First things first. Minneapolis resident Alejandra Cruz paid her mortgage online for seven years, but then one month PNC Bank, her mortgage holder, forgot to withdraw the money, and instead of saying oops, we forgot to withdraw the money, let's go ahead and do that, no harm, no foul, the bank said your penalty for missing your mortgage payment is now two months' payment due immediately. And then the bank put Ms. Cruz into foreclosure, and then the police came at 4 am and used a battering ram to get into their house and arrest everyone there. No lie. After reading that, I feel a little silly saying that change.org helps you tell PNC to settle this like adults, when I feel like putting PNC executives in jail for using their own mistake, if indeed it was even a mistake, to terrorize their customers. But, truth be told, a little bad PR is, often, all it takes to right such matters. It's already worked for a fellow Minneapolis resident, so it may work for Ms. Cruz as well.
Meanwhile, closer to home, the Pennsylvania state Senate passed SB 9, which would require folks to have government-issued ID before receiving public benefits. You remember from the PA Voter ID bill brouhaha why that's a bad idea, right? Because a lot of poor and elderly folks don't have the documentation (what poor hospital gave out birth certificates eighty years ago, for example?) that you'd need to even get government-issued ID. So, while SB 9 supposedly takes aim at undocumented immigrants, who aren't eligible for public assistance anyway, the bill actually smacks down poor people generally. It's almost like that's the idea! And the House plans to attach even worse amendments as it considers the bill -- like one that would make it a felony for undocumented immigrants to carry Access cards for food stamps, never mind that their children might be citizens and thus eligible for food stamps! This matter may merit a letter and/or phone call to your state House Rep; you can find your state House Rep here, and the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition can help you compose a letter.