[From Bob House, parish administrator, Grace Allentown]
I have mentioned a couple of times during our biddings that the state and federal budget cuts have eliminated the funding of the Weed and Seed Program. This might be penny wise but it is pound foolish. The job counselor program alone, which we have sponsored since 2006, has brought in over 7 million dollars during that period to the local economy at a cost of only $35,000 per year. The entire W & S budget for all 17 locations in PA is only $435,000. The current state budget seems to be designed to destroy the safety net supporting poor people in our state.
You can be instrumental in the effort to restore these funds. Last week around 100 people went to Harrisburg for the “Day on the Hill” event to meet with various legislators. State Weed and Seed sites will continue sending letters, visiting legislators and basically doing what they can to advocate on behalf of returning Weed and Seed to the budget. What can you do? Send the letter shown below.
Download a letter you can send to our representatives and key members of the legislatures. Download a list of legislators to whom you might send the letter.
Here's a factoid you can include in your letter (should you choose to customize it) - according to Laura Accetta, the Easton Weed and Seed Coordinator, State Senator Lisa Boscola said PA prisoners are allowed 10 stamps per month. If we reduced that to 5 or 6 stamps, we would save $2 million dollars! That would pay for our program for about four years.
You can either send this as a letter by printing it out and mailing it or you can “cut and paste” and send it as an email. The important thing is that you send it. These representatives pay attention especially if a significant number of communications are received.
Thousands of poor people all over our state need your help. Many of those folks are within walking distance of our church. Please take fifteen minutes and send a letter or an email.
Robert S. House
Grace Episcopal Church
108 N. Fifth Street
Allentown, PA 18102
610-435-0782 – Office
610-360-1476 – Cell