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CAAP Update

CAAP Update provides regular information on items of interest to Community Action agencies in Pennsylvania.

                                                   May 20, 2015
In This Issue

National Community Action Month 

Community Action Month is a time to highlight the achievements of families and communities as well as the great work done by Community Action all year long. This year, the Community Action Partnership developed the #BeCommunityAction theme with the goal of encouraging Community Action Agencies to tell their stories and that of the families we serve. A number of Pennsylvania agencies have taken to social media, reached out to their local representatives, and leveraged their board and staff to join the national voice of helping people, changing lives, and #BeCommunityAction. Here are just two examples:

  • Because it is Community Action Month, the Bucks County Opportunity Council, Inc. worked with the Bucks County Commissioners to issue a Proclamation. The Proclamation will be given at the next Commissioners meeting on May 20th at 6:00PM.
  • South Central Community Action Programs (SCCAP) has asked all their stakeholders to spotlight the work they do for the community by emailing one fact about their background and/or Community Action experience. The plan is to collect all the feedback and flood their social media accounts on May 28th with special insights about what is means to #BeCommunityAction.

People often say that Community Action is the best kept secret. Let's use May to share that secret and #BeCommunityAction!


CAAP Annual Conference  

The 2015 CAAP Annual Conference was a huge success! Thank you to everyone who attended. From fabulous keynote speakers, to the Self-Sufficiency and Distinguished Service Awards Ceremonies and 20 topnotch workshops, attendance exceeded expectations, and another wonderful conference was pulled off by the CAAP Conference Committee. We look forward to seeing everyone again for the April 20-21, 2016 conference in Harrisburg, PA!



CACLV Virtual Debate   

To commemorate Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley's 50th anniversary, CACLV is taking a unique approach. CACLV's new project, called Stand Up Speak Up, invites the public to submit a home-made video responding to any of the following questions: 

*         From your own experience, what do people not understand about what it is like being poor?

*         What will you do to help our community fight poverty?

*         What should our society do collectively to fight poverty?


The goal is to spark a virtual conversation that attempts to engage us all in the issue of how to best fight poverty. To view the video vignettes or to post one of your own CLICK HERE


Child Care Benefit Cliff Removal Press Conference  

On May 11th at 2pm in the Main Capitol Rotunda, House Majority Leader Dave Reed, Rep. Bloom, and Rep. Murt held a press conference to announce their Child Care Benefit Cliff Removal: HB1164. If passed, the Bill will amend the "all-or-nothing" Child Care Benefits subsidy. Currently, as an individual's income reaches an eligibility "cliff" in which earning one additional dollar makes a person completely ineligible for the subsidy program, the system forces an individual to choose between the best of two bad situations: accept their $1 raise and become completely responsible for child care payments or decline the raise, still remain able to work, keep their children in the same care, and continue to receive benefits. The new legislation will smooth out the cliff by weaning an individual off child care benefits overtime as a parent earns additional income. John Raber from South Central Community Action Program represented Pennsylvania Community Action during the press conference.


 TalkPoverty Radio Returns

Starting April 30, TalkPoverty Radio returns to the airwaves. TalkPoverty Radio is one of the few programs entirely devoted to covering poverty in America. Hosted by Rebecca Vallas and Tracey Ross, this hour-long show lifts up some of the untold stories of the 45 million Americans living below the poverty line. Hear from journalists, policy experts, grassroots advocates, elected officials, and-most importantly-people struggling on the brink right now, as TalkPoverty Radio bust myths, offer solutions, and focus on the hottest issues and policy debates. CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast or you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by CLICKING HERE.  

 Geographies of Opportunity

In April 2015, Measure of America released their Geographies of Opportunity: Ranking Well-Being by Congressional District report. Geographies of Opportunity is an in-depth look at how residents of America's 436 congressional districts are faring in three fundamental areas of life: health, access to knowledge, and living standards. This report makes the case that geography- and population-based approaches offer a way to address the multiple and often interlocking disadvantages faced by families who are falling behind.  


The hallmark of this work is the American Human Development Index, a supplement to Gross Domestic Product and other money metrics that tells the story of how ordinary Americans are faring. The American Human Development Index brings together official government data on health, education, and earnings and allows for well-being rankings, not just of congressional districts, but also of states, counties, census tracts, women and men, and racial and ethnic groups. On other words, while Gross Domestic Product (GDP) tells us how the economy is doing, the American Human Development Index measures how people are doing. The Index can empower communities and organizations with a tool to identify priorities and track progress over time.  


CLICK HERE to download the report. Measure of America provides tools for understanding the distribution of well-being and opportunity in America and stimulating fact-based dialogue about issues we all care about: health, education, and living standards. 

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Community Action Association of Pennsylvania
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Harrisburg, PA 17101
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This newsletter is financed, in part, by a CSBG grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development.