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Urban Issues: Poverty

by Gotham Gazette Staff, Feb 23, 2004

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John Edwards

Edwards believes that welfare reform has produced some positive result, but that more should be done to give low-income people education, job training, and childcare. He would double federal funding for health centers that treat low-income people. He supports initiatives to require fathers to pay child support and a campaign to reduce teen pregnancy. He promises to build a safety net to help homeless families.

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John Kerry

Kerry believes that welfare reform has produced some positive result, but that more should be done to give low-income people education, job training, and childcare. He opposes the Bush administration's tougher work requirements for welfare recipients. He wants to build affordable housing to help the homeless.

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Dennis Kucinich

Kucinich promises a "zero-unemployment economy," will institute a living wage that keeps pace with inflation, provide universal health care and childcare, and create a jobs program. He would create a housing trust fund to build homes for low-income families.

Al Sharpton

Sharpton opposes the 1996 welfare reform act. He advocates more programs for the poor and a massive job program to put thousands to work rebuilding infrastructure.

George W. Bush

In 2003, President Bush proposed an extension of the welfare reform act with added requirements. Under the plan, recipients would be required to work 40 hours per week, the average funding for a family on public assistance would be increased, and state and local governments would consolidate food stamps, housing, and education programs. While welfare rolls have decreased drastically in recent years in New York City, there are signs that the poor are not finding jobs or the help they need. Homelessness in New York City is at a record high. The number of single mothers who are unemployed has risen and their average hourly pay has actually decreased since 2000, according to one report.

To help address poverty, Bush advocates federal funding for local faith based organizations to help people find jobs, address addictions, and care for children.

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Back to Urban Issues Main Page
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• Urban Agenda: Poverty
• Welfare Reform in New York
• Homelessness in New York
• Turning to Faith Based Organizations


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