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February-2015 Newsletter – Arizona Community Action Association

Arizona Community Action Association

ACAA Newsletter - February 2015

See newsletter for the full article on each of these stories

Letter from the Director – On my Mind this Month
I have a lot on my mind this month, a month that has been busy with legislative activity that is not helpful to our community and harmful to families struggling to make ends meet.  I want to make you aware of two bills that are working their way through the legislature:
  • The first is HB 2611, which will re-introduce payday lending to Arizona, under the guise of a new product called flex loans.  These products will create the same cycle of debt we saw with payday lending and the same triple-digit interest rates that 60% of voters in Arizona agreed were wrong and immoral…
  • The second bill is SB 1329, the food stamp bill, which, if enacted, would kick 50,000 or more Arizonans off SNAP here in Arizona

The good news for the month is that Linda Tirado, author of the book HAND TO MOUTH: LIVING IN BOOTSTRAP AMERICA, is coming to our Annual Conference May 7-8, and will be telling her story, which is a true success story…

Let Your Voice Be Heard
As someone with an interest in protecting vulnerable communities and working for an end to poverty,  I’m sure you would like to know how you can be more involved.  And you’re in luck!  We have an Action Alert email list that lets you take action on critical issues as they’re being decided…

When you reach out to representatives to take a stand for vulnerable community members, don’t forget to use social media.  A recent study by the Congressional Management Foundation found that it only takes a handful of social media posts to get a representative’s attention, with a third saying that 10 or fewer comments were enough to get their attention…

All in a Day's Work for ACAA's Susan Johnson
Susan’s is the first voice you are likely to hear when you call ACAA or the first face you are likely to see if you visit our office.  Phone calls are a significant part of our Office Manager's job.  80% of the people who call ACAA need help. Out of the 80%, 75% need help with utility bills, 20% are on the verge of eviction and need rent assistance, and 5% need other kinds of assistance, like emergency shelter.  People ask what ACAA offers.  Susan explains that we provide training and administer funds distributed to partners all over the state, so that those funds reach the people who need assistance…

SNAP . . . A New ACAA Face
Zachary Stringer has recently joined Arizona Community Action Association as our Community Outreach Coordinator for the SNAP Outreach program…

Why White Privilege?
ACAA is hosting three free workshops on Confronting White Privilege (March 5, 12, 18). These workshops are part of ACAA’s Poverty and Justice Project, a social movement initiative funded by the Marguerite Casey Foundation.  The Poverty and Justice Project seeks to engage and educate communities on the root causes of poverty and how we solve them.  As I host workshops across our state, the conversation often turns to racism.  Participants ask, “What do we do about racism?...

"Selma" - My Near-Private Showing
In a nearly empty theater I saw "Selma", a movie portraying the events leading up to the civil rights march led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from the town of Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.  While the historical accuracy of the movie may be called into question, the strength of the film lies in the potential to engage audiences in a greater conversation surrounding the current state of racial inequality…

Member Organization Spotlight: Helping Families in Need – Helping Families in Need’s (HFIN) mission is to make a lasting change in the lives of Arizona's children and their families by securing affordable health care and other benefits for those most in need.  This mission is keenly felt because it was crafted from the personal experiences of HFIN’s mother and daughter co-founders, Reyna and Edny Gonzalez...

In Other News
  • New in US: HandUp - Donate Directly To A Neighbor in Need
  • 2015 Greater Phoenix Career Expo
  • Poverty & Justice Book of the Month: Hand to Mouth - Living in Bootstrap America by Linda Tirado who will be a keynote speaker at the ACAA 2015 Annual Conference, May 7-8
  • Free Tax Prep Assistance
  • ACAA Media Watch: Selma (New Yorker Magazine movie review)
  • Arizona Coalition To End Homelessness - Training Opp
  • Energy Saving Tip - Be Ready for Summer Heat
  • ACAA Membership
  • ACAA - Your Financial Support: Arizona Gives Day (April 7)

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