October 3, 2008

Weekly Roundup: What's New for You?

~As Greg noted earlier this week, the Access to Justice Commission will be releasing a report on the lack of available legal representation for low-income residents. Though every person has a right to an attorney in a criminal trial, in civil suits -- like domestic violence cases and landlord/tenant hearings -- low-income parties usually can't afford any legal representation. Along with the release on October 7th, DLA Piper will be hosting a discussion starting at 6p.m. with a number of community leaders about the report's findings and recommendations for improvements. Specifics are now up on the Commission’s website.

~It turns out that DC is short about 131 million bucks. Today The Washington Post ran Mayor Fenty’s proposed fix which includes a new Lotto vendor and throwing a 6 million dollar empty building out of the city ship. There was some concern that the budget shortfall would lead to cuts in District services and, though it’s early, right now there are no cuts proposed. A vote on the budget appears to be scheduled for as early as Tuesday of next week, but it's hard to think of a reason why the Council shouldn't take its time to digest the proposal and allow for input from the community.

~The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty has created a pretty cool wiki--Street Lawyer. The site includes fact sheets, Q&A, statutory materials, litigation documents, model programs, policies and legislation, and in-depth articles. The site also provides a central location for advocates and organizations to post training sessions and events, as well as offers the latest news from partner organizations and ways to get more involved in the effort to end homelessness. We'll be looking more closely at this site soon!

~On Sunday, October 19th, there’s an advance screening of The End of Poverty?, a new documentary by Philippe Diaz. Billed as “a hard look at world poverty” and “a challenge to capitalism and the American way,” I can only assume that portions of this movie will be outright demagoguery with a whiff of bluster. Despite that, global poverty is very real, and though I don't expect much from some of the people they're interviewing, the shots of Africa speak for themselves. The film's narrated by Martin Sheen, another plus, so I'm planning to go and glean the factual stuff. Details:

When: 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 19
Where: Regal Gallery Place Stadium 14
701 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Admission: Free!

1 comment:

LVTfan said...

I've seen the film, "The End of Poverty?" and I think you might find it provides a very different understanding of why so many people in the world are poor. There are links to more information about the film at http://www.progressandpoverty.org/

You might take a look at the world wealth distribution data reported in 3 consecutive posts on my blog at http://lvtfan.typepad.com/, and then consider the natural resources each part of the world has, and then the poverty which the people of many countries must deal with.

While I applaud the spirit behind the MDG and Last Billion and Jeffrey Sachs' work, I am persuaded that until we understand the structural issues that create the poverty machine, we're all going to be cogs in it. Once you see the structure of the machine, you won't see poverty the same way ever again.

You might explore http://www.wealthandwant.com/ and http://www.answersanswers.com/ for more about how we might go about ending poverty -- tearing it out by the roots, not trimming its leaves and branchlets.

I'll be interested in hearing your comments about "The End of Poverty?"