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Tech for the Homeless, Grassroots Democracy, Subsidizing Poverty – Social Impact Across the U.S.

April 14, 2015 Category: Purpose

This week in Social Impact Across the U.S.:

New York City is experimenting with a form of grassroots democracy known as participatory budgeting, in which citizens outline how they would like a set amount of their tax dollars to be spent, Philly Voice reports. City Council members are allowing voters in their districts to choose from up to $25 million in brick and mortar projects. For more on this idea, check out the Participatory Budgeting Project, a nonprofit advocate for more direct citizen involvement in budgeting.

With Silicone Valley nearby, Bay Area nonprofits are giving smart phones and other forms of technology access to homeless people in an effort to provide better access to jobs, housing and resources, the New York Times reports. The story explores the increasingly important role that internet access plays in how we engage with the world, disadvantaged or not.

Also from the New York Times: a report came out this week from the University of California finding that nearly three quarters of government subsidies aimed at the poor go to working households, many of which are employed at low wage jobs. What this means, the report said, is that taxpayers dollars are effectively subsidizing employers that do not pay a living wage.

Newark, New Jersey is the latest troubled to be highlighted in Politico Magazine’s ongoing series which looks at solutions to urban problems. See how redevelopment and education are on the agenda in the “Brick City.”

Philadelphia was ranked the fourth most walkable city in the U.S. by Walk Score, a company that rates walkability on a house-by-house, neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis. Ahead of us on the list: Boston, New York City, San Francisco.

From our Partners

What do you think about what’s happening in Social Impact Across the U.S.? How could Philly learn from other cities and states? Please leave a comment or email us news@generocity.org to help us bring the national and local conversations together.

Photo via Mo Manklang 

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