Wednesdays4Kids June 20
When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist.
-- Archbishop Helder Camara
We're Almost Halfway There! - iCAN Summer Fundraiser
Thank you to all of our generous donors who have already given to our iCAN Summer Fundraiser. We are raising $10,000 this summer to support our advocacy work on behalf of Minnesota and every dollar makes a difference. If you have not already become an iCAN sponsor, click here to make your sponsorship gift today!
How Congregations Can Participate in the Elections
Many faith communities are anxious about what they are or are not allowed to do regarding elections. Congregations can be powerful tools for fostering civic participation, and this year it is especially important that people of faith show up at the polls. Here are a few ways that your congregation can get involved:
- Voter Education Ideas: Send a questionnaire to candidates and publish the results in a voters guide, host candidate debates or forums, or display sample ballots to help prepare voters for election day.
- Candidate Education Ideas: Send the candidates a policy paper on your issue(s), and inform the candidates about your congregation. NOTE: Be sure to provide the same level of support and information to ALL candidates in a particular race.
- Organize voter turnout drives: Ensure that your drive is not biased for or against any candidate. Drives can be targeted in nonpartisan ways, including areas with low turn-out, or areas and people served by the congregation.
Farewell Reception for Rachel
Is it possible to be sad and excited at the same time? It must be, because Rachel Herzfeldt-Kamprath is leaving iCAN and JRLC at the end of June, heading off to graduate studies in public policy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Help us bid good-bye to Rachel and catch up on all the iCAN and JRLC news at a reception held in her honor. We'll provide snacks and beverages.
Thursday, June 28th, 4:00 to 5:30 pm
The Nicollet Coffee Shop, 1931 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis
Wednesdays4Kids June 6
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
-- Albert Einstein
NEW REPORT: Minnesota Kids Count 2012
Our friends at the Children's Defense Fund have released their 2012 Minnesota Kids Count databook focusing on children across the state, especially revealing the unique challenges that face children in poverty in Greater Minnesota. Some of the key findings from the report include:
- Child poverty is on the rise: Over the last decade child poverty has increased by 62%, and there are currently 192,000 children living in poverty (or 15% of all children).
- Child poverty is not just a metro issue: While inner-city child poverty is an issue, the region with the highest poverty rate in the state is North-Central Minnesota.
- Rural poverty offers unique challenges: When we consider access to resources, we see that in rural communities there are fewer available options for families living in poverty, whether it is stable jobs with benefits, access to health care providers, or quality child care providers.
- Demographics in the state are shifting: In Minnesota, the 2010 census revealed that the child population in our state actually decreased by about 3,000 children over the past 10 years. There has been a concurrent increase in the number of children of color.
For more information and to access the full report, check out the Children's Defense Fund's website, and check back on our blog later this week for more analysis of the information and how to take action to improve the lives of our children!
Thank You Sheltering Arms Foundation!
We want to give a quick thank you to the Sheltering Arms Foundation for granting $3,000 to iCAN to support our organizing and education work around the state.
iCAN Summer Sponsorship Campaign
Thanks to you and other friends, sponsors, volunteers, and advocates, iCAN is a powerful interfaith voice for children in Minnesota. This summer we need to raise $10,000, and your iCAN sponsorship will make that happen — Become an iCAN sponsor today! Follow the progress towards our goal at www.icanmn.org.
Wednesdays4Kids May 23
...in serving the best interests of children, we serve the best interests of all humanity.
-- Carol Bellamy
iCAN Questions for Candidates - Civic Participation
Over the summer candidates for public office will be out door-knocking, phone-banking, and speaking at forums and debates. This means that we have the opportunity to determine their positions, and elect candidates who are committed to addressing issues relating to children.
Three important questions we want iCAN advocates to ask candidates are:
- How would you solve the structural deficit in our state's budget, so as not to harm children?
- Will you support funding for a statewide network of services for human trafficking victims?
- Will you support fully funding Child Care Assistance as a part of the Family Economic Security Act?
iCAN Staff Change - Thank You Rachel!
Rachel Herzfeldt-Kamprath informed us that she is leaving iCAN and JRLC to pursue graduate studies. Her last day with us will be Friday, June 29th. We are truly excited for her. She is pursuing a masters degree in public policy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, one of the top public policy graduate programs in the country.
Rachel shared some of her thoughts on leaving:
While in many ways it breaks my heart to be leaving this amazing community, I look forward to taking what I have learned during my time at JRLC and iCAN and applying it to my studies and beyond. We have done powerful work together, and I am confident that the relationships we have built will allow us to continue achieving positive change in the world. Thank you to the JRLC Board, iCAN Advisory Council, colleagues and coalition partners, and especially Brian and Alison for your individual roles throughout my time at JRLC and iCAN!
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