Wednesday, December 31, 2003

January 2003 - December 2003.

January 2003 - December 2003.

January 2, 2003. No.138.

ColorLines is pleased to announce the launch of RaceWire, our news service geared specifically to the ethnic press and its readership. Each month RaceWire will feature news, features, and op-ed articles that focus on issues of race, politics, and culture in communities of color. Recent headlines:"Black and Latino parents are demanding better schools and fewer tests;" "Politics Trumps Religion." Click here for more information.

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. COMM-ORG is based on two basic beliefs: community organizers and academics can both benefit by exchanging information and resources. The COMM-ORG membership is composed of about half academics and half practitioners (including some government officials and funders);the Internet should remain a place where information and communication is freely available. Click here for more information.

The Center for Community Change (CCC) is committed to reducing poverty and rebuilding low income communities. The CCC helps 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. Poor people themselves " through organizations they control " need to lead efforts to eliminate poverty. CCC helps grassroots leaders build strong organizations that bring people together to become a force for change in their communities. Click here for more information.

January 8, 2003. No.139.


Nearly 33 million Americans have fallen into poverty - more people than a year ago, the highest number in years. What does it mean to the life of our nation to have so many people lost in a shadowy state of uncertainty and need? What does it mean to be poor in America - to be a resident of the forgotten state of poverty? Click here for the Poverty USA Web site.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy today released "Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States."By an overwhelming margin, most states tax their middle- and low-income families far more heavily than the wealthy, the study finds.Most states require their poor and middle-income taxpayers to pay the most taxes as a share of income -- and the ways in which states have managed their budgets during the last decade have made this problem worse." State-by-state reports and "Top Ten" lists in pdf. Click here for more information.

Despite the outpouring of support and generosity for the poor during the holiday season, Americans don't really seem to care about low-income people. Despite reports that hunger and homelessness have increased dramatically over the last year (U.S. Conference of Mayors report), raising the issue of poverty in America has fallen out of political favor. "We have indeed slipped into class warfare in our country, but it is being fought top down, as the well off harvest new gains for themselves from the powerless poor. And no number of charitable gestures, as admirable as they are, can make up the difference." Click here for more information.

January 2003. No. 140.

From time to time I learn of a special event that relates to community building. This one sounds outstanding.
Cornell Cooperative Extension and Cornell's Community and Rural Development Institute are hosting this year's Community Development Society/International Association for Community Development meeting at Cornell University in July, and expect over 400 community development professionals to attend. The theme of Community as Place may be of particular interest to library professionals. See announcement :

YOU'RE INVITED to join community development practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and citizen leaders from the U.S. and the around the world next July at the 2003 meeting of the Community Development Society. Click here for more information.

The Community Development Society's 2003 meeting will provide a valuable opportunity to sharpen professional skills, discuss critical issues, learn from and interact with your community development colleagues. We will meet on the scenic and historic campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, USA, July 20-23, 2003.

THEME: The theme of the conference is Community as Place.Conference participants will collectively explore the relationship between community development and community sustainability. With a focus on "place" we will explore different perspectives on the intersection of natural, built and cultural environments. Participants will discuss and learn about resources and approaches that foster community development.

HIGHLIGHTS: The Conference features multiple tracks covering areas such as Community Vitality, Economic Development, Extension, Environment , Practice, Research and Graduate Studies, Social and International Issues, Urban Issues, Telecommunications, and Faith-based Community Development. Mobile workshops will go into the local community for first-hand experiences in community development.

Regional pre- and post-conference tours, plenary sessions, a picnic dinner at Taughannock Falls State Park, awards banquet and networking opportunities round out the agenda.

Click here for full conference details.

January 14, 2003. No.141.

One of the promises of the electronic age is to make government services more accessible to citizens. Paper examines whether technological improvements allow people to access a variety of publicly funded work supports via the Internet. Six work supports are examined: cash assistance, child care, food stamps, health insurance, public or subsidized housing, and child support. These work supports can help parents retain jobs and better provide for their families, thus reducing turnover for businesses and encouraging long-term employment among workers. Project of the Center for Law and Public Policy. Click here for more information.

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. Priorities include: better housing for first time homebuyers and tenants, living wages for low-wage workers, more investment in our communities from banks and governments, and better public schools. We achieve these goals by building community organizations that have the power to win changes -- through direct action, negotiation, legislation, and voter participation. Click here for more information.

Because of the shared goal of equal access to information for all New Yorkers, libraries and the 2-1-1 Collaborative are natural partners in the 2-1-1 Initiative. As the library community, education and business leaders, and the public work together for support and passage of New Century Libraries legislation, it is important to recognize and lend our voices to the 2-1-1 Initiative for New York State as well. The specialized information and referral provided by 2-1-1 will offer a different kind of assistance and access to information than that which is available in libraries. The enhanced access to information offered by both 2-1-1 and our public libraries will build awareness of community responsibility for New York's diverse population. Click here for more information.

January 17, 2003. No.142.

The demand placed on us by world events is to deal with the Iraq crisis and to work to stop the war that is being planned. This is unfolding in a global context where other crises can and will erupt in connection to the Iraq crisis and they too will demand our action. In addition, we will oppose new repressive measures at home. We can and will work together now, focused on stopping this war, and as we go forward we will discuss other issues and the larger context. Unite for peace and say NO! to war. Click here for more information.

Cities for Peace is a rapidly growing effort to get City Councils and other civic bodies to pass resolutions against a war on Iraq. CHICAGO, SAN FRANCISCO, BALTIMORE, DETROIT, SYRACUSE, PHILADELPHIA, SEATTLE resolutions are among the 41 listed. Click here for more information.

The United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) was created through the adoption of Security Council of 17 December 1999. UNMOVIC was to replace the former UN Special Commission and continue with the latter's mandate to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological weapons and missiles with a range of more than 150 km), and to operate a system of ongoing monitoring and verification to check Iraq's compliance with its obligations not to reacquire the same weapons prohibited to it by the Security Council. Click here for more information.

January 23, 2003. No.143.

The Administration seems to be proposing the same plan that it put forward last year, even though the plan went through a year of criticism for being rigid and unrealistic, unemployment is now higher, and the state fiscal situation has deteriorated sharply over the year. The Administration is also proposing to freeze child care funding for the next five years at a time when states are struggling to prevent cutting back child care assistance for low-income working families. Click here for more information.

When elders share their stories, they pass on to others their accumulated wisdom. Unfortunately, America has provided few opportunities for its elders to share their lives' stories with their communities. Too often older Americans have been dismissed, denied meaningful social roles, sequestered by a culture that views old age only in terms of decline. Fortunately, America is changing. A sudden and intense shift in ideology is underway in the U.S., and with this shift a new field has emerged that may well transform what it means togrow old. That field is creative aging. Click here for more information.

This year's State of Working America, the eighth in a series published biennially since 1988 incorporates data through the first half of 2002 in a comprehensive roadmap through the economy as it is experienced by America's working people and their families. With unemployment up sharply and job growth stagnant at best, the tight labor market of the ˜90s boom is quickly unwinding and its benefits are beginning to fade. Unless growth accelerates soon, high and rising unemployment will generate wage stagnation, higher poverty rates, and rising inequality. Click here for more information.

Return to Archives Table of Contents

February 6, 2003. No.143.

The American Association of Museums urges all museums to embrace their responsibility to be active and collaborative civic institutions and to respond to the aspirations and needs of citizens in their communities.... Museums are community cornerstones. They are cultural symbols and contributors to community enterprise, stewards of collections, and providers of educational experiences. They are treasured places where memories are created and shared.Museums can also transform the way people view the world. Click here for more information.

EIC Campaign Kits help you help workers get the tax credits they've earned: easy-to-read fact sheets; a full range of outreach strategy ideas that have been used successfully in local communities; posters, flyers, and envelope stuffers in English and Spanish; and the essential tax forms workers need to claim the credits. By joining the EIC Campaign, your organization becomes one of thousands across the country helping millions of working families and individuals claim the tax credits for which they qualify.Whether you put up a poster, pass out flyers or run a full-fledged campaign, your efforts to promote the EIC and the CTC can make a real difference in the lives of millions of low-income workers. Click here for more information.

NABRE (pronounced "neighbor") is a network that links national and community-based organizations to bridge racial and ethnic divisions. Our mission is to cultivate and nurture race relations and racial justice organizations committed to building alliances that break down barriers of race and ethnicity in all sectors of communities and to build relentless momentum toward a more inclusive and just nation. Click here for more information.

Return to Archives Table of Contents

March 3, 2003. No.144.

[Jeb Bush has signed the circulating components of the State Library of Florida to a private university. Protests continue. Demonstration on March 4, 2003. See item#3 for details].

On February 13, the House passed H.R. 4, the Personal Responsibility, Work, and Family Promotion Act, by a vote of 230 to 142. H.R. 4 increases work participation rates from 50 to 70 percent; increases the required hours of work from 30 to 40 hours; restricts the number of work activities countable toward the participation rate for the first 24 hours; phases out the caseload reduction credit; and mandates a new universal participation requirement. Click here for more information.

With its narrow focus upon math and reading test scores, NCLB (No Child Left Behind) is seen by some as a dangerous experiment that threatens to disrupt and dilute the education of millions of children. Hidden within this law and the rules promoted by the Ed Department are dozens of changes that are untested, unproven and laced with political motives that could do great damage to public education.The early focus on labeling schools as failures when combined with parental choice provisions represents an assault on public education, allowing virtual elementary schools, faith- based tutoring and other untested charter alternatives to creep into public systems with public tax money. Click here for more information.

There is VALUE in keeping these functions within the same administrative unit. The analogy to the Library of Congress made by many on the listserv is an excellent one---would the Library of Congress operate more efficiently by scattering its services across federal agencies and sending its collections to other libraries? NO. Keeping the State Archives with other library functions of the State has VALUE. Dismantling the State Library of Florida with the actions described above sends the scary message that...libraries, archives and historical records have NO VALUE. Suggesting that no services or collections are being eliminated, just sent to places where they can be more efficient JUST ISN'T TRUE. Librarians, genealogists, historians, archivists, and the citizens of Florida understand this! The State Library of Florida has been awarded for its efficiencies and is known for being an outstanding steward of taxpayers' dollars. PLEASE ACT TODAY! The response to this issue has been strong already--please put pen to paper, type an email, make a call. Let your voice be heard! SAVE YOUR STATE LIBRARY! Click here for more information.

March 5, 2003. No.145.

Blueprint for connecting with community provided in the remarks of Claudine Brown. Clarifies how main-stream institutions [like libraries!-ed.] can become become cultural citizens with true collaborative partnerships.The Community Arts Network (CAN) promotes information exchange, research and critical dialogue within the field of community- based arts. Click here for more information.

Management of Social Transformation (MOST) promotes international, comparative and policy-relevant research on contemporary social transformations and issues of global importance. Created in 1994, MOST aims to: further understanding of social transformations; establish sustainable links between social science researchers and decision-makers; strengthen scientific, professional and institutional capacities, particularly in developing countries; encourage the design of research-anchored policy. Click here for more information.

Living wage campaigns seek to pass local ordinances requiring private businesses that benefit from public money to pay their workers a living wage. Commonly, the ordinances cover employers who hold large city or county service contracts or receive substantial financial assistance from the city in the form of grants, loans, bond financing, tax abatements, or other economic development subsidies. The concept behind any living wage campaign is simple: Limited public dollars should not be subsidizing poverty-wage work. Click here for more information.

March 7, 2003. No.147.

The living standards of most American families are determined by opportunities in the labor market. The majority of family income derives from earnings, and the loss of a job poses real hardship. In this regard, the recent recession and the ensuing slow-growth recovery are serious problems that have been underappreciated by many commentators who have judged the downturn to be mild based on macroeconomic measures such as overall growth in gross domestic product. [toward bottom of page]. Click here for more information.

It is the policy of the Federal Government to provide leadership in preserving America's heritage by actively advancing the protection, enhancement, and contemporary use of the historic properties owned by the Federal Government, and by promoting intergovernmental cooperation and partnerships for the preservation and use of historic properties. The Federal Government shall recognize and manage the historic properties in its ownership as assets that can support department and agency missions while contributing to the vitality and economic well-being of the Nation's communities and fostering a broader appreciation for the development of the United States and its underlying values.[continues on site]. Click here for more information.

The Coalition for Community Schools works toward improving education and helping students learn and grow while supporting and strengthening their families and communities. Community schools bring together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities -- before, during and after school, seven days a week. Click here for more information.

March 12, 2003. No.148.

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law unites thinkers and advocates in pursuit of a vision of inclusive and effective democracy. The mission is to develop and implement an innovative, nonpartisan agenda of scholarship, public education, and legal action that promotes equality and human dignity, while safeguarding fundamental freedoms.Scholarship, public education, and legal action are used to find innovative and practical solutions to intractable problems in the areas of democracy, poverty, and criminal justice. Click here for more information.

The Center for Democracy and Technology works to promote democratic values and constitutional liberties in the digital age. With expertise in law, technology, and policy, CDT seeks practical solutions to enhance free expression and privacy in global communications technologies. CDT is dedicated to building consensus among all parties interested in the future of the Internet and other new communications media. Click here for more information.

AMICO was established in 1997 by a handful of museum directors who decided it was important to collaborate together in order to promote and make their collections more accessible to educational institutions around the globe. Their digital library includes images from ancient to ncontemporary times... Click here for more information.

March 19, 2003. No.150.

The demand placed on us by world events is to deal with the Iraq crisis and to work to stop the war that is being planned. This is unfolding in a global context where other crises can and will erupt in connection to the Iraq crisis and they too will demand our action. In addition, we will oppose new repressive measures at home. We can and will work together now, focused on stopping this war, and as we go forward we will discuss other issues and the larger context. Unite for Peace & Justice and say NO! to war. Click here for more information.

The National Priorities Project (NPP) offers citizen and community groups tools and resources to shape federal budget and policy priorities which promote social and economic justice.Since 1983, the National Priorities Project (NPP) has been the only group in the country that focuses on the impacts of federal tax and spending policies at the community level. We link political analysis to action by serving as a bridge between policy organizations and grassroots groups. We translate policy information into everyday language and assist national and grassroots groups in their efforts on such issues as improving their schools, creating living wage jobs and providing affordable housing. Click here for more information.

The TRADEOFFS NPP database offers state data on socio-economic needs and federal expenditures, and allows you to create customized tables, graphs and reports. Project website shows the impact of how tax dollars are spent. Click here for more information.

March 25, 2003. No.151. Hard Times.

Late in 2002, fifty leading U.S. scholars signed a statement explaining how varying approaches to welfare reform are likely to affect children.The good news is that improving the well-being of low-income children through welfare reform is within policymakers' grasp. But it is likely to depend on greater income support for working families and more resources for child care. The bad news is that one approach embodied in the House- passed plan" tougher work requirements and few new work supports " appears, if anything, to be more likely to harm children than to help them. Click here for more information.

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) reauthorization proposal requires individuals receiving cash assistance to participate in certain federally defined activities for at least 40 hours a week to fully count toward program participation rates. Supporters argue that a structured 40- hour week is more likely to result in families entering full-time jobs, and that since other families work 40 hours a week, so should welfare recipients.A CLASP analysis,"Imposing a 40- Hour Requirement Would Hurt State Welfare Reform Efforts," argues that the 40-hour requirement would make it harder for states to run effective employment programs; would force states to misallocate limited TANF and child care dollars; ignores the fact that some parents are caring for ill or disabled family members; and does not acknowledge that the average work-week is less than 40 hours for mothers with school-age and younger children. Click here for more information.

Urban Institute report examines what the poorest families need in order to work and what supports they need when work cannot be found. Interviews with families with children, [incomes below 50 percent of poverty level] show how very poor health, limited skills, and the lack of jobs, transportation and child care raise serious barriers to employment. They also illustrate how sanctions, time limits, and other administrative hassles can prevent welfare participation for many families without work. Food stamps provided a base of support for about half of the families, but 50 percent of those not receiving food stamps had their benefits terminated for administrative reasons. Interviewed families coped by combining in-kind government support, child support, help from family or friends, "side jobs," and charity. Click here for more information.

March 31, 2003. No.152.

OMB Watch was formed in 1983 to lift the veil of secrecy shrouding the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). It was quite apparent that OMB's actions were having an enormous impact on agency operations and the pursuit of social justice. Yet despite this influence, OMB remained largely unaccountable to the public, while most public interest groups did not fully understand its behind-the-scenes role. By explaining governmental process and by monitoring OMB, OMB Watch helped bring sunshine to this powerful agency. As the years have progressed, tracking OMB activities has led to other concerns about the federal government's institutional responsiveness to public needs. Click here for more information.

The goal of the Performing Arts Research Coalition is to improve and coordinate the way performing arts organizations gather information on our sector, so that we can offer a more unified and factually based voice on issues of common concern, and aid the performing arts in developing a national model for arts research collaboration. PARC will help performing arts organizations across the United States significantly improve their management capacity, increase their responsiveness to their communities, and strengthen local and national advocacy efforts on behalf of American arts and culture. Click here for more information.

Although much of the policy debate on welfare reform has concentrated on the urban poor, nearly 20 percent of welfare recipient families reside outside of central cities and metropolitan areas. They, along with other rural working families, rely on various social services to help them move toward self-sufficiency. Affording rural residents access to social services is a challenge even in the best of times. With the decline in state revenues expected to continue, the challenge will be greater. Click here for more information.

Return to Archives Table of Contents

April 4, 2003. No.153.

True civic engagement is a vibrant approach to public life. "Making it Real: How to Make Civic Engagement a Public Sensibility" offers seven ways for public leaders and organizations to infuse civic engagement practices throughout their public work. To obtain a copy of Making it Real, e-mail or call (301) 656-3669. Click here for more information.

On April 1, 2003, many legal immigrants become newly eligible for the Food Stamp Program. Food stamp offices must process applications in March and many offices are processing them in February, even though benefits will not start until April. New resources are available in English and other languages for advocates, service providers, elected officials and others to use in getting the word out to immigrant populations and communities. Links to such materials.Spanish, English, Russian,Vietnamese, Cambodian (Khmer) and Mandarin. Click here for more information.

A nation that truly wants no child left behind must make sure that workers who care for children, youth, and families have the motivation, resources, and support to succeed. At a minimum, this workforce numbers 2.5 million, of which two-thirds serve low- income children, youth, and families. As such, the human services workforce, as low- incomeserving workers will be called in this report, is almost as large as the federal government's civilian workforce. Click here for more information.

April 9, 2003. No.154.

Poverty reduction is a neglected avenue in the ICT-debate. NGO-led global advocacy campaigns undoubtedly have a poverty reducing impact. But what about the poverty impact of community radio, telecentres, the internet, or regulatory frameworks for ICTs? Some preliminary lessons learnt are presented by the authors in view of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva from 10-14 December,2003. Click here for more information.

The data, from July 1, 2000-June 30, 2001, show that only about one-third as many people completed training under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) as compared to the number in 1998 under the previous federal job training program. This amounts to about 200,000 fewer individuals. Click here for more information.

Education is a long-standing and protected state right. It is a triumph of federalism and local control, but the new federal education law, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), may change that. NCLB critics believe that the law is too intrusive. It is an enlarged federal role that is an unnecessary offense to the Tenth Amendment which reserves powers to the states that are not delegated to the federal government. According to Denis Doyle, the recent publication of the non-regulatory guidance for charter schools under NCLB highlights and contributes to this discomfort. Click here for more information.

April 9, 2003. No.155.

"Leadership for a connected world," ICT Development Forum, will address the effectiveness of information communications & technology to empower people,promote local capacity, and improve equitable growth in developing countries. Results debate will be captured in the "Petersberg Declaration," a plan of action to identify those areas in which leadership is most needed if the information revolution is to reach the poor. Click here for more information on the ICT Development Forum sponsored by The Development Gateway Foundation--World Bank provides some funds. Its objectives are to reduce poverty and support sustainable development through the use of information and communication technologies. Click here for more information on the Development Gateway Foundation.

Public libraries are taking on new roles supporting individuals, organizations, small businesses, and municipal economic development initiatives in order to promote community economic development. Canadian focus and wonderful examples. [Thanks TA]. Click here for more information.

The ADA WATCH campaign is a nonprofit informational online network designed to activate the disability community's grassroots in response to threats to civil rights protections for people with disabilities. The ADA WATCH campaign educates and informs people with disabilities, disability advocates, members of the general public, the business community, policy makers, and the media regarding threats to civil rights protections for people with disabilities. Click here for more information.

April 21, 2003. No.157.

The Kentucky Center for Poverty Research mission is a multidisciplinary approach to the causes, consequences, and correlates of poverty and inequality in the southern United States. A focused research agenda on poverty among the residents of the South is critical to our Nation™s poverty research effort because low-income populations in the South face a different set of challenges than comparable groups in other parts of the United States, which is manifested in a host of economic and social disparities including higher rates of poverty, inequality, and welfare-program utilization. Click here for more information.

The Racial Justice and Race Relations project's goal is to strengthen the effectiveness of local government and the leadership capacity of local officials in racial justice and race relations. This project is supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation. The project builds upon the organization's past work and primarily focuses on helping local officials move towards a new level of engagement and re-affirm their commitment to reducing racism and improving race relations in their cities and towns. Project of the National League of Cities. Click here for more information.

As part of the Innovations in State Cultural Policy project, the Center for Arts & Culture is now disseminating Investing in Culture: Innovations in State Policy. Produced in partnership with the Cultural Policy Working Group of the National Conference of State Legislatures and funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, this report is meant to assist legislators who want to strengthen their states' cultural agenda. Download a free PDF version of the reportor learn more about the project from the Center's website. Click here for more information.

May 1, 2003. No.158.

A significant correlation between race and poverty exists, with Black and Hispanic Americans three times more likely to be impoverished than White Americans (Proctor and Dalaker 2002). The cycle of poverty and low-literacy functioning is well documented, as is the achievement gap between White students and students of color. Race is a persistent factor in employment statistics, educational attainment, and the acquisition of literacy skills, with significantly higher unemployment rates and lower educational attainment rates among Black and Hispanic Americans than among White Americans. Read the complete text of this ERIC report by Mary Anne Corley,Principal Research Analyst at American Institutes for Research. Click here for more information.

Children's Defense Fund Report analyzes the war on children. Compares compassionate words with
uncompassionate deeds. State by state tables of child poverty. Click here for more information.

The aim of Combat Poverty is to promote a just and inclusive society by working for the prevention and elimination of poverty and social exclusion. Combat Poverty is a statutory agency established under the Combat Poverty Agency Act 1986, which sets out our four general functions: policy advice, project support and innovation, research, and public education. (Irish site; good ideas). Click here for more information.

May 6, 2003. No.159.

Indicator projects designed to furnish current "snapshots" of metropolitan social, economic, physical, and environmental status - while tracking progress and trends over time - are among the more powerful emerging tools available to regional stewards. THREE great examples:
Boston Community Building Network. Click here for more information.
Chicago Metropolis 2020. Click here for more information.

Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded by Ralph Nader in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts. We fight for openness and democratic accountability in government, for the right of consumers to seek redress in the courts; for clean, safe and sustainable energy sources; for social and economic justice in trade policies; for strong health, safety and environmental protections; and for safe, effective and affordable prescription drugs and health care. Click here for more information.

Scholarship America, the nation's largest private sector scholarship and educational organization, created the National Scholarship Month to raise public awareness about the need for scholarships for postsecondary education, including vocational or technical school. It celebrates the current level of scholarship support and calls forc additional support from the private sector. Now in its sixth year, Scholarship America urges local organizations, businesses and community members to get involved in the celebration of National Scholarship Month. Click here for more information.

May 16, 2003. No.160.

Tools & Standards for Building & Assessing Quality Adult Literacy Programs by Gail Spangenberg and Sarah Watson - - New publication reviews the developmental history of EFF and discusses its accomplishments, implementation, and work in progress. The Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy (CAAL) promotes more effective policy, practice, and resource development at the state level. Equipped for the Future is a singularly important resource developed by the National Institute for Lteracy that can be tremendously beneficial to states wanting to improve the effectiveness of their adult literacy services." Click here for more information.

Cultural work is prophetic. Whether the form is pulp fiction, hip hop, independent film, poetry, photography, painting, or dance, the expression reveals and recasts the social relation. ColorLines discusses and presents the best of our expressions--in literature, art, music, film, and more--and couples it with incisive criticism. It's all about presenting life in full color. MClick here for more information.

Child poverty is one of the most important problems facing our nation. All children deserve an equal opportunity to succeed in life, and child poverty denies too many children a fair chance.Low- income children and families are diverse, as are the communities and states in which they live. There is no single solution to child poverty. Both the public and private sectors have important roles to play in reducing child poverty and investing in families. This includes the state and federal governments, local communities, civic and business leaders, and individual families themselves. Click here for more information.

May 24, 2003. No.161.

I have just spent a week (May 19-May 23, 2003 as Scholar in Residence at the Chicago Public Library. Programs focused on many aspects of community building: building the community of librarians; libraries as cultural heritage institutions, lifelong learning and literacy; building the community of readers; and library service to diverse communities. Click here for more information.

May 30, 2003. No.162.

New reports on changes in state and federal incentives and options that would likely take place if Medicaid is transformed from an entitlement program into a block grant;who has stock dividends and how dividend income is distributed; disability law and juvenile justice; hardship among the uninsured; and the change in course of concentrated poverty. Click here for more information.

Liberty and equality, efficiency and community, common ownership of the Earth and equal sharing in the benefits of technical progress, the flexibility of the labour market and the dignity of the poor, the fight against inhumane working conditions, against the desertification of the countryside and against interregional inequalities, the viability of cooperatives and the promotion of adult education, autonomy from bosses, husbands and bureaucrats, have all been invoked in its favour. Click here for more information.

ACORN has published a study documenting problems in the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act. (NCLB) The report analyzes data from 24 states and 73 school districts, and finds that the Bush Administration and the U.S. Department of Education are selectively following through on the promises made under NCLB. Click here for more information.

Return to Archives Table of Contents

June 6, 2003. No.163.

Teachers need to face up to the fact that a significant number of our students are never intended to reach the celestial standards held out by the corporate/political sleight-of-hand artists. This reality tells us that it's past time for us to remember why we became teachers. We serve children, not corporate America. For the sake of the children, we need to say out loud that, for all their bully pulpits, the emperors of standards and testing have no clothes. Click here for more information.

Afterschool programs have been referred to as the new neighborhood.Positive effects extend to families, employers and communities. Research indicates that investments in afterschool programs for youth are likely to have benefits that far outweigh the cost. Click here for more information.

In Stand by Me, Public Agenda examines the attitude of public school teachers--about their jobs, the challenges they face and the reform proposals that may change what they do.Teachers have a fierce loyalty to their profession, tempered with a sense that society expects far too much of them. They feel vulnerable to unjust accusations from students and parents, budget cuts and favoritism from administrators and ill- informed reform plans. Teachers see the flaws in unions and the tenure system, but they believe both are needed to protect them from the risks they face. Click here for more information.

June 11, 2003. No.164.

Fundamental links between poverty and factors that hinder a child's chances for achievement and success. Obstacles facing low-income parents. Click here for more information.

Online Data Book comprises ten key measures that index child well-being. Rank of states and supplemental data on education, health, and economic conditions for each state. KIDS COUNT is a national and state- by-state effort to track the status of children in the U.S. This site focuses on an interactive presentation of data from the annual Data Book, the signature product of the KIDS COUNT initiative. Click here for more information.

June 13, 2003. No.165.

The National Head Start Association (NHSA) recently filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn a Bush Administration effort to chill the First Amendment free-speech rights of 51,681 Head Start teachers and more than 870,000 parent volunteers who have serious concerns about a controversial White House plan now pending before the U.S. House to dismantle the Head Start program serving one million at- risk children across America. The civil lawsuit asks the federal district court to enjoin any action related to a May 8, 2003 letter from a U.S.Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) official warning all local Head Start staff and parent/volunteers of possible civil and criminal penalties if they speak out against an extremely controversial Bush Administration proposal to gut the Head Start program. Commenting on the lawsuit, NHSA President Sarah Greene said:"What does this Administration have to fear from free and open public debate about its plan to destroy the Head Start program? Head Start has been around for nearly four decades. No previous Administration has seen fit to slap Head Start instructors and parent/volunteers in the mouth with the threat of possible criminal penalties if they use their free-speech rights to urge Congress to preserve the program that they love and know better than anyone else in America." Click here for more information.

June 18, 2003. No.166.

Ideas, thinkers and practices within informal education and lifelong learning. Includes Paulo Freire with his emphasis on dialogue and his concern for the oppressed. Click here for more information on Paulo Freire.

Eduard Lindeman,friend and colleague of John Dewey who shared with him a concern for social justice, a belief in the possibilities of education and human action, and a deep commitment to democracy. Click here for more information Eduard Lindeman.

Jane Addams who stated that intellectual life requires for its expansion and manifestation the influences and assimilation of the interests and affections of others. Click here for more information on Jane Addams.

For further articles and analyses, please click here for access to the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF INFORMAL EDUCATION.

June 20, 2003. No.167.

The Self-Sufficiency Standard calculates how much money working adults need to meet their basic needs without subsidies of any kind. Unlike the federal poverty standard, the Self-Sufficiency Standard accounts for the costs of living and working as they vary by family size and composition and by geographic location. The Standard provides important guidance for policymakers and program providers regarding how to target their education, job training, workforce development, and welfare-to-work resources. Click here for more information.

TOP 1% WILL AVG. $96, 634 IN TAX CUT
Citizens for Tax Justice has released a state-by-state analysis of the final version of the Bush tax cut plan, as signed May 28. The analysis was performed using the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy's Tax Model. Nationwide, the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans will receive, on average, a total of $96,634 in tax cuts over the next four years. In individual states, this figure ranges from a high of $213,514 in Connecticut to a low of $33,775 in West Virginia. Click here for more information.

Brookings study finds that, without the estate tax, charitable giving in 2001 would have been reduced by about $10 billion " an amount equivalent to the total grants currently made by the largest 110 foundations in the United States. The estate tax increases the amount of charitable contributions, particularly among the largest estates, because these donations are fully deductible and thus act to reduce estate taxes. Permanently eliminating the estate tax, as legislation that the House of Representatives is scheduled to consider this week would do, would remove a powerful incentive for charitable giving both at death and during life. Click here for more information.

July 2, 2003. No.168.

POVERTY in 2003: $18,400 for Family OF FOUR
The 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. Click here for more information.

Collaboration is a large and growing part of the landscape for community development work. Often it makes sense and leads to good results. Yet the timing is not always right, nor the ingredients in place for a successful collaborative effort. Although there™s no foolproof way to predict the outcome of any undertaking that involves people and organizations working together, a few basic checkpoints can be quite revealing. And if you™re already involved in a collaborative effort, these same checkpoints can help your group recognize strengths and work on weaknesses. "">Click here for more information.

The National Assembly of Health and Human Service Organizations is an association of national nonprofit health and human service organizations bound by a common concern for the effective delivery of health and human services to the American people, especially those in need. One of the primary goals of the National Assembly is to build the capacity of its member organizations by providing an opportunity for members to network with one another and exchange ideas and information about issues, trends and innovations relevant to managing and governing national health and human service organizations. Click here for more information.

July 14, 2003. No.169.

In the field of criminal justice policy, The Sentencing Project is widely known for its reports and analyses highlighting inequities in the criminal justice system.The Sentencing Project has provided technical assistance and helped establish alternative sentencing programs in more than 22 states and consulted on issues such as juvenile detention, racial disparity, and the trial of juveniles in adult court. Click here for more information.

Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), is the nation's largest community organization of low and moderate-income families, with over 150,000 member families organized into 700 neighborhood chapters in 51 cities across the country. ACORN 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. These 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.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan addressed business leaders June 18 at a conference on the role of industry in bridging the global digital divide: The Net World Order: Bridging the Global Digital Divide.He also spoke for involvement in the World Summit on the Information Society offers a unique opportunity to shape the future of the information society so that all people can enjoy these benefits. It will bring together political leaders and leaders from the private sector, civil society and media organizations. It can help us to better understand just how the information revolution is transforming our societies. Most of all, it provides a platform for developing a shared vision of ways to create a truly inclusive information society that serves and empowers all people. Click here for more information.

July 28, 2003. No.170.

Article topics include the need for more child care funding for low-income families, research on the effects of marriage on children's well-being, a snapshot of 2002 Head Start program data, and an analysis of the House welfare bill's participation requirements. Click here for more information.

The latest prisoner survey to be released by the Justice Department on July 27, 2003 shows that after two years of slowing prison growth, the nation's incarcerated population rose at 3 times the rate of the previous year--an ominous message that even during budget strained times, policymakers are choosing to fund continued prison expansion. The 2002 increase was equal to an additional 700 prisoners being added every week during the year.According to a report released July 23, 2003 by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the country's continued prison expansion comes at a time when it can least afford it: NCSL reports that 31 states are cutting spending due to state budget shortfalls. General fund spending for higher education is budgeted to decline by 2.3% from 2003, while corrections spending is expected to grow 1.1 percent. Click here for more information on the Justice Policy. Click here for the news article.

The 1996 welfare law transformed a safety net for all eligible families into a block grant for states. Now, the Bush Administration wants to apply this model to other major anti- poverty programs. While the plan takes the form of individual legislative pieces, together they have major implications for the federal role in addressing the needs of low-income Americans. The speakers at this forum discussed what this shift in social policy could mean for states and localities and ultimately for low-income families. Click here for more information.

August 4, 2003. No.171.

Instead of a single legislative or regulatory proposal that would limit nonprofit speech, the Bush administration and conservative allies have proposed or begun implementing a number of proposals that are akin to a "death by a thousand cuts." These "cuts," which have suddenly accelerated in the last year, come in three areas: 1) Attacks on nonprofit advocacy, particularly when there are disagreements with Bush administration policies; 2) Limits imposed by government on nonprofit speech, particularly targeted to those working on issues -- such as reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS, and international development -- where there may be ideological differences with the administration; and 3) Changes made by nonprofits resulting from fear of how laws such as the USA Patriot Act are being implemented. Click here for the full report.

August 7, 2003. No.172.

The vast majority of America's farm laborers are immigrants, many of them undocumented. Farm work is notoriously dangerous, arduous and toxic; the average U.S. farmworker has a life expectancy of just 49 years. Farm laborers are generally paid piecework rates. Their average earnings are $7,500 a year, or $150 a week, by far the lowest wage of any occupation. Most farm laborers are denied overtime pay, medical insurance, sick leave or the right to organize. In many states they're excluded from workers' compensation and unemployment benefits. Of the more than 1 million farmworkers in this country, only about 27,000 are unionized. Click here for more information.

PPS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and sustaining public places that build communities. We provide technical assistance, education, and research through programs in parks, plazas and central squares; buildings and civic architecture; transportation; and public markets. Since our founding in 1975, we have worked in over 1,000 communities in the United States and around the world, helping people to grow their public spaces into vital community places. Click here for more information.

The Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies was created to improve the clarity, accuracy and sophistication of discourse about the nation's artistic and cultural life. Its programs and activities are designed to create an infrastructure of well-trained scholars who have access to regularly collected information about cultural organizations, activities and providers and who produce timely research and analysis on key topics in arts and cultural policy. Click here for more information.

August 20, 2003. No.173.

The purpose of Focus is to provide coverage of poverty- related research, events, and issues, and to acquaint a large audience with the work of the Institute for Research on Poverty by means of short essays on selected pieces of research. Click here for more information.

As we move toward the 2004 elections, federal, state, and local policy-makers have an opportunity to identify and address issues of importance to Latinos. In that context, NCLR offers this briefing book “ the framework of NCLR's policy agenda for the period spanning the 108th Congress “ as a roadmap for legislators and other policy-makers to facilitate knowledge of and communication with Latino voters and constituents. The briefing book offers guidance to Congress, the Administration, and state legislatures about which issues resonate with the nation's largest ethnic group. Click here for more information.

The Rural Assistance Center (RAC) is a new national resource on rural health and human services information. Our information specialists are available to provide customized assistance, such as web and database searches on rural topics and funding resources, linking users to organizations, and furnishing relevant publications from the RAC resource library. Click here for more information.

August 29, 2003. No.174.

" Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." --Eugene V. Debs. Click here for more information.

On Labor Day this year, let us rededicate ourselves to America's workers. Let us protect America's jobs and create more jobs. Let us increase the strength of our unions. Let us fight for the rights of workers as we did over 100 years when we set aside the first Monday in September to celebrate the workers of America who have built this great country. ” AFSCME Pres. Gerald W. McEntee,Labor Day 2003. Click here for more information.

Central Valley farm workers will join United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez and Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante on Saturday, Aug. 30, where Cesar Chavez's union was founded in Delano to announce the UFW's opposition to the recall of Gov. Gray Davis and its endorsement of Bustamante on the Oct. 7 ballot. Farm workers will assemble in Delano where Sen. Robert F. Kennedy helped Chavez end his 25-day fast for nonviolence on March 10, 1968. Kennedy became the first nationally prominent political figure to unequivocally side with Cesar Chavez and the farm workers against the corporate agricultural lobby. Yet Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger describes unions like the UFW as special interests while insisting corporate supporters”including Schwarzenegger advisor David Murdock, chairman and CEO of Dole Food Co.”won't adversely influence him." Click here for more information.

Labor Notes is a non-profit organization that has been the voice of union activists who want to "put the movement back in the labor movement" since 1979. For years, the labor movement has been reeling from an employers' offensive. We now have real lower wages, less job security, and smaller, weaker unions than the previous generation. Employers are turning what used to be good, steady jobs into poorly-paid drudgery, often dangerous and stressful. Click here for more information.

With a union, working people win basic rights, like a say in their jobs, safety and security. Unions help remedy discrimination because union contracts ensure that all workers are treated fairly and equally. When there™s a problem on the job, workers and management can work together as equals to solve it. Click here for more information.

Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. The Brotherhood's records (41,000 items) span the years 1939-68, with most material dating after 1950. The largest part of the records consists of files on agreements with major railroads, conventions, relations between the headquarters and local branches, and the Brotherhood's relationship with other rail unions and with the AFL. The records also include several short series consisting of the personal papers of Benjamin F. McLaurin, Ashley L. Totten, and A. Philip Randolph. Randolph's series contains files on his interest in organizing farm workers. Click here for more information.

September 15, 2003. No.175

" Crossroads: Critical Issues in Community-Based Research Partnerships" will critically analyze the factors that contribute to effective and ineffective research partnerships; the balance between research rigor and community action; the challenges and difficulties of ensuring effective dissemination, translation and use of research results; and ethical issues related to conducting community based research in partnership. Click here for more information.

Immigrant workers, living and paying taxes in the United States, deserve the rights to legalize their status, to have a clear road to citizenship, to reunify their families, to have a voice on the job without regard to legal status, and to enjoy full protection of their civil rights and civil liberties... rights denied by their undocumented status and outdated laws. Immigrant workers and their allies will set out from nine major U.S. cities and cross the country in buses in late September 2003. They will converge on Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress and then travel to Liberty State Park in New Jersey October 3, and then Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, New York for a mass rally on October 4, 2003. Click here for more information.

" The New Neighbors: A User's Guide to Data on Immigrants in U.S. Communities," by Randolph Capps, Jeffrey Passel, Dan Perez-Lopez, and Michael Fix.This new resource prepared by the Urban Institute can help local policymakers, program administrators, and advocates use U.S. Census and other data to identify the characteristics,contributions, and needs of immigrants in their communities. Click here for more information.

September 17, 2003. No.176.

Despite the emphasis on homeownership and the marginalization of renters, renter households still make up fully one-third of the households in the United States – nearly 36 million households. Out of Reach is a side-by-side comparison of wages and rents in every county, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), combined nonmetropolitan area and state in the United States. Click here for more information.

Greatest employment contraction since the Great Depression. Since the recession began 29 months ago in March 2001, 3.3 million private sector jobs have disappeared, a 2.9% contraction. This is the largest sustained loss of jobs since the Great Depression. Since the official end of the recession in November 2001, there has been a 1.3 million loss in private sector jobs, a 1.1% contraction. Unemployment has risen to over 8.9 million people, as the unemployment rate increased from 4.0% in 2000 to 6.1% in August 2003. Click here for more information.

Nearly two-thirds of a broad cross-section of U.S. nonprofit organizations are feeling financial stress from recent government funding cuts, according to a survey by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies. These budget strains come on top of pressures resulting from the national economic downturn, which has constrained private charitable giving. 63 percent of respondents currently rate local, state or federal government budget cuts as a "very significant challenge." Among agencies serving families and children, the elderly and disadvantaged communities, more than 70 percent reported significant budget strain. Click here for more information.

September 30, 2003. No.176.

The number in poverty in 2002 – 34.6 million people – was 1.7 million more than in 2001. In 2002, 7.2 million families (9.6 percent) were in poverty, up from 6.8 million (9.2 percent) in 2001.The number of people in severe poverty increased from 13.4 million in 2001 to 14.1 million in 2002. Click here for more information on income statistics. Click here for more information on poverty statistics.

Critics questioned welfare reform during the prosperous '90s, but the real crisis is emerging now. Click here for more information.

Immigrant workers work hard, pay taxes, and sacrifice for their families. They work as construction workers, doctors, nurses, janitors, meat packers, chefs, busboys, engineers, farm workers, and soldiers. They care for our children, tend to our elderly, pick and serve our food, build and clean our houses, and want what we all want: a fair shot at the American Dream. Click here for more information.

The Commission on Children at Risk is calling upon all U.S. citizens to help strengthen what it calls ``authoritative communities" as likely to be the best strategy for improving children's lives, in its report, Hardwired to Connect: The Case for Authoritative Communities. Authoritative communities are groups of people who are committed to one another over time and who exhibit and are able to pass on what it means to be a good person. These groups provide the types of connectedness our children increasingly lack. [Thanks CB] Click here for more information.

Healthy Families America is a national program model designed to help expectant and new parents get their children off to a healthy start. Families participate voluntarily in the program and receive home visiting and referrals from trained staff. By providing services to overburdened families, Healthy Families America fits into the continuum of services provided to families in many communities. Click here for more information.

October 13, 2003. No.177.

The Center for Study of Working Class Life is dedicated to exploring the meaning of class in today's world. Looking at society through the lens of class clarifies many important social questions in new ways – why the rich get richer while the poor get poorer, what attacks on government programs through privatization mean, why the suburbs aren't really a middle class haven, how the "family values" debate impacts our lives, and much more. Click here for more information.

The National LINCS team at the National Institute for Literacy has a HOT Sites award program to highlight and promote the "best" Web-based resources in and for the adult basic education and literacy community. Latest include topics of importance for learners of English as a second language; health related activities for beginner and low-literacy ESL students;online reading and writing curriculum specifically for Family Child Care Providers, Children and Families; and the Virginia Adult Education Health Literacy Toolkit. Click here for more information.

The Institute of Urban and Regional Development (IURD) serves faculty and students of the University of California, Berkeley, conducting research into processes of urban and regional growth and decline, and effects of governing policies on the patterns and processes of development. Focus includes sustainable development, inner city inequality, evolving patterns of suburbanization and transportation alternatives. Click here for more information.

October 21, 2003. No.178.

The Social Investment Initiative "Face on the Numbers" project is a way to bring together living examples of how government resources and services can make a positive difference in people's lives, and examples of where government fails to provide adequate resources to address inequities and injustices, provide a strong safety net for those who need it, and insure a good quality of life for all its citizens. Numbers alone often have a limited power to convince. Click here for more information.

We believe that the federal government is ultimately responsible for assuring that the basic human needs of all residents of the United States are met. These needs include adequate food, shelter, as well as the supports required to move up and out of poverty. The Coalition on Human Needs is dedicated to steadily improving and adapting the response of the federal government in meeting the needs of our nation’s most vulnerable populations, including women and children, the elderly, minorities, people with disabilities, the poor, and the working poor. Click here for more information.

As the impact of the "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) legislation continues to unfold across the country, educators and child advocates face the difficult task of explaining how NCLB hurts schools instead of helps them. NCLB is the current version of the longstanding federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), first implemented in the 1960s. Click here for more information.

October 30, 2003. No.179.

The goal of the Soros foundations network throughout the world is to transform closed societies into open ones and to protect and expand the values of existing open societies. The concept of open society is, at its most fundamental level, based on the recognition that people act on imperfect knowledge and that no one is in possession of the ultimate truth. In practice, an open society is characterized by the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and minority opinions; democratically elected governments; a market economy in which business and government are separate; and a thriving civil society. Click here for more information.

The State of the Commons: A Report to America's Stakeholders on their Commonly Held, Government Managed Assets. Report of the ‘audit committee’ that assessed the management of these common assets. The report calls attention to often unrecognized public assets, including: the sky - the airwaves - water - culture - science - and even "the quiet."On the one hand, the committee found that our common assets are being grossly mismanaged. On the other hand, the committee showed how these assets can, if properly managed, build wealth for citizen-owners. All Americans are joint owners of a trove of hidden assets. These assets - natural gifts like air and water, and social creations like culture and the Internet - constitute our shared inheritance. Click here for more information.

New study documents the value of after-school programs on student's in-school performance. This analysis is intended to serve as a resource to anyone interested in knowing why and how afterschool programs work, stimulate dialogue among parents, educators, policymakers, and public officials and help providers think about ways to improve their program models.(Boston).

November 10, 2003. No.180.

WHY LIBRARIES NEED TO HELP JOB-SEEKERS The depth and duration of the job decline since the start of the recession, along with the growth in the working age population, the fact that many people who have moved to the sidelines of the labor market are not included in unemployment measures, and the loss of wage and salary income, all indicate that the current labor market remains in severe and record-setting distress. Click here for more information.

Societies measure what they care about. Measurement helps decision- makers and the public define social goals, link them to clear objectives and targets, and assess progress toward meeting those targets. It provides an empirical and numerical basis for evaluating performance, for calculating the impact of our activities on the environment and society, and for connecting past and present activities to attain future goals. Measuring sustainable development—just as we currently measure economic production—makes it possible for social and environmental goals to become part of mainstream political and economic discourse. Click here for more information.

Room here for ideas--
Somewhere between two and three hundred thousand men and women in U.S. prisons suffer from mental disorders, including such serious illnesses as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression. An estimated seventy thousand are psychotic on any given day. Yet across the nation, many prison mental health services are woefully deficient, crippled by understaffing, insufficient facilities, and limited programs. All too often seriously ill prisoners receive little or no meaningful treatment. They are neglected, accused of malingering, treated as disciplinary problems. Click here for more information.

November 17, 2003. No.181.

At the 32 nd meeting of the Unesco General Conference (29 September-17 October) the member states adopted the Intangible Cultural Heritage Treaty. In this context intangible legacy means oral traditions including the language, as employed in arts such as (music) theatre, rituals, celebrations and traditional craftmanship. Click here for more information.

Two years after the end of the recession, millions of unemployed U.S. workers still cannot find jobs. Corporations are moving millions of high-quality manufacturing and, increasingly, information sector jobs out of the country, while states face the worst budget crises in 60 years. These first-ever Economic Richter Scale reports measure the magnitude of the economic problems facing each state and all of America.(click on 'state economic snapshots). Click here for more information.

The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) is an international, interdisciplinary membership organization. Members include scholars and nonprofit leaders fostering through research the creation, application and dissemination of knowledge on voluntary action, nonprofit organizations and philanthropy. Click here for more information.

Robert Wedgeworth, President of Proliteracy Worldwide, advocates for adult literacy education. The Number of Functionally Illiterate Adults in U.S. Is Growing. 2003 National Literacy Survey Likely to Show More Adults Lacking Basic Reading and Writing Skills.We are now on the eve of a new National Assessment of Adult Literacy report, scheduled for release in 2004. download "State of Literacy." Click here for more information.

November 24, 2003. No.182.

The Citistates Group is a network of journalists, speakers and civic leaders focused on building competitive, equitable and sustainable 21st century metropolitan regions. The Group's forte is communications -- using its journalistic, speaking and facilitation skills to stimulate active debate on the real-world choices facing 21st century American regions. Click here for more information.

Through the Community Informatics Resource Center (CIRC), the “place- based” implications of issues impacting rural America can be more effectively visualized, analyzed, queried and mapped. While serving as a Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) core resource for panels and stakeholders, CIRC also coordinates with other national “place- based” initiatives to help bring focus upon rural issues within those initiatives. In addition to internet mapping, CIRC provides other data management and application development services. Click here for more information.

The NNC serves as a crucial link to Washington for neighborhood and community-based organizations and an important networking resource for representatives of regional and national organizations involved in community development, housing and a wide range of other neighborhood issues. Click here for more information.

December 8, 2003. No.183.

The mission is to develop and promote tools and infrastructure that facilitate the growth and vitality of organizations and networks who share ecological and social justice values by enhancing their ability to reach and facilitate individual participation in the democratic process. Click here for more information.

ACORN is the nation's largest community organization of low and moderate-income families, with over 150,000 member families organized into 700 neighborhood chapters in 51 cities across the country. Since 1970 ACORN has taken action and won victories on issues of concern to our members. Our priorities include: better housing for first time homebuyers and tenants, living wages for low-wage workers, more investment in our communities from banks and governments, and better public schools. We achieve these goals by building community organizations that have the power to win changes -- through direct action, negotiation, legislation, and voter participation. Click here for more information.

The key to sustaining equity is building strong, organized communities. PolicyLink is bringing together resources, partners, and information to craft policies and strategies that build the public will for change. Using new tools and mechanisms, PolicyLink is bridging the traditional divide between communities and the world of policymakers at the local, state and national levels. By analyzing and lifting up best practices and lessons learned, PolicyLink promotes local successes and local leaders as catalysts for a national agenda for change. Click here for more information.

December 15, 2003. No.184.

Earned Income Tax Credits provide tax reductions and wage supplements for low-and moderate-income working families.Organizations may order a free copy of the EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT KIT at Additional kits and color posters can be ordered for a minimal charge at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities at or 202-408-1080. Look here to view flyers in a variety of languages, including Amharic/Ethiopian, Arabic, Bosnian, Cambodian, Chinese, French, Haitian-Creole, Hmong, Italian, Korean, Laotian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Tagalog, Ukranian, and Vietnamese. Click here for more information.

The Brennan Center's Economic Justice Project starts with the premise that quality jobs are essential to the long-term viability of our communities and our economy. But the past three decades have taken our nation in precisely the opposite direction, with growing numbers of working Americans spending their careers cycling through badly paid, dead-end jobs. In an era of devolution, we focus in particular on the state and local level, supporting coalitions of community organizations, progressive unions, and legislative leaders trying to address the problem of growing inequality. Click here for more information.

The Council for Responsible Genetics fosters public debate about the social, ethical and environmental implications of genetic technologies.CRG works through the media and concerned citizens to distribute accurate information and represent the public interest on emerging issues in biotechnology. GENEWATCH msg. includes archive. Click here for more information.

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