Spotlight Exclusives

Poverty and the State of the Union Speech: Keeping the Focus on the President۪s Low-Income Agenda

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Lastnight, the President delivered hisfirst State of the Union address to a nation that is struggling.  He spokedirectly to the millions of Americans without a job, and outlined plans to help the middle-class get back on itsfeet.


Nearthe beginning of his address, the President acknowledged that “for those who’d already known poverty, lifehas become that much harder.” 


Thatreference to poverty was welcome. And for those of us who are working toalleviate poverty, the President۪s campaign agenda offeredsome important and inspiring goals, such as halving the numberof poor in 10 years. These aspirations have not been altogether absentduring President Obama۪s first year in office.  The American Recovery andReinvestment Act includes several measures to help low-income Americans, suchas expanded food assistance, extended unemployment insurance, and support for Medicaid, among others.


Butsome critics say that the President doesn۪t talk about poverty enough. That۪swhy we at OOTS think it۪s a good thing when those working to reduce poverty ask the President to keep a focus on low-incomeAmericans as he works to bring our country out of this recession.


Inyesterday۪s Huffington Post, Coalition on Human NeedsExecutive Director Deborah Weinstein didjust that.  She agreed thatstrengthening the middle-class is important, but also insisted that “our nation cannot achieve a trulysustainable recovery without targeting assistance to low-income people whoaspire to join the middle class.”  The piece is worth a read.


Thoseconcerned with low-income workersand poverty must continue to ask the President to work on this issue, even ashe tries to help all Americans who are experiencing economic hardship.


Postedby Mike



Here at Out of the Spotlight, we offer a behind-the-scenes look at the latestnews and information essential to anyone working to fight poverty. From keypolitical appointees to clashes over policy, we cover the news that doesn۪talways make the evening news. Check out Out of the Spotlight for our take onthe twists and turns of the latest political developments and its impact onpoverty reduction. Topics and ideas are welcome! Just contact or

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