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Empowering Houston Leaders in 2014

2014 has been a great year for Empower Houston Leaders (EHL).  

This year we covered the Houston area with successful graduations from Pasadena to Baytown to Independence Heights.  The Pasadena EHL was our largest to date with 71 members.  In December, we had the first get together for our Women’s EHL class at the historic SHAPE center with a phenomenal energy level.

Education Works

Nikenson Romage is one of hundreds of young men and women who have been sent to Haitian universities with the help of American donors. CreditHananie AlbertThis op-ed may be about Haiti, but it speaks to the essence of what Texans Together tries to do.  There is no surer way to improve our communities, quality of life, diversity, and upward mobility than education.

Women's Empowerment Extravaganza Success!

On December 13th, a gathering of extraordinary women occurred.  The Women's Empowerment Extravaganza was held at the SHAPE center. The meet and greet is the lead in for our Empower Houston Leaders focusing on women's interests.  From the beginning the energy in the room was phenomenal and as the women began to share, it was clear that the passion was there to bring about community improvement and change.

SJRC Takes Their Case to the Commisioners Court

San Jacinto River Coalition, SJRC, testified this morning at Harris County's Commissioners Court. They asked that the settlement funds from Harris County's Waste Pits litigation be allocated to the communities surrounding the site. The trial ended on November 13, 2014, with the jury found that International Paper Co was not responsible for the pollution leaking out of the Waste Pits. 

Thank you Ceidy!

As the Fall Semester comes to a close, Texans Together bids a fond farewell to our intern, Ceidy Sanchez.  

Ceidy is a Senior at University of Houston Downtown, working on her Bachelors in Political Science and active in her sorority, Gamma Alpha Omega.  With her 120 hours of internship completed, she only needs her final semester course work to graduate in May 2015.  While she has a bit of work to do yet, she is very grateful to have this semester over.  "I don't know what I was thinking,"  Ceidy said. "Full class schedule, full time job, and intern hours, I don't think I slept at all."  Maybe not the best plan, but she still demonstrated her incredible determination and got the job done!

Back On The Hamster Wheel

Interesting blog on campaign finance reform.  While some of the approaches aren't going to be popular, it really uses a more balanced reality approach.  The simple truth is campaign finance reform would lead to a more responsible government, but the very people that need the new restrictions are the very people who will be passing the laws.  Not likely to happen any time soon, but it really needs to happen.  The 2014 election cycle was only a small taste of the avalanche of issue less screaming ads barreling down on us in 2016.  Now's the time to invest in ear plugs.

Article originally published at Brennan Center for Justice by Victoria BassettiNovember 25, 2014

The 2014 election results were hardly dry on the newsprint, before almost every American politician and would-be politician hopped back on the hamster wheel, furiously spinning for more and more money.

Why I Vote Winner!

Jenni Reed, the winner of our 'Why I Vote Contest", came into the office to pick up her prize.   We had some really great entries in our video contest and it was close, but Jenni came out on top.  She was excited to receive her prize, but also looked forward to volunteering with Texans Together in the future.  It was a great meeting and wonderful to meet her in person.

A 'Texas Way’ better than no way

Great editorial piece from San Antonio Express News looking at where we are at now for Medicaid expansion.  It explores some of the major players supporting new ways to bring Medicaid to more Texans.  It should be noted that some of those backing this new plan will directly benefit as federal funds for underinsured or uninsured Texans will soon be disappearing as part of the Affordable Care Act.  

The Act was structured with a  Medicaid expansion covering the bulk of the poor uninsured and the working poor that the Healthcare Marketplace and traditional Medicaid did not cover. Since Texas declined the expansion, this has left many Medicaid Gap patients and providers with a very unhealthy outlook. 

Texans Together, as part of our Get Coverage! campaign,  is working to reach out to the underserved communities for help connecting to the Healthcare Marketplace, enrollment education, and appointments with Marketplace Navigators.  Daily, we see people who fall short of the Marketplace and are not Medicaid qualified.  Medicaid expansion is desperately need and the right way to treat Texans.

Following Article and Picture from San Antonio Express News November 29, 2014 ~ "A 'Texas Way’ better than no way" by EXPRESS-NEWS EDITORIAL BOARD

So, the 15-member Texas Institute of Health Care Quality and Efficiency — medical professionals all — recommended this month that Texas expand Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act to provide coverage to roughly 1 million Texans.

Get Coverage is ..... ?

Get Coverage is our outreach program to educate underserved communities about the Affordable Care Act.  As part of the Gulf Coast Collaborative, we assist community members in connecting with Healthcare Navigators to enroll them in the Marketplace, provide education materials to make the enrollment process easier, and help them understand the terminology and general coverage issues of Medicaid, The Medicaid Gap, Healthcare Marketplace and Healthcare Marketplace Subsidies.   We're providing communities with opportunities to get members enrolled and educated in their communities at events and central locations.



Questions about ACA: Hardship Exemption

Health and Human Services released new guidance for a hardship exemption on tax returns for those finding themselves in the Medicaid gap.  With the failure to expand Medicaid and 25% of Americans in the Medicaid Gap in Texas, this exemption is particularly important for Texans, especially for those working poor who didn't previously get their denial from the marketplace.  


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Texans Together Education Fund

P.O. Box 1296
Houston, Texas 77251-1296



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