Poverty: California leads the nation in poverty.
Sixty percent of California's public school children qualify for free school lunches because of poverty. The upbeat news releases from Washington D.C. and Sacramento cannot hide this. Big brothers four top candidates in this race, assisted behind the scenes by the same Clinton/Obama operatives and their same old glossy game plan, cannot make this issue go away by ignoring it.
The present short-sighted, bail out and trickle down policy of austerity can have no other effect than to polarize the rich and the poor, stifle early education, create disrespect, and encourage the negative behavior of those who might otherwise be encouraged to engage positively in democracy.
In 2013, key policymakers proposed deep cuts to both SNAP and Medicaid as a way to reduce the deficit, including turning them into block grants to states. These cuts would result in millions losing access to vital services and falling deeper into poverty.
High minded organizations like RESULTS work to expand appropriate and sustainable financial opportunities to the poorest households and communities so they can lift themselves out of poverty. However, unless we choose a path of bold reform for our financially captured legislatures and achieve congressional oversight of international institutions that care not what happens to people, populist grassroots movements cannot gain sufficient traction.