NCLEJ and ACLU of Rhode Island Challenge Unlawful Delays of Food Stamps
NCLEJ Signs on to Letter Urging Policymakers to Protect Workers’ Rights
NCLEJ and the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island (ACLU) have filed a class action lawsuit against Rhode Island over its widespread failure to process food stamp applications from the state’s neediest residents in a timely manner, in part due to the implementation of a faulty new computer system. Mea Martinez, a mother of three and one of the lawsuit’s named plaintiffs, has been waiting for her benefits since August. She visited the Department of Human Services, waited in long lines, and jumped through every hoop, only to be told in December that her benefits could not be processed due to computer issues. Thousands of residents like Ms. Martinez face imminent hunger as 50% of the state’s food stamp applications entitled to expedited processing have experienced delays. Read more
Theresa Lau Provides Outreach to Seniors at NYC Chinatown Community Event
Settlement Requires Connecticut to Issue Timely Food Stamps to Needy Households
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Law Foundation Partners and In-House Counsel Community Law Fellow Theresa Lau is continuing her work to improve the health of low-income Asian American communities in New York City. On December 14, she provided community outreach and education at the Visiting Nurses Services of New York Chinatown Community Event. Theresa met with Chinese seniors to provide information about Medicaid and Medicare services.
As part of NCLEJ’s ongoing effort to hold state governments accountable, we, along with Greater Hartford Legal Aid, have achieved a victory for Connecticut residents who have suffered delays in receiving their food stamp benefits. Such delays cause hunger for the low-income families who rely on food stamps to put food on the table. The December 16 settlement was reached in a long-standing federal class action challenging the State of Connecticut’s failure to process food stamp applications in a timely manner. Read more
Jennifer Selendy, Marc Cohan, Brooke Richie-Babbage Named to the Responsible 100 List
NCLEJ and Colleagues Challenge Florida’s Improper Termination of Food Stamps
On December 15, Chair of NCLEJ’s Board of Directors Jennifer Selendy and NCLEJ Executive Director Marc Cohan (pictured above) were recognized by City & State New York as members of its CSR Responsible 100 list. 2016 NCLEJ Dinner honoree Brooke Richie-Babbage was also named to the list for her work as founder of the Resilience Advocacy Project. The event honored 100 of New York's most powerful leaders and executives who have also shown leadership in improving their communities.
On December 16, NCLEJ, along with Florida colleagues, filed a federal class action lawsuit in the Northern District of Florida challenging the State’s termination of food stamps for needy adults as a result of its flawed implementation of a complex new work requirement. These jobless adults are extremely vulnerable and often face many challenges, including homelessness and mental health issues, and many should be exempt from the new rules. Already, more than 400,000 residents have lost food stamps – including many who are people with disabilities or low-income working single adults. The lawsuit, Christopher MO. v. Carroll
, claims that Florida’s termination of these adults violates federal food stamp law and the Due Process Clause of the Constitution. Read more
In December, NCLEJ joined with other members of the Workers’ Protection Coalition to advocate for the rights of injured workers in the New York State workers’ compensation system by signing onto a letter to the Governor, Assembly Speaker, and Senate Majority Leader. Over the past 20 years, a number of “reforms” have been made to the workers’ compensation system, nearly all of which have made it less useful for injured workers. A new package of anti-worker reforms was included in the Governor’s budget last session. The Coalition helped stop these measures from passing, but we expect to see a similar package again this year. The letter is a preemptive effort to encourage policymakers to keep workers in mind and consider their interests during the upcoming legislative session.
Gina Mannix Participates in National Conferences on Public Benefits Policy
In December, Deputy Director Gina Mannix, a nationally recognized expert on SNAP (food stamps) advocacy, joined a roundtable session, convened by the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), and the Urban Institute on "The Federal Role in Benefit Program Alignment and Access: Lessons and Next Steps." The session brought together senior government policymakers, researchers, advocates, practitioners, and funders, to discuss on the lessons of Work Support Strategies
and identify strategies for the next administration. Gina was also an invited participant at the CBPP’s two-day SNAP national policy conference, which convened experts to discuss current SNAP issues and upcoming challenges.
Seeking Applicants for 2017 Economic Justice Summer Internship Program
If you are a law student looking to make a real impact on the lives of low-income people, join our dynamic team to fight for economic justice while honing your legal skills. NCLEJ is seeking legal interns for the summer of 2017. Our interns work closely with NCLEJ staff attorneys to support ongoing impact litigation, policy analysis, and advocacy. Click here to learn more