On The Road To A BETTER TEXAS

Frances Deviney

At CPPP, we believe in the people of Texas. And we believe that all Texans deserve a chance to live a safe and healthy life–seeing a doctor when they need one, having healthy food on the table, and getting the education they need to secure their economic future.

But what does it take for families to be able to make ends meet and reach these basic tenets of the American Dream? Our new Better Texas Family Budgets provide a conservative measure of what it costs for families to make ends meet without sacrificing safety, health or security. Our budgets also reflect that families’ expenses differ dramatically depending on where they live, their savings goals, and who is in their family (e.g., kids or spouse).

And we’re taking this information on the road!!!!

Since it’s release in January, we’ve taken our Family Budgets tool throughout Texas, sharing the findings with city and county leaders, service providers, business leaders, and the general public.

The response has been overwhelming. Through our tool, we can show what it takes for families to get by in a specific metro area in Texas, what percentage of jobs in that area pay enough for families to get by, and the profound impact of job-based health insurance on a family’s financial security.

The data, combined with our documentary A Fighting Chanceis a powerful catalyst for community discussion, leading to basic community planning questions like:

  • What tough choices must families make when they can’t meet these basic budgets?
  • What are the most common jobs in our community?
  • What kinds of education are required for jobs that do pay enough to get by?
  • What does it take for families to be able to save for emergencies, college, or retirement?
  • And what can we do as a community to create opportunities for and eliminate barriers to financial security for our friends and neighbors?

To date, we’ve taken our Roadshow to five cities reaching over 600 people. Our goal is to reach every metro area in Texas at least once (if not multiple times!) by the end of 2013. The culmination of the Roadshow will be a Family Economic Security Summit in Austin in the Spring of 2014 where communities from across the state can come together to create a shared state-level agenda to increase family economic security.

But we can’t do this without your help! If you would like to help bring the Roadshow to your city, fill out our speaker request form. We would love to work with you to plan either a standalone event or integrate our work into an existing agenda. The critical first step is to get the conversation going. Because it’s only by working together that we can build a  road to a better Texas for everyone.

Comments
One Response to “On The Road To A BETTER TEXAS”
  1. Travis Johnson says:

    For my AP English class this year, we just completed a project where we were all given a scenario and then we had to find a job, housing, transportation, and food based our the Family Budgets tool on this website. In my scenario, I had a spouse that doesn’t work and a child to support. Not only that, but I had to pay my entire family premium. I also had to make a minimum of $55,464 annually. Not only that, but I only had a high school education. This was not just difficult; it was impossible. To make ends meet, I had to subtract out the cost of insurance because I couldn’t afford it. I had to get a job as a Comcast Satellite Installer which pays $12.84 an hour. To reach the amount of money I would need per month, I would have to work 7 days a week every week of the year for 10 hours every day.
    It just goes to show you how grateful I am to have grown up in a middle class family that does not have to deal with this kind of economic turmoil.

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