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Forty Percent of Working-Age Californians Unemployed
Sept 9, 2009; Huliq News | California has an official jobless rate of 11.5% – two points above the national average – but a recent report from the nonprofit California Budget Project estimates that the rate is more like 40%. In other words two of five Californians are out of work. I had the privilege of sitting on a panel with Jean Ross, one of the authors of this report who broke down what the result of this downturn will mean to California’s nonprofits. It was pretty stark. A summary of safety net cuts is also contained on the site of the California Budget Project.  —Ruth McCambridge

Surge in Homeless Pupils Strains Schools
Sept 5, 2009; New York Times |  Why is this a nonprofit story?  Because the burgeoning homelessness affecting school enrollments, over 1,000,000 this year compared to 679,000 homeless kids in the schools in the 2006-2007 school year, not only impacts public school systems, but nonprofits charged with providing housing and services to homeless families.  Some indicators of community conditions are more important than others, and this is one that merits nonprofit attention.  —Rick Cohen

State Discriminated Against Mentally Ill, Judge Rules
Sept 9, 2009; New York Times |  NPQ is always interested in the fields where nonprofits and for-profits co-exist to serve a particular community; one of these fields is mental health. An important ruling last week by a Brooklyn Federal District Court Judge, Nicholas G. Garaufis, finds that the rights of mentally ill people in New York City have been violated by isolating them in privately run “adult homes” established in the aftermath of de-institutionalization. The suit was brought in 2003 by the nonprofit group, Disability Advocates who asserted among many other things that the residents of some of these facilities were subjected to unnecessary tests and treatments to bring in additional Medicaid and Medicare money. This story underscores the importance of legal advocacy as part of a coherent strategy in most fields in which we work.  —Ruth McCambridge

Dinner with Palin part of charity auction
Sept 4, 2009; Associated Press |  Bid 25 grand minimum, and you might win a dinner with Sarah Palin in Alaska.  It’s not a waste, the beneficiary is a charity assisting wounded veterans through bicycling. One might hope that the dinner-winner takes advantage of the former gov to explain what the health care reform bills actually say as opposed to what she imagines or fears.  Betcha that would be a fascinating dinner conversation to monitor.  —Rick Cohen


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