Support Circles at FARM dinner

April 5, 2013

What’s an easy and fun way to support people in Bloomington working to get out of poverty? Join us on Tuesday, April 23 at FARM for a 3-course dinner. $19.95 per person with $9.95 of that donated to the Circles Initiative. Yes, it’s true that you will have to devour some delicious meatloaf or pasta, mashed potatoes, greens or market veggies and some cobbler for dessert, but just remember that it’s all for a great cause!

Get all of the details by clicking here: Farm dinner flyer

“Poverty is threatening our very democracy” ——- Tavis Smiley to kick off national lecture tour on poverty in Indianapolis on Jan. 18

January 16, 2013


I attended quite a compelling panel discussion yesterday in Indianapolis, “Poverty in America, From Safety-Net to Reliance,” featuring Tavis Smiley and John Graham, Dean of IU’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

The program began with a pair of SPEA graduate students presenting data showing that poverty in Indiana is worse than the usual government statistics indicate. A couple of the many stats they presented: 1. Per capita income in Indiana declined from 2000 to 2010 and is the lowest among states in our region. 2. Families on food stamps in Marion County grew by 203% from 2000 to 2010 and in the counties surrounding Marion County, it was even worse — 342% growth during that decade.

“Poverty is threatening our threatening our very democracy,” Tavis Smiley said at the beginning of his remarks. “It is now a matter of national security.”

Smiley then quoted former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, “You can either have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few or you can have a democracy.”

Smiley, an IU SPEA graduate, said that 1/2 of people in this country, 150 million Americans, are either in or near poverty. He spoke passionately about his plans to conduct a national Poverty Manifesto tour in which he and Cornel West will visit college campuses around the country.

During these visits, Smiley and West will seek to engage college students to use social media and other means to pressure and convince the Obama administration of two things: 1) the time is now, during Obama’s second term to “stiffen his spine” and make a major policy address on reducing and eradicating poverty, and 2) Obama needs to convene a White House panel on poverty with two goals – cut poverty in half in 10 years and eradicate poverty in 25 years.

Smiley and West are kicking off their national college tour with a free lecture at 7:30 this Friday, Jan. 18 at Clowes Hall at Butler University.

Let’s get this blog rolling!

August 28, 2012

Hello, everyone!

After a year of working at the Indiana University School of Education, I’ve returned to the South Central Community Action Program as its director of communications and development. I had a great experience at IU, but realized that I missed trying every day to help make a difference for local people working to escape poverty.

I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to return to SCCAP and work with the caring and committed people here. This is my second day back and I already have a couple of exciting new projects I’m working on.

This blog has been inactive since I left SCCAP, but starting today we’ll resume having regular updates on people, programs and activities related to this organization and poverty in Brown, Monroe, Morgan and Owen counties. So, please stop by when you have a chance and don’t hesitate to share your thoughts.

We’ll also continue to post updates and photos on SCCAP’s Facebook page.


Safety-Net is back

November 9, 2009

November Safety-Net

Safety-Net (PDF of new issue: SF Nov 2009) is a quarterly multi-agency newspaper sponsored by the South Central Community Action Program (SCCAP) that addresses issues confronted by those in our community experiencing difficulties related to poverty, lack of or potential loss of housing, under-employment or lack of employment, inadequate health care, as well as other needs that can be addressed by a caring community.

The goal of the newspaper is to foster a positive interaction within our community between people that have resources that they can share with those who have fewer resources and want to cross the bridge to a better life. Such positive interactions already exist in our community, and one of the goals of this publication is to increase awareness of what is being done, and what must be done, and also to foster more caring interactions between our community members.

 Readers will learn what SCCAP and the other local social service/non-profit agencies, the city of Bloomington and Monroe County governments do to help those in need, and how you can volunteer to help.

You can check out the 16-page November edition by clicking here: SF Nov 2009.

There are stories about all of SCCAP’s program on pages 5-7.  Five thousand hard copies of this newspaper will be available at SCCAP and other locations around the community later this week.

We give our thanks to Safety-Net Editor David White and page designer Evan Wade! They donated many hours of their time to make this publication possible.  We also thank Mayor Mark Kruzan and others who contributed articles to the November issue, which is focused on poverty and homelessness. Also, thanks to Joe Lee for his editorial cartoons.

Report: Pelosi pushing bill to expand Medicaid

October 29, 2009

Nancy Pelosi is backing off of a public option which uses Medicare rates, and is pushing instead a bill that will increase Medicaid coverage to anyone making 150% of poverty. A summary of the Affordable Health Care for America Act is available at

The new House bill would expand Medicaid to cover childless adults, parents and others with incomes less than 150 percent of the poverty level, or $33,075 for a family of four. This goes beyond the earlier House bill and a companion measure in the Senate, which would extend Medicaid to people with incomes less than 133 percent of the poverty level ($29,327 for a family of four).

Read this entire article at

A poverty discussion . . .

October 29, 2009

"The reality is," says Dannel Malloy, Stamford's mayor, "We live in an America where poverty has been mostly ignored for most of the last nine years. We live in an America that has not minded, quite frankly, seeing poverty increase across our country ... We live in an America that has chosen to lower taxes on the very rich while [cutting] services, relatively across the board, to those who are least among us ... it's not been a very pretty America to live in."

I knew there was a reason I love Ben & Jerry’s

October 27, 2009

And it’s not just the Chunky Monkey or Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz.

My reason now is an organization, TrueMajority, that advocates greater investment in programs to reduce poverty, particularly Head Start and efforts to feed children living in poverty. TrueMajority was founded by Ben Cohen, also a co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s. For those who support Head Start, you might want to check out an animated video of him in which he uses stacks of Oreo cookies to compare U.S. military spending with spending for Head Start and other programs to help families move out of poverty: 

Also, you can check out the organization’s blog at

True Majority

From the True Majority blog