David Elliot is the communications director for the Coalition on Human Needs. David has 20 years of experience engaging in communications advocacy in the nonprofit world. He served as communications director for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (2001-2008); for USAction (2008-2013); and most recently for Fair Share, a part of The Public Interest Network. Prior to his career in nonprofit advocacy, David worked as a newspaper reporter in the state capitol bureau of the Austin American-Statesman. He covered state politics and the Texas Legislature.
Blog Post List
May 17, 2016
Hugs are nice. But hunger advocates such as Tianna Gaines-Turner want policy-makers and members of Congress to know that as nice as a hug is, it does not put food on the table, workers in good-paying jobs, or families in affordable, secure housing. On Monday, Gaines-Turner, who lives in Philadelphia and works part-time as a child-care provider, came to Washington, D.C. to participate in a screening of A Hug from Paul Ryan , a Sundance film short documentary that followed her story. The highlight: In 2013, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) wanted Gaines-Turner to appear before Speaker Ryan’s committee...
May 4, 2016
President Obama Wednesday visited Flint, Michigan to highlight the federal government’s response to the lead poisoning scandal and to renew calls for Congress to pass emergency assistance for the beleaguered city of 100,000. The presidential visit comes one day after the Coalition on Human Needs and allies hosted Child Lead Poisoning: Preventable Harm , a webinar that examined the catastrophe of lead poisoning in the United States and its causes and effects. The webinar was cosponsored by Children’s Leadership Council, First Focus, MomsRising, the National Head Start Association and the...
May 3, 2016
On the eve of President Obama’s trip to Flint, Michigan, human needs advocates and health care experts came together Tuesday to discuss how best to address the catastrophe of lead poisoning in the United States and its causes and effects. Hundreds of participants from across the country participated in Child Lead Poisoning: Preventable Harm, a webinar sponsored by Coalition on Human Needs, Children’s Leadership Council, First Focus, MomsRising, the National Head Start Association and the Partnership for America’s Children. The webinar featured Cara Baldari, Senior Policy Director for Family...
April 28, 2016
It all began with a snowball. Arleen’s 14-year-old son Jori and his cousin were throwing snowballs at passing cars. One driver took umbrage, slamming his brakes, chasing Jori into the family’s apartment and kicking down the front door. When Arleen’s landlord found out about the property damage, Arlene and her two sons were evicted, out on the street. It was viciously cold out, even for a January in Milwaukee. The temperature fell to ten below; the wind chill, 40 below. Local TV newscasts flashed frostbite warnings. But in Milwaukee, evictions, unlike baseball games, aren’t called just because...
April 21, 2016
Members of Congress and workers’ advocates today renewed their push for an increase in the hourly federal minimum wage to $12 – a move that would reflect the recent frenzy of state and local movement on the issue and would mean larger pay checks for 35 million Americans. Originally sponsored one year ago by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-IL), the Raise the Wage Act also would phase out the “tipped worker” minimum wage of $2.13 – a rate that leaves millions of Americans, overwhelmingly women, in poverty. On Thursday, Murray and Scott were joined at a well-attended news...
April 14, 2016
There is some “new” news out of Flint this week: Recent testing of lead in the city’s troubled water system shows things are improving six months after the city switched its water source and began adding chemicals to control corrosion of aging pipes. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the good news isn’t good enough. This week’s Washington Post headline says it all: “Water in Flint, Mich., is improving but still unsafe to drink, researchers say.” The article quotes Marc Edwards, the Virginia Tech professor who helped uncover the massive contamination in Flint’s water supply, as saying...
April 6, 2016
Cross posted from Coalition for Human Needs (CHN). Back in February, we at Coalition for Human Needs told you about a tax-dodging scheme that is all too common in this day and age: Pfizer, a U.S. pharmaceutical company and one of the world’s largest, wanted to avoid $35 billion in U.S. taxes on about $148 billion in profits the company maintains offshore. It would do this by merging with fellow drug firm Allergan, which is based in the tax haven of Ireland. CHN's friends over at Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) were all over this. They issued a report called Pfizer: Price Gouger, Tax Dodger...
April 1, 2016
How long has it been since you’ve had a raise? For some workers, it has been entirely too long. Today – Friday, April 1, 2016 – marks the 25 th anniversary since the minimum wage for tipped workers has been increased. For 25 years now, the minimum wage for an estimated 5.3 million workers in the U.S. has been frozen at a paltry $2.13 an hour. Who are tipped workers? As the words imply, most – 58 percent – are waiters and bartenders . But they are also bar-backs, bellhops, parking attendants, nail salon workers, car washers, airport service workers and food delivery people. And about two-...
March 30, 2016
Do poverty, hunger and homelessness exist when there is no one around to see? A tiny South Dakota town that probably 99.99 percent of Americans have never heard of is living testimony that the answer to that question is an emphatic yes. Located in the poorest county in America , the enclave of Eagle Butte, South Dakota, population 1,350, is out in the middle of nowhere. Unless, of course, you happen to live there. It is 100 miles from anything resembling a mid-sized town (Pierre) and 300 miles from the state’s largest metropolitan area (Sioux Falls). Life on this Native American reservation...
March 11, 2016
With the arrival of warm weather, health officials in the U.S. say it is not a matter of if but when we will see a widespread outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Are we ready for it? No, we are not. Stateline , an initiative of Pew Charitable Trusts, recently reported that budget cuts at the state and local level have left health departments seriously understaffed and potentially unable to deal with a serious outbreak of the Zika virus. The virus has been linked to microcephaly and other forms of severe brain damage in infants, as well as the incapacitating Guillain-Barre syndrome,...
March 11, 2016
Imagine what our country could do with an additional $695 billion. Imagine the number of schools we could build. The number of teachers we could hire (and the decent salaries we could pay!) The number of child care and early childhood education slots we could fill. Imagine how we could combat poverty, eliminate childhood hunger, expand access to higher education. Instead, we’re letting big corporations dodge $695 billion in taxes. A new report released by Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ), a CHN affiliate, finds that Fortune 500 companies are avoiding up to $695 billion in U.S. federal income...
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