Since I last wrote about the Voting Rights Amendment Act on this blog, the crucial bill has continued to make progress in Congress, as cosponsors of both parties continue to sign on in support of the bill. Advocates are hopeful that the bill’s provisions can be implemented before the midterm Congressional election in November of this year, a decisive deadline.
Last week, the USDA and First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative announced the expansion of the free school meals program to millions of children. The school lunch and breakfast programs are crucial anti-hunger programs and this announcement is an important step towards ending hunger for millions of children.
Many more students will be receiving free school lunches because of the nationwide roll out of community eligibility for school lunch and breakfast. This program allows a school with over 40% of students receiving free school meals to serve free meals to every student in the school. The program reduces paperwork for schools and families, and reduces the stigma around eating free school lunch and breakfast. While we do not know exactly how many new students will be receiving free meals, we do know that it will affect 22,000 schools that together feed over 9 million children.
This program is a positive step towards ending hunger in America, but vulnerable families are still going to see SNAP benefit cuts as part of the Farm Bill passed by Congress last month. Please call on your Member of Congress to increase federal anti-hunger benefits.
In response to several anti-Semitic incidents in Ukraine, the site of ongoing social upheaval, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement:
“The events in Ukraine are deeply concerning for all who value human rights. We pray that the unrest will be resolved in a peaceful and democratic manner and without further loss of life. At the same time, we are also greatly troubled by several recent incidents of anti-Semitism that have shaken the Ukrainian Jewish community. The vandalism including swastikas and graffiti reading ‘Death to the Jews’ on the synagogue in Simferopol in the Crimea region this past Friday is unacceptable and serves as a bitter reminder that anti-Semitism continues to plague too many Jewish communities. Read more…
By Jane Lauterback
Who are you?
Working parent? What does that really mean? Is it just for moms? What about dads? Other child caregivers who have multiple responsibilities such as grandmas and grandpas? Is it another label to attach to others we carry? Is it a state of being?
Interestingly, there’s no authoritative definition of a “working mom.” Farlex Dictionary, a financial-based resource, offers this: A woman who has a full-time job in addition to a family.
“The planet is warming at an alarming rate. There is no emergency room for sick planets. We have to engage in the preventative care that makes it possible to avoid the worst, most catastrophic effects of climate change.” – Senator Markey at the GLOBE Climate Legislation Summit
Last week public officials and leaders from over 50 countries came together in Washington, D.C. for the 2nd GLOBE Climate Legislation Summit hosted by longtime environmental advocate, Senator Ed Markey. The goal of the summit was to discuss how legislators can best develop, pass and implement national laws on climate change and forestry. Participating legislators also discussed the potential for international agreements in anticipation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations in Paris in 2015. Read more…
It’s March—which signals the home stretch of the open enrollment period that will end on March 31st. Since open enrollment began in October, over 4 million Americans have enrolled in a private health insurance plan through the federal and state-based Marketplaces. In addition, between October and January almost 9 million Americans were determined eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), largely due to significant expansions of those programs under the Affordable Care Act.
On Friday, the Center For American Progress hosted “Housing Finance Reform: What Does It Mean for Rental Housing?” with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan. The event touched on many topics, including the future of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the importance of rental housing and how the recession has changed the housing market. While it got a bit technical, one topic of discussion of deep value to the Reform Movement was the National Housing Trust Fund. Read more…
By Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi
It’s not easy to balance work and family obligations with three beautiful young children, especially because my wife and I don’t have extended family in the DC metro area. Fortunately, we are blessed to have wonderful neighbors and friends. Our three children are eight years old, three years old, and eighteen months-old. My wife decided to quit her job in order to stay home and care for them.
With my demanding job and travel schedule as the Director of Community Outreach & Interfaith Relations at the Islamic Society of North America’s Office for Interfaith & Community Alliances, I have little time to spend with my family. Just in the past three weeks, I went on work trips to Senegal, Kenya, Jordan and Finland. I usually leave to the airport when the kids are asleep and get back when they are in bed. Even when I am not traveling, I often miss having dinner with my little ones due to my busy work schedule. We all know that working in a non-profit, with little resources and not enough staff to fulfill the mission of the institution, is not easy.