A Call to Action for Women and Families in Poverty
By Alanna Brown
During a recent fundraising event for women and families of domestic violence I listened to the stories of women who have struggled through tremendous emotional and financial stress. I was reminded of how critical the issues of financial literacy, housing support, and jobs are in our country. And while these issues are certainly important for all women, they are critically important for women and families of color. (more…)
The true Left in the mainstream media has been drowned and all is left are the views from the ultra Right and weak Center. Obama, is not from the Left. Which leaves the masses to the domination from the Right’s propaganda lies.
The ultimate fallacy from the Right concerning Poverty is thus; The Right claims abortion is evil, but they refuse to support help to sustain and prevent suffering from those same new born babies and their mothers. Where is the logic in a group that prevents death of unborns, but at the same time prevents sustaining foods, medical, housing, and jobs for that same baby? Can anyone tell me why we permit this illogical action from the pseudo Christian Right? The government leaders that establish the laws of the Land usurp their power to get rich and permit the rich to get richer.
Thank you Tavis Smiley and Dr. West for embarking on a much needed change in America. There is a fear that overtakes and engulfs a human on the verge of poverty. That fear is of being forgotten. Although Jesus is our strength and God’s heart is toward the widow and orphan, people overlook poverty because they also have a fear. The fear of the rich is that if they recognize the poor it may attack them also, so they turn a blind eye towards the poverty stricken. I live in an area where tourism once was the main trade for so long and now grocery shopping is a vacation. Our area is one where there is no industry, except for the tourism which has now dwindled. No one prepared for what was coming, therefore the workforce has become looked upon as a way for the existing businesses (W) can work people in droves as hard as a human can work with as little pay as possible. I have come to poverty myself even though I work. I am a widow living with my sister and brother in law. My husband died when my children were teenagers and I was at an age where I was not eligible for help of any kind. I worked for 30 years for XR (CPK) and was laid off in 2010. My pay when I left had gotten up to 8.00 per hour. I now work at W and although I am thankful for a job it is one that keeps me in the bracket of poverty.I leave you and Dr. West with a blessing……Psalm 41:1 & 2Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.
The number of city residents living below the meager federal poverty line ($17,600 for a family of three) increased from 1,500,484 to 1,546,046 from 2008 to 2009. When those numbers were released the federal government, Mayor Michael Bloomberg immediately said: “What we’ve learned is that even as we struggled through the national recession, New York City really has avoided the large increases in poverty that has been seen in much of the rest of the nation.” The City’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) issued a statement the same day also downplaying the problem, highlighting thatNew York Cityhad a marginally smaller rate of increase than some other parts of the nation. HRA claimed: “New data from the US Census Bureau shows thatNew York Cityhas performed well in several key areas in the fight against poverty, softening the worst blows of the recession for many residents.”
I must respectfully suggest that such claims of success are absurd. Would the captain of the Titanic brag that everything was fine because his ship was sinking at a slightly slower rater than other ships? I think not.
Let’s look at the facts. One in five New Yorkers is now living below the absurdly low federal poverty line. The already disturbingly high child poverty rate increased from 26.5 percent to 27.1 percent citywide. How can the City claim victory when more than one in four of its children live in poverty?
Bronx already was the poorest urban county in the whole country, and its child poverty rate jumped in the last year from 39.7 percent to 40.4 percent. How can the City claim victory when, in one of its county’s, nearly half of the children live in poverty?
On October 22 of 2010, 36,136 New Yorkers – including 14,514 children – slept in City homeless shelters. How can the City claim victory when it can practically fillMadison Squaregarden with homeless children?
On top of that, according to USDA, between 2006 –2008, an average of 1.4 million New Yorkers lived in food insecure households, meaning they can’t afford a complete supply of food. How can the City claim victory when its population of people facing hunger is more than twice the population of the entire city ofBoston?
It is important to note that middle class families are also suffering mightily. In the last year, the average household income dropped citywide from $51,116 to $50,033.
Yet the number of billionaires based in New York City increased from to 56 to 57 in the last year and their collective net worth increased by $19 billion (from $183.5 to $202.65 billion), according to data recently released by Forbes magazine and analyzed by the New York City Coalition Against Hunger.
A New Yorker working full-time at a minimum wage salary ($7.25 per hour) for 52 weeks would earn $15,080 in a year, often too little to feed their family. According to the Coalition’s calculations, that means that New York’s 57 billionaires collectively have as much money as the annual earnings of 13 million minimum wage workers. Those billionaires have an average net worth of $3.6 billion, which means that, on average, each billionaire has as much money as the annual earnings of 232,000 minimum wage workers.
It’s no wonder thatNew York Citynow has a higher inequality of wealth index thanBurkina FasoorIndiaand thatManhattan, with an even greater disparity than the city as a whole, has higher inequality than Haiti or Brazil.
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If you would like to do any events in NYC, the New York City Coalition Against Hunger would be glad to help.
– Joel Berg