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2009-10-03T00:00:00.000Z

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Background Information

Employment History

Director

VOICES

Program Coordinator

VOICES

Web References (7 Total References)


The Fig Tree - TANF Conference - VOICES

www.thefigtree.org [cached]

Along with joining others in public policy advocacy to protect services for low-income people, Cathy McGinty, director of VOICES, said that low-income people also need to build personal advocacy skills.

"Companies make money on people who accept unfair charges and practices," she said.
...
Cathy shared two stories of personal advocacy at the recent Congress on TANF-Temporary Assistance to Needy Families-at Salem Lutheran Church in Spokane.
...
Cathy wrote the insurance commissioner to say the policy discriminated against low-income people. She never had an accident or a ticket. The insurance commissioner agreed.
"I could have accepted the policy and paid too much. By standing up for myself, I paid the market rate," Cathy said.
After she began using a new cell phone, she tried for months to find the number of minutes used out of the plan of 500 minutes for $30. There was no response to her repeated inquiries, and no bill. Then, after two-and-a-half months, she received a bill for $474. It was impossible to pay. So she wrote the Better Business Bureau in Colorado, where the cell phone company's headquarters was, and the BBB in Washington, requesting that the bill be adjusted to the monthly fee and roaming. The bill was reduced to $93 for the three months she had the phone.
"We can do personal advocacy in many ways, advocating about problems related to medical care, child custody, nursing-home stays, long distance charges, bank account charges or welfare payments," she said.
Cathy advised people to be prepared, keep records and have allies to prevent losing their temper and creating "a barrier you can't get beyond" or even facing a felony assault charge for yelling.
She told people to call VOICES-Voices for Opportunities, Income, child Care, Education and Support-for volunteer allies to accompany them as witnesses when they feel they are treated unfairly.


Spokane Democrats

www.spokanedemocrats.org [cached]

Cathy McGinty, program coordinator for Voices for Opportunity, Income, Child Care, Education, and Support (VOICES) reminded the crowd that tax relief for the wealthiest citizens has already passed the Congress, and that expanding the child tax credit for working families was a matter of justice.


The Fig Tree - Self-Advocacy

www.thefigtree.org [cached]

Along with joining others in public policy advocacy to protect services for low-income people, Cathy McGinty, director of VOICES, said that low-income people also need to build personal advocacy skills.

"Companies make money on people who accept unfair charges and practices," she said.
...
Cathy shared two stories of personal advocacy at the recent Congress on TANF—Temporary Assistance to Needy Families—at Salem Lutheran Church in Spokane.
One of her stories was about car insurance rates and another about cell phone charges.Her self-advocacy saved her money.
When she was not working, she did not have insurance on her old car.A law passed requiring insurance.It put people who did not have insurance in a high-premium class for two years.At the end of that period, she expected to have the market rate, but was put in a high rate because it was an old car. Cathy wrote the insurance commissioner to say the policy discriminated against low-income people.She never had an accident or a ticket.The insurance commissioner agreed.
"I could have accepted the policy and paid too much.By standing up for myself, I paid the market rate," Cathy said.
After she began using a new cell phone, she tried for months to find the number of minutes used out of the plan of 500 minutes for $30.There was no response to her repeated inquiries, and no bill.Then, after two-and-a-half months, she received a bill for $474.It was impossible to pay.So she wrote the Better Business Bureau in Colorado, where the cell phone company's headquarters was, and the BBB in Washington, requesting that the bill be adjusted to the monthly fee and roaming.The bill was reduced to $93 for the three months she had the phone.
"We can do personal advocacy in many ways, advocating about problems related to medical care, child custody, nursing-home stays, long distance charges, bank account charges or welfare payments," she said.
Cathy advised people to be prepared, keep records and have allies to prevent losing their temper and creating "a barrier you can't get beyond" or even facing a felony assault charge for yelling.
She told people to call VOICES—Voices for Opportunities, Income, child Care, Education and Support—for volunteer allies to accompany them as witnesses when they feel they are treated unfairly.
"The key to personal advocacy is never to give up.If you become frustrated, walk away so you can gather your faculties, resolve and more information.Then regroup, find allies and go back again," she said.


Fig Tree - June 2004 features

www.thefigtree.org [cached]

Cathy McGinty of VOICES-Voices for Opportunity, Income, Child Care,Education and Services-described this program that educates low-incomepeople to advocate for themselves with legislators, City Council andother organizations.

"We help people tell their stories in order to break stereotypes.We let people in authority know what it is like to be poor and weadvocate a safety net," she said.
VOICES registered 125 voters and worked with the Spokane Alliance onthe STA campaign.The alliance has trained VOICES members innegotiating with the City Council to increase human-service fundingfrom half a percent to 1 percent of its budget.
"Some City Council members wondered why there was need for food banksand food stamps, transitional housing and the Housing Authority.We helped them understand our need to move beyond crisis," Cathy said.
...
Limited funding of VOICES has shifted Cathy from program coordinator tovolunteer.She continues because of her passion for the work andbecause she sees how effective it is.


Cathy McGinty, of the ...

www.thelocalplanet.com [cached]

Cathy McGinty, of the nonprofit group Voices for Opportunity, Income, Child Care, Education, and Support (VOICES), is enthusiastic about this coordinating role.VOICES was invited to participate in One Spokane specifically to provide input from low-income residents."That's what One Spokane is all about," she says, "maximizing what we have."McGinty's group works to empower people with low incomes to be their own best advocates for change.She's lived in Spokane since 1965, and not until John Powers had she heard a mayor mention poverty."That takes political courage."McGinty said that she couldn't think of any programs that One Spokane had initiated, and that she didn't see that as the group's role.

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