11-17-2017  3:02 pm      •     
MLK Breakfast
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NEWS BRIEFS

SEI, Sunshine Division Offer Thanksgiving Meals to Families in Need

Turkeys are being provided to fill 200 Thanksgiving food boxes for SEI families ...

NAACP Portland Monthly Meeting Nov. 18

Monthly general membership meeting takes place on Saturday, 12 - 2 p.m. ...

Multnomah County Animal Services Waives Adoption Fees Nov. 17

Special runs from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday ...

Fitzpatrick Presents 'Pathway 1000' Plan Before City Council

Plan would restore involuntary displacement by building 80 homes per year ...

Sisters Network to Hold Monthly Meeting Nov. 11

Meeting to take place Saturday morning at June Key Delta Center ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Local Author Visits North Portland Library

Renee Watson teaches students and educators about the power of writing ...

Is the FBI’s New Focus on “Black Identity Extremists” the New COINTELPRO?

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.) talks about the FBI’s misguided report on “Black Identity Extremism” and negative Facebook ads. ...

ACA Enrollment Surging, Even Though It Ends Dec. 15

NNPA contributing writer Cash Michaels writes about enrollment efforts ...

Blacks Often Pay Higher Fees for Car Purchases than Whites

Charlene Crowell explains why Black consumers often pay higher fees than White consumers, because of “add-on” products. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Sojourners

Washington, DC - Sojourners Founder and President Jim Wallis today responded to the plan released by the House of Representatives’ Task Force on Poverty, Opportunity, and Upward Mobility.

“I’m pleased that Speaker Ryan and his colleagues continue to emphasize the need for both parties to tackle the pressing issue of poverty in America,” Wallis said.   “Overcoming poverty must become a non-partisan cause and a bi-partisan agenda. Paul Ryan is re-igniting the issue of poverty on the Republican side, as his mentor Congressman Jack Kemp did many years ago.”

In recent months, Wallis and other Christian leaders within the Circle of Protection have repeatedly met with House Republican leaders and staff to express their concerns.  They recently wrote to members of the task force to outline their hopes and concerns. The letter can be read at www.circleofprotection.us/taskforce.  

Wallis said.  “I’m particularly glad that the Task Force followed our recommendations, based on the experience of all of our faith groups who work with low-income people and families, and did not call for large-scale block granting of key anti-poverty programs.  The plan does have serious flaws,” Wallis continued, “but it is the start of a good conversation we should have with policy makers.”  

The plan appears to call for applying problematic work requirements currently in place under TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) to other anti-poverty programs.  These requirements can often have severe impacts on people with physical or mental health issues or who cannot access critical education or training to help them participate in the workforce.

And by endorsing a bill recently passed by the House Education and Workforce Committee, the proposal would weaken nutrition standards for school meals, limit the ability of some low-income students to receive free school meals, and – most troublingly -- begin moving school meal programs toward a block grant.

Wallis also said it is also important to remember that the budget plan approved by the House Budget Committee in March would cut programs for low- and moderate-income Americans by a $3.7 trillion over ten years.

“But the most glaring omission is that the new plan makes no attempt to address the unacceptable reality of racism in America, Wallis continued.  “Systemic poverty most negatively impacts people of color, and our policies should acknowledge that.  As Christian leaders, we believe that poverty and racism are bound together and solutions to address both must be integral and deeply connected.” 

“And we need to be very clear about something,” Wallis said.  “Donald Trump is the presumptive presidential nominee, and therefore the leader, of the Republican Party.  Speaker Ryan rightly called the recent statements made by Trump ‘the textbook definition of a racist comment.”

Wallis continued, “It will simply not be possible for any Congress to put forward a successful plan to overcome poverty unless the racism of a presidential candidate is addressed. And a possible president who consistently makes racist comments will not be able to lead a moral campaign to overcome poverty. That must be morally addressed by all people, particularly people of faith.”

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