WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. Many residents from all corners of Westchester gather to voice their concerns of what they feel is the lack of support for families that live in poverty in Westchester County. Community Voices Heard sponsored the event.
Any discussion of social class and mobility in Westchester County would be incomplete without a discussion of poverty, which is defined as the lack of the minimum food and shelter necessary for maintaining life.
Westchester County being one of the richest counties in the United States has Ali Shuffled the issue of poverty in the many communities in Westchester.
9.7 percent of families that live in Westchester live in poverty.
According to Westchester County Department of Social Service between 2009-2012 people on food stamps jumped 65%
If someone works minimum wage in Westchester County they would have to work 168 hours a week (4.1 jobs) to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Westchester.
Some theorists have accused the poor of having little concern for the future and preferring to “live for the moment”; others have accused them of engaging in self‐defeating behavior. But if you talk to many people who are living in poverty, this is far from the truth. They want to work, be educated and live what is called the American Dream.
The effects of poverty are serious. Children who grow up in poverty suffer more persistent, frequent, and severe health problems than do children who grow up under better financial circumstances.
There is a systematic understanding on how and wear resources should and could be spent to address this prevalent issue in Westchester.
Because of this misunderstanding of poverty in our communities and the lack of elected officials that actually care, we have created a “Culture of Poverty”. In this culture of poverty—which passes from generation to generation—the poor feel negative, inferior, passive, hopeless, and powerless that is surrounded by Crime and Violence.
Are the local leaders in our county dismissing the many families that live in poverty in Westchester interest? The last County Executive election, Poverty was the least concern of voters according to News 12.
Only one out of 18 County Elected Officials took time in an election year to actually attend the rally.
The lack of Westchester Elected Officials was evident. It’s elementary, people in poverty don’t contribute to political campaigns and many are disenfranchised and don’t come out to vote.
Unfortunately, there is silence from many of the prominent black church pulpits on this issue when many that are affected pay tithes and give donation to these churches.
Even though Hispanic Americans are almost as likely as African-Americans to live in poverty, fewer inner‐city Hispanic neighborhoods have undergone the same massive changes as many black neighborhoods have. Middle and working class Hispanic families have not left their barrio, or urban Spanish‐speaking neighborhood, in large numbers, so most Hispanic cultural and social institutions there remain intact. In addition, local Hispanic‐owned businesses and low‐skill industries support the barrio with wage‐based, not welfare‐based, businesses.
The rally for poverty is a good beginning to bring awareness to an issue that our elected officials would usually be silent about. The real lesson is that its time for the poor working class in Westchester to be outraged, get engaged and VOTE!