Round out February with 9 poverty-focused resources

News. What people are talking about today: The New Yorker‘s commentary about what Trump means for the world’s poorest people. Then there’s ongoing health care conversations: A GOP proposal would cover fewer low-income families. As lawmakers move forward on the ACA repeal, however, new data shows the nation’s uninsured rate hit a record low last year. In New Jersey, more than half of low-income kids get breakfast at school. And in U.S. community colleges, more than a quarter of students say they could drop out due to financial concerns. And in good news, these U.S. industries are driving wage growth: manufacturing, construction, education, health care and wholesale trade.

2 health care updates. 
4 data resources.
  • Alabama has the highest employee engagement, Gallup says, at 37 percent. West Virginia has the highest disengagement at 21 percent. Disengaged states have higher unemployment, which makes sense. Look at both sets – it’s interesting to see how many Southern states are engaged and that New York and Pennsylvania are disengaged.
  • Americans have a more favorable view of Mexico than they have since 2006, Gallup says. It’s up to 64 percent, which is higher than last year’s 59 percent and 2011’s low of 45 percent.
  • New housing vacancy numbers are out from the Census Bureau. You’ll find vacancy rates, homeownership rates and unit characteristics for regions, states and the 75 largest metro areas. Analyze it by age, race/ethnicity and family income, too.
  • As national political conversations about crime-fighting emerge, it’s important to know the facts and stats about crime in this country. Pew gives us 5 insights to remember:
    • Violent crime has dropped in the past 25 years.
    • Property crime has declined long-term.
    • Public perceptions about crime don’t tend to match the data.
    • Crime rates vary widely by geography.
    • Many crimes aren’t reported to police.
2 announcements.
  • Journalism fellowship: USC Annenberg is seeking applications for its 2017 National Fellowship to report on vulnerable children and families. About 20 journalists attend five days of workshops in July, receive a $2,000 reporting stipend with potential for an additional grant, and participate in six months of mentoring. Applications are due March 24.
  • Research funding: the University of Wisconsin-Madison Institute for Research on Poverty wants to fund programs and research that will reduce child poverty. Pass along this call for applications – or let is spark a story idea/source connection for you.
Final thoughts – about taxes. Well, it’s tax season again. Have you written a tax story yet this year? Better yet, have you written one with low-income families in mind? Don’t forget that there are plenty of angles to cover – local tax assistance programs, child tax credits, charitable contribution credits, and more. Brookings talks about the EITC and ACTC and how they keep families out of poverty. What does this look like in your community?

Carefully curating for you,
Carolyn Crist

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