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, 2003
12:03 PM
CONTACT: Welfare Made a Difference National Campaign 
Liz Accles 212-894-8082
The Shirt Off Our Backs Day: Groups Take Action in Washington, D.C. to Oppose Congressional Welfare Proposals
WASHINGTON - October 22 - Read and hear first hand the national impact of welfare policy.

The Welfare Made a Difference National Campaign and the National Welfare Engine Committee invite you to the Shirts Off Our Backs Day, which is cosponsored by Americans for Democratic Action, the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Organization for Women, the National Council of Women's Organizations, Bread for the World, and the Women's Committee of 100.

WHEN: Monday, October 27

WHERE: Upper Senate Park (directly north of the U.S. Capitol); Constitution Ave., between New Jersey N.W. and Delaware Ave N.E.

DETAILS: All Day: Shirt display viewing, 8:30 a.m. -- 2 p.m.

Morning: Press conference, 9:30 a.m. -- 10 a.m.

Lunch Time: Reading of the shirts 12:30 p.m. -- 1:30 p.m.

As the welfare debate heats up in Congress we invite you to this national grassroots effort to bring the message to Washington, D.C. that the welfare proposals before Congress will take the shirts off the backs of poor people.

You will hear from former and current welfare recipients from across the country, and will be able to view T-shirts and photographs from throughout the United States that tell the stories of poverty and despair that families face on a daily basis when they are unable to obtain basic benefits. You will also have the opportunity to learn from the experiences of people for whom access to a supportive, accessible, adequate welfare system made a difference.

In the past year the number of families living in poverty went up by more than 300,000 to 7 million in 2002 from 6.6 million in 2001. The number of children in poverty rose by more than 600,000 during the same period to 12.2 million.

We are asking that as Congress acts on TANF reauthorization that they "Do No Harm."

Current plans to add harsh new requirements will increasingly limit families' much needed access to an income support lifeline. A brutal TANF law will further weaken our already fragile and diminished safety net.


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