Lots of Work Left

Sometimes it's easy to forget living half a mile from Maryland, but the city still has a long, long way to go. One in three children in the District live in poverty. One in three. The city's infant mortality rate and number of adults in foster care both on the rise as well.

I know that's DC's broken education system gets all the press. It's what every mayoral and Council candidate runs on. Fixing the schools. But this should be just as high a priority. Kids aren't going to learn if they're just scraping by.

Councilman Marion Berry (Ward-8) has criticized Mayor Fenty's attitude towards poverty and, shockingly, he has a point.

Barry, who is also chairman of the Committee on Housing and Urban Affairs, chastised Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) for failing to quickly appoint members to the Commission on Poverty, which was established in 2006 and under law was to dissolve two years later.

Fenty, who became mayor last year, didn't nominate residents for the 21-member commission until two weeks ago, Barry said. None of the five residents or the government employee the mayor selected lives in Wards 7 or 8, which have the highest concentration of poverty in the city, Barry said.

Uh, what was Fenty waiting for? Hopefully these new statistics will show him that poverty isn't something he can just put off until later. This is a very real problem. One in three children are in serious trouble. That should be a high priority, don't you think?


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  2. no kidding, the first step needs to be helping children and expectant mothers receive proper medical care and nutrition. The government and social services can let children down way before they cross the threshold of a public school.

  3. question: if the dirt poor weren't so dirt poor, then the filthy rich wouldn't be filthy rich, now would they?
    answer: nope.
    question: why do poor people have so many babies?
    answer: because it pays better than mcdonalds, with a hell of a lot more benefits.
    last question: why the hell would the government reward that kind of irresponsibility instead of discouraging it in favor of improving the general quality of life?
    answer: see first question.

    conclusion: not a very shocking [lack of] action by mr fenty. it's not as though the poverty~stricken posess any political affluence. what do you think this is, a democracy or something?

  4. Poverty? What Poverty? Doesn't the city have priorities like a baseball stadium?

  5. Err, maybe because this "commission on poverty," like so many commissions, doesn't really do anything?

    Maybe because the only real way to elevate people out of poverty is through economic development and the rule of law, not convening meetings with hacks who puff out their chests, send public funds to their preferred groups, pat themselves on the back and go home.

    And please don't credit Barry with having a point. He's as responsible as any single person can be for the cycle of dependence and anti-social behavior prevalent among the city's poorest.

  6. DC is one of the richest cities in the nation. No one that lives here is amazed that a person makes 100K a year. In other parts of the nation, that is still a lot of money.

    Having said that, it amazes me that more people do not share in the wealth. NOVA gets its share as does Dupont Circle. But SE? WTF?

    There is something going on here; and it's painfully obvious. There is no DESIRE to help the poor of DC. It's not a color thing (I'm a Black male). It's a economic thing. The people in charge have the position, "screw them, I'm gonna get mine."

    I hate that, but I think it is true.

    PS, it all starts with education and the family. It's hard to keep a smart man down, but it's easy to control a dumb one. That's why slaves were not allowed to learn to read.

  7. um, I'm not convinced the mayor can do much about the infant mortality/child poverty rate (particularly in bats*** crazy, crackhead defending, angrily demand handouts at every turn ward 8.) Maybe when when the babymommas realize kids aren't just these things that fall out of your vagina in between benders and that it's "Mr. Charlie's" job to take are of them, then we'll see the mortality rate go down.

    The government can only do so much to protect people from their own stupidity.

  8. So what exactly would you have us DC taxpayers do? Give yet more of our tax money to even more drug-infested public housing, allow even more benefits for women to pop out even more kids that we pay for?

    What else? Pump even more money into a school system that will be worthless no matter how much money we throw at it?

    The poor in DC have roughly 1000 times more opportunity than the poor in the vast majority of the rest of the world have.

    You want poor? Try being poor in India, or rural China.

    I'm all for helping the working poor. But let's be honest here. Many of the poor in DC simply refuse to work. It really is that simple.

    And after 40 years of the rest of them paying their way, some of us are wondering exactly what we get for our money. Other than, of course, the stunningly high chance of one of these very folks sucking up our tax dollars accosting us with a gun.