JOTF E-Newsletter

April 2007

The Job Opportunities Task Force (JOTF) is pleased to bring you the latest edition of its electronic newsletter. The JOTF E-Newsletter includes news, announcements, and information about upcoming events in the Baltimore area that we hope will be of interest to you. If your organization would like to publicize an event, job announcement, or other information, please e-mail: jessica[@]jotf.org.

In this issue:

JOTF NEWS

JOTF Legislative Agenda: Session 2007 Wins
Lunchtime Series Continues: Forum Explores the High Cost of Home Ownership
JOTF on WYPR's Marc Steiner Show

OTHER NEWS

Washington Post, "Session Winds Up, Bringing Benefits for Working Class"
Baltimore Sun, "A course correction"
Baltimore Sun, "Redefining fatherhood"

UPCOMING EVENTS

BAN THE BOX: Ending Employment Discrimination Against Formerly Incarcerated Individuals (05/16/2007)
By Choice Not Chance: Transportation for the Baltimore Region (04/24/2007)
Office of the Public Defender: Neighborhood Defenders - Northwest (05/11/2007)


OPPORTUNITIES

Legal Aid Bureau Seeks Paralegal
Mayor's Office of Employment Development Seeks Manager
Carroll County RFP: Adult Education Services

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JOTF NEWS

JOTF Legislative Agenda: Session 2007 Wins

JOTF’s hard work during the 2007 legislative session has helped to change laws that will reduce barriers to employment and ensure that work supports remain intact for Maryland residents. Three bills have become law:


* HB 10: Automatic Expungement of Arrest Without Charge

In Baltimore City, approximately 1,600 people are arrested and released each month without ever being charged. Even though they aren’t charged with a crime, the arrest appears on their criminal history record, and remains there until it is expunged. The result is that innocent people are prevented from getting jobs. HB 10 will make this process fairer by automatically expunging records of arrests that never led to charges.

STATUS: The bill passed the Senate unanimously and received wide support in the House. It was signed into law by Governor O'Malley on April 10, 2007.


* HB 263 / SB 154: Child Support Enforcement – Child Support Payment Incentive Program

This bill will forgive arrears (debt) owed to the state for non-custodial parents who pay their full support to their children. After one year of consecutive child support payments, the state will forgive 50% of the owed arrearages. After two years of consecutive payments, the state will entirely forgive the owed arrearages.

STATUS: The bill passed the House and Senate unanimously, and was signed into law by Governor O'Malley on April 10, 2007.


* HB 1180: Unemployment Insurance - Maximum Benefits

For workers who are forced to leave their jobs involuntarily, House Bill 1180 strengthens unemployment insurance as a critical safety net. The new law will increase the maximum benefit level by $40 starting in October 2007, raising it from $340 to $380 per week. The increase is only the second passed by the legislature in the last five years.

STATUS: The bill passed the House and Senate, and is now awaiting Governor O'Malley's signature.


Click here to read our 2007 advocacy agenda. Click here to view a list of all the bills that JOTF supported this session. If you would like to sign up for weekly public policy updates from JOTF, send an e-mail to melissa[at]jotf.org.

 

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Lunchtime Series Continues: Forum Explores the High Cost of Home Ownership

Homeownership is often touted as the most effective opportunity to build wealth over a lifetime. However, working families often find themselves overextended and unable to protect their home in times of job loss, illness, or family strife. In light of the increasing costs of housing, the devastating impact of foreclosures, and the prevalence of predatory lending, are we pushing families too far?

On March 23rd, JOTF, the Baltimore CASH Campaign and the Maryland Asset Building Initiative co-hosted a forum to explore these issues. This forum was the third event in the High Cost of Being Poor Lunchtime Discussion Series. The discussion featured Barbara Aylesworth, Executive Director of Belair-Edison Neighborhoods, Inc. and Lindley R. Higgins, PhD, Applied Research Manager for NeighborWorks® America.

Approximately 40 local non-profit, government, and housing industry workers attended the brown-bag event. The group discussed issues such as preparation for homeownership, foreclosure prevention, and the direction of the sub-prime lending market. The forum took place at the Mid Atlantic District Offices of NeighborWorks® America.

For more information about the event, or about upcoming forums in the series, please contact Andrea Payne at 410-234-8303.



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JOTF on WYPR's Marc Steiner Show

JOTF's executive director, Jason Perkins-Cohen, discusses the need for targeted training and increased investement in adult education on the Marc Steiner show.

Click here to listen to the April 9, 2007 show.


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OTHER NEWS

Washington Post, "Session Winds Up, Bringing Benefits for Working Class"

The Washington Post's John Wagner reports on ways that the 90-day session of the General Assembly will affect the lives of everyday Marylanders.

Read "Session Winds Up, Bringing Benefits for Working Class" (04/12/2007)

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Baltimore Sun, "A course correction"

This Baltimore Sun editorial addresses one of JOTF's legislative priorities from Session 2007. Governor O'Malley signed House Bill 10, the automatic expungement of arrests without charge, into law on April 10, 2007.

Read "A course correction" (04/06/2007)

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Baltimore Sun, "Redefining fatherhood"

In this Baltimore Sun editorial, Diane Camper describes the many hurdles faced by low-income fathers. While public policies focus disproportionately on mothers, the two key areas of focus for low-income men are child support enforcement and the criminal justice system.

Read "Redefining Fatherhood" (04/14/2007)

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UPCOMING EVENTS

BAN THE BOX (05/16/2007)

Brought to you by the Job Opportunities Task Force and the University of Maryland School of Law
Sponsored by the Open Society Institute

BAN THE BOX: Ending Employment Discrimination Against Formerly Incarcerated Individuals

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
12pm to 2pm

University of Maryland School of Law
500 West Baltimore Street
Room 107

Other cities have removed the “box” on job applications where prospective employees are asked to check “yes” or “no” to indicate if they have ever been convicted of a crime. Banning the box helps to reduce employment discrimination against people who have been convicted of a crime. Come find out if this is a good idea for Baltimore and if so, how we can make it happen.

Remember to bring your own lunch!

To RSVP, please contact Melissa Chalmers Broome at JOTF or call (410) 234-8046

 

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By Choice Not Chance: Transportation for the Baltimore Region (04/24/2007)

By Choice Not Chance: Transportation for the Baltimore Region

April 24, 2007
8am - 4pm

Johns Hopkins Downtown Center
10 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

A public dialogue on the future of transportation and communities sponsored by the Lambda Alpha International, the Urban Land Institute, and the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors.

To register, visit www.uli.org/register or call 800-321-5011

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Office of the Public Defender: Neighborhood Defenders - Northwest (05/11/2007)

The Office of the Public Defender invites you to celebrate:

Neighborhood Defenders - Northwest

An exciting new program providing community-based criminal representation

* Learn about the program!
* Meet other community members!
* See beautiful art created by Park Heights youth!
* Children's activities!
* FREE food!

Friday, May 11, 5:00 to 7:00pm
Presentation begins at 6:00 at

C.C. Jackson Recreation Center,
4910 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore

For more information, Natalie Finegar or call (410) 347-1083

 

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OPPORTUNITIES

Legal Aid Bureau Seeks Paralegal

The Farmworker Unit of Maryland's Legal Aid Bureau ("the Bureau") currently has an opening for the position of full-time (35hrs/wk) paralegal. The Bureau is a non-profit law firm that receives money from the state, federal government and private donors to provide free, civil legal services for persons with low income. Formal paralegal training, although preferred, is not required.

The Bureau is an equal opportunity employer. Persons with Spanish or Creole language skills are especially encouraged to apply. The position is currently open, until filled.

More information about the Bureau may be found at www.mdlab.org.

Don't miss this exciting opportunity to help farmworkers achieve social justice!

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Mayor's Office of Employment Development Seeks Manager

The Mayor’s Office of Employment Development is looking for a Manager to perform and oversee administrative, operational, and strategic activities of the Contracting Unit. Work involves oversight of the entire grant/contract life cycle process and the management of the employees in the department. Assignments are often difficult in nature, and require the ability to analyze, evaluate, and interpret proposed and actual contractual agreements.

Click here for more information.

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Carroll County Request for Proposals: Adult Education Services

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) will release a request for proposals in April 2007 to all interested organizations seeking federal and state funds to provide Consolidated Adult Education and Family Literacy Services serving Carroll County. The one-year grant period will commence in July 2007.

Interested parties should contact Robin Hammerbacker at 410-767-0188 or by email at rhammerb@msde.state.md.us for further information. A copy of the RFP will be posted on the Adult Literacy Resource Center website at www.umbc.edu/alrc later this month.

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Newsletter Editor: Jessica Traskey
If you would like to unsubscribe from the JOTF E-Newsletter, send e-mail to info[at]jotf.org.

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