Monthly JONAH Task Force Updates

Here is what our task forces have been up to in November! Read below!

For more information on any of these activities, please contact the task force chairs directly!

Our Transit Alliancecontinues to advocate for public transit needs as a part of conversations around transportation, from local EC Transit to the West Central Rail Coalition on the state level. To join our Transportation Committee, please contact mrquam@charter.net.

The Mental Health Group: They will be displaying the Bandana Project at the Eau Claire Public Library, more information to come. They also recorded the Peer Support Forum on YouTube, you can watch it HERE.  Contact cvjonahorganizer@gmail.com to attend the task force meetings.

The Immigration Task Force continues to their work for Driver’s Licenses for immigrants and also keep in constant communication with the Sheriff’s department to ensure the safety and fair treatment of all immigrants. They have also continued communication with the EC City-County Health Department and share health information with the wider Latino community. Contact rk651@charter.net for more information

The Environmental Task Force has scheduled the Earth Week Forum, sponsored by the JONAH ETF for Thursday April 20th at the Brewing Projekt. Stay tuned for more announcements. The City Manager has approved “No Mow May” in the city of Eau Claire and a proclamation has been submitted. The idea behind “No Mow May” is to leave your lawn alone for the month of May. This allows lawn flowers to bloom and feed hungry native bees emerging from hibernation when other flowers are scarce. The Sustainability Advisory Committee 2023 worklplan will be presented to the City Council for approval this month.  Contact Sue Waits, waitsr@charter.net for more information. 

The CV Justice Action Team: Peter Moreno joined the group and shared information on the Odyssey Beyond Bars project which delivers college courses to persons who are incarcerated in state prisons, currently 4 prisons offer the program. Most of the men enrolled are taking college jump start classes such as English 100. They are also offered wrap around support. On the horizon are more classes as well as certificate and degree programs. Programs are not currently offered at DOC facilities near Eau Claire (Stanley, Black River, CVCTF).The Justice Action Team is continuing work on a project to connect UW art students and stories of EXPO members. JONAH will keep its followers updated on all these projects as they develop. Anyone passionate about these issues are welcome to attend these monthly meetings. Contact Tom Wirth, tom.wirth59@gmail.com

Affordable Housing Task Force: The Community Haven House, which AHTF members collaborate on, is having an Open House on January 18, from 4-6pm. We welcome you to break bread with us and learn more how you can assist in sustaining this welcoming space as well as supporting the larger project which has as its long-term goal, housing for everyone. Follow Community Haven House on Facebook. The Affordable Housing Task Force continues to advocate for affordable housing for all of our neighbors. For up-to- date information, visit their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/JONAHAffordableHousing/ Contact Susan Wolfgram, wolfgram.susanm@gmail.com

Child poverty: They are joining our allies in demanding Congress make the following investments:

  • An additional $6.17 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) (a total of $12.3 billion), which will support states in making targeted investments to their child care systems aligned with longer-term recovery needs.
  • An additional $4.4 billion for Head Start (a total of $15.4 billion). Specifically, $1 billion for expansion of Early Head Start and Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, $596 million to sustain the workforce through a cost-of-living adjustment, $2.5 billion for workforce compensation realignment, $262 million to provide flexibility to address local quality improvement priorities, including facilities, and $10 million to help develop  the most effective and appropriate staff for American Indian/Alaska Native programs. 
  • An additional $435.7 million for early intervention services provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and $105 million for preschool special education services. 
  • An additional $210 million for the Preschool Development Grants Birth through Five (a total of $500 million) to support states’ and territories’ efforts to increase the quality and efficiency of existing early learning programs and systems.

Write to your members of Congress today and tell them to stop the child care crisis. To participate or connect with our chair, contact John Wagner at jwagner@chipvalley.com.

Rural work: The team has connected with several partners with concerns in rural communities and maintain regular communication. Many partners that provide resources to these communities have not had the capacity to connect with those residents to let them know what is available to them. Our team is planning two listening sessions, with partners, in Fairchild and Jim Falls in February. We continue to make connections with rural residents and are building relationships with churches in these communities. If you have questions about this project, or if you want to be involved in some way, please reach out to KenHood at ken.hood.JONAH@protonmail.com or, if you know of congregations and leaders looking to start a faith-based conversation on caring for their community, please contact Kari at ka.jonahorganizer@gmail.com.