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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Poverty & Welfare

There has long been a close association between the struggle for civil rights and the fight against poverty in the United States. The drive to dismantle segregation and defeat discrimination has been centered on the need to open the gates of economic opportunity, mostly closed to minorities, women, and other by both governmental and private action. 

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Census Bureau Develops a More Accurate Poverty Measure

March 3, 2010 - Posted by Tyler Lewis

The Census Bureau announced yesterday that it will be developing a supplementary poverty measure that will provide a fuller, more accurate picture of economic trends and poverty in the United States.  The new measure will be released in the fall of 2011.

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Senate Inaction Causes 200,000 to Lose Unemployment Benefits This Week

March 2, 2010 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

UPDATE 3/3: Late last night, the Senate passed 78-19 a 30-day extension of unemployment insurance and COBRA.

Two hundred thousand jobless workers will lose their unemployment benefits this week as a result of the Senate's failure to extend unemployment insurance and COBRA last week, according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP).

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Civil Rights Coalition Urges Immediate Extension of Unemployment Insurance and COBRA Benefits

February 23, 2010 - Posted by Tyler Lewis

The Leadership Conference is urging the Senate to immediately extend unemployment insurance (UI) benefits and COBRA subsidies through the end of 2010. The current extension expires at the end of February.

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Civil Rights and Progressive Organizations Call for Comprehensive Jobs Bill

February 19, 2010 - Posted by Tyler Lewis

A broad cross-section of the civil rights and progressive community, including The Leadership Conference, is calling on Congress to enact a jobs bill that will rescue millions of struggling Americans from job loss and foreclosure.

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Video: What the Federal Government Must Do to Tackle Unemployment

February 10, 2010 - Posted by Tyler Lewis

Last week, the Jobs for America Now coalition, which includes The Leadership Conference, hosted an informative webinar examining the dire effects of the U.S. jobs crisis and the steps that must be taken to enable Americans to get back to work.

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Congress Must Act Now to Extend Unemployment, COBRA Benefits

January 21, 2010 - Posted by Ron Bigler

A deadline for Congress to renew an extension of benefits for the unemployed is fast approaching.  The current program – which provides federal funds to states for extended unemployment benefits and a subsidy that pays for 65 percent of workers' health insurance under COBRA – is scheduled to expire on February 28.

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Mic Check Radio Honors Dr. King with Podcast on Eradicating Poverty

January 18, 2010 - Posted by Tyler Lewis

Today, the nation celebrates and honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mic Check Radio, a radio project produced by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, is running a special MLK Day podcast today, highlighting King's impact on current efforts to eradicate poverty, eliminate racial disparities, and create living-wage jobs for low-income and minority communities.

Listen to the podcast or download it for listening on your mp3 player. 

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Minority Unemployment Rates to Hit Record High This Year

January 15, 2010 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

The unemployment rate for African Americans is set to soar to a 25-year high of 17.2 percent by the third quarter of this year, according to a new study by the Economic Policy Institute. The rate for Latinos is also expected to hit a record high of 13.9 percent this year.

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House Extends Benefits for the Unemployed; New Coalition Calls for Stronger Action

December 17, 2009 - Posted by Ron Bigler

The House on Wednesday passed another six-month extension of unemployment benefits and extended the COBRA health care subsidy that was set to expire at the end of December.

The COBRA benefit — created under the stimulus bill earlier this year — pays for 65 percent of a laid-off worker's cost of continuing coverage under an employer's health insurance plan. For many families, it is the only way they can continue to pay for coverage. According to Families USA, the average cost for family coverage under an employer COBRA plan was $1,111. The bill now moves on to the Senate.

The unemployment and COBRA insurance extensions are critical lifelines for millions of Americans trying to survive the worst recession since the Great Depression. But they are only stop-gap measures.

A broad coalition of 60 organizations, including The Leadership Conference, is calling on Congress to pass legislation now that will put millions of Americans back on the job.

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President Obama Sharpens Focus on Jobs, Relief for the Unemployed

December 9, 2009 - Posted by Ron Bigler

Calling the current jobs crisis affecting millions of Americans a "continuing human tragedy," President Obama this week outlined a series of steps intended to boost job growth and continue relief for the unemployed.

The plan includes expanding tax breaks and incentives to small businesses, increasing spending on infrastructure, and a new program of tax rebates for retrofitting homes for energy efficiency. The president also called for the extension of emergency benefits for the unemployed and support for local governments facing budget shortfalls and layoffs.

"We avoided the depression many feared," Obama said in a speech at the Brookings Institution. But, he stressed, "Our work is far from done." 

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