by By Pablo Ros | December 13, 2013
During his State of the Union address on Jan. 8, 1964, Pres. Lyndon Johnson remarked that “many Americans live on the outskirts of hope – some because of their poverty, and some because of their color, and all too many because of both.”
He added, “Our task is to help replace this despair with opportunity,” launching America’s War on Poverty. That included passage of the Food Stamp Act of 1964, the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, and the Social Security Act of 1965, which created Medicare and Medicaid, and many other initiatives, including the Head Start program.
Today, these programs keep millions out of poverty and improve the lives of children and families.
But as effective as these programs are, our policies have not kept up with the changing times. That’s why today, to mark the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty and to highlight today’s most pressing economic challenges, AFSCME is asking for your stories. We are looking for two kinds of stories:
1) Tell us about your frontline experiences as an AFSCME member working to help families make ends meet. For example, we want to hear how you make a difference to someone’s life in your work in Head Start, eligibility determination for food stamps and/or Medicaid, or in other safety net programs; and
2) Tell us if you and your family have been helped by safety net programs, like Medicaid, Head Start, and SNAP. Tell us about what changes are needed to these programs to better help you and your families establish a solid economic footing.
We must recommit to our goal of reducing poverty. At a time of high unemployment and rising inequality, AFSCME is calling on our elected leaders to continue moving families from poverty to prosperity. Your stories bring public policy to life.
Click here to tell us your stories.
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