Statewide meetings to address child poverty

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With 22% of New York children living in poverty, the Assembly Committees on Children and Families and Social Services will hold a series of meetings to address the issue beginning next week. A roundtable discussion and two public hearings (full schedule below) will examine the impact of poverty on children and their families, as well as the effects and barriers it creates for them to be able to achieve self-sufficiency.

Committee Chairs Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, along with Chair of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Taskforce Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, will meet with Majority Leader Joe Morelle and community leaders in Rochester on Monday for a roundtable discussion to examine the impact of poverty on children and their families, as well as the recently formed Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI). Half of the children in the City of Rochester live in poverty, the second-highest rate in the nation for a city its size.

The following day, Lupardo and Hevesi will host a public hearing in Binghamton where child poverty is 47%, more than twice the state average. Elected officials, local non-profits, and local school administrators are expected to provide testimony regarding the effects poverty has in the community. An anti-poverty taskforce, similar to the one in Rochester, has also been convened in Broome County and will use information from the public hearing to steer its work.

Next month, this effort continues with another hearing in Manhattan to examine poverty in New York City. 30% of children in NYC are currently living in poverty and this hearing will provide more information about the barriers faced by City families.

“This roundtable is yet another opportunity for our community to further empower the voice of those who are struggling with the impacts of poverty” said Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle. “Only through continued dialogue with community members and work with the Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative can we begin to truly understand and address the challenges facing those most in need. I am grateful to Assemblymembers Lupardo, Hevesi, Crespo, and all of our local and statewide partners for their attention and commitment to an issue as critical as poverty.”

“This is a great opportunity to hear firsthand from stakeholders involved with this issue,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Children and Families. “The face of poverty is much more complex than people realize and these meetings will help shed light on the stories behind the statistics.”
“The rates of child poverty in New York State are simply unacceptable, said Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, Chair of the Assembly Social Services Committee. “ These roundtables are designed to compile information from people on the ground in various regions of the state and use their experience and expertise as we develop a comprehensive strategy for all of New York.”

“Earlier this year, the Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force released two reports documenting the alarming rates of child poverty across our State,” said Task Force Chair Assemblyman Marcos Crespo. “In many communities child poverty rates are close to 70% and in many more half of all children are living below federal poverty rates. We know that 40% of children growing up poor will become adults living in poverty. New York cannot afford to disregard the masses of children now living in poverty and must act diligently to counter this devastating dynamic.”

“The United Way, as convener of the Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, appreciates the Assembly Committee on Children Families and Social Services coming to Rochester to hear first-hand about the work that RMAPI is doing,” said Dr. Leonard Brock, RMAPI Director at the United Way of Rochester. “The unprecedented partnership with our state government is one of the many pieces that we feel will help make RMAPI a success. We look forward to a productive and meaningful dialogue as we continue our work in the future.”

“The Broome County Anti-Poverty Taskforce is committed to examining all aspects of poverty in our community—causes, effects, and long-term solutions,” said Alan Hertel, Executive Director of United Way of Broome County. “Childhood poverty is especially concerning as it begins what often becomes a lifelong cycle. These hearings will arm us with the information necessary for laying the groundwork that will ultimately eradicate this problem.”
Monday, August 24, 2015; 1:30pm; Council Chambers,
Rochester City Hall, Rm 302-A
30 Church Street,
Rochester, New York
Tuesday, August 25, 2015; 1:00pm; Council Chambers,Binghamton City Hall,
38 Hawley Street, Binghamton, New York

Thursday, September 24, 2015 10:00am Assembly Hearing Room
250 Broadway, Rm 1923,
19th Floor
New York, New York