Subject: Raising the Minimum Wage; Finding Solutions
December 2013

Dear Friend,

Our warmest holiday greetings to you and yours in this colder-than-average December! We're very close (like $976 close) to claiming a $20,000 challenge grant as a part of our annual campaign. Your generosity has gotten us more than 95% of the way to our goal; if you haven't given to CAD yet, you could help us go the last mile and fill our funding gap for 2014 by giving online here.

thank you so much,
Angie Miller
Executive Director

Work to Raise the Minimum Wage

On December 5th, we held a joint press conference with TakeAction Minnesota and CHUM to highlight how raising the minimum wage in Minnesota will positively impact Duluth-area families and the local economy. Low-wage workers, including Charles Lattimore (pictured), shared their experiences of the difficulty of living on $7.25/hour. Most minimum wage earners in Duluth are adults and many support children. A single mom with one child who works full-time year-round at minimum wage still falls below the poverty line. This unacceptable situation is the reason that the Community Action Duluth board made raising the state minimum wage a top policy priority.

When the legislature reconvenes in late February, we'll be supporting legislation to raise the wage.

Solutions Forum; Jodi Pfarr in Jan

The Community Engagement division and the graduates of our Getting Ahead class have a full slate of activities coming up over the next several weeks. If you couldn't make it to the Big View Solutions Forum last week, you're in luck! It was rescheduled because of the snowstorm to Wednesday, December 18th (5:30-8pm). It's still at Myers-Wilkins School, and you can still register online here.


After the new year, we're looking forward to welcoming nationally recognized poverty expert Jodi Pfarr to Duluth. She'll host a one-day workshop at our office on Friday, January 17th called "Connecting Us to Find Solutions to End Poverty." It'll be a session filled with insightful and interactive learning; attendees will build skills and deepen their understanding of poverty.

The workshop will be in the lower level of our offices at the former Lincoln Park Elementary School on Friday, January 17th from 8 am to 3 pm. Registration is $35 and includes lunch. The workshop is co-sponsored by AICHO and the Duluth YWCA. To find out more or register, call Judy Little at 218-726-1665 x26 or check out the event on our website.

Funder Focus: Duluth LISC

Over the next few months, we're highlighting some of the major funders of our work. We're kicking off the series with one of our most important funding partners, Duluth LISC. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is a national organization with offices in 30 communities, including Duluth. LISC aggregates and distributes federal and private foundation funding and technical assistance to support sustainable community development. LISC envisions sustainable communities where "all residents of varied income levels are provided the opportunities and tools to build assets, to participate in their communities, and to become part of the mainstream economy."

Big View Image

We're bringing this vision to life with help from several LISC fundning streams. LISC support is crucial to the ongoing redevelopment of the Lincoln Park School, the home of our new office. Much of our financial, employment, and benefit outreach work is funded under LISC's Financial Opportunity Center Program. Federal HUD Section 4 funds administered by LISC help us expand the scope of our work by funding part of the salaries of several of our staff and we've benefitted from the work of a steady stream of LISC AmeriCorps members over the past few years. LISC Duluth convenes the At Home in Duluth Collaborative of 25 city agencies and nonprofits who work together to revitalize Duluth's core neighborhoods. LISC Duluth has also brought pilot funding to new initiatives. One local example is their regranting of McKnight Foundation monies to pay for the establishment of the Lincoln Park Farmers Market we started this past summer. A big thanks to LISC for their continued support of our shared work!

Select Events:

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December 11th, 5:30 pm Agency Orientation
December 18th, 4:00 pm Tax Site Volunteer Orientation
December 18th, 5:30pm Big View Solutions Forum
January 2nd, 5:30pm Tax Site Volunteer Orientation
January 17th, 8:00am Connecting Us to Find Solutions to Poverty