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2018-4-5

Southside Virginia Community College wants you!!  There is still time to register for classes and  apply for Financial Aid for the upcoming semester starting August 20.  Come by to see us...  Go to SVCC's Christanna Campus in Alberta or the John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville or a location  in Emporia, Blackstone, Chase City, South Boston,  or South HIll for individual help or visit SVCC online at Southside.edu.  Now is the time, SVCC is the place!!!!!

IT’S national social security month!

By Jacqueline Weisgarber

Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Richmond, Virginia

National Social Security Month is celebrated in April and is dedicated to educating you about Social Security programs and services.  From programs that help support you through life’s journey, to services that help put you in control, to systems that help protect what’s important to you, Social Security is committed to helping secure today and tomorrow for you and your family.

During National Social Security Month, we encourage people to take control of their future with my Social Security at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Create a my Social Security account to check your earnings history, confirm you have enough credits to retire, see an estimate of future benefits while still working, or manage your monthly benefits once you begin receiving them. You can also check the status of your claim or appeal, request a replacement Social Security card, and get an instant benefit verification letter.

Our Retirement Estimator is another great tool that provides you with immediate and personalized benefit estimates based on your own earnings record. This allows you to receive the most accurate estimate of your future retirement benefits. Estimate your benefits now atwww.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

After you have viewed your earnings history for accuracy, confirmed you have enough work credits to retire, and determined the best age to retire, you can get started on the next phase of your life right away by retiring online! It’s fast and easy at www.socialsecurity.gov/retireonline.

For more than 80 years, Social Security has changed to meet the needs of our customers. During National Social Security Month, and throughout the year, Social Security puts you in control with secure access to your information anytime, anywhere. From estimating or managing your benefits, requesting a replacement Social Security card, to retiring online, visit SocialSecurity.gov today, and see what you can do online at www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices.

Virginia Department of Health to Receive $2+ Million for HIV Programs

Richmond, Va. – Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) announced that the Virginia Department of Health will receive $2,070,445.00 in grant funding to support their Integrated HIV Surveillance and Prevention programs.

“In the midst of STD Awareness Month, I am so pleased to see this grant funding awarded to the health department so that we may increase awareness and stress the importance of prevention,”said Congressman Donald McEachin. “Prevention is a key element in the successful fight against a disease. With this funding, Virginians will be able to better protect themselves and their family, which will save lives and money in the future.”

The Virginia Department of Health will receive this grant from the National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STDs and TB Prevention, housed under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING FILES SUIT TO BLOCK TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FROM UNDERMINING 2020 CENSUS

~ Census Bureau itself has said that proposed citizenship inquiry is likely to depress response, threatening billions in critical federal funds and states' fair representation in Congress and Electoral College  ~

RICHMOND (April 3, 2018) - Today, Attorney General Mark R. Herring-as part of a coalition of 18 Attorneys General, six cities, and the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors-filed a lawsuit to block the Trump administration from undermining the 2020 decennial census with a "poison pill" citizenship inquiry that the U.S. Census Bureau has said is likely to depress response and compromise the accuracy of the census. Demanding citizenship information would particularly depress Census turnout in states with large immigrant populations, directly threatening those states' fair representation in Congress and the Electoral College, as well as billions of dollars in critical federal funds for education, infrastructure, Medicaid, and more.

"This poison pill from the Trump administration is about ideology, not accuracy," said Attorney General Herring. "The Census is one of the most important things our government does. It determines how many congressional representatives and electoral votes Virginia gets, and how much federal money comes to the Commonwealth for things like healthcare, education, and transportation. There is overwhelming evidence that including this provision will cause underreporting and produce an inaccurate census, violating the Enumeration Clause in the Constitution, which calls for an actual count of all persons in the Country. In the current climate, many immigrants are already wary of the government, and there is no question that this is just another attempt to intimidate and instill fear in immigrant communities." 

The lawsuit is brought under the Enumeration Clause of the U.S. Constitution, as this action by the Trump administration will impede an "actual Enumeration" of "the whole number of persons in each state," as required by the Constitution. It is also brought under the Administrative Procedure Act, which permits courts to set aside unlawful or arbitrary and capricious agency decisions.

In their suit, the bipartisan coalition describes the reasons that the administration's decision is inconsistent with the Census Bureau's constitutional and statutory obligations, is unsupported by the stated justification, departs from decades of settled practice without reasoned explanation, and fails to consider the availability of alternative data that can effectively serve the federal government's needs.

The lawsuit also emphasizes the irreparable harm that will result from inaccuracies in the 2020 Census caused by demanding citizenship information. Hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds are directly tied to demographic information obtained through the census, including the Highway Trust Fund and other Department of Transportation grants, Child Care Development Grants, and Medicaid. Consequently, inaccurate counts can potentially deprive states of much-needed funds designed to protect low-income and vulnerable communities.

A total of $700 billion is distributed annually to nearly 300 different census-guided federal grant and funding programs. In FY2015, Virginia received over $953 million in Highway Trust Fund grants, over $131 million in Urbanized Area Formula Grants, and nearly $64 million in Child Care Development grants, all based on census data.

In addition to the significant financial implications of an inaccurate census, the decennial census is also used to apportion seats in the House of Representatives, and each plaintiff state relies on population information from the Census Bureau to draw statewide redistricting plans for their Congressional and state legislative districts. Demanding citizenship information would cause disproportionate undercounts in communities with immigrant populations and therefore prevent plaintiff states from fulfilling the one-person, one-vote constitutional requirement, as well as create inaccuracies in the data states use to draw district lines. Currently, immigrants account for 12.3 percent of Virginia's population.

As the Census Bureau's own research shows, the decision to demand citizenship information will "inevitably jeopardize the overall accuracy of the population count" by significantly deterring participation, particularly in immigrant communities, because of concerns about how the federal government will use citizenship information. These concerns are amplified by President Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric and pattern of actions that target immigrant communities.

In 1980, the Census Bureau rejected the addition of a citizenship question, saying, "Any effort to ascertain citizenship will inevitably jeopardize the overall accuracy of the population count. Obtaining the cooperation of a suspicious and fearful population would be impossible if the group being counted perceived any possibility of the information being used against them. Questions as to citizenship are particularly sensitive in minority communities and would inevitably trigger hostility, resentment, and refusal to cooperate."

In 2009, all eight former Directors of the Census Bureau dating back to 1979 - who served under both Democratic and Republican presidents - affirmed that a citizenship question would depress participation and lead to a significant undercount, undermining the purpose of the Census itself.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by the attorneys general of New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia; the cities of New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Providence, San Francisco, and Seattle; and the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors.

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