Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Three Ways the Ryan Budget Hits Latinos

Although experts in the field state that the Congressional House budget will be "dead on arrival" in the Senate, we have learned, this year, to keep our voices loud. It may be true that the "whole package" isn't set to pass, but we are learning that even the tiniest of program changes get integrated and have a profound effect on individuals and families struggling to make ends meet. Following is an article written by Melissa Boteach,Director of Half in Ten: The Campaign to Cut Poverty in Half in Ten Years, that highlights the effects of budget cuts on Colorado's fastest growing demographic. For more on the impact of the Ryan budget on the Latino community click here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The latest from the Reading Room

Last week there was a big dust up over a TED lecture that was slow to be released, not because of any hesitation on part of the man who gave the lecture, but on part of the TED organization.  The content of this lecture is radical in terms of the dominant paradigm in that the man who gave it, a venture capitalist, spoke about the need for the wealthy to pay more in taxes as lower taxes lead to the wealthy becoming more wealthy as opposed to creating jobs.

The video was finally released, but I enjoyed reading the transcript even more thanks to The Atlantic posting it, along with the slides, last Thursday.

And on Friday, posted the following graphic that illustrates the change in poverty county by county nation-wide from 2007-2010.  6 Colorado counties have a lower poverty rate - south east and south central ones, and I have been thinking about the reasons for it all morning.  Is it the influx of second home buyers in Saguache and Fremont counties?  Is there a drop in overall population in the southeast counties?  Would any readers who have more credible answers (or, at least, theories) chime in and share?

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Circles® Campaign is a transformational approach that partners volunteers and community leaders with families wanting to make the journey out of poverty. Operating in communities around the country, each Circles® initiative consists of families working to get out of poverty and several middle and upper income Allies who befriend them and lend support. Read more about the Circles Campaign here.

Making Poverty Manageable

Scott Miller, founder and CEO of Circles Initiative, discusses poverty being too expensive. In this article Scott offers a solution of tackling 10% at a time to make it more manageable.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

As printed today in the Denver Post

I wrote a letter to the editor based on hours of sitting and listening to the testimony both in favor of and against the ordinance banning street camping.  Below is the complete letter that I wrote and also sent to the Westword and every member of the city council, an edited version (for length) ran in the letters section of today's Denver Post.

The ordinance to criminalize camping voted on last night by nine of the thirteen members of the city council is simplistic, and creates a new criminal class in our city out of innocent citizens.  It is not written as many of those who spoke in support of it last night claim it to be, it is NOT a first step in creating a more holistic solution but a clear cut statement that people who have not prospered in our diminishing economy and do not have the support networks that some of us can access are beneath the rest of us.  Those who support this ordinance have the perception that it will actually help the population targeted, when in fact their statements emphasized how it will help their businesses and nothing more.  In reality, it is a gateway ordinance in creating a criminal record preventing the ability to access any housing, and likely employment as well, in the future.  It takes innocent people, who have it hard in very hard times, and condemns them to a cycle from which it is even more difficult to break free.
Add to this the lack of sustainable funding for the programs already in existence, and we can only look forward to the rise of this new and unwarranted criminal class.

Jennifer Gross, Denver

PS – Civic Center Park is not the exclusive domain of the wealthy condo residing new residents of the Golden Triangle.  You knew what the area was when you bought your $300,000+ condos, and now you have buyers regret.  The park belongs to ALL of us, including those you wish to kick out.