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Action Steps

Place-Based Change

1)      Develop concentrated workforce development including training opportunities in zip codes with high levels of poverty

2)      Expand summer work experience for high school students including exposure to higher education

3)      Develop dual generational workforce programming to encourage neighborhood-specific opportunities

4)      Expand multi-lingual programs and English learning opportunities in neighborhoods with high need

5)      Expand and replicate Viva East Bank model in other neighborhoods with high poverty

6)      Build minority entrepreneurship opportunities to grow minority businesses

7)      Expand the opportunities  for early learning and summer learning

8)      Engage neighborhood associations and residents

System Change:

Centralized Intake for Workforce

1)      Replicate homeless centralized intake process and create a similar process for job training and placement

2)      Offer more options for HiSET preparation and testing

3)      Connect with navigators representative of refugee ethnic groups

4)      Do NCRC testing in High Schools

5)      Provide information to High School Counselors so they have information about the labor market

6)      Explore the NETWORK’s advocacy work

7)      Open job opportunities in public sectors to those in poverty first (1st right of refusal)

8)      Develop on/off career paths for working poor; work support system

System Change:

Cliff Effect

1)      Advocate for a policy that allows for wage increases without loss of all Child Care Assistance and other work benefits.

2)      Ask Polk County General Assistance to consider changing income guidelines

3)      Offer to help Iowa Department of Human Services figure out how to have greater impact at lowest costs with the implementation of new Federal Guidelines

4)      Ask business partners to assist in cost-benefit analysis

5)      Use ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report to spread the word about working poor in Iowa

6)      Work with policy leaders to create an opportunity for Iowa Department of Human Services Staff to connect to community

7)      Advocate for the passing of a livable wage policy for central Iowa

System Change:

Refugee Support

1)      Develop a system for communication, collaboration and coordination amongst service providers and providers and refugee communities

2)      Build a process for measuring the effectiveness of parent/school communication

3)      Connect English as a Second Language committees to increase collaboration across the community

4)      Support the development and implementation of an education agenda for the refugee steering committee

5)      Support the development of Community Navigator program and other mechanisms that increase culturally- and linguistically appropriate case management services for refugees (Refugee Steering Committee)

6)      Advocate for support and resources for newcomers from state agencies to assist with employment, adult English as a Second Language and education, communication with agencies and other translation needs.

7)      Explore the Governor’s office concept of a refugee task force

Individual Change:

Understanding Each Other & Neighborhoods

1)      Information & Data: Provide public awareness of myths about poverty; and ask leaders to share their stories of love and forgiveness in action around the world.

2)      Education: Explore the Fetzer Institute programs for students of all ages as a way learn more about the practice of love and compassion.

3)      Individual, City & Neighborhoods Actions:  Get to know, help, share meals, and recognize (Kindness/Ordinary Heroes Award) your neighbors; build unity in your neighborhood (diversified/mixed housing, freshen up your home, diversify); create a neighborhood safe rating system; explore racial unity through a healthy habits approach that brings two neighborhoods separated both physically and culturally together to share meals; consider promoting the use of Fetzer Institute’s space on Pinterest to build awareness of the power of love and forgiveness in all areas of life (; and support Connections Matter – Developing Brain Relationship in Community for lay people (ACE work at Blank Children’s Hospital).

4)      Personal & Professional Development: Explore programs and councils of Fetzer Institute. Host a Learning Action Lab on Strengthening Inner Perspectives on Leadership Development or Love, Forgiving & Governing; and identify local leaders deserving of recognition of governmental leaders who build aspects of love and forgiveness into their work.

5)      International and National Partners: Explore work and results of the: Ford Foundation (reduce poverty and injustice, advance human achievement); the Osprey Foundation (inspire citizens to realize individual potential to tackle social and economic world challenges - resulting in a world of equality, tolerance and equanimity); and the Kalliopeia Foundation (evolution of communities and cultures that honor the unity at the heart of life’s astounding diversity).

Individual Change:

Voter Registration

1)      Invite elected officials and candidates to Senior Centers and other locations so voters can get to know them better and thus vote in elections

2)      Provide many sites for Voter Registration (Senior Centers, Agencies, Faith community, etc.)

3)      Explore Ford Foundation work on strengthening democratic values.

4)      Increase voter registration and go with neighbors and friends to vote.