STATEMENT: Whoever wins tomorrow must take poverty seriously


Whoever wins tomorrow must take poverty seriously
Regardless of Tuesday’s election results, North Carolina and America must build an economy that works for everyone, including the less fortunate
RALEIGH (Nov. 5, 2012) -- No matter what candidates win in tomorrow’s election, our elected officials must take poverty seriously. Throughout North Carolina, people and communities continue to struggle with low wealth and lack of opportunity.
What does it mean to take poverty seriously?
To take poverty seriously means making economic policy decisions that create opportunity for people. Instead of concentrating wealth in the hands of the few, our economy and communities perform better when all people have the chance to build prosperity. Preserving and creating high-quality jobs must be a top priority.
To take poverty seriously means recognizing that public education is one of the state’s best assets.  The only way to show commitment to public education is to properly fund our schools without privatizing them and providing taxpayer dollars to for-profit corporations.  Education is a path out of poverty, and we must move to enrich the minds of students, not enrich the vaults of for-profit corporations.
To take poverty seriously means understanding that health care is an outstanding investment in North Carolina’s people, one that pays off in the present and the future. It means understanding that working families need their leaders to stand up for public health.
To take poverty seriously means acknowledging the contributions immigrants make in communities across our state and nation, contributions that build opportunity for all. To take poverty seriously means cracking down on employers who don’t pay their workers the wages they are legally entitled to, and making sure those who are unemployed can sustain themselves while looking for work.
To take poverty seriously means all of these things and more. Though the election will be over in just a few hours, our shared values dictate that our struggle against poverty – and for shared prosperity – must be ongoing, regardless of who holds elected office.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Jeff Shaw, director of communications,, 503.551.3615.