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  1. Introducing

  2. Our Mission The Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition is a non-partisan coalition of Bucks County individuals and the non-profit organizations that serve women and girls. We empower, educate and advocate together to promote gender equality and economic self-sufficiency for all.

  3. Our Members 30 non-profit organizations serving Bucks County women and girls 11 Bucks County individuals

  4. Our Partnership We have joined in partnershipto create healthy communities and to effect systemic change that benefits women and girls.

  5. Our Partnership We believe in the principle of shared responsibilities; individuals and society (non-profits, for-profits, government) each have responsibilities in fostering economic self-sufficiency and in creating healthy communities.

  6. Desired Outcomes Desired outcomes of the Coalition’s work will mean more issues will be viewed publicly through a “gender lens”…

  7. Desired Outcomes 1. More people will know about the need for better policies and programming to achieve women’s and girls’ economic security, access to services, safety, and leadership opportunities.

  8. Desired Outcomes 2. Policy makers and opinion leaders will be more engagedin issues regarding women’s and girls’ economic security, access to services, safety, and leadership opportunities.

  9. Desired Outcomes 3. Systems (rules, laws, institutional processes) will change and be more responsive to the needs of women and girls.

  10. Desired Outcomes 4. Coalitions and decision-making bodies will be more diverse and inclusive of all women’s and girls’ voices and issues.

  11. Desired Outcomes 5. Advocacy on behalf of women and girls will be stronger, more coordinated, and strategic when allied groups work together. We will be more able to attain and sustain the necessary resources and changes needed in Bucks County.

  12. Our Focus Economic self-sufficiency for all and the interrelated issues that impact ESS: Child Care • Education • Health Care Housing • Jobs • Transportation Domestic violence and addiction issues affect all areas of concern.

  13. Why Women? Women are the glue of our families and communities. Women are a window to the realities of life. Women are increasingly the heads of households. Women predominate in coming to our Bucks County agencies, seeking help for themselves and their families.

  14. Why Women? Women are one half the work force (Shriver Report) and need supportive systems and gender equity. The Census shows that, in Bucks County, the percentage of female-headed households with children under 5 years old are 46.4 % belowthe federal poverty level; with children under 18, they are 22.7% below the poverty level.

  15. Economic Self-Sufficiency Bucks County Opportunity Council 2009 Graduates: 16ESS graduate families 16 Adults (14 Female; 88% Female Head of Household)24 Children (15 Girls, or 62%) Average Beginning Income: $10,585 (8 on Welfare) Average Ending Income: $40,236 Average Time on Program: 45 Months Female Head of Household Graduate Families Over Past 3 Years: 30 of 32 (94%)

  16. Reality: Cliff Effect As individuals and families start to rise out of poverty, subsidies are reduced dramatically. A small increase in wages can cause the loss of substantial subsidies or the complete termination of a benefit, pushing a family off an economic cliff as the support system falls away. Bottom Line: Families end up worse off than they were before.

  17. Principles Statement On behalf of Bucks County women and their families, the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition advocates for empowering women with education, training, resources and support so they may progress steadily toward achieving economic self-sufficiency. The Coalition supports a public and private economic and social system in Bucks County based on shared responsibilities and guided by the following principles:

  18. Our ESS Principles To provide an adequate supply of employment opportunities which pay family-sustaining wages; To provide access to high quality, affordable childcare, eldercare and caregiver support; To provide health insurance coverage for all family members; To provide educational opportunities to achieve financial literacy; To provide comprehensive integrated services that are accessible and available to all who need them;

  19. Our ESS Principles (cont’d) To provide workplace training and development needed for basic employment, ongoing marketability and advancement; To provide safe, secure housing for all income levels and needs; To provide access to reliable transportation; To provide freedom from predatory and exploitive practices and persons; To provide assistance that allows women and their families to be as independent as possible and to reach their full capacity in the economy.

  20. Members Working Together The effort to achieve these principles will be guided by gender-specific data collection and analysis, and accountability of all agencies and organizations. Benchmarks will be set and reviewed periodically to reflect the inherent dynamics of the economy.

  21. Shared Responsibility Who is responsible for a Roadmap to Economic Self-Sufficiency? We believe it is a shared responsibility among individuals and all sectors of society. Non-profits, for-profits and government all have a role and share in the responsibility to help build healthy communities.

  22. Systemic Change It is no longer sufficient to treat the symptoms of problems. Our shared responsibilities are to address the root causes of poverty, truly creating a Roadmap to Economic Self-Sufficiency for the women and girls, families and communities of Bucks County.

  23. What’s Next? Long-term commitment by coalition members and their Boards of Directors. Establishing a five-year strategic plan for the principles that all members support and on which advocacy is based.

  24. What’s Next? Develop by-laws to solidify our coalition’s structure. Expand our membership and supporters.

  25. Leadership Steering Committee Nancy Morrill, Chair Donna Byrne, Secretary David Ford Maggie Groff Susan Hauser Tam St. Claire