LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: FUND THE MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE!
As CDPAANYS continues to fight for the future of CDPA by demanding that Governor Cuomo and the Legislature pass a fully funded minimum wage increase in the budget, we are relying on you to help us carry our message.
One way you can do this is to write a letter to the editor in your local paper. This is an easy process and can be done by anyone. Letters should be short, generally about 250-300 words. As you write, be respectful and be positive! The paper will not print Letters that tear people down. Also, only use information you know to be true and do not exaggerate. Our case is convincing enough without exaggerations or half-truths. Don’t use abbreviations. Say “fiscal intermediary,” not “FI”. Say “personal assistant” or “worker,” not “PA.”
Finally, and most importantly, make the letter your own. We have included some talking points to give you help as you think about your letter; but, the paper wants to hear why this is important to you. They do not want talking points.
Thank you for your help. Together, we can help make sure that CDPA has the necessary funding to be a strong and successful program for us, and for generations to come. And if your letter gets printed, let us know. We’ll share it on our Facebook page and with the Legislature and Governor.
Points to consider and potential themes for your Letter to the Editor:
- We support the minimum wage increase, but we need the funding to pay for it.
- If the increase goes through without additional funding, the very existence of CDPA, and all community based services, is threatened.
- The fast food industry it is already required to increase wages. Retail is expected to follow. While they can raise the price of a burger or t-shirt to offset these wages, CDPA cannot and without additional funding and a pay raise, consumers will be unable to compete and the program – and those who use it – will suffer.
- Our workers deserve and need this increase. In 2006, workers in CDPA made, on average, one and a half times as much as someone in the fast food industry. If the minimum wage increase and associated funding do not come through, they will now make less.
- Fiscal Intermediaries spend about $0.88 – $0.92 per dollar on costs related to workers. This includes wages, taxes, worker’s compensation and more. This makes it one of the most efficient programs in Medicaid; but, it means there is no room for paying for this increase without additional funds.
- Since 2011 and Medicaid reform, funding for CDPA has decreased dramatically. Fiscal Intermediaries now receive less money on average than they did in 2006.
- The low reimbursement means that many workers qualify for Medicaid, food stamps and other public assistance benefits. Governor Cuomo said that when fast food and retail do this, it costs the State $6,800 per year per person. That cost does not go away just because the State is the one paying low wages. We cannot use Medicaid to subsidize Medicaid.
- CDPA has saved the State more and more each year over the same services provided in traditional home care. Last year, it saved approximately $75 million in taxpayer dollars. That number will only increase as demand for the programs grows. However, if people cannot use the program because they are unable to hire and keep high quality staff, the entire program will collapse.
- While we may be healthy now, we need to think about the future and what options we want for ourselves and our parents, grandparents, children, friends and neighbors. If things continue the way they are, what services will be left for them in the future?
- TELL YOUR STORY! THIS IS ABOUT YOU, AS A CONSUMER, A WORKER OR A FI. YOU ARE WHAT MAKES THE LETTER COMPELLING!
WHERE TO SEND YOUR LETTER
Usually, your local or regional paper is the best choice. We have provided a list of many newspapers around the State for your convenience.
Albany Times Union
Guidelines: Max 250 words. The writer must sign his or her full name, address and daytime phone number for verification.
Online Form: http://static.pressconnects.com/lettertoeditor/
Guidelines: Max 200 words. Accept up to 500 words limited guest viewpoints.
Guidelines: Max 250 words. Must be addressed to editors, no “open letters” or third party letters
Online Form: http://static.ithacajournal.com/lettertoeditor/
Guidelines: Max 200 words.
Guidelines: Submit letters by Friday at 5 PM. Max 600 words.
Kingston Daily Freeman
Guidelines: Max 250 words. Include full name, hometown, phone number.
Middletown Times-Herald Record
Online form: http://services.hudsonvalley.com/reader-services/submissions/letter-to-editor/
Guidelines: Max 250 words
Mid-Hudson News (Hudson Valley)
Guidelines: Max 250 words. Must include name, address, hometown and phone number.
New York Daily News
Guidelines: The shorter the letter, the more likely to get published. Include name, address, phone number.
New York Post
Guidelines: Include name & contact information.
New York Times
Guidelines: Prefer 150-175 words. Must be in reference to article in past week. Require full name, phone # and address.
Online Form: http://www.newsday.com/opinion/submit-your-letter-1.2516352
Guidelines: Max 5,000 characters. MUST SIGN NAME AT END OF LETTER.
Online Form: https://niagara-gazette-dot-com.bloxcms.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/
Guidelines: Max 250 words.
Oneonta Daily Star
Online Form: https://thedailystar-dot-com.bloxcms.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/
Guidelines: Max 300 words. Name, address, phone number. Must reference Daily Star article.
Plattsburgh Press Republican
Online Form: https://pressrepublican-dot-com.bloxcms.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/
Guidelines: Max 300 words. Must be signed with name, address and phone number.
Online Form: http://b2.caspio.com/dp.asp?AppKey=996f1000ff7857dabc864825b03f
Guidelines: Max 250 words.
Guidelines: Concise, timely, appeals to broad leadership
Rochester CITY Newspaper
Online Form: http://www.syracuse.com/mailforms/opinion/index.ssf
Guidelines: Max 250 words. Option to add photo.
Guidelines: Must include full name, address and telephone number for verification purposes.
Guidelines: Max 200 words
Watertown Daily Times
Guidelines: Max 400 words. Must address Times directly, include name, address, phone, and return email.
Wayne County Times