To the editor:
Thank you for sharing the responses of local politicians and civic leaders to your question, “What do think will make big news in 2015?” [Sandy Springs Reporter, Dec. 26-Jan. 8] There are many positive developments taking place in our region.
But, there is one issue that will not make big news that concerns me, the crisis of child poverty. Back in 2000 the child poverty rate in Georgia was 16 percent and our state ranked 29th in the nation. That rate has steadily risen to its current peak of 27 percent and a 42nd ranking. That is shocking.
More than one out of every four children living in our midst is living in poverty. Isn’t this concern worthy of our leaders’ best efforts?
Our leaders will likely trumpet their pro-business policies as an antidote for child poverty. But if fostering a good business environment were effective at reducing child poverty, why has this condition continue to worsen over the past several years? What is needed are specific policies and programs aimed at helping low-income families.
There are many actions that would help low-income families including:
- Expand affordable child care centers
- Increase the stock of safe and affordable housing
- Improve affordable health care access
- Increase educational opportunities for adults and children
- Advocate for raising the minimum wage
I would like to see our politicians agree to take action with a goal of cutting child poverty in half over the next four years.