~According to an Applied Research Center’s report, African Americans and other racial minorities experience a myriad of factors, such as unemployment, incarceration, and lack of post-secondary education, that make them more likely to be in poverty during this recession. Add on the recent trend of women, especially single mothers, experiencing unemployment at higher rates than males, and it’s easy to see that poverty may discriminate more than we know. Media sources, according to Barbara Ehrenreich’s op-ed in the New York Times, already discriminate, focusing on the experience of the "Nouveau Poor," or those recently in economic trouble, and ignoring the struggle of those "already poor" before the recession.
~Health care reform proposals are being scrutinized by the Congressional Budget Office. The cost of the proposals that have already been put forth would, according to CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf, "be much more likely to worsen the long-run budget outlook than to improve it." While popular ideas such as electronic medical records and incentives for doctors who choose more effective(and thus less expensive) treatments have gained support and have the potential to lower costs, the process of their eventual implementation and their subsequent success at lowering the national debt has been brought into question by the CBO.
~President Obama recently announced the start of the United We Serve program, an effort to encourage all Americans to volunteer in their communities. From our perspective, DC is already ahead of the pitch. In the last three years we’ve seen a surge in the number of people looking to support our efforts, and most of our partner organizations are saying the same thing. Many thanks to all the people in our community who allow us to do the work we do!