United Way of King County

 

December 1, 2011

HEADLINES

Local
United Way releases the State of Human Services Assessment
King County draws new district boundaries
City of Seattle ok’s budget; health and human services largely preserved
Next steps for Families and Education levy

Better connection to services

State
Washington state budget debate begins
Philanthropy and non-profits cannot fill budget gaps
Create your own state budget
New report details recession’s impact on women

Federal
Super Committee- failure or blessing in disguise
Should philanthropy operate more like a business?

Local

United Way releases the State of Human Services Assessment
Want to know how federal, state and local budget cuts over the past year have affected King county residents?  United Way, in partnership with members of the State of Human Services Steering Committee, has compiled an assessment meant to be used as a basis for community conversations identifying policy and community responses. The report will be posted on our new public policy webpage in the next few days.

King County draws new district boundaries
King County’s bipartisan districting committee submitted its final redistricting plan on Wednesday, November 16. The committee, which was charged with drawing new district boundaries that reflect an 11 percent increase in county population (mostly in the east and south), stated that every district is now more racially diverse.  Click here for more information about redistricting.

City of Seattle ok’s budget; health and human services largely preserved
On Monday, November 21, the Seattle City Council approved a mostly-cuts budget, balancing its $25 million revenue shortfall with layoffs and eliminated positions. Most health and human services programs were preserved, but the struggling economy and future budget cuts could impact the city’s ability to continue providing these services. Council President Richard Conlin said, "If the state cuts public safety and people are on the streets, or cuts human services and those people have no help, we may be left to pick up the pieces. We don't have the resources to do that.”

Next steps for Families and Education levy
With the levy approved, the Department of Education is finalizing steps in the Request for Proposal (RFQ) process.  If your organization is interested in participating in the RFQ, plan on attending an information session on Tuesday, December 6, 9-10 a.m. at City Hall. RSVP to  thao.tran@seattle.gov.  Also, the City of Seattle is seeking candidates to fill eight citizen positions on the Families and Education Levy Oversight Committee.  Applications must be submitted by December 5.

Better connection to services
The City of Seattle now has one place where families that are poor, struggling and at risk of homelessness can go to access state and city services. Washington Connection helps clients process applications for a wide variety of services online.

State

Washington state budget debate begins
On Monday, November 28th, Washington state legislators convened for a 30-day special session to tackle a $2 billion budget deficit.  Governor Gregoire’s proposed 2011-2012 supplemental budget cuts more than $690 million from health and human services, eliminating many critical safety net programs that provide housing, food and health care to thousands of low-income elderly and disabled individuals as well as children and families. The budget also includes a myriad number of cuts to K-12, higher education and other programs. Hundreds of people testified at a House Ways and Means Committee public hearing on HB 2127, to register their concerns about the impact of proposed state budget cuts.   Protestors blanketed the Capitol campus and hearing rooms delivering the message to preserve social programs and raise revenues.

Philanthropy and non-profits cannot fill budget gaps
An op-ed, co-authored by United Ways of Washington and published in the  Olympian
on the first day of special session, contends that while non-profits and philanthropy have stepped up their efforts to meet the increased needs resulting from the recession, they are unable to fill the gaps left by federal, state and local government budget reductions.

Create your own state budget
Once again, the League of Education Voters lets YOU decide how to solve the state’s budget deficit with its budget calculator .  As Washington State legislators try to close the $2 billion funding gap in special session, you can join them by using the calculator to make cuts that will impact children, families and seniors in our state and/or raise revenue by implementing an income tax, eliminating specific tax exemptions, or by other means.  Join the conversation on how to approach the deficit on LEV’s blog.

New report details recession’s impact on women
A recent report from the Economic Opportunity Institute demonstrates that the recession has disproportionately impacted women and that inequality between men and women in Washington is worse than in many other states.

Federal

Super Committee- failure or blessing in disguise
Last week’s failure of the Joint Select Committee (JSC) on Deficit Reduction to reach agreement on a proposal to present to Congress has overall negative effects for the City of Seattle according to the city’s Director of Economic Development.

Should philanthropy operate more like a business?
What results should one expect from investing in non-profits to solve societies biggest social problems—measurable progress toward agreed upon goals or something more intangible and less easily defined? A recent article in the Wall Street Journal presents both sides of the question.