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By Lawrence Jackson (Executive Office of the President of the United States) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The 2014 Midterms: Implications for Social Work

By Rachel L. West
Advocacy & Community Outreach Consultant

Special #MacroSW Chat Nov. 20th at 9PM EST


While voter participation in midterm elections is typically low, voter turnout for the 2014 midterms was the lowest in more than seven decades. The results of the midterms will have a significant impact on the people and communities social workers serve.

Come January the Republicans will take control of both chambers of the United States Congress. While many conservative candidates were victorious on November 4th, a few progressive ballot measures still managed to pass.

Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska, and North Carolina all passed ballot initiatives that will increase the minimum wage in those states. Legalization of marijuana passed in three states, Alaska, the District of Columbia, and Oregon.  Additionally Colorado and North Dakota both voted no on personhood amendments.  Of course the big news of the night was the Republican takeover of the Senate and their continued control of the House of Representatives. This has left many of us wondering what the implications will be for social work.

Alliance for Justice (AFJ) has already begun exploring how the nonprofit sector should respond as has Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ). Immediately following Election Day AFJ and NPQ published posts on how the results could affect the work the nonprofit sector carries out.  NPQ compiled a list of issues that may well be on the agenda of the 114th Congress.

On Thursday November 20th at 9:00 PM EST there will be a special #MacroSW chat on this topic. I will be moderating from my Twitter account, @poliSW. We will discuss the implications for social work and what the professions response should be.

If you have never participated in a Twitter chat, there is no need to worry.  You simple go to the search box and enter the hashtag #MacroSW and then click on “all.” To join in the discussion make sure you include #MacroSW in all your tweets, including replies.

#MacroSW chats usually takes place on Twitter on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month. The chat is a collaboration between the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA), The Network for Social Work Management (NSWM), USC School of Social Work, the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, and Karen Zgoda.

Special thanks to Justin Vest (@justin_vest ) for suggesting the topic.

Photo credit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/85/2011_State_of_the_Union_fisheye.jpg

Posted by Rachel L. West

In addition to being the founder of The Political Social Worker blog, I am a consultant. My consulting practice offers advocacy and community outreach solutions to nonprofits, social good organizations, and private practitioners. Additionally, I offer career coaching to macro social work students and professionals.

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