Weigh In With LAMPa on Policy to Combat Poverty
LAMPa is looking for Lutherans to weigh in on behalf of the approximately 1.5 million Pennsylvanians living in poverty. Following the release of Beyond Poverty, the House Majority Policy Committee (headed by Rep. Dave Reed, who spoke at Lutheran Day) has identified and announced the formation of legislative team leaders who will explore, in greater detail, aspects of Pennsylvania’s efforts to combat poverty. We are looking for those willing to speak up with and on behalf of the poor to help this committee see the real issues, the stories and the research into what really works. Contact us to connect us with your stories, your research and your neighbors in need whom we can accompany as they share their stories.
The report outlines five areas of exploration for the teams of legislators to lead the discussion and work to produce specific legislative and policy recommendations. The topics of study (as described in the words of the committee), and the legislators assigned to them, include:
Outcomes That Matter- Rep. Cutler and Rep. Dunbar
The committee discovered that government too often gauges the success of a program by the number of people participating, without an eye to whether the program is helping lift people out of poverty. A long-term vision is needed to evaluate anti-poverty programs, moving toward those which create the opportunity of self-sustainability.
Life Skills 101 – Rep. Brown and Rep. Truitt
A large portion of our society across all income brackets struggle with life skills, among them financial literacy and budgeting. Along with an approach that includes career readiness and education, anti-poverty programs must reinforce these skills in order to help people succeed.
Benefits That Work – Rep. Murt and Rep. Krieger
Anti-poverty programs must help lift people out of poverty, not create the situation of dependence on the government. The “benefits cliff” is the prime example of a structure which fails the neediest among us and our taxpayers. This is a situation where moving beyond the assistance of a government program, through success, actually results in a much tougher time making ends meet. Public assistance programs should reward success, not punish it.
The Essentials – Rep. Corbin and Rep. Sankey
Successful programs and organizations focus first on providing essential needs such as food, water, shelter and clothing. Access to all four does not guarantee success but the absence of even one of them can mean certain failure.
Educating Through Opportunity – Rep. Stephens and Rep. Christiana
Education is one of the keys to helping those in poverty move toward self-sufficiency. All aspects of education must be examined, from early childhood programs, to higher education and beyond, to make sure it is leaving the students of this Commonwealth with the skills needed to succeed.
To access the initiative information, please visithttp://www.pagoppolicy.com/gatewaysoutofpoverty.aspx