The Rural Patriot

November 19, 2006

Another Reason for Health Care Insurance Reform

Filed under: Federal Government,Health Insurance,New York State,Poverty — theruralpatriot @ 12:21 pm

From the Buffalo News:

Number of uninsured children in state up 17%

ALBANY – The number of children in New York State without health insurance grew by 17 percent last year, marking the first time that it has gone up in nearly a decade, according to a report released Tuesday.

The spike marks a turnaround after years of steady progress in reducing the ranks of uninsured children in the state. Between 1998 and 2004, the number of uninsured children in New York was cut nearly in half, according to the Children’s Defense Fund of New York, which produced the report.

(more…)

Advertisements

November 17, 2006

Hungry? No, You are Just Experiencing “Low Food Security”

Filed under: Bush Administration,Federal Government,New York State,Poverty — theruralpatriot @ 7:31 pm

Only in America – where we switch words so that things don’t seem to be as bad as they really are.

The U.S. government has vowed that Americans will never be hungry again. But they may experience “very low food security.”
(snip)
Mark Nord, the lead author of the report, said “hungry” is “not a scientifically accurate term for the specific phenomenon being measured in the food security survey.” Nord, a USDA sociologist, said, “We don’t have a measure of that condition.”

(more…)

November 3, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage; Wrap-up

Filed under: Federal Government,Minimum Wage,Poverty,Wages,working families — theruralpatriot @ 8:22 am

[NOTE: The following post is a comment posted in my last post from the series It is from Mr. Mike Doyle; Mr. Doyle is an interviewer for the series. His input is important, and I want to share his comment with the community.]

I invite anyone who hasn’t seen the video blog yet to come take a look at www.sevendaysatminimumwage.org. We originally expected to end the project after the initial week, but due to its success it’s been been extended through Election Day, November 7. The interviews are pretty stark and honest, and they’ve been viewed by more than 30,000 people since the project began on October 23 (they can also be seen on YouTube under the user name, “7daysatminimumwage”).

ACORN and AFL-CIO launched the blog as a way to get contemporary audiences to join in the national debate over fair wages. We hoped, naively or not, that Paul and Susan, Jessica, Jeffrey, and the other poverty-wage workers who agreed to tell their stories to America, would become Internet celebrities in the fight for social justice. That’s actually starting to happen. A few days ago, part one of Jessica’s harrowing interview, in which she describes raising four kids while getting a degree and begging her employer for full-time hours and benefits, became YouTube’s top video in the News & Blogs category (the real heartbreak is in part two, though, if you’re brave enough to watch it).

(more…)

October 30, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage – Day 7

The last story in this series: Day 7 – Mallory

On Day 7, Mallory shares her story of dreaming of a better future of education and independence, but facing no opportunities on a minimum wage paycheck.

This linked page contains all links for the prior six chapters.

This is my last plea for your involvement prior to election day.

Tell Congress: It’s Time for a REAL Vote to Raise the Minimum Wage. Send a letter to tell your U.S. representative and senators that when they get back to work after the election, they must put a clean vote to raise the minimum wage at the top of their agenda.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and the AFL-CIO are partners in a grassroots movement to do what the U.S. Congress refused to do. We urge voters in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and Ohio to raise the minimum wage by voting “Yes” on November 7.

For more information, visit:
ACORN
AFL-CIO
ROSEANNE BARR

Please support this effort.

October 28, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage – Day 6

Day 6 – Amanda

On Day 6, Amanda talks about missing the opportunity to do “normal” things with her family, like go to the movies or buy birthday presents for her siblings, because her minimum wage paycheck doesn’t cover the things she needs.

Day 1 – Paul & Susan
Day 2 – Erin
Day 3 – Jeffrey
Day 4 – Jessica
Day 5 – Chris

Will you contact Congress  or talk to friends/family in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and/or Ohio to have them vote “Yes” on November 7 to increase the minimum wage?

October 27, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage – Day 5

Day 5 – Chris

On Day 5, Chris tells a shocking American tale of day to day existence on the edge of homelessness. Without a regular 9-to-5 job, Chris searches for work everyday. If he can’t make $35 a day, he will lose his room and be forced onto the streets.

Day 1 – Paul and Susan
Day 2 – Erin
Day 3 – Jeffrey
Day 4 – Jessica

As I have been urging you throughout this series, please view these videos and take action “to tell your U.S. representative and senators that when they get back to work after the election, they must put a clean vote to raise the minimum wage at the top of their agenda”.

October 26, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage – Day 4

Day 4:  Jessica

Jessica, an educated mom of four, tells her life-story of struggle to get ahead and make a future for her family. Jessica does everything she can to break out of a daily cycle of pain inflicted by having to scrape by on the minimum wage.

Day 1 – Paul and Susan
Day 2 – Erin
Day 3 – Jeffrey

I’m going to say it again: “Tell Congress: It’s Time for a REAL Vote to Raise the Minimum Wage. Send a letter to tell your U.S. representative and senators that when they get back to work after the election, they must put a clean vote to raise the minimum wage at the top of their agenda.” And don’t forget to tell your friends and family in “Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and Ohio to raise the minimum wage by voting “Yes” on November 7″.

October 25, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage – Day 3

Day 3 – Jeffrey

Jeffrey shares his story of taking care of his newborn son with his minimum wage paycheck. After paying for rent, diapers, formula, and the electric bill, there is little left for groceries.

As Ms. Barr says:

Its not about teenagers working for pocket change at a hamburger joint, because 70% of people working at the minimum wage are adults with family responsibilities.

If you have seen these posts this week but haven’t clicked and watched the videos, I challenge you to do so. Please don’t make assumptions about our citizens who earn the minimum wage. These are real people with real stories to tell, and we all need to hear these hard truths.

(more…)

October 24, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage – Day 2

I encourage you to visit the site and watch the video every day during this campaign. Comments are allowed at the site for each day’s viewing.

Day 2’s video:

“On Day 2, Erin talks about needing to work increasing hours at her minimum wage, grocery store job to make ends meet.

Day 1’s video can be found here.

Again, if you have friends and/or relatives that live in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and/or Ohio, ask them to vote “Yes” on November 7. to raise the minimum wage.

October 23, 2006

7 Days @ Minimum Wage

The ALF-CIO and ACORN are sponsoring the video blog “7 Days @ Minimum Wage”. For the next seven days, we will post their link. Please click this link and watch the video.

7 Days @ Minimum Wage brings you 7 real people with 7 real stories of living on the minimum wage, hosted by Roseanne Barr and sponsored by the AFL-CIO and ACORN.

On Day 1, Denver couple Paul Valdez and Susan Windham tell their story of living on the minimum wage. Paul receives $35 for a full day’s labor in back-breaking construction work.

(more…)

September 20, 2006

Citizens’ Hearing on Health Care – Part 2

This past Saturday, September 16, a “Citizens’ Hearing on Health Care” was held at the Allegany-Limestone School.  Below the fold are my notes from the hearing.  Because of the length of the transcription, I have decided to post in two parts.

Testimonials were given so local legislators and candidates would hear first-hand accounts of how complicated and inequitable today’s health-care system is with bureaucratic layers that make it difficult to afford or access.

Those giving testimony told hearing panel members that health reform is critical. Furthermore, the U.S. needs to join other countries and provide a national single-payer health system that will cover everyone.

The hearing panel comprised: state Assemblyman Joe Giglio, R-Gowanda, of the 149th District; state Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, of the 57th District; Cattaraugus County Legislator Linda Witte, D-Olean, who’s running for the 149th Assembly District seat; and Eric Massa, a Democratic candidate in the 29th Congressional District. The elected officials and candidates agreed the health-care system needs substantial improvement and they supported many of the recommended changes.

Part 1 – Testimonials
Part 2 – Candidates’ Comments/Q&A

(more…)

September 19, 2006

Citizens’ Hearing on Health Care – Part 1

This past Saturday, September 16, a “Citizens’ Hearing on Health Care” was held at the Allegany-Limestone School.  Below the fold are my notes from the hearing.  Because of the length of the transcription, I have decided to post in two parts.

Testimonials were given so local legislators and candidates would hear first-hand accounts of how complicated and inequitable today’s health-care system is with bureaucratic layers that make it difficult to afford or access.

Those giving testimony told hearing panel members that health reform is critical. Furthermore, the U.S. needs to join other countries and provide a national single-payer health system that will cover everyone.

The hearing panel comprised: state Assemblyman Joe Giglio, R-Gowanda, of the 149th District; state Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, of the 57th District; Cattaraugus County Legislator Linda Witte, D-Olean, who’s running for the 149th Assembly District seat; and Eric Massa, a Democratic candidate in the 29th Congressional District. The elected officials and candidates agreed the health-care system needs substantial improvement and they supported many of the recommended changes.

Part 1 – Testimonials
Part 2 – Candidates’ Comments/Q&A

(more…)

August 31, 2006

Latest Numbers on Uninsured Americans

Filed under: Poverty,Wages — theruralpatriot @ 10:42 am

The number of medically uninsured Americans rose to 46.6 million – almost 16% of all Americans; up 1.3 million from last year.  This is the fifth year in a row that the uninsured number has increased.  From 2004 to present, 400,000 more children are now uninsured; 1 in 5 “impoverished children lacked coverage”; “22% of Hispanic children were uninsured”. 

 Most experts cited the cost-driven decline of employer-based health coverage and private insurance for the overall increase.

(more…)

August 14, 2006

Wal-Mart: Friend or Foe?

Earlier this spring, we were informed that there was a possibility that Wal-Mart stores might be built in Salamanca and Wellsville.  At this point, I’ve not been able to verify where those plans stand as of now.

Salamanca Area Chamber of Commerce President Susan Zaprowski thought “it would be terrific”.  Salamanca Planning Board Chairman Michael Zaprowski said, “We certainly could use a project like this.” Joe Roosa, one of the possible developers of the project, said “It will be good news for Salamanca”. 

State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, said, “I think it’s important to open up the area for development because of the positive economic benefits.”

Personally, I think that it would be just great … for Wal-Mart.

(more…)

July 21, 2006

Poverty, Population, and the Unemployment Rate

Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties face the issues of poverty and stagnant or decreasing population growth rate. It is also worthwhile to examine the unemployment figures for these two counties.

According to the 2003 Census, Cattaraugus ranks 53rd and Allegany ranks 57th of the 63 counties in New York State’s poverty statistics. We are definitely at the bottom 20% of this list.

From 1990 to 2005, Allegany County increased its population by 132 (50,470 to 50,602), a +0.26% increase. Cattaraugus County decreased its population level by 1732 (84,234 to 82,502), a -2.06% decrease.

Our unemployment numbers have risen; however, they are still at low levels. From 2000 to 2005, Allegany County went from 4.9% to 5.6%; Cattaraugus County went from 4.5% to 5.5%.

(more…)

Blog at WordPress.com.