Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tell Your Story: Help End Poverty

Over more than 40 million Americans are forced to survive below the official poverty line, which is approximately $22,000 for a family of four, and nearly 15.5 million children are poor in this country. Disparity of wealth has reached record highs and growing portions of the nation’s wealth are concentrated in the possession of a small fraction of households, while nearly a third of Americans are trying to get by on incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty line—or about $44,000 for a family of four.

Even before the current economic crisis, 6 million low-income households were paying more than half their income on rent and utilities, or lived in severely poor housing. According from recent data from a study in 2008, almost 50 million people, including nearly one in four children, lived in a household struggling against hunger. With the economic insecurity, there is an increase in unemployment, higher prices for gas and food, and foreclosures on homes.

Despite these depressing numbers, the Half in Ten Campaign believes that it is possible to reduce poverty and ensure Americans a better brighter future. We can achieve a goal of cutting poverty in half if we deepen and expand the public will to move forward, and if we channel that will toward proven policy solutions. To be able to do this, we must update the public’s perception of poverty and change the course of federal, state, and local governing by encouraging policies that create good jobs, strengthen families, and ensure economic security. Some of the poverty policy solutions that the Half in Ten campaign supports include: expanding the earned income tax credit and child tax credit, guaranteeing child care assistance to low-income families and promoting early education for all, and ensuring equity for low-wage workers in the unemployment insurance system.

How you can get involved and do your part in reducing poverty with this campaign? Tell us your personal story about struggling to make ends meet. Tell us how unemployment insurance or tax credits have helped you provide food, shelter, or other needed expenses for your family. Tell us how without training programs or education opportunities you may have not succeeded into the person you are today. With these stories we can show the public how important it is keeping these reforms around to not only help reduce poverty, but to help the individuals who have to face poverty.

Tu Mai is a student at the University of Colorado Denver and an organizing/public relations intern with 9to5 Colorado

1 comment:

  1. Sign the pledge to support the Half in Ten Campaign as well!