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February 13th Newsletter – MASSCAP

Massachusetts Association for Community Action

Road to Opportunity: Finding the Way Forward
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MASSCAP Newsletter – February 13, 2019
See newsletter for full story on each of these items

DID YOU KNOW: Public Programs Reduce Poverty

  • Public Programs cut poverty approximately in half in MA - keeping 920,000 (including +200,000 children) out of poverty.
  • Head Start served more than 15,000 children last year - which is only 29% of income eligible 3-5 year olds - not only providing a safe and stable learning environment but also access to other services critical to health and well-being of the whole family.
  • The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) have kept 150,000 people out of poverty in MA.
  • Heating Help Programs including Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP) and Energy Efficiency Programs helped 160,000 households in MA last year including 36% children and 45% elderly.

More information and access the data: Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity: Finding a Way Forward, May 2018

POLICY MATTERS: MA State Budget Critical

The state funding for policy and programs are crucial in finding the way forward – see newsletter for details on MASSCAP’s critical FY19 request as well as four FY20 priority areas:

  • URGENT FY19 Need for Fuel Assistance
  • Strengthen Critical Human Services Infrastructure (FY20)
  • Strengthen Families: Affordable, Accessible Early Education & Care (FY20)
  • Bridge the Wage Gap (FY20)
  • Create a Foundation for Economic Opportunity (FY20)

Learn more at masscap.org/policy-advocacy/priorities and read our Public Policy Priorities Fact Sheet and an article summarizing our recent briefing at the State House.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Collaboration Essential

If there is one thing we know and all agree on, the way forward is through collaboration.  Collaboration on all levels - in communities between organizations and residents, with local leaders, with state leaders and with federal leaders.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Statewide Kickoff on January 25, 2019 involved collaboration between MASSCAP, Montachusett Opportunity Council (MOC), Senator Dean Tran, Representative Natalie Higgins and  Representative Stephan Hay (all pictured on left), Senator Warren's State Outreach & Regional Director Everett Handford,  Fitchburg Mayor Dinatale, MA Department of Revenue Commissioner Christopher Harding and Office of the Treasurer and Receiver General's Keenan Grooms as well as allied organizations MassBudget and Children's Healthwatch.

VITA Sites not only provide free tax prep services by IRS certified volunteers and access to the EITC and other tax credits, but also link tax payers to other critical services.  For more information, visit masscap.org/freetaxprep.

CONTINUING THE CONVERSATION

We urge you to support our budget request for $30M in MA state FY19 supplemental budget for fuel assistance.   Visit heatinghelpma.org for more information about fuel assistance and the agency serving your area.

We urge you to support the FY20 priorities so that together we can move forward on the road to opportunity.

www.masscap.org

2017 MASSCAP Annual Report

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