skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, Secret Service director says, 'We failed;' Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Democrats consolidate support behind Vice President Harris, Republicans threaten legal action over changes to the presidential ticket, and a possible bipartisan consensus forms on the failure of the Secret Service to protect former President Trump.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

MA Commission on Poverty tackles historic wealth gap

play audio
Play

Monday, June 17, 2024   

A Legislature-backed Commission on Poverty in Massachusetts aims to address the state's historic wealth gap.

The commission will study demographic disparities and existing programs to reduce poverty over the next decade, and has been holding public hearings to gather feedback.

State Sen. Sal DiDomenico - D-Everett - said Massachusetts has the highest median wage for workers in the nation, but one of the greatest gaps between wealthy and low-income individuals.

"So we know we have much work to be done in this commission," said DiDomenico, "to bring more equity to the table when it comes to residents across the Commonwealth."

DiDomenico said it's unacceptable that roughly 70,000 Massachusetts children live in what's considered "deep poverty" - or 50% below the federal poverty level.

He said efforts to undo those numbers should be a top legislative priority.

Sixty years after the launch of President Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty," community action agencies in Massachusetts say data reveal which policies are most effective.

Expanded tax credits and stimulus payments were shown to help cut childhood poverty in half during the pandemic, and efforts continue to grow guaranteed basic income programs.

Laura Meisenhelter is board president of the Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP), a coalition of more than twenty community action agencies.

She said they're responding to local needs while working for systemic change.

"We confirmed," said Meisenhelter, "both large and small changes to public policy and programs and practices can have an enormous impact."

Meisenhelter said agency staff visit clients at nursing homes, aid parents in buying Christmas gifts, and help ensure that people's basic needs such as food, clothing and diapers are met.

She said that need is increasing as the poverty line set decades ago has not kept pace with the increasing standard of living.

The Commission on Poverty's next public hearing will take place later this year in the Fall River and New Bedford area.

Disclosure: Massachusetts Association for Community Action contributes to our fund for reporting on Housing/Homelessness, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Poverty Issues, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Maryland has more than 750,000 renter households, representing 33% of all households in the state. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

With rising housing costs an ongoing issue, a new report shows how fast rents have increased in Maryland and nationwide. The National Low Income …


Environment

play sound

The federal Bureau of Land Management has published a new plan for managing public lands which will put oil and gas management in sync with Colorado's…

Social Issues

play sound

More than 60 million Americans identify as disabled and many of them turn to nonprofit agencies such as Easterseals for therapy and other assistance…


Nationwide statistics show while overall reported hate crimes decreased by about 7% in 2023 compared to 2022, hate crime events motivated by sexual orientation bias increased 3.6%.(Anastasiia/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Hate crimes against members of the LGBTQ+ community have risen for the second year in a row, according to the latest "State of Pride" report from the …

Social Issues

play sound

After a historic weekend, politics turned out to be the major topic Monday at the national convention of more than 3,500 teachers union members…

The United States has 403 centers for independent living, according to the National Council on Independent Living. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Advocates for individuals with disabilities want the state of Nevada to further embrace what is known as the "independent living" model. Dawn Lyons…

Environment

play sound

As the Atlantic coast braces for what could be an active hurricane season, environmental groups are warning about the dangers of agricultural …

Social Issues

play sound

Civic organizations with ideas for improving their communities have a new opportunity to turn their ideas into reality, thanks to recently awarded …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021