Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
April 17, 2017
CT Marches for the Climate
Senators Richard Blumenthal & Chris Murphy
join with CT Labor, Religious & Environmental Groups to Promote March for Science & People’s Climate March
Tuesday, April 18 @ 11:00am
Common Ground High School (358 Springside Ave.)
Senators join CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs
in speaking against Trump Administration’s policies; highlight local efforts
As the Trump Administration seeks to roll back decades of progress on environmental and climate protection, local and state initiatives in CT continue to advance a shift toward a clean energy economy that creates local jobs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating healthier, more resilient communities.
The 4/18 press event will highlight:
- Sat, April 22 - Earth Day events, including the “March for Science” in Hartford and New Haven, along with New Haven’s “Rock to Rock” fundraising bike ride; and
- Sat, April 29 - People’s Climate March buses that will transport CT residents to the national march in DC from points all across the state
Speakers will include:
- John Harrity, President, CT State Council of Machinists
- Mustafa Salahuddin, President, ATU Local 1336 (bus drivers’ union in Bridgeport)
- Pam Arifian, Director, United Church of Christ Northeast Environmental Justice Center at Silver Lake Conference Center, in Sharon CT; and a board member of the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network
- Tyra deBoise, youth leader at Dixwell Avenue Congregational Church
- Anna Ruth Pickett, Development & Outreach Manager, Urban Resources Initiative
- Giovanni Zinn, City Engineer, City of New Haven
Launched in June 2012, the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs is an innovative partnership between the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network (IREJN) and the CT AFL-CIO that seeks to strengthen collaboration among Connecticut’s labor, environmental, and religious groups in advocating for public policies that address urgent concerns about climate change while creating good-paying jobs for Connecticut’s workers.
Friday, April 7, 2017
Emergencies don’t have to be financial disasters; start saving now!
You’re laid off at work. Your car needs a new transmission. Your furnace blows. These are all costly emergencies that can’t usually be anticipated and cannot be avoided once they occur. Without a fund set aside just for such emergencies, they can trigger even greater disasters.
Last year, NeighborWorks America released the findings of its third annual consumer finance survey. Chief among them is the alarming fact that nearly a third of adult Americans (29 percent) have no emergency savings. Ninety-one percent of those with incomes of $100,000 reported holding emergency savings, compared to just 30 percent of who earn less than $20,000, 63 percent of those with incomes below $40,000 and 78 percent of those with incomes between $40,000 -$50,000.
A good rule of thumb is to have enough funds set aside to cover three to six months (some say four to seven) of living expenses. This will give you enough time, for instance, to find a new job or supplement your unemployment benefits until you do. However, anything in the bank is better than nothing — and $500 will get you out of many scrapes that would otherwise put you in the hole. In other words, start small if you have to, but start.
Here are a few tips:
Set up a savings account just for this purpose. Separate it from the accounts you tap into on a regular basis so you’re not tempted to dip into your reserves. Do not get access to it via debit card. And if you are issued a checkbook, hide it.
Arrange the automatic deposit of a portion of your paycheck into that savings account. Most employers allow direct deposits into multiple accounts. This is the most painless way to create a regular savings habit; you won’t even notice it! But make sure you’ve created a realistic budget. Otherwise, you’ll be pulling money out of savings regularly to pay bills, defeating the purpose.
Keep the change. When you get $1 and $5 bills after breaking a $20, drop some in a jar at home. When the jar fills up, move it into your savings account. And if you have money left after paying your bills at the end of a pay period, move some into your emergency fund.
Save your tax refund. The average refund is in the thousands, which can give a good boost to your emergency savings. When you file your taxes, consider having your refund directly deposited into your emergency account. Alternatively, adjust your W-4 tax form so that you have less money withheld, and direct the extra into your emergency fund.
Cut back on costs. If you’re still falling short on saving, track your spending for a month to find discretionary expenses you don’t really need. Meals out, stops at coffee shops, drinks with friends all add up fast, but you may not realize how much you’re spending in total until you’ve put it on paper. Remember: Expenses you should be able to anticipate, such as holiday gifts and annual auto insurance payments, are not emergencies! One of the most common problems people have with emergency funds is forgetting to plan for one-time expenses each year.
Remember: NHS of New Haven housing specialists offer financial education and coaching to help you follow these guidelines. Emergencies are upsetting enough. Don’t allow them to turn into financial catastrophes as well.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2017
Zadie Oleksiw, Vote Solar Communications Manager, Zadie@votesolar.org, 202-836-5754
Local Advocates Meet to Highlight Solar Opportunity
Community solar is a major opportunity to empower Connecticut’s low-income customers
New Haven, CT. – Today, local clean energy and housing advocates held a public event highlighting the benefits of shared solar and other low-income solar programs for customers and communities. The recently updated Low-Income Solar Access Guide was also released with a Connecticut-specific fact sheet, which includes program and policy developments over the last year that better serve low-income customers.
“The clean energy economy is soaring nationwide, and neighboring states like Massachusetts and New York are expanding solar access to all of their communities – and reaping wealthier and healthier communities as a result,” said Melanie Santiago-Mosier, Low-Income Program Director at Vote Solar. “Now, it’s Connecticut’s turn to harvest those benefits, and community solar is how we do that. We’re asking lawmakers to bring clean energy choices, lower utility bills, and cleaner air to everyone in Connecticut through community solar.”
A well-designed community solar program, which doesn’t yet exist in Connecticut, would unlock lower customer utility bills, greater control over energy choices, and serve to support a local clean energy economy. Two years ago the legislature authorized a pilot program for community solar, but the pilot has been delayed several times and has still not moved forward, while neighboring states have made significant gains and opened up statewide programs in that time. Community and rooftop solar also promote a healthier environment by reducing the need for generating power from fossil fuel plants.
“Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven isn’t just about rehabbing houses and making them energy efficient; it isn’t just about the folks who buy our houses; it is about the neighborhoods we serve, and everyone in them,” said Kathy Fay, Deputy Director of Design and Construction at Neighborhood Housing Service of New Haven. “Everyone, regardless of income, pays a portion of their electric bill into a fund that helps to bring solar to local communities. Community shared solar in Connecticut will make it possible for everyone to take advantage of the solar opportunity, regardless of whether it’s on their roof or around the corner.”
“Shared solar is a way to make the technology of clean renewable energy available to many, if not all, of Connecticut residents,” said Paula Panzarella, speaking for the New Haven Energy Task Force. “Clean renewable energy is a concern of everyone. Especially in the inner-cities, we are already living with an overload of pollutants, asthma and automobile exhaust. Shared clean energy facilities would allow city-dwelling and low-wage earners to have access to clean energy. Everyone pays into the funds to support the clean energy programs, and shared solar allows everyone to reap the benefits.”
“The Green Bank is working to ensure that all Connecticut residents and businesses have equitable access to energy savings through our programs, strategic partnerships, and outreach,” said Madeline Priest of the Connecticut Green Bank. “We are pleased to support the state’s shared clean energy program with financing availability to community solar developers. Solar is affordable, and Connecticut businesses and residents can be excited for the opportunity to save money by saving energy.”
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About Vote Solar:
Vote Solar is a non-profit organization working to foster economic development and energy independence by bringing solar energy to the mainstream nationwide. Learn more at www.votesolar.org