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Category Archives: Poverty

Philly DA Larry Krasner’s Campaign to End Mass Incarceration

The New Yorker – Philadelphia’s District Attorney reinvents the role of the modern prosecutor: “…In 2015, Philadelphia had the highest incarceration rate of America’s ten largest cities. As its population grew more racially diverse and a new generation became politically active, its “tough on crime” policies fell further out of synch with its residents’ views. During Krasner’s campaign, hundreds of people—activists he had represented, supporters of Bernie Sanders, Black Lives Matter leaders, former prisoners—knocked on tens of thousands of doors on his behalf. Michael Coard, a left-wing critic of the city’s criminal-justice system, wrote in the Philadelphia Tribune that Krasner was the “blackest white guy I know.” The composer and musician John Legend, a University of Pennsylvania graduate, tweeted an endorsement. In the three weeks before the primary, a PAC funded by the liberal billionaire George Soros spent $1.65 million on pro-Krasner mailers and television ads. Strangers started recognizing him on the street. He trounced his six opponents in the primary, and went on to win the general election, on November 7, 2017, with seventy-five per cent of the vote. He was sworn in on January 1, 2018, by his wife.

…Krasner’s first initiative was to eliminate cash bail for most nonviolent crimes. “We don’t imprison the poor in the United States for the so-called crime of poverty,” he said. In March, he sent a memo to his staff outlining his policies, which he described as “an effort to end mass incarceration and bring balance back to sentencing.” Few of the ideas were truly new—many progressive prosecutors have stopped prosecuting people for possessing small amounts of marijuana, for instance, or have increased the number of people diverted from prison into drug-rehab programs—but the memo caught on in criminal-justice circles, arguably because of one recommendation: each time a prosecutor wanted to send somebody to prison, he had to calculate the cost of that imprisonment (an estimated forty-two thousand dollars per inmate per year), state it aloud in court, and explain the “unique benefits” of the punishment. James Forman, Jr., the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning study of race and criminal justice “Locking Up Our Own,” teaches at Yale Law School. He assigned the memo as reading in his criminal-law class. Krasner’s suggestion was powerful, Forman told me: “Nobody seems to ask the questions of prison that we ever ask of any other aspect of the system. Nobody says, ‘Well, if prison didn’t work last time, maybe we shouldn’t try it the next time.’ “

Homelessness in New York Public Schools Is at a Record High: 114,659 Students

The New York Times – One out of every 10 students lived in temporary housing during the last school year. “Tonight, about one out of every 10 students in New York City will sleep in a homeless shelter or in the homes of relatives. That’s more children than at any other time since city records… Continue Reading

A global tipping point: Half the world is now middle class or wealthier

Brookings report – Half the world is now middle class or wealthier: “…Our “middle class” classification was first developed in 2010 and has been used by many researchers. While acknowledging that the middle class does not have a precise definition that can be globally applied, the threshold we use in this work has the following characteristics:… Continue Reading

Poverty in America

24/7 Wall St: “Poverty might mean different things in different parts of the world and to different people, but it is largely defined as being unable to afford a minimum standard of living. The United States has come a long way in addressing the problem, but progress seems to have slowed despite the recent years… Continue Reading

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2017

“The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that real median household income increased by 1.8 percent between 2016 and 2017, while the official poverty rate decreased 0.4 percentage points. At the same time, the number of people without health insurance coverage and the uninsured rate were not statistically different from 2016. Median household income in the… Continue Reading

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018

11 September 2018, Rome – “New evidence continues to signal that the number of hungry people in the world is growing, reaching 821 million in 2017 or one in every nine people, according to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018 released today. Limited progress is also being made in addressing the multiple… Continue Reading

SNAP benefits add up to $1.86 per person, per meal. Here’s what that looks like.

“CityLab Editor’s note: Earlier this month, the White House surprised many observers by declaring a successful end to the War on Poverty. Now, the future of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is in the hands of Congress as it negotiates a farm bill. So CityLab visual storyteller Ariel Aberg-Riger is taking a closer look… Continue Reading

Toward the control of cancer – issues opportunities screening and treatment

“Cancer is a devastating disease. It is estimated that 1.7 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and approximately 610,000 will die of it. Cancer does not discriminate. It affects humans of all ages, races, and ethnicities. Although virtually everyone is at risk for developing and dying from cancer, the burden of this… Continue Reading

HHS Report – Economic Opportunity and the Opioid Crisis: Geographic and Economic Trends

“This study examines relationships between indicators of economic opportunity and the prevalence of prescription opioids and substance use in the United States. We have three primary findings: The prevalence of drug overdose deaths and opioid prescriptions has risen unevenly across the county, with rural areas more heavily impacted. Specific geographic areas, such as Appalachia, parts… Continue Reading

UN representative reports on extreme poverty and human rights on his mission to US

Via Common Dreams: “The United Nations has released a scathing report on poverty and inequality in the United States. The findings, which will be presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council on June 21, follow an official visit to the United States by Philip Alston, the U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights,… Continue Reading

Mayors & CEOs for U.S. Housing Investment

Curbed: “Why isn’t homelessness seen as a national crisis? Cities call on the federal government to confront the growing numbers of homeless residents…The group, called Mayors & CEOs for U.S. Housing Investment, intends to work with HUD to make sure cities don’t lose federal dollars, and come up with new and innovative ways to fund… Continue Reading

World Bank Report Finds Rise in Global Wealth, but Inequality Persists

“Global wealth grew significantly over the past two decades but per capita wealth declined or stagnated in more than two dozen countries in various income brackets, says a new World Bank report. Going beyond traditional measures such as GDP, the report uses wealth to monitor countries’ economic progress and sustainability. The Changing Wealth of Nations… Continue Reading