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Deborah Weinstein
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Deborah Weinstein is the executive director of the Coalition for Human Needs, a Washington, D.C.-based alliance of national organizations working together to promote public policies that address the needs of low-income people and other vulnerable populations. Read more from Deborah Weinstein at CHN's Voices for Human Needs Blog.

Entries by Deborah Weinstein

Flint and Beyond

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2016 | 1:40 PM

Lana, a single mother with three children, discovered that her one-year old twins tested positive for lead poisoning, and left her contaminated Holyoke, MA apartment, becoming homeless for three months. She got help from a local program, and eventually got a job and some economic stability. But for one of...

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A Federal Budget That Connects the Dots and Works for All

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2016 | 5:02 PM

After 20 nationally televised, occasionally entertaining, sometimes appalling debates, our presidential candidates this cycle have discussed a number of important issues: immigration policy, gun safety, health care, taxes, U.S. involvement in the Middle East, and the mounting crisis of student debt, just to name a few.

The debates have exposed...

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What Portion of Our Collective Wealth Are We Willing to Invest So People Can Succeed?

(2) Comments | Posted May 14, 2015 | 5:38 PM

That is the question President Obama posed at the Georgetown University Catholic-Evangelical Summit on Overcoming Poverty on May 12. It was a fascinating discussion -- not least because it was a discussion, with the president exchanging views with two scholars and replying to questions by moderator E.J. Dionne of the...

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President Obama Acts to Right Wrongs That Affront Our Ideals

(0) Comments | Posted November 21, 2014 | 12:24 PM

Look at 10-year-old Stephanie Pucheta's face on the video, sad but determined to tell her family's story. She describes the day her father was put in jail and then deported, putting a stop to his helping her with her homework and playing with her in the park. Her...

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Breaking Out of the Budget Straitjacket

(1) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 7:57 AM

The President's annual budget demonstrates whether our values are driving our national choices. Are we going to continue to give extra tax breaks worth billions to hot shots in the finance industry or re-direct tax help to decrease the poverty of more than 13 million workers? Will we reduce Pentagon...

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President Obama and the Politics of Inclusion

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 3:39 PM

When the federal government was partly shut down last October, it was tough on federal employees who couldn't do their jobs and missed pay. But it was even tougher on the cleaning crews, restaurant staff and others who work for companies that contract with the federal government. Unlike the federal...

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Unemployment Insurance Expires for 1.3 Million: Will Congress Act to Undo the Damage?

(7) Comments | Posted December 27, 2013 | 12:41 PM

Mary Lowe of Ironton, Ohio, was laid off in February 2013 -- the first time in 31 years she hadn't been working. She's had years of experience in health care and restaurant administration, and now looks for work pretty much every day. She has interviewed for jobs paying only $10...

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Thanksgiving Resolution

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2013 | 4:27 PM

Barbie Izquierdo, a low-income mother of two small children, is a member of Witnesses to Hunger, a Philadelphia group of moms dedicated to ending hunger and poverty for their children and for families nationwide. About a month ago while she was waiting in line at a supermarket, she overheard two...

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Time to Tell the Truth About Food Stamps

(35) Comments | Posted November 6, 2013 | 9:54 AM

Does it make any difference that families receiving SNAP benefits (food stamps) will have less to spend on food this month? Starting November 1, a family of four will lose $36 per month; or $29 for a three-person family. The loss of $30-$36 per month is a big...

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Caregiving Should Be Middle Class Work

(1) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 2:24 PM

Nancy Salazar is a home health aide in New York City. For the past 13 years, she has worked 12-hour days caring for a man with disabilities. "This is a caring job," she says. "You want people to trust you, to like you." She says she's okay with...

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An Open Letter to Congress: Reject Backward Steps that Help the Wealthiest at our Nation's Expense

(0) Comments | Posted December 20, 2012 | 11:14 AM

The House of Representatives is now scheduled to take two votes late Thursday that together hand hundreds of billions of dollars to the wealthiest among us while raising taxes on working families with children and students, slashing $250 billion in nutrition aid, Medicaid, and other services for the poor, and...

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Just the Facts: Obama's Welfare-to-Work Plan

(16) Comments | Posted August 13, 2012 | 3:40 PM

Does it make sense for states to try new approaches to help poor parents find jobs? The Obama Administration thought so. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which provides very little assistance to very poor families with children, has not been especially effective at placing single moms in jobs. Even...

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The Nuns on the Bus Roll Into Washington

(3) Comments | Posted July 3, 2012 | 4:31 PM

A throng of admirers crammed in front of the United Methodist building across from the U.S. Capitol, waiting in the 95 degree heat for the Nuns on the Bus. This was the last stop of a 15-day tour through nine states, with opposition to the service cuts in...

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Senate Budget Plans Range From Extreme to Unimaginable

(1) Comments | Posted May 16, 2012 | 2:00 PM

Today, the Coalition on Human Needs sent a letter making these points to every senator.

May 16, 2012

Dear Senator:

Today you will have the opportunity to vote on a number of budget resolutions: the House-passed budget and plans by Senators Toomey, Paul, and...

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The President's Budget: Continuing the Slow Climb Upward

(6) Comments | Posted February 14, 2012 | 1:32 PM

The president's budget proposal for FY 2013 recognizes some basic truths: we cannot speed up economic recovery without investments that create jobs and increase workers' readiness to do those jobs. And we must protect people from destitution when they are not able to work, both to reduce...

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The Defining Issue of Our Time

(9) Comments | Posted January 27, 2012 | 2:05 PM

The "basic American promise," as the president described it in his State of the Union address, is that people who work hard should be able to raise a family, own a home, send their children to college, and save for retirement. The defining issue? "How to keep...

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House Republicans: Gambling With Millions of Lives

(65) Comments | Posted December 21, 2011 | 2:21 PM

When the House Republicans blew up a bipartisan Senate plan to continue unemployment insurance and the payroll tax cut for two months, they made it clear that they were willing to use the 99 percent as bargaining chips in their fight to protect the top 1 percent.

I say...

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Disappointing Reports of Deficit Plans That Target Vulnerable People

(19) Comments | Posted November 2, 2011 | 4:50 PM

Last week reports of competing proposals began to emerge from behind the closed doors of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, one unveiled by some of the panel's Democrats and another put forward by its Republicans. Although neither plan has been made public, this much seems reliable: the Democratic...

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The Senate's Turn: Time to Pass the American Jobs Act

(19) Comments | Posted October 10, 2011 | 6:32 PM

To the Senate:

American workers need jobs. You have the opportunity to create or save at least a million jobs through the American Jobs Act of 2011. The members of the Coalition on Human Needs urge you to vote to move this legislation forward and to enact it as quickly...

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Right Away

(4) Comments | Posted September 12, 2011 | 11:43 AM

Yes, Mr. President: right away is when we need Congress to enact your jobs package.

You are right to recognize the urgency of the matter. Tomorrow the Census Bureau will tell us how many people were poor or precariously close to poverty last year. The new survey is not...

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