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Endangering Families, Stop Assisted Suicide, Educating Homeless Children

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March 20, 2015

Maximum Family Grant Placing Subtle Pressure on Poor Women

Masked in political rhetoric, the image of the “welfare mom” pulses with stereotype.  These stereotypes persisted even after the start of federal caps for assistance that were written into law when “welfare as we know it” was reformed in the 1990’s.

There are currently 15 states in the U.S. including California, that have maintained “family caps” - denying additional benefits to families who have more children and who have received aid in the previous 10 months prior to the child’s birth. 

The legislative history of the Maximum Family Grant (MFG) policy shows it was aimed to discourage “welfare queens” from “gaming” the system and having additional children to receive more benefit dollars.  Such policies ultimately punish the child being born.  To insinuate that a woman would have a baby for an additional $40 - $50 dollars per month strains common sense and borders on the absurd while endangering the life of both the impoverished mother and the baby in the womb.

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Still Time to Tell Key Senators to Vote NO on Assisted Suicide

The first hearing on the proposal to legalized physician-prescribed suicide in California is on Wednesday, March 25, in the Senate Health Committee.  If you received an Action Alert last week or if your State Senators sits on one of these committees, it’s a good time to let him or her know of your opposition to assisted suicide (SB 128) by Taking Action now.

Senate Health - Ed Hernandez, Janet Nguyen , Isadore Hall, Holly Mitchell, Bill Monning, Jim Nielsen, Richard Pan, Richard D. Roth, Lois Wolk

Senate Judiciary - Hannah-Beth Jackson (Chair), Andy Vidak (Vice Chair), Joel Anderson, Robert Hertzberg, Mark Leno, Bill Monning, Bob Wieckowski

You can read more about the dangers of a policy to allow physician-prescribed suicide here and educate yourself on the Catholic teaching for end of life here. Please Take Action Now.

Educating California’s Disadvantaged Children

In 1992, the community of South Central Los Angeles was the center of riots and civil unrest. Amid the uncertainty and chaos emerged a program to help educate both parents and children alike—South Central Los Angeles Ministry Project (LAMP). Started by eight congregations of Catholic sisters who wanted to make a positive impact on the low-income, primarily Latino community, South Central LAMP serves women and children who are often overlooked and underserved.

Offering educational opportunities through a family literacy program, early childhood education and prekindergarten, as well as a two-week summer enrichment program for children up to age twelve, South Central LAMP engages parents as partners in their child’s development.

“Our main goal is to let the parents know they are their child’s first teacher,” said South Central LAMP’s Executive Director Diana Pinto.

Educating one hundred children each weekday, South Central LAMP focuses on parent participation. Through Parent and Child Interactive Literacy Activities (PCILA), parents join their children in the classroom to work on literacy learning activities together. Daily attendance is taken and shared homework assignments are given.

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Catholic Youth to Apply Classroom Learning to Shaping Better Policy

Next week, Catholic high schools students will travel to Sacramento to put into practice some of the lessongs they have learned from classes on public policy advocacy.  The program, original part of the larger advocacy day sponsored by the California Catholic Conference, separated a few years ago to better address learning needs for the students.   Catholic Youth Advocacy Day grew from a class develop at one Diocese of San Jose high school:

“Welcome back everyone!  We are starting the Spring Semester with a service challenge.  This isn’t for the squeamish… you may have to lift heavy things, travel far distances, and your True Religion jeans might get dirty.”

And so opens the website for The Mitty Advocacy Project, a “student run legislative leadership team that works to research, advocate and spread awareness about social justice issues to improve the quality of life for the less fortunate.” 

On Tuesday, March 24, more than 100 students from high schools around the state will be engaging in “Youth Advocacy Day” in Sacramento where they will advocate on behalf of some of the most underserved populations of the State of California and the Nation.

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March 20, 2015, Vol. 8, No. 12, En Español