Congress Closed Its Doors on the American People Long Before the Government Shut Down

STOCK PHOTO capitol building

Some call them the next iteration of the Do-Nothing Congress, but a better moniker for our legislators may actually be the Do-Harm Congress.  This week, a small and stubborn group of House members steered the nation into a government shutdown in what is essentially a giant tantrum over the Affordable Care Act—a law that was passed by Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court, and that will be implemented regardless of whether the government is shut down.

By allowing the government to shut down instead of governing responsibly, Congress could cost our economy up to $2 billion and an untold number of precious jobs.  Unsurprisingly, it’s the most vulnerable who will be hurt first and worst:  more than eight million pregnant women, young mothers, and infants could be cut off from nutrition assistance, Head Start programs across the country will begin closing their doors today, and almost six million small businesses will lose financial support.  All this comes from a desperate and pointless attempt to prevent more than 30 million Americans from getting health care.

It’s no wonder that 80% of Americans are against a government shutdown.  Continue reading

Leveraging Funding Can Mean More than Money

By Concha Cordova, Associate Director, Youth Development, Inc.

Congreso Earn Center - May 15,2008As the economy has changed, so too have the needs of participants in workforce development programs. Gone are the days when program participants came to organizations solely for job assistance; these days, most individuals are in need of a job in addition to other services to remove barriers to employment, such as a past criminal record, bankruptcy, undocumented status, health issues, lack of housing, substance problems or mental health challenges, and low educational skills. To be able to provide these individuals with all the services they need, organizations like Youth Development Inc. (YDI), now find themselves engaging more in fundraising and partnership building, beyond simply hiring a job developer. Participants need to be provided with a holistic approach to serve all their needs and this requires more resources, which means more fundraising and better sustainability planning for the organization.  Continue reading