In today’s rundown: Improved unemployment numbers could mask D.C.’s poverty problems. | Local pregnant teens could soon get more help completing their educations. | On Tuesday, we’ll see the first-ever national plan to end homelessness.
— Analysts say that when the District’s latest unemployment figures are released today, the numbers will likely show a city-wide improvement. But, they add, the improved jobless rate could mask D.C.’s poverty problems. Click here for details.
— A proposal to help pregnant and parenting teens graduate from school could help D.C. and other states. The legislation, which would provide grants to help teen parents continue their education, is set to be introduced next month. Click here for more.
— After a newly-released government report showed that 170,000 families visited homeless shelters last year, the Obama administration is planning to unveil a first-ever national plan to end homelessness. Details will be made public next week. Click here for a preview.
In today’s rundown: The basic costs of raising a child. | More students are saving money by beginning their college careers in community colleges before transferring to public universities.
— Raising a child is 22 percent more costly today than it was in 1960, according to a USDA study which found that a two-parent, middle-income household will spend $222,360 on raising one child through the age of 17. The study also found that, on average, low-income households spend more than twice as much of their before-tax income than high-income households do. Click here for a slide show breaking down the costs of child-rearing.
— A record number of students are using community colleges as a transfer pipeline to public universities in Virginia and Maryland, according to this article in the Washington Post. A shift in admissions standards guaranteeing acceptance for community college students with good grades is helping families save money and bringing diversity to four-year schools.
In today’s rundown: Warren Buffett’s philanthropic pledge is to give away 99% of his wealth. What’s yours? | More Americans are giving another precious asset — their time. | The number of homeless families with children is on the rise. | And a new way to track federal grants and contracts with nonprofits.
— In this commentary, philanthropist Warren Buffett writes about why he’s pledged to give 99 percent of his wealth to charities. And why giving of one’s time can be just as precious of an asset. Do you have a philanthropic pledge? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
— More Americans are giving their time by doing volunteer work. In this video, Patrick Corvington, head of the Corporation for National and Community Service, discusses the biggest spike in volunteerism in the U.S. in seven years.
— Even as the number of homeless people in shelters fell last year, the number of homeless families with children increased, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 2009, the number of families in homeless shelters rose seven percent to 170,129. Click here for more.
— Subsidyscope.com, a website devoted to tracking government subsidies, has a new feature that allows the public to search a database for information about federal grants and contracts with nonprofits. The site says it’s making government subsidies more transparent to the public.
In today’s rundown: A Women’s Foundation Grantee Partner helps oil spill victims. | PG County accounts for nearly 30% of Maryland’s foreclosure rate. | And even though the recession dragged on last year, more Americans volunteered, giving $169 billion worth of their time.
— Boat People S.O.S., Inc. (BPSOS), a Women’s Foundation Grantee Partner, is providing new services to help Gulf Coast residents affected by the oil spill. With the oil spill crippling seafood industries — a major source of employment in the area — BPSOS is offering services ranging from help with food stamp benefits to advocacy and legal services. Click here to find out what they’re doing.
— Despite the recession, last year’s volunteer rate increased in the biggest one-year jump since 2003, according to a new study. 27 percent of all Americans — that’s 63 million people — donated more than 8 billion hours of service, worth an estimated $169 billion, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. Click here for more.
— The Maryland home foreclosure rate rose again last month with Prince George’s County accounting for nearly 30 percent of all foreclosures in the state. The Prince George’s rate was one filing per 138 households — almost triple the state rate. Nationwide, the foreclosure rate went down in May. Click here for details.
Photo credit: U. S. Coast Guard photo by Ensign Jason Radcliffe
In today’s rundown: The first lady addresses Anacostia Senior High School graduates after their school sees dramatic improvement. | Questions for local politicians on how they’ll defeat poverty. | And why health care reform needs to provide women with more than health insurance.
— First lady Michelle Obama addressed graduating seniors from Anacostia Senior High School this weekend, telling them to work hard and dream big. The first lady also became emotional while thanking family members for supporting the graduates. Anacostia has seen a dramatic improvement in its graduation rate. Last year, about half of the students graduated. Since a charter school group began managing the school, the graduation rate has risen to 80 percent. Click here to listen to part of the first lady’s speech.
— In this letter to the editor in the Washington Post, D.C. Appleseed — one of The Women’s Foundation’s Grantee Partners — asks what political candidates plan to do about the unacceptably high rate of poverty in The District. The piece also mentions Defeat Poverty DC, a coalition of residents and advocacy groups that are fighting to put a spotlight on poverty during the 2010 elections and beyond.
— Will the new federal health care law defend against the impoverishing effects of medical debt? With women more likely to be sent into poverty by medical bills than men, some experts say the law needs to provide women with comprehensive coverage as well as more insurance. Click here for details.
Photo credit: Official White House photo by Samantha Appleton
The latest news, analysis and opinion on the state of low-income women and their families from Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity. This week: Why the governor of one state vetoed a health insurance program for low-income families. And how losing a job sent one middle class mother and her children into poverty.
Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity, a national foundation-led initiative, is excited to collaborate with the Women’s Foundation to bring you the latest news and analysis on women and poverty.
Spotlight is the go-to site for news and ideas about fighting poverty.
Here’s this week’s news:
· The Associated Press reports that Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell will veto expansion of a health insurance program for low-income families because the program pays for abortions.
· The Washington Post profiles Jackelyne Aguilera, one of a half-dozen low-income women, who formerly worked as a domestic servant and is now learning carpentry skills in order to launch a new career.
·Eladia Fonseca proudly flaunts her newly renovated home to the Philadelphia Daily News, telling the paper that the low-income housing complex is no longer a haven for drug and gang activity.
·Newsday interviews Rachel Perales about how she and her four children descended from the middle class into poverty after she was laid off in December 2008.
To learn more about Spotlight visit www.spotlightonpoverty.org
To sign up for our weekly updates with the latest news, opinion and research from around the country, click here.
The Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity team
In today’s rundown: A new look at hunger in the D.C. area. | Why this is a bad time for the head of the HIV/AIDS Administration to leave. | A contentious mayoral forum in Northwest D.C.
— A new study out today pinpoints where hunger in the D.C. area is high and access to affordable food is low. The study was conducted by Deloitte LLP for the Capital Area Food Bank. The food bank wants to increase the amount of food it distributes and is taking a look at where the need and distributors are. Click here for more.
— The Washington Post takes a look at why now is a particularly bad time for the resignation of the head of D.C.’s HIV/AIDS Administration. Click here for the details.
— Booing, finger-wagging and criticisms — the drama was high at last night’s mayoral forum in Upper Northwest. Adrian Fenty and Vincent Gray debated taxes and spending, the juvenile justice system and open government. Click here for the Washington Post‘s recap.
In today’s rundown: A message from the new president of The Women’s Foundation. | Maryland is in the top 10 worst states for foreclosures. | Is this the “year of the woman” in politics?
— Nicky Goren, the new president of The Women’s Foundation, was featured in a commentary on WAMU this morning. Click here to listen to what she has to say about the future of Washington Area Women’s Foundation.
— Foreclosure filings in Maryland have jumped 65 percent since May of last year, making the state the 10th-worst in the country for foreclosures. Virginia was ranked 17th worst. Click here for details.
— After a number of prominent women politicians won in this week’s primary elections, some began calling this the “year of the woman.” But as Anne E. Kornblut writes in the Washington Post today, “something even more remarkable occurred: The candidates’ gender never became much of an issue.” Click here to read more. And click here to read a blog post on the primaries from Gwen Rubinstein, The Women’s Foundation’s program officer.
Do you have an opinion on the primaries or any other topic? We accept guest blog posts! If you’re interested in sharing your thoughts, please email email@example.com.
Women won several high-profile races on Tuesday at both the state and national levels. I am celebrating these victories, even for women whose politics and positions I don’t share.
When was the last political “year of the woman”? 1992. We are past overdue.
Women continue to be significantly underrepresented in elected positions at all levels of government. According to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers, women hold 16.8 percent of all seats in the current Congress (both the House and the Senate), and the percent of women holding statewide elective office actually decreased to 22.9 percent in 2010 from a high of 27.6 percent in 1999.
Compare both of these to the percent of American adults who are women: 51.3 percent, as of July 1, 2008, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.
These numbers have to change.
Increasing the number of women officeholders could and should have many benefits, among them higher priority placed on women’s right, health care and children and families, according to research, again, by the Center for American Women and Politics .
Thinking about this also reminded me of a profile I am reading of Esther Duflo in the May 17th issue of The New Yorker. Duflo, a rising star professor of development economics at MIT, created an innovative approach to randomized studies of social and public health policy strategies. After studying quotas for women village leaders in India, she concluded: Any community that starts considering women candidates for the first time doubles the size of its leadership pool and should expect policy benefits and economic gains.
Here’s wishing it happens here!
In today’s rundown: The head of D.C.’s HIV/AIDS administration abruptly resigns. | D.C.’s emergency family shelter is at full capacity. | A strong showing for women politicians in yesterday’s primaries.
— The director of D.C.’s HIV/AIDS administration has abruptly resigned. Shannon Hader headed the HIV/AIDS administration for three years, becoming the longest-serving director in almost a decade. She’s credited with turning around an agency that was once called “dysfunctional bordering on comical” by one city official. According to this article in the Washington Post, “Hader’s resignation is effective July 15, days after she is schedule to return from personal leave to undergo unspecified surgery.
— The emergency family shelter at D.C. General is at full capacity, reports Washington City Paper. By the end of last month, the shelter was housing 134 families and 246 children. The capacity has been set at 135 families. One man who has been living there for months with his family tells the paper that the air conditioning system doesn’t work, trash is piling up and there’s a flea infestation. Click her for more, including how the city handled the situation when the shelter became overcrowded in March.
— Women politicians had a strong showing in primaries held in a dozen states yesterday. California Republicans put two women at the top of the GOP ticket for the first time, nominating Carly Fiorina for Senate and Meg Whitman for governor. State Rep. Nikki Haley moved closer to her goal of becoming South Carolina’s first woman governor. In Arkansas, Sen. Blanche Lincoln beat her Democratic primary challenger in a runoff. In Nevada, the Tea Party-backed candidate Sharron Angle moved into position to face Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the fall. Currently, Congress is 14 percent female and there are six women governors.
Photo Credit: FightHIVinDC via Creative Commons