RICHMOND WRAP-UP –- SALT (Social Action Linking Together) announces that its annual forum to learn about SALT's priorities during the 2009 Richmond General Assembly Session is being held on
Saturday, October 25, 2008
St. Thomas a'Becket Catholic Church, Findlay Hall
1421 Wiehle Avenue, Reston
Conference Keynoter, former Del. Vincent Callahan, will discuss "The Legislative Process at Its Best; The Legislative Proces at its Worst." Jeff Caruso, Director of the Virginia Catholic Conference (VCC) will be discussing "The Art of Advocacy--Action Tools." Get involved in practical Social justice advocacy. Save the date, and plan to attend. Bring a friend. There is no charge for the program. For more information, contact SALT Coordinator, John Horejsi at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the SALT web site at http://www.s-a-l-t.org/.
SALT LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS (SUMMARY)
2009 GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION
Social Action Linking Together, or SALT, has more than 1,000 advocates for faith-based social justice throughout the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. SALT supports a number of initiatives related to human services and encourages funding of the following initiatives in the 2010 budget. Together these initiatives address critical issues of poverty and homelessness in Virginia.
Rental Assistance. SALT joins the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness in support of a pilot Rental Assistance Program. This program would provide funding to bridge the gap between one-third of a family’s income and the fair market cost of housing. Families who could not otherwise afford independent housing, such as women with children moving from welfare to work, or working families in shelters, would be priority targets in a 3-year pilot program. The program would provide time-limited assistance to provide the stability families need to advance in their work and achieve full independence. As their wages increase, their rental assistance would decline.
TANF Benefit Increase. Virginia families on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) have received only one increase in their benefits over the past 23 years, a 10% increase in 2000. Meanwhile, inflation over that same period has equaled over 100%. A family of three receives only $320 per month, less than a fifth of the federal poverty level. SALT urges a 10% increase in benefits for TANF recipients next year and the following two years, to be funded primarily from a federal block grant, and the indexing of future benefits to go into effect each time state employee’s wages are raised.
Transitional Assistance for Former Drug Offenders. SALT urges an end to the lifetime ban on TANF benefits for otherwise eligible individuals who have been convicted of drug-related felonies. In its 2005 session, the General Assembly enacted legislation to lift the lifetime ban that had prevented these ex-offenders (unlike persons convicted of any other crimes) from ever receiving food stamps, even after they had paid their debt to society. However, these individuals are still prevented from ever receiving TANF benefits. SALT believes it is critical to lift this lifetime ban as well, since it has the effect of punishing the ex-offender’s family and hindering the person’s successful re-entry into society upon release.
Taken together, these initiatives provide a real solution for low-income Virginians, both those who need temporary assistance while moving to work and those who have jobs but whose wages are insufficient to pay for housing. In fact, people with jobs make up the majority in homeless shelters across the State. As a result, shelter stays are longer, and more and more people are being turned away from shelters that are filled with Virginia’s working poor.
SALT advocates urge your full support of our SALT legislative proposals by including them in the 2010 budget. For more information contact SALT Coordinator John Horejsi at email@example.com or visit the SALT web site at http://www.s-a-l-t.org/.
DIRECTIONSST. THOMAS ά BECKET CATHOLIC CHURCH
1421 Wiehle Avenue, Reston, VA
Directions to St. Thomas ά Becket Catholic Church
From PWC: North on Rt. 28 to the exit for Dulles airport/Toll Road (267). Take the Toll Road to the Wiehle Ave exit and then follow the directions below.
Alternate: Take 66 to the Fairfax County Parkway and go north. There is a Herndon/Reston exit. The sign says Baron Cameron. Bear to the right and turn rt on Baron Cameron. Wiehle Ave is about a mile away. There is a stop light. Turn right and then a quick left into the parking lot.
From Arlington: Take Route 66 west to Toll Road (Rt 267). Merge onto Rt. 267. Continue on 267 to the Wiehle Avenue exit (exit 13). At stoplight on Wiehle Avenue turn right. Continue on Wiehle Avenue for approximately 1.8 miles. The church is on the right hand side, just after the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation. The address is 1421 Wiehle Avenue.
From Tyson’s Corner area: Take Route 7 west to Baron Cameron (Rt 606). Turn left on Baron Cameron. Continue on Baron Cameron. At the third stoplight, Wiehle Avenue, turn left. The church is on your immediate left. The address is 1421 Wiehle Avenue.
From 495 going toward Rockville/Silver Spring: Take the Route 267 exit (left exit). Continue on 267 until Wiehle Avenue( exit 13). At the stoplight on Wiehle Avenue turn right. Continue on Wiehle Avenue form approximately 1.8 miles. The church is on the right hand side, just after the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation. The address is 1421 Wiehle Avenue.
SALT is a network of advocates who are positively influencing public social policies and legislation, especially at local and state levels. SALT’s active membership totals more than one thousand persons of faith.