to a wide variety of audiences; and providing training, technical assistance and leadership development. ZERO TO THREE is a national non-profit organization. Click here for more information.
Click here for more information.
February 18, 2002. No. 68.
POVERTY GUIDELINES FOR 2002
The new 2002 Poverty Guidelines are now available. Click here for more information.
NIMBY REPORT SUPPORTS INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES
NIMBY--Not In My Back Yard--has become the symbol for neighborhoods to exclude certain people because they are homeless, poor, disabled, or because of their race or ethnicity. The NIMBY Report supports inclusive communities by sharing news of the NIMBY syndrome and efforts to overcome it. It is published by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, in collaboration with the Building Better Communities Network. Click here for more information.
DAILY CORRUPTION NEWS
Transparency International: coalition against global corruption. Click here for more information.
February 22, 2002. No. 69.
CENTER FOR ARTS AND CULTURE
The Center looks at the role that culture plays in community development. Beyond economic significance, culture influences quality of life. Social capital, common values and important community bonds are reinforced by participating in cultural activities. Furthermore, definitions of both community and culture are changing in the new century when virtual neighborhoods and online networks work both within a shared geography and across the globe. The Center for Arts and Culture tracks public policies at the federal, state, and local levels which directly affect the quality of life and economic health of communities. Click here for more information.
FOOD RESEARCH AND ACTION CENTER
New report on key options schools and local governments should pursue in the federal nutrition programs. The options and strategies described all are already allowed by federal law, and already are used in some places. When these choices are made, it brings into the state, schools or locality more federal funds for more eligible people, both to meet better the needs of low-income residents, and to bring money into the area to help restart economic growth. Click here for more information.
HEALTH ACTION 2002- TOOLKIT
This Families USA toolkit provides a bibliography with full-text links for those working for health care coverage for children and families. See Families USA site. Click here for more information.
February 25, 2002. No. 70.
Since its founding in 1970 by veterans of the civil rights movement, the Institute for Southern Studies and its national award-winning journal Southern Exposure have established a national reputation as an essential resource for grassroots activists, community leaders, scholars, policy makers and all individuals and organizations working to bring lasting social and economic change to the region. FACING SOUTH is a progressive Southern news update. Click here for more information.
TOOL TO LIMIT GOVERNMENT REACH
Rather than focusing exclusively on reviews of specific agency actions, and acting as an ideological block, John Graham, administrator of the powerful Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) office within OMB has moved to affect the decision--making process upfront -- to change the nature of regulations before they are even received by OIRA for review. Graham has pressed greater agency reliance on certain decision-making tools, such as cost-benefit analysis, risk assessment, and peer review, using OIRA's ultimate review authority as a powerful stick. Such subtle questions of emphasis, and the manner in which they are used, can have powerful implications for the outcome of regulatory decisions --potentially leading to less protective health, safety, and environmental protections. (item 4 on page). Click here for more information.
MARKET-BASED SCHOOL REFORM
In the debate over reforming urban education, the issues surrounding market-based approaches "charter schools, vouchers, public school choice" are complex. The latest Economic Policy Institute book, Market-Based Reforms in Urban Education, examines the extensive but disparate evidence to help determine whether these reforms promote the public interest and translate well into the provision of compulsory education. Click here for more information.
February 27, 2002. No. 71.
RIGHTS AT RISK: EQUALITY IN AN AGE OF TERRORISM
In this report, the seventh biennial civil rights report issued by the Citizens' Commission on Civil Rights, the Commission confronts the Bush II Administration's neglect of crucial civil rights policy enforcement while waging its vigorous war on terrorism. The report addresses the Bush record thus far, along with the last two years of the Clinton administration, on a range of civil rights issues, and includes specific recommendations to tackle issues concerning judicial authority and appointments, race and poverty, voting rights, immigration, employment, affirmative action, education, housing, criminal justice and hate crimes, and gay and lesbian rights. Click here for more information.
CENTER ON BUDGET AND POLICY PRIORITIES
The Bush Administration's welfare proposals would severely limit states' flexibility to design and implement welfare-to-work programs that meet the needs of their recipients and economy. The Administration's proposals also do not include a provision broadly supported among states to give states more flexibility to choose whether and under what circumstances legal immigrants should qualify for TANF-funded benefits and services. Item #1 with related TANF re-authorization papers. Click here for more information.
RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE-END POVERTY
By a resounding 77 percent, voters favor increasing the minimum wage from $5.15 to $8 an hour (57 percent strongly favor). The $8 figure has even more support than increasing the minimum wage to $6.65. Contrary to conventional wisdom, every demographic group agrees that the minimum wage must be raised. An overwhelming 79 percent favor regularly raising the minimum wage to keep up with inflation. Today's minimum wage workers earn 37 percent less than their counterparts did in 1968, adjusting for inflation. "It's time for Washington's priorities to reflect the public's priorities," says Marie C. Wilson, President of the Ms. Foundation for Women. "Raising the minimum wage is long overdue." Click here for more information.
THE CRISIS magazine is dedicated to being an open and honest forum for discussing critical issues confronting people of color, American society and the world in addition to highlighting the historical and cultural achievements of these diverse peoples. In essays, interviews, in-depth reporting, etc., writers explore past and present issues concerning race and its impact on educational, economic, political, social, moral, and ethical issues. Click here for more information.
Return to Archives Table of Contents
March 1, 2002. No. 72.
ARTS, EDUCATION, AND COMMUNITY
A wide range of interesting new experiments and models are being developed for the arts in education that move beyond the "drive-by culture" model of short-term artist-in-residence programs, or the model of the isolated and under-funded music or art teacher tucked away in a corner of the school. How will all this emerging, promising practice survive? This is not just a funding and advocacy issue. Arts-education networks need to include reflection on how the pieces "fit together" over time, how schools move from random projects to informed decision-making in order to create coherent, curricular programming, and how students, teachers, artists and other stakeholders reflect together on the quality of their collective work. Only then will communities become able to effectively lobby for the ongoing importance of the arts in education. Click here for more information.
RURAL COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE
The Forest Service places emphasis on helping communities organize, develop broad-based local action plans, and take actions that build towards sustainable solutions for economic, social, and environmental concerns and opportunities. These community-level efforts are accomplished with the majority of the coordination and technical assistance being provided by employees located on National Forests working with thousands of partners nationwide, with direct interaction by State Foresters and other appropriate agencies. Click here for more information.
"Filtering Software: The Religious Connection." reviews the relationships of eight filtering companies whose products are currently being used in U.S. public schools, or that are marketing their products for use in public schools. This report reviews the relationships of eight filtering software companies with conservative religious organizations. Some of the filtering companies are providing filtering services to conservative religious ISPs that are representing to their users that the service filters in accord with conservative religious values. Some of the filtering companies appear to have partnership relationships with conservative religious organizations.
March 4, 2002. No. 73.
CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA'S FUTURE
"America's Future will insist that the question of falling wages and rising insecurity be placed at the center of our national debate. We will challenge those who suggest that nothing can be done and expose the conservative agenda that has made things worse. America's Future will work to revitalize a progressive agenda, and fight to make this economy work for working people once again. We will engage citizens, activists and political leaders in a renewed debate about the kind of country - and the kind of world - we want to build for the generations yet to come." Click here for more information.
WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:
The Johannesburg Summit 2002: A Call for Action "Recognizing that people's actions toward nature and each other are the source of growing damage to the environmental resources needed to meet human needs and ensure survival and development, I PLEDGE to act to the best of my ability to help make the Earth a secure and hospitable home for present and future generations." Nearly a decade ago, President George H. W. Bush and the leaders of more than 100 other nations made this commitment at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. This Earth Pledge was recognition of the importance of the environment to our own well-being and of our common responsibility to protect it. Next September, the world's leaders will gather in Johannesburg, South Africa to address once more the intertwined problems of environmental protection, social equity and economic development. Click here for more information.
March 6, 2002. No. 74.
A NEW DESIGN FOR CIVIC LEADERSHIP
The Pew Partnership has just released a report, Crafting a New Design for Civic Leadership, that documents the lessons learned from the Civic Entrepreneur Initiative, a program aimed at equipping new leaders to take action in their communities. Click here for more information.
NEW PATRIOTISM PROJECT
The New Patriotism Project is moving Americans beyond flag-waving to a higher level of public and political engagement. The initiative is providing people with the tools and vision to improve the way political leaders, the news media and citizens conduct themselves, community by community across the country. Project of the Harwood Institute. Click here for more information.
BiblioBuild is an exciting new collaborative project, an opportunity to fund and construct a home for a deserving Rochester area family. It is the first such project sponsored by library employees and friends anywhere! We hope to make this new home reader-friendly, complete with bookshelves, books, a computer and library cards. This project is part of the highly successful Flower City Habitat for Humanity program.(thanks RT).
March 13, 2002. No. 75.
FAILING THE UNEMPLOYED
Failing the Unemployed: A State-by-State Examination of Unemployment Insurance Systems looks at five key areas that determine if working families can count on help: eligibility standards; benefit levels; revenue; trust fund adequacy; and recession preparedness. Only 40 percent of workers actually receive benefits when they lose their jobs and badly structured eligibility requirements often deny benefits to workers who are likely to need them most "low-wage and part-time workers" the report says. Click here for more information.
INDIANA STATE LIBRARY PART OF 2-1-1
On February 20, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved the Indiana 211 Partnership as the authorized user of the 211 dialing code for Indiana. Additionally, the Commission ordered a technical conference to determine the specifics of how the 211 service will work, including relationship with wireless providers, detailed information about telecommunications costs and potential revenue to support 211 service on an ongoing basis, and assurance that 211 call center representatives are trained to handle crisis intervention calls. Click here for more information.
URBAN INSTITUTE: ASSESSING THE NEW FEDERALISM
Welfare Reform: The Next Act, a new Urban Institute Press book, edited by Alan Weil and Kenneth Finegold, synthesizes this work and will serve as a catalyst for a comprehensive, day-long discussion of the issues central to reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and the Child Care and Development Block Grant. Click here for more information.
March 18, 2002. No. 76.
STRATEGY TO BRIDGE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE ABANDONED
In its FY 2003 budget, the White House stripped over $100 million in public investments previously available for community technology grants and IT training programs--programs that offer real payoffs to rural communities, the working poor, minorities and children. To justify these shortsighted budget choices, the administration last week released "A Nation Online," the latest nationwide study on computer and Internet use in America. Once the national benchmark for measuring the digital divide, the latest report takes the position that the digital divide is no longer a major concern-a position belied by the facts. The Benton Foundation's analysis of the data reveals that the gaps in technology access among citizens of different educational, income, racial and geographic backgrounds are not abating. According to "A Nation Online's" own numbers, only one in four of America's poorest households were online in 2001 compared with eight in ten homes earning over $75,000 per year. Even more striking is the fact that this gap expanded dramatically between 1997 and 2001. Click here for more information.
ILLEGAL TO BE HOMELESS
Homeless persons find their civil rights threatened in an increasing number of communities, according to a new report released by homeless advocacy groups. The report finds that more jurisdictions are enacting laws that effectively criminalize homelessness by prohibiting activities such as sleeping or camping in public, even when no shelter beds are available. The report finds that the use of these ordinances is increasing. Almost 80 percent of the cities surveyed in the 2002 report have laws that prohibit sleeping/ camping in public areas. Meanwhile, 100 percent of communities surveyed lack enough shelter beds to meet demand. The report distinguishes California as the "meanest" state in the country for people who are poor and homeless, with New York City vying with Atlanta, GA and San Francisco, CA- the three meanest cities nationally- for top notoriety. Click here for more information.
CONNECTING SCHOOLS, FAMILIES, AND COMMUNITIES
Thirty years of research confirms that it makes a difference for students when schools, families and communities connect their efforts. Community involvement helps provide the services and support that schools cannot provide students and their families alone. School-community connections can also result in education that is grounded in real-life experiences and is relevant in the local community. Site of the National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools. Click here for more information.
March 22, 2002. No. 77.
Mapping State Cultural Policy in the United States Pew Charitable Trusts, 2002 The Pew Charitable Trusts has posted a working paper, titled "Sub-National Cultural Policy --Where the Action Is? Mapping State Cultural Policy in the United States," "introduced some new thinking about the role and contribution of cultural programs at the sub-national level, illustrating these ideas by reference to the role of the states in the United States." Click here for more information.
CHALLENGES OF DIGITAL AGE FOR LOW-INCOME PEOPLE
The Asset Development Institute of the Center on Hunger and Poverty at the Heller School, Brandeis University, will present a major conference on the challenges of the Digital Age for low- income people, community action agencies, and other community-based organizations. It will examine different impacts of information technology (IT) on the economy, social issues, low- income people, and organizations. Click here for more information.
WELFARE REFORM REAUTHORIZATION
Articles in FOCUS that probe aspects of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the primary cash welfare program under the 1996 welfare reform legislation, which expires and must be reauthorized in 2002. Contributing scholars take a longer perspective on the existing research, and give their thoughts about the most important things that policymakers and others should know as they consider reauthorization of TANF. The reforms attempt to influence work, marriage, fertility - among the most complex of human behaviors. How have they affected the lives of poor families and how will they impinge on the next generation? Click here for more information.
March 25, 2002. No. 78.
LESS UGLY, LESS MEAN
I'd like to say to us as educators: poor are those among us who lose their capacity to dream, to create their courage to denounce and announce. Poor are those who, instead of occasionally visiting tomorrow, the future, through a profound engagement with today, with the here and now, poor are those who, instead of making this constant trip to tomorrow, attach themselves to a past of exploration and routine." Paulo Freire. The Paulo Freire Institute develops research, whose results contribute to interventions, including the formulation and implementation of plans, programs, and projects in the fields of education, culture, and communication. The goal of this work is the construction of the work that Freire dreamed of and struggled for: "less ugly, less mean, less authoritarian, more democratic, more human." Click here for more information.
PUBLIC PLACES THAT BUILD COMMUNITIES
Project for Public Spaces is a nonprofit technical assistance, research and educational organization. PPS mission - to create and sustain public places that build communities - is achieved through programs in parks, plazas and central squares; transportation; public buildings and architecture and public markets; Since its founding in 1975, the organization has worked in over 1,000 communities, within the U.S. and abroad, helping people to grow their public space into vital community places. Click here for more information.
CAMPUS OUTREACH OPPORTUNITY LEAGUE (COOL)
Today's active students and campuses need tangible ways to connect their personal and local actions with the larger movement of people who are serving to better our nation. COOL aims to be a leader in student civic engagement. COOL offers today's students and campuses a marketplace for the exchange of ideas, practices, and inspiration around issues of student community involvement. COOL offers valuable tools to students and campuses seeking to improve the quality and depth of their current service efforts. COOL is a best practice leader - working to develop solutions on the important issues of sharing networks, resources, and strategies by convening students, campuses, and non-profit organizations to serve and work together. Click here for more information.
March 29, 2002. No. 79.
LOCAL HISTORY FUNDING
NEH announces a special initiative through its Challenge Grants program to help small institutions improve their humanities resources in local history. The initiative's goals are: to build opportunities for research, education, and public programs in local history, especially in communities underserved by humanities activities; to establish long-term partnerships among educational and cultural organizations in a community; to help organizations in strategic planning; to build a base of financial support for long-term programming. Click here for more information.
PRACTICAL ANSWERS TO POVERTY
The Intermediate Technology Development Group, ITDG, is an international non-governmental organization, which specializes in helping people to use technology for Practical Answers to Poverty. It was founded in 1966 by the radical economist Dr EF Schumacher to prove that his philosophy of ˜Small is Beautiful" could bring real and sustainable improvements to people's lives. As the world's development institutions and agencies increasingly focus on the policy frameworks which can help to reduce poverty, ITDG is working to ensure that those policies embody a pro-poor approach to the role of technology in development. Click here for more information.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN POLICY-MAKING
It is widely acknowledged that public participation in decision-making processes increases the sustainability, viability and efficacy of community development, service or program delivery and public policy. Despite this recognition, and the modest growth of public participation initiatives in the United States, broad based citizen engagement in public decision-making processes remains an underutilized and often misused approach. The Community Partnership Center (CPC) at the University of Tennessee has long been a nationally recognized advocate and leading resource for citizen participation. Click here for more information.
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April 4, 2002. No. 80.
AMERICAN COMMUNITIES MOVEMENT
The Communities Movement, a Project of the National Civic League and the Coalition for Healthier Cities and Communities, received a grant from the W.K.Kellogg Foundation to evaluate the potential for convergence of these community movements into a "communities movement." The first stage was to convene an advisory council to frame the issues that would be discussed, choose the locations for the dialogues, and design a survey instrument for use in each dialogue. At the outset, it was determined to convene members of these community movements: Healthy Communities, Sustainable Communities, Community Building, Civic Democracy, Livable Communities, Safe Communities, and Smart Growth. Click here for more information.
CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAM (CNP) REAUTHORIZATION ISSUES
Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) is a leading national organization working to improve public policies to eradicate hunger and malnutrition in the United States. Founded in 1970 as a public interest law firm, FRAC is a nonprofit and nonpartisan research and public policy center that serves as the hub of an anti-hunger network of thousands of individuals and agencies across the country. In anticipation of Child Nutrition Program Reauthorization in 2003, USDA regional and national officials will be holding outreach sessions across the country to solicit testimony about the child nutrition programs and recommendations for change. Click here for more information.
April 8, 2002. No. 81.
NATIONAL IMMIGRATION FORUM
The purpose of the National Immigration Forum is to embrace and uphold America's tradition as a nation of immigrants. The Forum advocates and builds public support for public policies that welcome immigrants and refugees and that are fair and supportive to newcomers in our country. Click here for more information.
Spring 2002 issue includes focus on special education and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).The major issue: whether Congress will fulfill its 27-year-old pledge to fund 40 percent of the additional costs of educating students with special needs in the United States, or whether the undeniable problems in special education will be used as a rationale to dismantle the programs and promises of IDEA. Click here for more information.
EARLY CHILDHOOD POVERTY
The first years of life are more important than had been thought for children's emotional and intellectual development. This research significantly increases the urgency of addressing one of the most important risk factors that can impede young children's development: poverty. Unfortunately, almost one in five young children (18 percent in 2000) in the United States lives in poverty during the early years that are so important to future life chances. The 2.1 million children under age three who are poor face a greater likelihood of impaired development because of their increased exposure to a number of factors associated with poverty. National Center for Children in Poverty report. Click here for more information.
April 12, 2002. No. 82.
RISE OF THE E-CITIZEN
The Rise of the E-Citizen: How People Use Government Agencies' Web Sites. Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2002. The report finds that "While many government site users focus on their personal needs in dealing with government agencies, there is abundant evidence that a new 'e-citizenship' is taking hold." Click here for more information.
SCHOOLS AS THE CENTER OF COMMUNITY
A recent poll by the KnowledgeWorks Foundation in Ohio provides evidence that the public sees schools as the center of communities, offering more than just academic instruction during traditional school hours. Click here for more information.
STATE CAPACITY STUDY
The Federalism Research Group of the Rockefeller Institute of Government conducts studies and disseminates findings on the changing roles of federal, state, and local governments as well as other public and private institutions involved in implementing social policies in the U.S. One of its major projects is the State Capacity Study, which was launched in 1996 to examine states' institutional responses to federal welfare reform, and which has since been expanded to examine a wide variety of changes in state and local human service systems. Click here for more information.
April 18, 2002. No. 83.
ART IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST
Art in the Public Interest (API) is devoted to progressive thinking in the arts. We strive to support art that reflects not only a commitment to quality but a concern for the culture in which that work appears. We see the arts as an integral part of a healthy society in which the artist provides both intellectual nourishment and social benefit. API's goal is to support the efforts of culturally engaged artists and organizations, both by providing information to them about the field, and by providing information about the field to the broader public. Vehicles for this information include periodicals, books, pamphlets, archives, referrals, workshops, electronic information sites and collaborations with other organizations. Click here for more information.
TEACHERS AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
The Family Involvement Network of Educators, or FINE, represents an innovative effort to strengthen teacher preparation in family and community engagement in education. Through active promotion and mutual learning, FINE is making important contributions to the movement for quality teacher education and preparation. A growing body of research confirms that family involvement has tremendous influence on student achievement and school success. Effective partnerships between teachers and families foster classroom innovation and creativity, improving school climate and overall performance. Click here for more information.
April 29, 2002. No. 84.
EXTREME POVERTY RISING
Policy brief from the Urban Institute concludes that, "despite phenomenal growth in the U.S. economy in the late 1990s," extreme poverty (people with incomes below 50 percent of the federal poverty level) increased. More children lived in single-parent, extremely poor families in 1998 than in 1996, an outcome that reflects an increase in very low-income families that are not receiving government support programs (including cash welfare and food stamps). Extremely poor children face especially high risks. Many families are not getting the assistance that they need. The report finds that, if the present government safety net were fully utilized for families with children who qualified, poverty among children and their families would have been more than 20 percent lower and extreme poverty 70 percent lower in 1998. These findings provide a strong rationale for improving existing programs to provide "family-friendly" delivery systems. Click here for more information.
INCOME GAPS HAVE WIDENED IN 45 STATES
Despite the tremendous overall economic growth of the 1980s and 1990s and the low unemployment rates of the late 1990s, the gaps between high-income and low- and middle-income families are historically wide, according to a new study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) and the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). In all but five states, income inequality has increased over the past 20 years; prior to the late 1970s, economic growth in the United States was more evenly shared. Click here for more information.
Community Tool Box mission: To promote community health and development by connecting people, ideas and resources. The Community Workstation outlines and provides examples for core activities for community work (e.g., grant applications, strategic plans); other topics are Creating Coalitions and Partnerships; Assessing community needs and resources; and Developing strategic and action plans. Click here for more information.
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May 2, 2002. No. 85.
DATA FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE
The National Priorities Project (NPP) Database makes information accessible to people working for social and economic justice. The database contains socio- economic and federal expenditure data along with information about the sources of the data and related links. The database is user-friendly and free to anyone with access to the web. Users can customize tables, graphs and reports to enhance their efforts in their local communities. NPP is a community education, research and training organization that for more than 17 years has dedicated itself to making our nation's budget priorities something that ordinary citizens can help shape and understand. In addition to a national perspective, NPP analyzes the impact of federal spending on the state and local level, providing citizen groups, elected officials, the media and policy analysts with the information they need to respond to the problems faced in their own communities. Click here for more information.
FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR ANTI-HUNGER ORGANIZATIONS
The Community Food and Nutrition Program (CFNP) is the primary source of federal funding for anti-hunger and nutrition advocacy groups at the local, state and national level. The purpose of the program is to provide hunger relief and to improve the nutritional status of low-income families. States, public agencies, public and private non-profit agencies/organizations, and Community Action Agencies are eligible to receive funds. Applicants must demonstrate that they have successfully developed and implemented anti-hunger programs in their state or community. Competitive grants of up to $50,000 each are available through the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. New requests for funding are now being accepted through May 25th. Click here for more information.
TECHLEARNING IGNORES LIBRARIES
Digital Equity is a multi-faceted term that focuses on the equality of access to online resources, educational opportunities, and other technology-based advantages. Some of the Web sites listed are designed to inform about specific groups or strategies and others provide general information about many of the components that make up digital equity and provide research about them. Click here for more information.
May 7, 2002. No. 86.
FAMILY LITERACY IN THE WAITING ROOM
A study of pediatric literacy programs that offered waiting-room volunteers reading to children, literacy counseling and the gift of a children's book at each well-child visit in the preschool years found improved family outcomes for non-English speaking families as well as English-speaking families. At present, Reach Out and Read Programs exist in over 1100 sites throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, with an estimated 1.4 million children served annually. Click here for more information.
A national strategy to prevent homelessness must include new housing resources, related services, and strategies that address societal factors contributing to homelessness. The results of a decade and a half of research to determine what works to end homelessness are fairly conclusive about the most effective approaches. Providing housing helps currently homeless people leave homelessness; in fact, without housing, virtually nothing else works. Click here for more information.
SHORT TAKES ON WELFARE POLICY
From the Urban Institute: Helping poor nonresident dads do more. Making TANF work for the hard to serve. Stronger welfare policy for a weaker economy. Click here for more information.
May 10, 2002. No. 87.
COMMUNITY ACTION MONTH
Community Action changes people's lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community, and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other. Click here for more information.
NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH-BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS
What started in 1992 as a dream and experiment in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, home of the Oglala Sioux people, has blossomed from that first Club to a growing, vibrant network of nearly 120 Native American Boys & Girls Clubs in 23 states. For more than 80,000 Native American Club members every day, productive activities, support from positive adult role models and encouragement to be successful have replaced the cycle of poverty and hopelessness that so many face. See what partners working together can accomplish. Welcome to Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country. Click here for more information.
SAFETY NET SINKING
From Colorlines, Summer 2002--It's one thing to be demeaned because you're a person of color, but systemic racism is denying essential services and benefits to an inordinate amount of welfare recipients. For people whose every effort is about escaping poverty, these discriminatory measures are deeply damaging. People on welfare rolls often need childcare or transportation assistance to comply with work requirements or pursue education. Denial of these services is common practice at many welfare offices, especially those that serve mostly people of color. Click here for more information.
May 14, 2002. No. 88.
Sources and Sites for librarians building community. Click here for more information.
ADULT EDUCATION WILL BE IMPACTED BY TANF CHANGES
The nation is at a critical crossroads in charting the new directions in the delivery of critical public human service programs. In some areas, federal funding streams no longer support the program outcomes states and the federal government seek to achieve. In charting future policy directions, the American Public Human Services Association urges federal policymakers to examine the potential cross-program implications. In the end, the success of human service programs will be measured by the health and well-being of America's children, families, and adults and their reduced dependence on government assistance for generations to come. Follow ongoing progress: Reauthorization Roundup, Vol. II, No. 9 Services Association, May 1, 2002. Click here for more information.
MAY 18 is INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM DAY
The International Council of Museums is inviting museums all over the world to celebrate International Museum Day on or around 18 May 2002. The central theme chosen for the 2002 edition is "Museums and Globalization". ICOM President Jacques Perot is calling on museum professionals to take this opportunity to defend the role played by their institutions in debates on globalization. He stresses that museums "urgently need to take steps to ensure that they gain from the new world order, whilst remaining vigilant as to its possible repercussions on cultural development and the respect for differing identities." Click here and here for more information.
EQUITY IN EDUCATION FUNDING
State equalization effort: States can help to equalize funding across districts in two ways: 1) by providing all or most of the share of total funding and/or 2) by targeting more state revenue to poorer districts that can't raise as much revenue locally. Most states use a combination of these techniques. Look here for your state. From Quality Counts 2002: a comprehensive picture of what's happening in education policy in the 50 states, and for the first time, the District of Columbia. Click here for more information.
May 16, 2002. No. 89.
HERITAGE FOUNDATION LEARNS ABOUT WELFARE
On May 10 in Little Rock, Ark., ACORN members gave Robert Rector of the right-wing Heritage Foundation an up-close look at what life is like for welfare recipients. In March ACORN members and allies in the National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support had protested at the Heritage Foundation's offices in Washington, D.C., at which time Rector had agreed to spend a day "walking in our shoes." At the end of the day, Rector said he was convinced more needed to be done in the areas of transportation and child care. He also said that time limits should not be the focus of welfare policy. However, despite meeting with victims of domestic abuse, he continued to insist that marriage promotion was the key to ending poverty. Click here for more information.
COUNCIL FOR ADVANCEMENT OF ADULT LITERACY (CAAL): USEFUL RESEARCH
A compilation of original research titles found useful by participants in a CAAL mini-survey for purposes of guiding policy, management, and practice in their work in adult education and literacy -- with an introduction by Gail Spangenberg. Released by CAAL May 8, 2002. Click here for more information.
NEW FREEDOM PROGRESS REPORT
New Freedom Initiative to promote the full participation of people with disabilities in all areas of society by increasing access to assistive and universally designed technologies, expanding educational and employment opportunities, and promoting full access to community life. This report details the progress the administration has made to implement the New Freedom Initiative goal - to ensure full integration of people with disabilities in American society. Click here for more information.
May 28, 2002. No. 90.
LIBRARIES AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY INCLUDED
"Malign Neglect" by Jonathan Kozol. Advocates for children in the New York City public schools were cheering sixteen months ago when lawyers won a landmark ruling from a State Supreme Court justice who determined that New York had failed to meet its obligation to provide a sound and basic education to all children and who ordered that the state's unequal system of school finance be dramatically transformed. Click here for more information.
INDICATORS OF CHILDREN'S WELL-BEING
Even though millions of parents have successfully moved from welfare to work in recent years, many are still pressed to provide their children with basic resources. According to the 2002 KIDS COUNT Data Book released May 23, 2002, more than 10 million children in America live in families that are having trouble making ends meet, let alone get ahead, despite the fact that at least one parent works all year. All 2002 KIDS COUNT data is now available from an easy-to-use, powerful online database that allows you to generate custom graphs, maps, ranked lists, and state-by-state profiles. Click here for more information.
CRITICAL LINKS; ARTS & STUDENT DEVELOPMENT
The Arts Education Partnership has released "Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development," a compendium of arts education research and studies that explore the critical links between learning in the arts and the nation's ability to ensure that "no child is left behind" in the 21st century. Information about the report, an online version and ordering information is available on a newly launched web site. Click here for more information.
May 31, 2002. No. 91.
MILLENNIAL HOUSING COMMISSION
The inexorable growth in the numbers of families, of those working in service sectors, and of immigrants seeking to take part in the "American Dream coupled with community opposition to high-density development, the gentrification or abandonment and deterioration of an increasing percentage of our housing stock, and the growing affordability gap between haves and have-nots" require that the government of the United States seriously address the question of how our society can produce and preserve more housing for more American families in a more rational, thoughtful, and efficient way in the decade ahead. As affordable housing production is increased within the context of healthy, inclusive communities, the economy is strengthened, more families share common American values, and economic opportunity is increased for many. We are pleased to present the Millennial Housing Commission's recommendations, which we hope will engage the elected officials of our democracy to meet these challenges. Click here for more information.
The Gerda and Kurt Klein Foundation creates the opportunity for young people to understand the world and translate that understanding into positive action. This non-profit, public foundation promotes education that teaches tolerance and respect for others, and encourages community service focusing on ending hunger. The curriculum gives students a way to understand and address hunger in their communities, their state and the nation. It facilitates knowledge about the extent and causes of hunger in the United States, its link to poverty and income disparities, and enables students to act on what they learn. Click here for more information.
INTERNET FOR SOCIAL PURPOSES
DigitalDivide.org is a policymaking vehicle harness the Internet for social purposes. It reflects the maturing of the worldwide movement to close the "digital divide," defined here as the gap between those able to benefit by digital technologies and those who are not. The movement was created in the late 90s when a mood of digital utopianism prevailed. Many assumed that market forces combined with philanthropy would easily close the Divide. In 2002, that view seems naïve. Rather than offer an easy way out of the dilemmas of the past, the Digital Divide merely reframes hard choices that policymakers must face as they try to achieve equitable economic growth in a volatile economy. It reframes the debate between traditionalists and reformers, between globalizers and their antagonists and between technocrats and ideologues. It is the new battleground in world affairs. Click here for more information.
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June 4, 2002. No. 92.
EVERY DOOR CLOSED.
Over 10 million children in the United States "have parents who were imprisoned at some point in their children's lives." As these parents struggle to make a fresh start, they will encounter a myriad of legal barriers that will make it extraordinarily difficult for them to succeed in caring for their children, finding work, getting safe housing, going to school, accessing public benefits, or even, for immigrants, staying in the same country as their children. This report examines some of the barriers that, singly and in combination, tear families apart, create unemployment and homelessness, and guarantee failure, thereby harming parents and children, families, and communities. Center for Law and Social Policy. Click here for more information.
ADVOCACY PROJECT: PEACE, SOCIAL JUSTICE, HUMAN RIGHTS
The Advocacy Project is a non-profit organization, based in Washington DC, that was created in 1998 to help advocates who are working on the front lines for social justice, peace and human rights. Information is the lifeblood of advocacy, and the Advocacy Project tries to help its partners use information, and information technology more effectively. The Advocacy Project is a member of OneWorld, The Global Network of Organizations Working for Human Rights & Sustainable Development. Click here for more information.
June 7, 2002. No. 93.
HAWAII TO LAUNCH STATEWIDE 211 IN JULY
Hawaii will convert their statewide I&R service, currently called "Ask Aloha United Way," to a 24 hour a day/ seven day a week service called Aloha United Way 211. The new service will be officially launched on July 15, 2002. This 211 service in Hawaii will mean that people on all the islands can dial this simple 3-digit number for help. Click here for more information.
WHERE ARE THE KIDS? URBAN INSTITUTE RESEARCH.
When school's out, where are the kids? New Urban Institute research shows that slightly more than one-third of elementary schoolchildren with working parents are in relatives' care during the summer. Another 24 percent are in summer programs…more than 1 in 10 kids regularly spend time alone or with a sibling under 13... 10 hours a week on average." Click here for more information.
IMPACT OF ARTS EDUCATION ON WORKFORCE
How the arts can help build a highly skilled 21st century workforce. The Impact of Arts Education on Workforce Preparation documents the positive outcomes of integrating the arts into education and youth intervention programs. Prepared by the National Governors's Association's Center for Best Practices in consultation with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), the report describes how economic vitality depends on a highly educated and creative workforce. Findings from current research linking the arts and learning are highlighted, as are examples of innovative arts programs across the country. Click here for more information.
June11, 2002. No. 94.
INTERACTIVE MAPS OF NUCLEAR WASTE ROUTES GO ONLINE ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP
One in seven Americans live within one mile of the proposed routes for shipping highly radioactive nuclear waste to Nevada, but the government has not made details of the routes accessible to the public in any meaningful way. Now citizens can go online and see just how close nuclear waste shipments will come to their homes or schools with interactive Nuclear Waste Route Maps. EWG's new website, allows anyone to type in an address and get a customized map clearly marking areas within 1 mile, 2 miles and 5 miles of a nuclear waste route. The maps also show the locations of schools and hospitals near the route. State and major metro area maps are also available. Click here and here for more information.
June 21, 2002. No. 95.
CONTENTBANK FOR LOW-INCOME & UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES
Contentbank.org, is a new online resource for information, tools and people dedicated to building Internet content that works for low-income and underserved communities. It is a project of the Children's Partnership, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, that undertakes research, analysis, and advocacy to place the needs of America's nearly 70 million children and youth, particularly the underserved, at the forefront of emerging policy debates. The hallmark of The Children's Partnership is to forge agendas for youth in areas where none exist, to help assure that disadvantaged children have the resources they need to succeed, and to involve more Americans in the cause for children. Click here for more information.
CHILDREN'S DEFENSE FUND TAX-CUT STUDY
Annual effects of the new tax cut over the next decade, shows the giveaway makes it one of the most lopsided tax cuts in history: Americans with average incomes over a million dollars will be handed an astonishing $121 billion in tax cuts in the year 2010 alone--more than all the rest of American taxpayers combined according to a new analysis of the 2001 tax cut issued by Citizens for Tax Justice and the Children's Defense Fund. Click on "New analysis." Click here for more information.
URBAN MOBILITY REPORT
The mobility provided by the nation's transportation system is the subject of discussion everyday. The 2002 Urban Mobility Report provides data on the performance of some elements of the transportation system in 75 urban areas. The nation's longest-running study of traffic jams this year shows urban congestion growing in three increasingly visible ways: The time penalty for making "rush-hours" trips is greater. The period of time that travelers might encounter traffic congestion is longer. The number of streets and freeways that are congested is higher. These statistics provide the comparative data needed to balance transportation needs and opportunities with other societal imperatives whether those are other infrastructure assets or other programs. Click here for more information.
June 26, 2002. No. 96.
UNIVERSAL LIVING WAGE
The concept is simple. It is based on the premise that if a person works 40 hours a week, then he/she should be able to access basic housing. We use two existing Federal guidelines to determine what the Universal Living Wage should be. The first guideline (a HUD standard also used by banking institutions across America) dictates that no more than 30% of a person's gross monthly income should be spent on housing. The second guideline, the Fair Market Value (FMRs) are established by HUD throughout the country for each municipality and all other areas. Therefore, the Universal Living Wage will vary per area in accordance with the FMR. FMRs are based on gross rent estimates that include shelter, rent and the cost of utilities except telephone service. We believe that this format, using already established government guidelines, enables us to utilize existing government formulas to easily justify specific Universal Living Wage figures that are based on the need for housing and are appropriate to each municipality and outlying areas. Click here for more information.
WADING IN THE WATER
Xavier de Souza Briggs of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University delivered the 2002 National Community Building Network Annual Conference's Keynote Address. A written copy of the address, entitled "Wading in the Water: Communities, Conflict and Problem-Solving," is available on the National Community Building by clicking on "Annual Conference." Network website. Click here for more information.
BROOKINGS POLICY BRIEF ON TAX CUT
Re: Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001(EGTRRA). This policy brief provides an assessment of the tax cut. Findings suggest that EGTRRA will reduce the size of the future economy, raise interest rates, make taxes more regressive, increase tax complexity, and prove fiscally unsustainable. These conclusions question the wisdom and affordability of the tax cut and suggest that Congress reconsider the legislation, especially in light of the economic downturn and terrorist attacks that have occurred since last summer. Click here for more information.
June 28, 2002. No. 97.
POVERTY IN AMERICA: BEYOND WELFARE REFORM
Population Reference Bureau, June 2002.
Report provides background for deliberation on reauthorization of the Welfare Reform Act. Includes poverty measures, data on the widening income gap, geography of poverty, and the consequences of poverty. In many cases the welfare poor have become the working poor. Thanks to PP. Click here for more information.
EMPTY PROMISES: THE MYTH OF COLLEGE ACCESS
Due to record-high financial barriers nearly one-half of college-qualified low-income and moderate income high school graduates--over 400,000 students fully prepared to attend a four-year college, will not be able to do so. Over the next decade 4.4 million will not attend 4-year colleges. For these students the promise of a college education is an empty one. Prepared by the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. Click here for more information.
THE ECOLOGICAL OVERSHOOT OF THE HUMAN ECONOMY
Sustainability requires living within the regenerative capacity of the biosphere. In an attempt to measure the extent to which humanity satisfies this requirement, we use existing data to translate human demand on the environment into the area required for the production of food and other goods, together with the absorption of wastes. Our accounts indicate that human demand may well have exceeded the biosphere's regenerative capacity since the 1980s. According to this preliminary and exploratory assessment, humanity's load corresponded to 70% of the capacity of the global biosphere in 1961, and grew to 120% in 1999. Click here for more information.
Return to Archives Table of Contents
July 1, 2002. No. 98.
COMMUNITY-BASED PROGRAMS ON URGENT ISSUES
"SOLUTIONS-What's Already Out There" is a compendium of community-based programs that are effectively addressing urgent national issues. This report is organized around five major areas: Leveling the Playing Field--Programs that Help Young People Stay in School, Off Drugs, and On Track; Bringing Downtown Back to Life--Programs that Create Viable Local Economies; Creating Access and Opportunities-Programs that Equip Families for Success; Improving the Street Where You Live--Programs that Begin with Neighbors; and Working Together Works--Programs that Create Collaborative Change. Each section offers the nuts and bolts of successful programs in that issue area. Click here for more information.
YOUNG ADULTS' INSIGHTS IN REACHING THEM
"Fires in the Bathroom: Advice from Front Lines of High School." The U.S. is undergoing an historic turnover in the teaching profession. An estimated two million new teachers are needed over the next decade. Meanwhile, three out of five beginning teachers quit the profession within their first five years on the job. In this new publication, teens in urban public schools tell their own stories, giving new and veteran teachers a window into how to reach adolescent learners, particularly those whose background and skin color they do not share. From WHAT KIDS CAN DO. Click here for more information.
211 FUNDS IN BIOTERRORISM ACT OF 2002
Thursday May 23rd, the Senate unanimously passed the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Response Act of 2002 (HRept.107-481) with the 211 language. President Bush supports the legislation and is quoted in the CQ Daily Monitor as saying "I commend the House and Senate for their hard work and look forward to signing this important bipartisan legislation into law." States with active 2-1-1 initiatives include:Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah. Links to all states here. Click here for more information.
July 5, 2002. No. 99.
Update on ALAET- Number 100 looms and it is just about a year ago that I extended my work from the book, A PLACE AT THE TABLE and the RUSQ column, "Community Building," to this ongoing alert service. Every post from the social service and cultural heritage literatures and websites suggests possible new venues for librarian involvement. I send ALAET to the "Public Libraries" list from time to time (not every one) and others have forwarded it or linked to the website. There are now 427 people receiving ALAET regularly. I hope that by sharing items from my reading that new connections are being made. Thank you for your interest in extending the good work librarians do.
INFORMATION LITERACY & DIGITAL LITERACY
"The Medium is Not the Literacy"-In FROM NOW ON-an educational technology journal. Analyzes the term "digital literacy" and how it is often misunderstood and misappropriated. It is not that literacy is any more important now than it ever was, or even that literacy is different now than it was before computers. The term is examined in light of other kinds of literacy such as artistic and cultural literacy. The conclusion? Digital literacy is really the same as information literacy - the ability to analyze, interpret, infer and synthesize -only using new tools. Click here for more information.
WHAT SHOULD BE LIBRARIES' ROLE IN HELPING?
The Institute for Policy Research released the following report from the Illinois Families Study: No Work and No Welfare and Trends in Homelessness and Housing Insecurity. Though not mentioned, libraries can play a part in assisting those no longer receiving government support through job seeking assistance and information and referral programs. Click here for more information.
July 8, 2002. No.100.
WORLD WATCH-STATE OF THE WORLD
State of the World 2002 includes chapters on climate change, farming, toxic chemicals, sustainable tourism, population, resource conflicts and global governance, with a special focus on the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development, which will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa in August/September 2002.Ten years after the Rio Earth Summit, we are still far from ending the economic and environmental marginalization that afflicts billions of people, says Worldwatch President Christopher Flavin. Despite the prosperity of the 1990s, the divide between rich and poor is widening in many countries, undermining social and economic stability. Click here for more information.
TOOLS FOR DEMOCRACY
"Democracy Dispatches" is a regular DEMOS publication that tracks and analyzes democracy issues in the states through continual contact with a growing network of people committed to improving American democracy. Under "Publicatons" see "Democracy Dispatches." Click here for more information.
STATE OF THE NATION'S HOUSING
There's a widening gap between those who own homes and those who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads, Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies reported today. For many people, buying a home" has become a much more elusive dream." In its annual "State of the Nation's Housing" report, the center said "extreme affordability pressures" threaten the nation's 20 million lowest income families. And in hot housing markets, like San Diego County, even middle-income residents are unable to afford a home. "The persistent inequality of income and wealth between owners and renters, as well as between whites and minorities, threatens to widen the gap between those who can afford decent housing and those who cannot," the report said. Click here for more information.
July 15, 2002. No.101.
PRIVACY and ALA
ALA signed the "Privacy Pledge" in February 2001. The Pledge was developed by the National Privacy Coalition, a nonpartisan coalition of consumer, civil liberties, educational, library, labor, and family-based groups. The Pledge calls upon legislators to support laws that guarantee effective privacy protection. To read the Pledge and find out more about the Privacy Coalition see:http://www.privacypledge.org The full impact of the USA PATRIOT Act on libraries, both legally and practically, remains an open question. Now the library community has additional questions on how the new FBI investigations guidelines will affect libraries. ALA has continued to monitor the situation and has prepared a variety of materials on the USA PATRIOT Act. Click here for more information.
TERRORISM INFO & PREVENTION SYSTEM
In light of ALA's policies on privacy (above)--the new government program--TIPS--bears profession-wide discussion: Operation TIPS - the Terrorism Information and Prevention System -will be a nationwide program giving millions of American truckers, letter carriers, train conductors, ship captains, utility employees, and others a formal way to report suspicious terrorist activity. Operation TIPS, a project of the U.S. Department of Justice, will begin as a pilot program in 10 cities that will be selected. Click here for more information.
The following posted provide comprehensive or unique resources relating to the work of the ACLU in this issue area. Click here for more information.
LIBRARIANS MAY WANT TO HAVE THIS ONE READY. PERSONAL PRIVACY IN AN INFORMATION SOCIETY.
David F. Linowes, Chair.1977.This report is about records and people. It looks toward a national policy to guide the way public and private organizations treat the records they keep about individuals. Its findings reflect the fact that in American society today records mediate relationships between individuals and organizations and thus affect an individual more easily, more broadly, and often more unfairly than was possible in the past. This is true in spite of almost a decade of effort to frame the objectives of a national policy to protect personal privacy in an information-dependent society. It will remain true unless steps are taken soon to strike a proper balance between the individual's personal privacy interests and society's information needs. In this report, the Privacy Protection Commission identifies the steps necessary to strike that balance and presents the Commission's specific recommendations for achieving it.
July 19, 2002. No.102.
BOOKS THROUGH BARS
We believe a society of social and economic inequality leads to a cycle of crime and incarceration. We work to reverse the dehumanizing effects excessive punishment inflicts upon individuals, families and communities. Books Through Bars sends quality reading material to prisoners and encourages creative dialogue on the criminal justice system, thereby educating those living inside and outside of prison walls. Click here for more information.
REAUTHORIZATION ROUNDUP-WELFARE (TANF)
Includes current status of legislation on: WORK ACT (Work, Opportunity, and Responsibility for Kids Act);Childcare; Child Support; Food stamps; E-Government. Site maintained by the American Public Human Services Association. Click here for more information.
WELL-BEING OF CHILDREN-2002
America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2002, developed by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, is the sixth annual synthesis of information on the status of the Nation's most valuable resource, our children. This report presents 24 key indicators of the well-being of children. These indicators are monitored through official Federal statistics covering children's economic security, health, behavior and social environment, and education. The report also presents data on eight key contextual measures and includes a special feature showing children of at least one foreign-born parent (Thanks PP). Click here for more information.
July 23, 2002. No.103.
RAPID TEACHING OF ENGLISH NEW FOCUS
Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which transformed the way language minority children are taught in the United States - promoting equal access to the curriculum, training a generation of educators, and fostering achievement among students - expired quietly on Jan. 8, 2002. The law was 34 years old. Its death was not unexpected, following years of attacks by enemies and recent desertions by allies in Congress. Title VII, also known as the Bilingual Education Act, was eliminated as part of a larger school reform measure known as No Child Left Behind, proposed by the Bush administration. Click here for more information.
2-1-1 FOR 30 MILLION
As of June 2002, there are 29 active 2-1-1 Centers in 14 states. Today, approximately 30,052,066 (over 10%) of Americans have access to community I&R by dialing 2-1-1; the near term goal is to assure access for at least 50% of America's 280 million citizens by 2005 and ultimately 100% as soon as possible. All states are engaged in some level of planning for 2-1-1; 7 are estimated to be 6-18 months from having their first live 2-1-1 Center including major population centers like Texas; 29 states are estimated to be 12-36 months from having their first 2-1-1 Center. Click here for more information.
ART and CommUnity: YES! Summer 2002
Creating murals and art spaces. Performing dance and theater. Celebrating the natural world. These stories tell of ordinary people who are finding their voices, restoring communities, and transforming lives. Artists show us what's gone wrong with our sprawling, industrial-age world, but they are also culture's scouts, forging paths into the future. Click here for more information.
July 27, 2002. No.104.
Friends, there are so many issues of concern to us all regarding social justice, equity and peace. Helpful resource sites if you are moved to contact law-makers or the media are provided below.
TAKE ACTION SITE-MANY ISSUES OF CONCERN
Part of the mission of the League of Women Voters is to promote social and economic justice, secure equal rights for all, achieve universal health care coverage at reasonable cost, promote the well being of children, and combat discrimination, poverty and violence. Click here and here for more information.
July 29, 2002. No.105.
GOVERNOR'S GUIDE TO 21st CENTURY WORKFORCE
Report describes state policies and programs that that help build the workforce needed for today's jobs and business leadership. The report asserts that America's businesses need smart and skilled workers to continue producing goods and services marked by innovation, knowledge, and quality - characteristics that give U.S. firms a competitive edge in the global marketplace. (pdf file) Click here for more information.
WHAT IS THE ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT?
The Ecological Footprint measures people's use of nature. A population's Footprint is the biologically productive area required to produce the resources and to absorb the waste of that population. Since people use resources from all over the world, Footprints add up the extent of these areas wherever they may be located on the planet. Click here for more information.
BROOKINGS: COST OF ENRON AND WORLDCOM
A new report from the Brookings Institution estimates that the Enron and WorldCom scandals will cost the U.S. economy approximately $37 to $42 billion off Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first year" assuming the market does not recover from its July 19 level or drop substantially below it. Even with the July 24 rebound, the market remains close to that level. The study, "The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Fall:An Estimate of the Costs of the Crisis in Corporate Governance," bases its findings on conservative estimates of the effects of the crisis on stock market wealth which are calibrated according to the Federal Reserve Board's model of the U.S. economy. Click here for more information.
Return to Archives Table of Contents
August 4, 2002. No.106.
CHILD AND YOUTH WELL-BEING
Child Trends is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and families by providing research and data to inform decision- making that affects children. In addition to conducting its own research, Child Trends works with federal and state officials and other researchers to improve the quality, scope, and use of data on children and their families. Child Trends provides technical assistance to public agencies and private organizations that develop, analyze, track, and use statistical indicators of child and youth well-being. We also assist in the design and implementation of policy and program evaluations. Click here for more information.
WELFARE INFORMATION UPDATE
Congress must reauthorize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program by September 30, 2002. The Reauthorization Research Summary, compiled by staff at the Welfare Information Network (WIN), provides a periodic summary of recent reauthorization-related research. The abstracts presented here are derived from the original publication, either from a published abstract or taken directly from the research. Click here for more information.
DIGITAL EMPOWERMENT CAMPAIGN
In a remarkable victory for community technology supporters, the Senate appropriations subcommittee has voted to fund the two important community technology programs - the Technology Opportunities Program and the Community Technology Centers program (TOP and CTC) -- at levels comparable to last year's amounts, despite the Bush Administration's recommendation to eliminate these programs from the FY03 budget. Click here for more information.
August 7, 2002. No.107.
REDUCING POVERTY & REBUILDING COMMUNITIES
The Center for Community Change is committed to reducing poverty and rebuilding low income communities. To do this, we help people to develop the skills and resources they need to improve their communities as well as change policies and institutions that adversely affect their lives. We believe that poor people themselves "through organizations they control" need to lead efforts to eliminate poverty. Click here for more information.
CHARTER SCHOOL STUDY
American Federation of Teachers study on charter schools. Analyzes impact and accountability of charter schools. Finds that charter schools contribute to the racial and ethnic isolation of students. Justification for charter schools has moved from education and innovation to choice and competition. (pdf file). Click here for more information.
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION CENTER
Increasingly, schools, community agencies and the community at large are working together to respond to the demand for expanded high quality programs for children and youth in school- and non-school hours. Indeed, the federal 21st Century Community Learning Center Program initially encouraged collaboration; now gives priority to applications where community-based organizations (CBOs), schools and other organizations work together to provide programs for children that enhance learning. School-community collaboration is also part and parcel of the community school movement that many in education and human services embrace. Click here for more information.
August 9, 2002. No.108.
THE FUNDING GAP IN SCHOOLS
Students who need the most get the least. New school finance data analysis shows deep inequities, but gaps in some states decreasing. Washington, DC The Education Trust today released a new report documenting large funding gaps between high- and low-poverty and -minority districts in many states. The analysis reveals that, in most states, school districts that educate the greatest number of low-income and minority students receive substantially less state and local money per student than districts with the fewest low-income and minority students. (pdf file) Click here for more information.
DECADE OF MIXED BLESSINGS
Brookings Institution Study examines poverty trends in the nation's largest 100 metropolitan areas. While the percentage of people living below the poverty line declined nationally from 13.1 percent in 1990 to 12.4 percent in 2000, this modest good news masked more complex trends taking place in cities, in suburbs, and across the different regions of the country. The national poverty rate fell slightly between 1990 and 2000, but this trend masked sharper increases and decreases in poverty in cities and suburbs, and across different regions of the country. This paper examines poverty rate trends in the nation's largest metropolitan areas over the 1990s, and finds highly uneven outcomes in a decade of strong economic growth. Click here for more information.
CULTURE & COMPUTER TECHNOLOGIES
The Museum Computer Network is a nonprofit organization of professionals dedicated to fostering the cultural aims of museums through the use of computer technologies. We serve individuals and institutions wishing to improve their means of developing, managing, and conveying museum information through the use of automation. We support cooperative efforts that enable museums to be more effective at creating and disseminating cultural and scientific knowledge as represented by their collections and related documentation. Click here for more information.
August 13, 2002. No.109.
IMMIGRANT WORKERS FREEDOM RIDE-SPRING 2003
Immigrant workers, living and paying taxes in the United States, want the rights to apply for citizenship and reunify their families...rights denied by their undocumented status and outdated laws. The road to citizenship needs a new map. The goal of the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride is to help draw that map. Inspired by the Freedom Riders of the Civil Rights Movement, thousands of immigrant workers will ride buses to New York City and then Washington, D.C. They will lobby for the right to apply for citizenship and reunify their families. Joined by a coalition of unions, business, immigrant and civil rights organizations, clergy, students, and elected Democratic and Republican leaders, immigrant workers will lobby Congress for changes in the law. Click here for more information.
HOW THE CENSUS BUREAU MEASURES POVERTY
The U.S. Census Bureau uses a set of money income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who is poor. If a family's total income is less than that family's threshold, then that family, and every individual in it, is considered poor. The poverty thresholds do not vary geographically, but they are updated annually for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U). The official poverty definition counts money income before taxes and does not include capital gains and noncash benefits (such as public housing, Medicaid, and food stamps). Click here for more information.
WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development, will aim to answer the following questions, among others:What has been accomplished since 1992? What have the participating countries done so far to implement Agenda 21? Have they adopted the National Sustainable Development Strategies as they agreed they would by 2002? Have they ratified the conventions that aim to prevent loss of biodiversity or ensure women's rights as they agreed to do in 1992? What obstacles have they encountered? What lessons have they learned about what works and what doesnot? And what new factors have emerged to change the picture? What mid-course corrections need to be made toreach the goals? Where should further efforts be concentrated? Click here for more information.
August 22, 2002. No.110.
ACORN: COMMUNITY REFORM
ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, with over 120,000 member families organized into 600 neighborhood chapters in 45 cities across the country. Since 1970 ACORN has taken action and won victories on issues of concern to our members. Priorities include: better housing for first time homebuyers and tenants, living wages for low- wage workers,more investment in communities from banks and governments, and better public schools. Goals are achieved by building community organizations that have the power to win changes -- through direct action,negotiation, legislation, and voter participation. Click here for more information.
COMMUNITY TOOL BOX
Mission: To promote community health and development by connecting people, ideas and resources.To help our world become healthier, safer places to live. That means many things to many people. It means children who are loved unconditionally, fed generously, and kept free from illness with proper immunizations and health care. It means women who do not need to fear being beaten, raped, or denied opportunities because of their gender. It means clean water and affordable housing,and peace in our neighborhoods. It means an end to racism, homophobia,and religious discrimination. It means everyone has the opportunity for decent educations and jobs. Click here for more information.
A new report, "Globalisation and Children's Rights: What Role for the Private Sector?" launched by children's charity Save the Children on the eve of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg raises serious concerns over the Summit's plan to increase private sector involvement in development initiatives around the world. The key focus of the World Summit will be on forming public-private partnerships as a means to deliver sustainable development, including the provision of basic services such as water, education and health.(See top link on right). Click here for more information.
August 26, 2002. No.111.
[President Bush-- on vacation in Crawford, Texas-- will not be attending.]
WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT STARTS TODAY!
What is Sustainable Development? The use of the term Sustainable Development can be traced back to the late 1800s when it was used by German Forest Management groups. It later became popular in the 20th Century while still being used in an environmental context. The Stockholm Declaration which resulted from the 1972 United Nations Conference on Human Environment held in Stockholm referred to the Sustainable Development in the following manner: "The natural resources of the earth, including the air, water, land, flora and fauna and especially representative samples of natural ecosystem, must be safeguarded for the benefit of present and future generations through careful planning or management..." In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development produced a document entitled Our Common Future where it defined as: "...Meet[ing] the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirown needs..." Click here for more information.
WHAT IS JOHANNESBURG SUMMIT 2002?
Johannesburg Summit 2002 " the World Summit on Sustainable Development " will bring together tens of thousands of participants, including heads of State and Government, national delegates and leaders from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), businesses and other major groups to focus the world's attention and direct action toward meeting difficult challenges, including improving people's lives and conserving our natural resources in a world that is growing in population, with ever-increasing demands for food, water, shelter, sanitation, energy, health services and economic security. Click here for more information.
WORLD SUMMIT LIBRARY
The scope of the Summit is defined by various policy documents created in the run-up to the Summit.In order to provide some perspective to the Summit, we could study some of the United Nations policy documents surrounding the Summit. Agenda 21; Earth Summit + 5; Policy Platforms. Click here for more information.
[President Bush-- on vacation in Crawford, Texas-- will not be attending.]
Return to Archives Table of Contents
September 6, 2002. No.112.
LIVING WAGE SUCCESSES
What has compelled city councils and others, including university presidents, to support this grassroots attack on working poverty?The answer has a lot to do with the formidable coalitions that have promoted the living wage, and with the economic and social justice arguments behind the movement, which has proved very difficult for the market forces crowd to overcome. A living wage ordinance is a local"usually city"law that establishes a wage floor for a specific group of workers. While each ordinance is unique, they all establish a wage floor above that of the federal or state minimum wage. Typically, activists propose a wage level derived by dividing the poverty threshold by full-time, full-year work. Click here for more information.
BOARDS BUILD COMMUNITY
BoardSource, formerly the National Center for Nonprofit oards, is the premier resource for practical information, tools and best practices, training, and leadership development for board members of nonprofit organizations worldwide. Through our highly acclaimed programs and services, BoardSource enables organizations to fulfill their missions by helping build strong and effective nonprofit boards. Click here for more information.
LATEST SCHOOL DATA
Characteristics of the 100 Largest Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts in the United States: 2000-01 Almost one in every four public school students in this nation is served by one of these large districts. They are distinguished from the average district by characteristics, in addition to sheer size, such as pupil-teacher ratios, high school graduates, and minority enrollment as a proportion of total enrollment. Click here for more information.
September 16, 2002. No.113.
COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS EMPOWER PEOPLE
Community newspapers are critical because they can return to issues repeatedly, shedding light on them until they are resolved. Large newspapers and TV news, on the other hand, may drop in on the neighborhood once to report on a problem but are unlikely to return for months, if at all. And reporting in community papers almost always leads to coverage further up the media food chain.Local media in this country is becoming an oxymoron, as media giants like Viacom, Time Warner, and Clear Channel gobble up smaller news organizations. Nonprofit groups and funders can reverse the trend, helping to deliver the news and information that can truly empower people, transform communities, and change the world. Click here for more information.
U.S. REJOINS UNESCO
On 12 September 2002, the US rejoined UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. The US had helped to found UNESCO shortly after WW II but quit in 1984. On behalf of the 188 member states of UNESCO, Director-General Koichiro Matsuura "warmly welcomed" announcement of the US's return. Matsuura added, "I look forward to the possibility of closer collaboration with the enormous intellectual and cultural resources of the American academic and scientific communities, and fuller contact with the extraordinary cultural diversity that characterizes American life. Their energy and ideas are vital in the effort to shape policies that can improve the lives of people everywhere." To read the full press release,go to the main UNESCO site and click Events/News. (thanks to CB). Click here for more information.
BALANCE IN MEETING CRISES
Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties... But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs -- balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage -- balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration. Public Papers of the Presidents, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960, p. 1035-1040. Click here for more information.
September 20, 2002. No.113.
ROLE OF METRO AREAS
The nation's metropolitan areas were responsible for "driving the economic performance of the nation as a whole last year," accounting for 98% of job growth and 86% of national economic growth, according to a new report prepared for the U.S. Conference of Mayors The report contains data on each of the nation's 319 metro areas, including 2001 gross metropolitan product, as well as growth and employment figures. Economic forecasts are also provided for the 20 largest U.S. metro areas. (Lower left on page). Click here for more information.
DIFFUSE LIBRARIES: EMERGENT ROLES
What do we mean by "diffuse" roles or "diffuse libraries"? In physics, "diffusion" refers to the spreading out of elements, an intermingling (though not a combining) of molecules. Applying this analogy to libraries, we see the library becoming more deeply engaged in the fundamental mission of the academic institution"i.e., the creation and dissemination of knowledge"in ways that represent the library's contributions more broadly and that intertwine the library with the other stakeholders in these activities.The library becomes a collaborator within the academy, yet retains its distinct identity. See Council on Library and Information Resources Study. Click here for more information.
EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT-ACCOUNTABILITY FAD
Differing goals are impeding success in America's classrooms. From math instruction to state assessments, bad practices can undermine the good ones like bad apples ruining a whole bushel of good apples. Polarized ideologies, competing educational theories, and conflicting teaching strategies are contributing to incoherence and poor outcomes in schools argues Alfie Kohn. One example: "The current accountability fad -- which was launched for political, not educational, reasons -- inexorably dumbs down assessment. It leaves us with the sort of conventional standardized tests that are more consistent with the purposes of rating and ranking, bribing and threatening." Click here for more information.
September 27, 2002. No.115.
POVERTY RATE RISES
(U.S. Census Bureau, September 24, 2002)
The number of people living in poverty rose by 1.3 million from 2000 to 2001, reaching 32.9 million people. The poverty rate rose from 11.3 percent in 2000 to 11.7 percent in 2001, after falling for four straight years. Children under 18 continued to have the highest poverty rate (16.3 percent). Moreover, the average amount by which families' incomes fell below the poverty line grew to the highest levels since data on this were first collected in 1979. Real household median income declined significantly, by 2.2 percent to $42,228,over the same period. Click here for more information.
The national abbreviated dialing code for free access to health and human services information and referral (I&R) is 2-1-1. 2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember and universally recognizable number that makes a critical connection between individuals and families in need and the appropriate community-based organizations and government agencies. 2-1-1 makes it possible for people in need to navigate the complex and ever-growing maze of human services agencies and programs. By making services easier to access, 2-1-1 encourages prevention and fosters self-sufficiency. Click here for more information.
Return to Archives Table of Contents
October 4, 2002. No.116.
COMMUNITY IN EDUCATION
Building community in education must extend beyond popular commentary and advocacy into action. Community will engage many individuals' ideas and actions, not just those of teachers and parentsand legislators. The undertaking of building community will strengthen individual lives, and it certainly will enhance personal and collective understanding. Community cannot be mandated, asserted, nor managed into existence. Click here for more information.
LITERACY GIANTS MERGE: PROLITERACY WORLDWIDE
The merger of the world's two largest adult volunteer literacy organizations is complete and Laubach Literacy International and Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. have become ProLiteracy Worldwide. ProLiteracy Worldwide has programs in 45 developing countries as well as in the U.S. where it represents some 1,450 adult volunteer literacy organizations. ProLiteracy serves more than 350,000 adult new learners around the world each year. Its purpose is to sponsor educational programs and services to empower adults and their families by assisting them to acquire the literacy practices and skills they need to function more effectively in their daily lives and participate in the transformation of their societies. Click here and here for more information.
FOOD STAMP PARTICIPATION INCREASES
Participation in the Food Stamp Program in July 2002 (the latest data available) increased by 23,935 persons from theprevious month, to 19,344,019 persons, according to FRAC's analysis of preliminary data from USDA. The July 2002 level of Food Stamp Program participation represented a rise of more than 1.8 million persons compared to the July 2001 level, and of more than 2.4 million persons compared to July, 2000. Increases in participation in 2001 and 2002 likely have been driven by improved access to the program in a growing number of states, and by the weakened economy. Click here for more information.
October 27, 2002. No.117.
STATES FISCAL CRISES
Brookings Institution report notes that a weak economy has thrown state governments into severe budget crisis. The spending cuts are falling heavily on low-income people at a time when poverty is rising and many low-wage workers are losing jobs. Click here for more information.
DEATH PENALTY INFORMATION CENTER
The Death Penalty Information Center is a non-profit organization serving the media and the public with analysis and information on issues concerning capital punishment. The Center was founded in 1990 and prepares in-depth reports, issues press releases, conducts briefings for journalists, and serves as a resource to those working on this issue. Click here for more information.
BROAD PROSPERITY REQUIRES FULL EMPLOYMENT
The recent economic boom and subsequent downturn demonstrate that full employment is the key to income gains for low-income workers.By 2001 unemployment increased to 4.8 percent and all but the top fifth of the population lost real income. Click here for more information.
October 31, 2002. No.119.
INFORMATION TO DEVELOP CULTURAL POLICIES
The Pew Charitable Trusts announces the release of "Informing Cultural Policy: The Research and Information Infrastructure." Part of the Trusts' national culture program, Optimizing America's Cultural Resources, the Schuster book takes a look at how other countries collect, analyze and disseminate the information that forms the basis for sound policies on cultural matters. For more information, visit the Pew Charitable Trusts Web site and look to bottom right. Click here for more information.
"Inclusive Stewardship Connecting Regional and Neighborhood Leadership." A recurring topic in many Alliance forums and discussion involves the question of how to connect regional leaders and neighborhood leaders in coalitions for change. A working paper makes some initial observations about this emerging form of leadership. The paper concludes with recommendations and a concrete next step for promoting and supporting inclusive stewardship across the country. The Alliance for Regional Stewardship will develop an educational module to advance the practice of inclusive stewardship. This module will be used in conjunction with the John W. Gardner Academy for Regional Stewardship,which is being launched in 2003. Click here for more information.
KINSHIP CARE INFORMATION
Kinship caregivers often lack the information and range of supports they need to fulfill their parenting role. In an effort to remedy this situation, a group of child and aging advocacy and research organizations has prepared Kinship Care Fact Sheets, which provide state-specific data and information for all the states directing kinship caregivers to support services that can help make their jobs easier. Children's Defense Fund provides state specific data. Click here for more information.
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November 7, 2002. No.119.
NATIONAL COUNCIL ON PUBLIC HISTORY
The National Council on Public History has a two-fold mission. First, it aspires to make the public aware of the value, uses, and pleasures of history. Second, it seeks to serve the historical community by (1) advising historians about their public responsibilities; (2) helping students prepare for careers in public history; and (3) providing a forum for historians engaged in historical activities in the public realm.Public historians research and write community, government, and corporate histories; establish and operate archives,records management systems, museums, and historical agencies; conduct historic site interpretation and preservation endeavors; edit historical manuscripts; engage in media projects; conduct oral history interviews; serve as independent consultants; work in government agencies; and participate in policy analysis and planning. Click here for more information.
FAIRNESS AND ACCURACY IN REPORTING (FAIR)
Independent, aggressive and critical media are essential to an informed democracy. With U.S. media outlets overwhelmingly owned by for-profit conglomerates and supported by corporate advertisers, independent journalism is compromised. FAIR believes that structural reform is needed to break up the dominant media conglomerates, establish independent public broadcasting, and promote strong, non-profit alternative sources of information. FAIR works to invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints. Click here for more information.
CENTER FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES
The Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA) is the nation's leading nonpartisan progressive public policy and leadership development center serving state legislators, state policy organizations, and state grassroots leaders.CPA creates innovative solutions to the difficult challenges states and part-time legislators are grappling with in this era of devolution. CPA works closely with other progressive organizations to develop policy briefs, talking points and legislative models. Click here for more information.
November 12, 2002. No.120.
PUBLIC EDUCATION-AN AMERICAN IDEA--AND IDEAL
Education ultimately is and must be about more than the accumulation of knowledge. It is a community enterprise, grounded in community and strengthening the community in the here and now. In this community,its essence is the democratic endeavor itself. The idea of democracy,of maintaining civic participation by fully functioning citizens " that is an absolute responsibility of the public schools system, if for no other reason than its own security. Only a healthy democracy can and will cherish and support a healthy school system. (Hodding Carter III-- Miami, October 2002). Click here for more information.
FOOD STAMP PROGRAM PARTICIPATION GROWS
Participation in the Food Stamp Program in August 2002 (the latest data available) jumped by 353,483 persons from the previous month, to 19,696,785 persons, according to the Food Research and Action Center(FRAC) analysis of preliminary data from USDA. The August 2002 level of Food Stamp Program participation represented a rise of more than 1.9 million persons compared to the August 2001 level, and of about 2.7 million persons compared to August, 2000.Participation has risen in 21 of the last 25 months.FRAC is a leading national organization working to improve public policies to eradicate hunger and undernutrition in the United States. Click here for more information.
WHO IS POOR?
National poverty data are calculated using the official Census definition of poverty, which has remained fairly standard since it was introduced in the 1960s and is useful for measuring progress against poverty. Under this definition, poverty is determined by comparing pretax cash income with the poverty threshold, which adjusts for family size and composition. 1 In 2001, according to the official measure, 11.7 percent of the total U.S. population lived in poverty. Click here for more information.
November 18, 2002. No.121.
MAKING SERVICE INTEGRATION A REALITY
Latest issue of POLICY & PRACTICE discusses the need for public human service agencies to integrate services. Most human service agencies recognize that to achieve positive outcomes for vulnerable families and children, they
must focus holistically on the customer who arrives at the door of human services with a complex set of needs that no one program service area can fulfill on its own. Each program area has its own philosophy, goals, service structure, and terminology that are challenging issues to overcome when integrating services. Funding streams and federal mandates contribute to the challenge of integrating services by pulling a human service agency in different directions. Despite and perhaps because of these challenges, human service agencies can no longer afford not to integrate services. The lives of children and families literally rely on the extent to which human service agencies integrate services for better performance. Click here for more information.
CREATIVE ENGINE: CENTER FOR AN URBAN FUTURE
The new economic reality is that the most dynamic companies are increasingly making decisions to relocate based not on tax breaks and cheap labor, but on quality of life, as well as creative pools of talented and mobile workers. And those workers who truly feed the creative economy seek out areas with culture, entertainment and foot traffic at any time, day or night. The creative economy abhors empty skyscrapers, desolate pavements at sundown, and sterile office parks in the suburbs. Click here for more information.
ADULT SERVICES IN PUBLIC LIBRARIES
New NCES report presents data about three areas of interest for adult programming: adult literacy programs, programs for adult lifelong learning, and Internet access for adult independent use. The report provides information about the extent to which public library outlets offer adult literacy programs, the types of literacy programs offered (adult basic literacy skills, pre-GED, GED, family literacy, and English as a second language instruction for adults), groups for which literacy programs are specifically offered, and reasons that library outlets do not offer adult literacy programs. Information is also provided about nine types of adult lifelong learning programs offered by public library outlets (book or film discussion, cultural performances, recreational activities, employment and career guidance, college/continuing education guidance, financial planning/investment information, parenting skills, citizenship preparation, and computer/Internet instruction), groups for which adult lifelong learning programs are specifically offered,and barriers to providing lifelong learning programs for adults with learning and/or physical disabilities. The report also presents information about the extent to which public library outlets provide access to the Internet to adults for their independent use, and barriers to providing such access. Click here for more information.
November 21, 2002. No.122.
OMB WATCH ANALYZES HOMELAND SECURITY BILL
On November 19, 2002, the Senate on a 90-9 vote sent to the President a bill to create a new Department of Homeland Security.Perhaps the most flawed provision is a new exemption to the Freedom of Information Act. Information related to the security of critical infrastructure or protected systems that companies voluntarily give to the new Department will now be automatically withheld from public disclosure. Notwithstanding the merits of creating a new Department, the bill has a number of provisions that will seriously undermine agency and corporate accountability. Click here for more information.
RETHINKING SCHOOLS: CURRENT ISSUE
"Rethinking Schools" is firmly committed to equity and to the vision that public education is central to the creation of a humane, caring, multiracial democracy. While writing for a broad audience, "Rethinking Schools" emphasizes problems facing urban schools, particularly issues of race.Throughout its history, "Rethinking Schools" has tried to balance classroom practice and educational theory. It is an activist publication, with articles written by and for teachers, parents, and students. Yet it also addresses key policy issues, such as vouchers and marketplace-oriented reforms, funding equity, and school-to-work. Click here for more information.
CURRENT REVENUE CRISIS AND STATE SERVICES
States now face a gigantic revenue problem. Some 45 states lost revenue. Official forecasts released to date suggest that state revenues at best will hold steady after adjusting for inflation in fiscal year 2003, meaning that none of that $38 billion is likely to be recouped this year. Indeed, the revenue hole could get even deeper.These revenue problems are taking a substantial toll on the services provided by state governments. Many states, for instance, are reducing health insurance benefits or eligibility for low-income families, or are increasing the amount that poor families must pay to access health insurance. Many states are reducing eligibility for child-care subsidies for working families; many are raising tuition for students at public colleges and universities. A Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Report. Click here for more information.
Over the past decade, a quiet revolution has been occurring in the way communities plan. PlaceMatters.com is a new national organization working to engage communities in democratic, holistic and place-based planning. Its creation is the product of several years of discussions and national meetings on the subject of tools for community design and decision-making and represents an effort unique in the nation. PlaceMatters.com represents a coalition of community leaders and organizations interested in high performance approaches to citizen collaboration, community design and development. Click here for more information.
YOUTH AND LIFELONG SERVICE
"Findings and Recommendations for Encouraging a Tradition of Voluntary Action Among America's Youth."The second report in the Giving and Volunteering in the United States Signature Series, Engaging Youth in Lifelong Service reports that adults who engaged in volunteering in their youth give more money and volunteer more time than adults who began their philanthropy later in life. In partnership with Youth Service America. Click here for more information.
INFORMATION SOCIETY PROJECT
The Information Society Project (ISP) at Yale Law School is an intellectual center for the study of a new age in which telecommunications and intellectual property are central determinants of the structure of society, the development of human culture and democratic legitimacy. Members of the Information Society Project study the emerging intersections between law, policy and technology and how those intersections affect civil liberties as technology evolves. Click here for more information.
November 27, 2002. No.124.
AMERICA'S SECOND HARVEST
America's Second Harvest is the nation's largest domestic hunger relief organization. A network of over 200 food banks and food-rescue programs, provides emergency food assistance to more than 23 million hungry Americans each year, eight million of whom are children. Last year, America's Second Harvest distributed 1.7 billion pounds of food to needy Americans, serving all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The goal is to end hunger in America. Click here for more information.
NEW ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT
Redefining Progress' Sustainability Program today released its latest Ecological Footprint of Nations report that outlines the ecological impact of 146 of the world's nations. The issue brief shows to what extent a nation can support its resource consumption with its available ecological capacity. It also illustrates the degree to which a nation could reproduce its consumption at a global level. The report is available for download in pdf format. Click here for more information.
FAMILIES ON THE EDGE
Families on the Edge: Homeless Young Parents and Their Welfare Experiences. A Survey of Homeless Youth and Service Providers. Despite being almost universally eligible for welfare, many homeless young parents are not receiving needed services, and many aren't even aware that the welfare program exists, according to this report released by the National Network for Youth and CLASP. Even when homeless youth know about Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), they have trouble accessing or keeping benefits. Click here for more information.
November 29, 2002. No.125.
WORLD AIDS DAY 2002-DECEMBER 1, 2002
"Live and let live" is the theme of the World AIDS Campaign 2002-2003. The campaign focuses on eliminating stigma and discrimination, the major obstacles to effective HIV/AIDS prevention and care. World AIDS Day is commemorated around the globe on 1 December. It celebrates progress made in the battle against the epidemic and brings into focus remaining challenges. UNAIDS is the main advocate for global action on HIV/AIDS. UNAIDS leads,strengthens and supports an expanded response aimed at preventing the transmission of HIV, providing care and support, reducing the vulnerability of individuals and communities to HIV/AIDS, and alleviating the impact of the epidemic. Click here for more information.
DEEPENING DEMOCRACY IN A FRAGMENTED WORLD
Politics matter for human development. Reducing poverty depends as much on whether poor people have political power as on their opportunities for economic progress. Democracy has proven to be the system of governance most capable of mediating and preventing conflict and of securing and sustaining well-being. By expanding people's choices about how and by whom they are governed, democracy brings principles of participation and accountability to the process of human development. Download the complete Human Development Report. 2002. Click here for more information.
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December 4, 2002. No.128.
CULTURE, CREATIVITY & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Social Science Research Council program builds on the proposition that technological innovation is inseparable from the forms of social and cultural innovation that support it and develop around it. Information technologies are deeply embedded in culture--they shape and are shaped by the ways in which people give meaning to their lives together, develop specific identities, pass on local traditions and express themselves through art and other forms of cultural production. Click here for more information.
Community Education, the educational philosophy that underlies community schools, advocates the creation of opportunities for community members " individuals, schools, businesses, and public and private organizations " to become partners in addressing community needs. Community education is most easily recognized in the community school, a facility that is open beyond the traditional school day for the purpose of providing academic, recreation, health, social service, and work-preparation programs for people of all ages. Click here for more information.
CHILLING EFFECTS CLEARINGHOUSE
Chilling Effects aims to help understand the protections that the First Amendment and intellectual property laws give to online activities. Chilling Effects encourages respect for intellectual property law, while frowning on its misuse to "chill" legitimate activity. Project supported by clinical programs at Harvard, Berkeley, Stanford, University of San Francisco, and University of Maine law schools and the EFF. Click here for more information.
December 6, 2002. No.129.
DATA FOR DEMOCRACY
The National Priorities Project (NPP) offers tools and resources to shape federal budget and policy priorities which promote social and economic justice. NPP focuses on impacts of federal tax and spending policies at the community level serving as a bridge between policy organizations and grassroots groups. Trade-offs between military spending and tax breaks with social spending are a focus building bridges between the peace community and the many groups fighting for social and economic justice. Click here for more information.
"What the World Thinks in 2002." As 2002 draws to a close, the world is not a happy place. Almost all national publics view the fortunes of the world drifting downward. And in most countries surveyed, people rate the quality of their own lives much higher than the state of their nation; and, their rating of national conditions is more positive than their assessment of the state of the world. Pew study provides a look at surveys of 38,000 people in 44 nations surveyed regarding attitudes toward their lives, countries, the world, and America. Click here for more information.
FAMILY LITERACY & EDUCATIONAL IMPROVEMENT
The National Center for Family Literacy. Click here for more information.
December 9, 2002. No.130.
The National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL), planned for 2002, is a national survey of the literacy abilities of adults. The NAAL will describe the status of literacy in the nation and states. It will inform policymakers an educators about the factors believed to play critical roles in the development of adult literacy abilities and the use of literacy skills in workplace, family, and community settings. Knowledge about the roles, relationships, and impacts of such factors will help improve educational practices and programs. Click here for more information.
LIVING WAGE MOVEMENT
The living wage movement is made up of coalitions of community and labor organizations and other progressive allies, including many enlightened business leaders, working to enact laws at the local level requiring that city employees and the employees of companies benefitting from city contracts, subsidies, or actions be paid enough to support themselves and their families. Click here for more information.
December 11, 2002. No.131.
THE PUBLIC SPHERE PROJECT
The "Public Sphere" is a term created by German philosopher Jürgen Habermas. The "public sphere" is the sum total of information and communication "spaces" that people use when they exchange views and formulate opinions. It is upon and with these "spaces" that a democratic society is created and maintained. Without a thriving "public sphere" the people's ability to manage their affairs equitably and effectively is impossible. Although new digital networked technologies are only part of this picture, they obviously represent a major source of opportunities -- as well as challenges -- for those interested in the public sphere. Click here for more information.
STATUS MAP FOR 2-1-1
2-1-1 is the national abbreviated dialing code for free access to health and human services information and referral (I&R). 2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember and universally recognizable number that makes a critical connection between individuals and families in need and the appropriate community-based organizations and government agencies. 2-1-1 makes it possible for people in need to navigate the complex and ever-growing maze of human services agencies and programs. By making services easier to access, 2-1-1 encourages prevention and fosters self-sufficiency. Click here for more information.
RURAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
The Community Development Toolbox offers an online environment where rural people pursuing community development goals are empowered to make better decisions as they solve problems facing their community. Click here for more information.
December 13, 2002. No.132.
UNEMPLOYED AFTER THE HOLIDAYS
On November 22, Congress adjourned without enacting legislation that would prevent the Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation (TEUC) program. More than 800,000 unemployed workers will have their unemployment benefits terminated three days after Christmas. After that date, no new workers will receive TEUC benefits when their regular, state- funded unemployment benefits run out...More jobless workers are exhausting their temporary federal benefits today than in the last downturn. The actual number of workers who have exhausted their temporary federal unemployment benefits since the TEUC program began in Marchs twice as large as the number who ran out of federal benefits over a comparable number of months in the downturn of the early 1990s. Click here for more information.
HELP WORKING POOR WITH EITC INFO
The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) can add thousands of dollars to assets of low-income workers increasing their families' stability and their effectiveness in the workplace and community. But at least 14 percent of eligible families do not claim the EITC--and 60 percent of those who do pay unnecessary fees and interest to tax preparers and "rapid refund" shops. They can get the same services for free at IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites. Click here for more information.
STATE ENVIRONMENTAL INFO RESOURCES
The State Environmental Resource Center (SERC) researches state environmental policies and assembles information and tools to help legislators and activists make important decisions on key environmental issues. SERC identifies the most innovative and effective state policies and exposes anti-environmental legislative trends. Through a comprehensive website, free weekly e-mail newsletter and direct access to knowledgeable staff members, SERC shares its findings with legislators, groups, and concerned citizens across the nation. Click here for more information.
December 16, 2002. No.133.
RURAL ASSISTANCE CENTER
The Rural Assistance Center (RAC) was established in 2002 as a rural health and human services "information portal" to help rural communities and other rural stakeholders access the full range of available programs, funding, and research that can enable them to provide quality health and human services to rural residents. To accomplish this, RAC gathers and streamlines information from myriad sources and provides easy access to that information. Click here for more information.
Leading online source of information, news, jobs, services and resources for the Canadian nonprofit community. Includes more than 3,000 pages of information. The purpose is to encourage, support and serve the 175,000 registered Canadian charities and nonprofit organizations, and millions of professionals, staffers, volunteers, and donors. Click here for more information.
The bulk of NPAction content is presented as "articles" on a range of nonprofit advocacy subjects. The underlying system allows for articles to be linked and cross-referenced through synonymous keywords reflecting nonprofit sector's nomenclature. Individual articles can also be commented upon and rated with respect to its usefulness and value. Reader input will be instrumental in determining what information is presented and under which categories it will be organized. Click here for more information.
December 18, 2002. No.134.
SLOW SCHOOL MOVEMENT
In many aspects of life, doing things slowly is associated with profound pleasure. The "slow food" movement began as a protest against the global proliferation of McDonald's restaurants. Maurice Holt calls for a similar backlash against today's "hamburger" approach toward education, which emphasizes uniformity, predictability, and measurability of processes and results. Click here for more information.
ProLiteracy Worldwide is represented in 45 developing countries as well as in the U.S. and serves more than 350,000 adult new learners around the world each year. Its purpose is to sponsor educational programs and services to empower adults and their families by assisting them to acquire the literacy practices and skills they need to function more effectively in their daily lives and participate in the transformation of their societies.In the United States, one in four adults function at the lowest literacy level. Abroad, more than 877 million adults are functionally illiterate. Adults with low literacy skills experience social, economic, and personal challenges that compromise their abilities to support themselves, to help their children in school, and to fully participate in society. Click here for more information.
PUBLIC CONFIDENCE IN CHARITY
Public confidence in charitable organizations such as the Red Cross and United Way is essential to a high performing nonprofit or charitable sector. Indeed, confidence affects almost everything that matters to the future of the sector, especially the public's willingness to contribute money and volunteer time. Given its importance as a harbinger, even small declines in confidence should raise alarms across the sector. Click here for more information.
December 20, 2002. No.135.
AGAINST THE PRESENT DANGER
Today, international support for human rights is cause for both concern and celebration...Fortunately, public support for the principles of human rights remain strong in the United States...despite the strong popular support for human rights principles and a belief that the United States should promote human rights at home and abroad, there are a number of areas where U.S. human rights practice trails international human rights practice. Click here for more information.
More and more cultural, corporate, and government leaders are recognizing the scope and impact of the "creative sector" in the United States. From commercial enterprises such as publishing, design, music, and theater, to vital nonprofit organizations such as museums, dance companies, concert halls, and folklife centers, to the arts schools, conservatories, and humanities departments that feed them - -this cluster of enterprises is gaining recognition as an important engine of the 21st century economy. And it provokes important policy issues about training and workforce development, government and private investment, and preservation and access. Click here for more information.
POPULATION GROWTH & DECLINE IN CITY NEIGHBORHOODS
It is now well known that populations in America's cities generally grew faster over the past decade than they did in the 1980s. But how was this growth distributed across neighborhoods in these cities? It matters considerably whether the poor inner-city communities that lost population so dramatically in the 1980s shared in the overall improvement or whether the higher growth rates were found only in areas that were better off to begin with. And what impact did racial composition have on neighborhood population change? This paper reviews the evidence from the U.S. Census for the central cities of the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas. Click here for more information.
December 24, 2002. No.136.
NATIONAL COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS
The Mission is to end homelessness. Toward this end, the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) engages in public education, policy advocacy, and grassroots organizing. The NCH focus is in the following 4 areas: housing justice, economic justice, health care justice, and civil rights. Click here for more information.
LIVING WAGE RESOURCE CENTER
Brief history of the national living wage movement, background materials such as ordinance summaries and comparisons, drafting tips, research summaries, talking points, and links to other living wage-related sites. Click here for more information.
FOOD RESEARCH AND ACTION CENTER.
The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) is a leading national organization working to improve public policies to eradicate hunger and undernutrition in the United States. Founded in 1970 as a public interest law firm, FRAC is a nonprofit and nonpartisan research and public policy center that serves as the hub of an anti-hunger network of thousands of individuals and agencies across the country. Click here for more information.
December 30, 2002. No.137.
A FAIR ECONOMY
United for a Fair Economy (UFE) provides media capacity, face-to-face economic literacy education, and training resources to organizations and individuals who work to address the widening income and asset gap in our country. UFE aspires to build communities that are socially and environmentally sustainable, where children are cherished and nurtured, and cultural and racial differences among people are valued and celebrated. Click here for more information.
ADEQUATE INCOME SUPPORT
The Welfare Law Center works with and on behalf of low- income people to ensure that adequate income support -- public funding provided on the basis of need -- is available whenever and to the extent necessary to meet basic needs and foster healthy human and family development.The Center believes adequate income support is a critical element in any comprehensive strategy to reduce poverty, enable and encourage personal growth, and ensure that all can live with dignity. Click here for more information.
PROMOTING REGIONAL EQUITY
This paper seeks to broaden and deepen the growing dialogue and action to promote regional equity. Opportunities for action and examples of community actors evolving their strategies and tactics to the regional reality, and successfully connecting their neighborhoods and communities to resources and opportunities throughout. Click here for more information.