Archives: Voices

Friday, October 28 is Vote Early Day 

CHN believes in the power of mobilizing everyone to get involved in democracy, whether it’s ensuring that those who can vote do vote, encouraging people to support democracy in as many activities as possible beyond casting their own ballot,  (like election protection or poll greeting).  As part of this effort, CHN is promoting Vote Early Day, which this election cycle falls on Friday, October 28, the Friday before Halloween. CHN’s partnership with Vote Early Day encourages current and potential voters to register to vote and make a plan to vote early – studies show that people who make a plan to vote are much more likely to do so. 

Vote Forward: Voter engagement with a more personal touch 

The Coalition on Human Needs does not, and by law cannot, endorse candidates for partisan office. This is because, like many of the groups we partner with, our nonprofit tax status does not allow it. But what we can do, In keeping with our mission to lift up low-income and other vulnerable populations, is to encourage people to vote. And so CHN is a proud partner of a broad-based national effort to encourage voter turnout by participating in Vote Forward, a campaign to recruit volunteers to send  millions of letters to potential voters in underserved communities in key states.

COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship, October 14, 2022

The “twindemic” is coming edition. Health care professionals are bracing for a quadruple whammy this winter that is expected to severely test hospitals across the country. Already, flu cases are on the upswing throughout the U.S., and public health experts warn this could be the worst flu season in years. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of new COVID-19 cases continue to be reported daily. And on top of all this, many hospitals, particularly children’s hospitals, emergency rooms and pediatric units are dealing with what in some states is a flood of children sick with respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. 

Extending free school lunch for millions: ‘All that is lacking is political will’ 

Since I was a kindergartner up until I graduated high school, I ate free school lunch every single day. My single mother worked two jobs to keep me and my sister afloat. She would leave early in the morning and wouldn’t come back till late in the evening. Free school lunch was our lifeline. Growing up, I was unaware of the economic hardships my mother worked through. The only thing I knew is that I could go to school, and I could eat. My mother relied on the knowledge that for one meal of the day, she didn’t have to worry about paying or having the time to prepare it. She knew that while her daughters were at school, they were not going hungry because of free school meals.  

First Focus report: Federal spending on children rose sharply in 2021, but now has regressed 

A child needs more than just food to grow. When children are deprived of food, shelter, and extracurriculars they fall behind their peers. How is a child who is going to bed hungry going to have the energy to pay attention in school? How is a child without a warm bed going to get enough sleep? How is a child not going to notice their crying parents at the kitchen table desperately trying to figure out how to survive?  

The U.S. purchased 171 million COVID-19 booster shots. Where are the takers? 

A new study released this week revealed some sobering news. The study, which was conducted by the Commonwealth Fund and Yale School of Public Health, found that if booster vaccinations continue at their current low pace, the U.S. could see a fatality rate approaching 1,200 deaths per day by March. That’s about three times the current rate. 

Revive the Child Tax Credit. Our children deserve no less.

I like to think I’m an American success story. I was born into homelessness, grew up in the foster care system, and suffered unthinkable domestic abuse as an adult. Now I’m on track to graduate with a Master’s degree in social work next spring. But don’t mistake my story for the “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” trope that conservative lawmakers like to call the American Dream. That idea is mythical, and my own success story proves it.

COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship, September 30, 2022

The pandemic is not over edition.  Many Americans are acting as if the pandemic is over, and President Biden even said as much in a recent interview with 60 Minutes (although he later walked back his comments). And it is true that as of this moment, we are trending in the right direction – daily infection rates, hospitalizations, and deaths are all significantly down; in some cases, the metrics reflect the pre-Delta days of late spring and early summer 2021 (another time when some thought the pandemic was winding down).

Close the Medicaid coverage gap

I have terrible chronic pain that’s left me unable to work for the last few years. I can’t sleep well, and every day is a battle just to take care of myself. It would be life-changing if I could be seen by a doctor. But I’m one of the 2 million Americans caught in what’s called the Medicaid coverage gap: we’re people in a no man’s land who can’t afford health insurance on their own, but aren’t eligible for their state or federal health insurance programs.

Hurricanes Maria and Fiona show our shameful neglect of Puerto Rico and her 3.5 million U.S. citizens 

As my flight descended into San Juan, I was surprised and amazed to see what appeared to be hundreds and hundreds of swimming pools dotting the landscape of Puerto Rico’s capital. But as the airplane banked and descended further, and the landscape expanded outside my window, my amazement turned to horror and anguish: what appeared to be swimming pools, I now saw, were actually blue tarps, covering thousands and thousands of houses.