Friday, December 4, 2009

Climate Change Awareness - LWV Advocacy

Eight League leaders are set to attend the United Nations Framework Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen next week as official non-governmental organization delegates. We are excited to have a delegation on the ground at this important event, and glad to hear that President Obama will be attending as well. Read our statement on this delegation.
In light of these historic meetings, the League has signed onto a print/web ad with a number of other organizations. The ad will run in the daily print newspaper Politico on December 4 and online for the following two weeks. View that ad, "It's Time to Make Things Right,"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Census 2010: Constitutional, Beneficial

The US Constitution (Article 1, Section 2) mandates a headcount every ten years of everyone in the US. The population totals from this census will determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. States also use the totals to redraw their legislative districts. The 2010 Census will be in short form-only ten questions. Census data is completely confidential. Census data is widely and wisely used .The Federal Government uses population data to allocate funds in a number of areas: Title1 grants to educational agencies, Head Start programs; women, infants, and children(WIC) (Food grants); public transportation, road rehabilitation and reconstruction; programs for the elderly; emergency food and shelter, and empowerment zones. Many of the informational meetings stressed the fact that you can count only your primary residence.

So if you travel south in the winter, do not fill out your census form there, fill it out for your home in Michigan. You can go to a Census Bureau office to obtain a form when you return.

Following is a list of twenty of fifty ways census data are used:

· Decision making at all levels of government

· Drawing federal, state, and local districts

· Attracting new businesses to state and local areas

· Distributing over $300 billion in federal funds and even more in state funds

· Forecasting future transportation needs for all segments of the population

· Planning for hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and the location of other health services

· Forecasting future housing needs for all segments of the population

· Directing funds for services for people in poverty

· Designing public safety strategies

· Development of rural areas

· Analyzing local trends

· Estimating the number of people displaced by natural disaster

· Planning investments and evaluating financial risk

· Distributing medical research

· Providing evidence in litigation involving land use, voting rights, and equal opportunity

· Drawing school district boundaries

· Establishing fair market rents and enforcing fair lending practices

· Directing services to children and adults with limited English language proficiency

· Assessing the potential for spread of communicable diseases