The Advocate printed an Opinion article, “Fighting Poverty in Louisiana”, on how Louisiana is addressing its poverty issues. It lacked depth. First of all, its goals from 2004 are out of date. Secondly, it states that there are “stakeholders” in all 64 parishes addressing the “problems” in their communities. Lies, lies, and more lies. If they had published the names of these so called “stakeholders and community organizers” I’m sure the local OFS DSS offices would have distributed the information. This is the first I’ve ever heard of the SToP Movement from DSS. It’s a crock of bull designed to assist DSS employees in making themselves feel like they have made a difference. The social workers before Katrina, from what some have said, had an overwhelming case load. Like I’ve stated. If there is still such an organization – it isn’t organized. The article also mentioned the American Community Survey from the Census. There will be, from what I can see from their website, a release of information in August and September 2007. The information is based on populations 65,000+. Now that leaves out rural areas, doesn’t it? Especially with populations under Census guidelines of 65,000+. Good grief! LSU AG Center defined this as “persistent poverty” and identified its sources. It didn’t define those areas of populations at or above 65,000+ as 20% of Louisiana. Sure, that 65,000+ slice has a 20% poverty rate. This information leaves out rural areas of under 65,000 as in every rural community in Louisiana.
I dig statistics and information sourcing, but I don’t dig half baked articles making claims at a FIGHT!
“Fighting Poverty in Louisiana” published July 31, 2007, The Advocate, Opinion
Acting together as concerned citizens, we will address a chronic problem that is more pressing now than ever before. This problem affects hundreds of thousands of Louisiana families, costs uncounted millions of dollars, destroys our children’s potential and tarnishes our state’s image. This problem is poverty.
According to the 2005 American Community Survey, approximately 864,277 Louisianians, or about 20 percent of the state’s population, live in poverty. Through a one-of-its-kind movement joining grass-roots stakeholders with state and federal partners, Solutions to Poverty is making strides in alleviating poverty in Louisiana, and we need people’s help.
During the birth of the Solutions to Poverty movement in 2004, education was identified as the No. 1 solution. We are grateful to Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco for her commitment to education and the $700 million new budget investment, especially $30 million for pre-kindergarten.
In other legislation backed by SToP, the governor recently signed into law two powerful new tools for fighting poverty in Louisiana: a School Readiness Tax Credit for quality child care and a state Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor.
The SToP movement, led by the Department of Social Services’ Office of Family Support, has created a statewide network of programs to help our fragile families achieve self-sufficiency. More than 10,000 Louisiana citizens have signed up so far to participate in this three-pronged effort:
* Community: Grass-roots stakeholders in all 64 parishes seek to identify and own solutions.
* Policy: These groups create initiatives and suggest program improvements that enhance quality of life.
* Legislation: Community organizers are mobilized into lobbyists for legislation that helps citizens move from poverty into self-sufficiency.
SToP solutions include promotion and implementation of the following program components: the state and federal Earned Income Tax Credit, the School Readiness Tax Credit, the Individual Development Account program, the Quality Rating System, the Microenterprise Development program, the Head Start Collaboration project, the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention initiative.
Poverty affects all of us, and everyone can be part of the solution. To join the grass-roots effort to eradicate poverty in Louisiana, contact OFS staffer Kim Lacour at (225) 342-6030.
Adren Wilson, Assistant Secretary
Office of Family Support
Department of Social Services
If you have questions or comments about the American Community Survey, please call (888)346-9682 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Links from The Advocate