Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Coalition On Human Needs partners to Reduce Poverty

The message below comes from the Coalition on Human Needs-- a YWCA USA national coalition partner. GLA is eager to join the Half in Ten Campaign!


Cutting poverty in half in the US over the next decade is an achievable goal.

The Coalition on Human Needs is proud to have joined with three vitally important organizations and with former Senator John Edwards in a new campaign to turn that goal into reality.

On May 13, CHN joined with The Center for American Progress Action Fund, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, and ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) to introduce Half in Ten: From Poverty to Prosperity, a campaign chaired by Senator Edwards and coordinated by the four organizations.

Half in Ten will seek federal and state solutions to cut poverty in half within ten years. Meeting in Philadelphia with many ACORN members as well as leaders from community action agencies, anti-hunger groups, children's advocacy organizations, labor, leaders from the faith community, and other advocates, Senator Edwards called poverty "a moral cause facing every single one of us," and the imperative of reducing poverty "a question of fundamental fairness that this country was founded upon." He has been in touch with the three major presidential candidates about making commitments to the half in ten goal. You can read about their poverty positions at the Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity website.

Drawing upon a report principally authored for the Center for American Progress by CHN's Public Policy Committee Chair and Board member Mark Greenberg, the campaign will focus on federal and/or state efforts to raise the minimum wage, expand tax credits so they reach more poor families and individuals, increase the availability of quality child care for low-income families, expand Unemployment Insurance so it reaches more low-income workers who lose their jobs, and protect people from foreclosure and other forms of predatory lending.

Half in Ten: From Poverty to Prosperity is off to a very promising start. But we know that the four organizations, even with the exciting participation of John Edwards, cannot by ourselves achieve our goal. We will seek every opportunity to work with organizations in Washington and around the country, many of whom are already hard at work on important anti-poverty initiatives - such as Catholic Charities USA, the Center for Community Change, the Community Action Partnership, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Sojourners/Call to Renewal, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), the National Women's Law Center, and Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). Well - I am getting into trouble because there are so many organizations we will work with and upon whose expertise we depend. Those include all of CHN's members, and many more besides.

We urge you to check out the new Half in Ten website. . .and the press release announcing Half in Ten... and the Philadelphia Inquirer story following the launch event.

We believe that the recession, the failures of the current Administration, and the leadership of many committed organizations and public officials have all contributed to a new desire for practical solutions to poverty - and a recognition that persistent poverty hurts all of us. This is an exciting time.

More to come!

Deborah WeinsteinExecutive Director, Coalition on Human Needs

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