A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action

July 2015 Newsletter – Arizona Community Action Association

Arizona Community Action Association

ACAA Newsletter - July 2015

ACAA Newsletter - July 2015

See newsletter for the full article on each of these stories

From the Director – On my Mind this Month

This month I want to express my gratitude to all of you engaged in the provision of direct services to individuals and families who are having a difficult time right now…In particular, I want to thank two people. Maritza Piedrasanta and Monica, who are connected through the Chandler Christian Community Center. Maritza is a case worker I had the pleasure of meeting last month when we were contacted by a TV reporter interested in doing a story about Raise Arizona (ACAA's new living wage initiative), but more importantly interested in telling the story of what it’s really like to live while earning minimum wage in a full time job. We reached out, and Maritza and Monica answered our call for assistance…

#ImagineaSolution: Coming to a Computer Screen Near You

How would you solve hunger in Arizona? – Hunger goes beyond numbers and statistics. It is a real-world experience that people across all spectrums and walks of life face on a daily basis…There are many ways to combat hunger and its effects. In partnership with the Association of Arizona Food Banks, ACAA will be launching the #ImagineaSolution campaign to increase awareness of hunger in Arizona and to imagine new and innovative ways to combat hunger…

Pre-Paid Electricity Accounts - Part 1

A number of utilities have rolled out programs for prepaid electricity. These programs operate by a customer paying into an account, using as much electricity as they are able to pay for, and automatically disconnecting if the balance reaches zero. This stands in contrast to traditional utility billing, where people use electricity throughout the month and pay for it at month’s end. The advantage of a prepay program is that a customer doesn’t have to pay a steep deposit before receiving assistance, with the downside being that a customer can be cut off as soon as their balance equals zero…The overall program saw 2/3 of its customers disconnect at least once, and 30% disconnected five or more time…


ACAA is the proud recipient of funding from the Marguerite Casey Foundation, allowing us to coordinate the Poverty and Justice Project with their support.

MCF is committed to growing a grassroots movement of communities affected by poverty and their allies and to that end has launched Equal Voice Action, a membership-driven movement. Equal Voice Action’s mission is to engage, connect and build power among poor and low-income families to influence policies that improve the economic and social well-being of all families. Education, immigration reform, employment and wages, food security, LGBTQ rights, and youth engagement are among Equal Voice Action's focus areas.

ACAA will be working in conjunction with Equal Voice Action to raise our collective and powerful voice. If you would like to learn more about Equal Voice Action or would like to join the movement, please visit www.equalvoiceaction.com.

Obama Looks To Raise Overtime Threshold for Salaried Employees

At the end of June, President Obama and the Labor Department announced plans to raise the threshold at which employers are required to pay salaried workers overtime. The current threshold, set in 1975, is $23,660 per year. Employers are not required to pay overtime to salaried workers who exceed this threshold. $50,440 is the new proposed threshold below which employers will be required to pay overtime for work over 40 hours per week…

ACAA Is Recruiting Board Members!

ACAA is looking to recruit interested community members who share our vision of ending poverty in Arizona. Serving on the ACAA Board is a unique opportunity to be involved in building a strong anti-poverty movement throughout Arizona…

Other Items

  • Another Tool to Empower Your Clients - Free July Staff Trainings – Voter registration can give individuals a greater sense of control in their lives. It may even improve health. With the right training, you can fit the process seamlessly into your existing programs – more info.
  • Equal Voice - America's Family Story – Each week Equal Voice News reports on stories rarely told from voices rarely heard – connect with Equal Voice News and/or subscribe.
  • Organizational Standards for Community Action Excellence – Training, July 28-29 in Phoenix.
  • Life on the Dole: Stories From Mothers – It was Linda Tirado's story shared on Gawker that led to her book, Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America.
  • July Energy Tip – Pick the Day You Pay Your Energy Bill
  • Membership Matters – Membership is strength. ACAA celebrates our renewing and new members for the 2015-16 year. . . . And there is always room for one more…
  • Poverty & Justice Book Recommendation – The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt – see NY Times book review.
  • ACAA Media Watch - July - How Does the Toxic Stress of Poverty Hurt the Developing Brain? – We know poverty has a multitude of consequences for those who struggle. And often those who do struggle are invisible as are ramifications for the families involved – view PBS News Hour video.

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