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The Child Poverty Collaborative’s Response to Our Suggestions

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Thank you for the deeply thoughtful commentary about the Child Poverty Collaborative

and its first community Summit. Your observations about the diversity in the room, and

the deep engagement by many of the participants at the Summit captured the positive

energy that was in the room on June 25th. As one of the organizers of the Summit, I

can say that the gathering exceeded my expectations and personally renewed my faith

that while the issue of child poverty in our community is complex and difficult, there are

many in our city who want to lean in together and truly improve the lives of children and

families.

 

Our call to action, as you noted, is TAKING ON POVERTY. TOGETHER. It is the

“together” part of the call to action that I agree with you is most significant. The

collaborative is committed to an open, inclusive process that involves all members of

our community. There is great value in all points of view – people with personal

experience with poverty, teens, the faith, social service and business sectors,

neighborhood leaders and long time activists.

 

We aren’t perfect and you are absolutely correct that we have not included the

Appalachian and Latino communities the way we should. We will do more immediately.

Mike Maloney and others held a very important and open community conversation

recently. We acknowledge that the needs and desires of each community is different

and those differences need to be better understood and respected.

 

Your thoughful “cautions” are also ones that we will take to heart and work to

incorporate going forward. We know there have been too many “studies” and reports

that sit on the shelf. Frankly, that is my definition of failure – if what we do after nearly

a year is simply create a report that sits and gathers dust we will have squandered the

good will and commitment of many to work for change.

 

The level of childhood poverty in our community is a moral, human, social and financial

issue. The number of children and families that are struggling – by any definition of

poverty – is unjust, immoral and unacceptable.

 

We greatly appreciate your engagement and encourage you to continue to be a sharp

critic and thoughtful advocate. While we value your encouraging comments about what

we are doing “right” (thank you), we need your guidance and clear thoughts about what

is needed next.  Please continue to hold us accountable. Thank you.

 

Lynn Marmer

Executive Director

Child Poverty Collaborative

ChildPoverty@uwgc.org

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