Digital Divide Coalition Calls-Out ISPs and Government Officials, and Issues 10-Part Call-To-Action
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 20, 2020
50 Member Coalition Calls on California’s Leaders to Address the Digital Divide as a Constitutional Crisis and Demand Transparency and Accountability from Internet Service Providers
Organizations Across the State Demand Specific Changes to Private Sector Practices and Public Sector Policies to Connect Every Student In Every Community to Distance Learning, but Caution That Those Who Live in Once Redlined Communities, and Those in “Last Mile” Areas Face Additional Barriers
#DigitalRedlining #DistanceLearning #StudentsRights
[LOS ANGELES, CA] – As students across the Golden State commence the 2020-21 academic year in a near 100 percent distance learning environment, a statewide coalition of 50 education-mission-driven organizations is making direct calls to action to both Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and elected officials.
In a letter addressed to Governor Newsom, Superintendent Thurmond, Senator Leyva, and key lawmakers; the coalition spells-out how ISPs, local education agencies, and decision-makers in the public and private sectors can and should rectify the status quo, and identifies specific policies and practices that should be introduced, as well as ones that must be abolished. For example, the letter illustrates how the free- and reduced-price school meals program already in place can and should serve as a vehicle to connect low-income households without delay. No further action should be required on the part of any student or caregiver for a home Internet connection and hardware to arrive in that student’s hands.
United Ways of California Denounces the Federal Decision to Halt the 2020 Census Count Made in the Wake of an Executive Order that Seeks to Skew Apportionment
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
United Ways of California Joins Over 500 Philanthropic Leaders in Denouncing Federal Decision to Eliminate the Final Month of 2020 Census Operations:
UWCA President and CEO, Peter Manzo, along with grantmaking executives across the United States, wrote to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham, stating that the decision to stop collecting household data on September 30, (instead of October 31) will prove detrimental to hard-to-count Americans who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic
[Los Angeles, CA] – United Ways of California, the statewide organization supporting California’s network of 30 local United Ways, has called on U.S. Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, and U.S. Census Bureau Director, Steven Dillingham, to rescind their decision to drastically cut short 2020 Census operations, and to restore their commitment to conducting the constitutionally-mandated count through October 31, as previously announced. Peter Manzo, President and CEO of United Ways of California, is joined by the leaders of over 500 nonprofit funders across the country, in calling on the federal government to devote adequate time to the significant enumeration and data processing that remains unfinished. This correspondence reflects an unprecedented consensus among national, state and local grantmakers and philanthropic institutions that have given more than $100 million to help ensure a full and accurate count.
The Administration plans to end not only door-to-door census enumeration, but to close self-response operations as well. Please click here to view the letter and list of signatories.
United Ways of California Helps Californian Families Count Down to July 15 Tax Filing Deadline: ‘You May Qualify for Additional Credits; Ask Free Tax Experts’
FOR RELEASE July 14, 2020
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United Way encourages tax filers with children under 6 to see if they qualify for California’s $1000 Young Child Tax Credit
LOS ANGELES, CA (July 14, 2020) ‒ California United Ways want to inform low to middle-income hardworking families that it is still not too late to file 2019 taxes for the impending July 15* federal deadline and they may even be able to receive additional money with state credits like the Young Child Tax Credit. This tax credit enables those who qualify for another tax credit, California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), and have a child under the age of 6 as of the end of the tax year to receive an additional $1,000 credit. Families can claim this credit by filing or amending a state income tax return. United Way’s MyFreeTaxes.org hotline and texting options provide several ways to aid Californians with their taxes in a free, quick, and trustworthy way. Any immediate questions pertaining to tax filing can be answered by calling 1-866-698-9435, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., PST, Monday through Friday. Additional tax guidance can be found by texting Taxes to 211-211.
Research shows that families who receive additional tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, have, who do better in school, and are more likely to attend college, and earn more as adults.
“The Young Children’s Tax Credit can make a crucial difference for lower-income and vulnerable families,” said Peter Manzo, President and CEO of United Ways of California. “Especially during this difficult-to-navigate pandemic, we want to spread the word so that as many families as possible claim the credits they deserve.
Many families also may not realize they can file retroactively for up to three years of refundable credits that they did not claim in prior years,” Manzo added. The extension for filing this year applies retroactively, so you can get the help you need to file your returns for 2019, 2018, 2017, and even 2016.
To schedule a virtual visit to complete taxes with the help of a volunteer tax preparer, click here.
While Taxes are Due Today United Ways of California Says ‘It May Not be Too Late to Do Your Taxes, for Free, with Expert Guidance’
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 15, 2020
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United Way offers free tax filing services, guidance and tax credit advice to Californians already struggling with the pandemic and increasing financial insecurity
LOS ANGELES, CA (July 15, 2020) ‒ This past week United Ways of California has been running a Tax Countdown Informational Series in the media to inform low to middle-income hardworking Californians about critical tax information, key deadlines and free solutions at United Way’s MyFreeTaxes.org site. Today (July 15) is the deadline to file a tax return and pay federal taxes. If filers don’t owe taxes above what has been withheld from their paychecks already, they receive an automatic additional extension to file federal and state taxes until October 15. If filers think they owe taxes but aren’t ready to file a return, they must request an extension, or they may be hit with penalties and interest due on the amount owed. In either case, it is still a good idea to file and pay sooner than later.
Several Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites, partners, subgrantees, and MyFreeTaxes.org will continue to operate until October 15, 2020. The website helps people get connected to services that provide free, virtual assistance to those who still need to do their taxes. Any immediate tax questions can be answered by calling 1-866-698-9435, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, PST. Additionally, you can text TAXES to 211-211 to get guidance.
“Filing taxes is nobody’s favorite thing, and it’s an especially daunting task during the complexities of COVID-19,” says Peter Manzo, President and CEO of United Ways of California. “We’re trying to break down the information into actionable items so individuals and families don’t lose money through unnecessary interest payments and may even find additional money through tax credits,” Manzo added.
United Ways of California Helps Californians Count Down to July 15 Tax Filing Deadline: ‘Know the Facts; File for Free’
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 13, 2020
Spanish Version is available when clicking READ MORE.
United Way “Tax Preparation Checklist” helps tax filers better prepare and file their taxes virtually with Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders
LOS ANGELES, CA (July 13, 2020) ‒ California United Ways and partner Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs across the state are making their services available virtually, for hard-working, low to middle-income California workers who have just a few remaining days to file their taxes before the extended deadline of July 15, 2020.* United Way’s MyFreeTaxes.org, a hotline, and texting options provide several ways to aid Californians with their taxes in a free, quick, and trustworthy way. Any immediate questions pertaining to tax filing can be answered by calling 866-698-9435, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. PST. Additional guidance can be found by texting TAXES to 211-211.
“With COVID-19, in-person tax appointments might be unsettling for high-risk individuals, or visits may have been postponed while trying to wait out the climbing number of positive cases,” said Peter Manzo, President and CEO of United Ways of California. “United Ways wants Californians to know the facts, to get informed and to explore all their options for a free, safe, and virtual option, that in many cases can help you find additional sources of income through tax credits,” Manzo added.
To schedule a virtual visit, click here. Proceed through the dialogue box and enter in the required information to set up your virtual vita appointment.
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