Monday, June 8, 2009

Governor Bill Ritter Signs Bill Creating Poverty Reduction Task Force

On June 1, Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law HB 09-1064, a bill that will create a legislative task force charged with coming up with a plan to reduce the number of Coloradans living in poverty by 50% by 2019.

The bill, “The Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force”, was sponsored by Fort Collins Representative John Kefalas and Denver Senator Paula Sandoval, and was supported by 9to5 National Association of Working Women and a number of other Colorado-based advocacy groups in the All Families Deserve a Chance (AFDC) coalition, a coalition working to improve policy affecting Colorado families living in poverty.

“It is time to stop pretending that poverty will resolve itself,” said Bridget Reavy, 9to5 Colorado Organizer.  “This bill will focus our state leaders on the problem and charges them to develop a strategic, integrated and comprehensive plan to both expand economic opportunity and drastically cut the number of Coloradans living in poverty.”

The legislative task force will be made up of five Senators and five Representatives. The members will focus on expanding the circle of economic opportunity. They will seek a holistic approach to reducing poverty, inspecting gaps in the safety net and analyzing issues such as food, housing, health care, jobs, utilities, child care, education, disabilities and domestic violence. None of these issues can be solved in isolation. The task force will seek collaborative solutions involving the private sector and all levels of government: local, county, state and federal.

“Poverty will only be reduced if we are strategic and think about poverty reduction in holistic ways that encompass food, housing, health, utilities, employment, child care, education, disabilities, and domestic violence,” said Patricia Ramirez, board member at 9to5, National Association of Working Women.

For more information, please contact the 9to5 Colorado office: 303-628-0925 or

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