City Desk

What Do Local Progressives Have To Be Thankful For?

This week, various poverty rights orgs tried to blogged on what they're thankful for. Save Our Safety Net led the effort and a bunch of local progressives penned heartfelt thanks on their own blogs—maybe giving Councilmember Marion Barry material for his next op-ed. It's also their way of highlighting programs that they hope Mayor-Elect Vincent Gray won't gut or eliminate.

Maybe I missed it but I did not see anyone offering praise to Walmart.

Legal Aid wrote:

"I, for one, am thankful that the District has a TANF program so that there is a safety net for the District’s most vulnerable families with children. When parents lose their jobs and can’t qualify for unemployment insurance, when a woman is fleeing her abuser and when a father is waiting for his SSI application to be approved, there is a program that will make sure that their family is not utterly destitute. The program should be improved so that it can better help parents who can work become employable and provide better linkages to supports for parents who cannot work."

Poverty & Policy is thankful for....Tommy Wells support on the tax issue:

"I’m acutely anxious for those whose plight I know best — my fellow District of Columbia residents. So many unemployed or in jobs that don’t pay enough for them to afford the high cost of living here. A chronic problem made worse by the recession. For many of them, an upswing in the local job market won’t be enough.

Budget cuts have already damaged the local safety net. And now we’re told there have to be more cuts to get the budget back in balance. Councilmember Jack Evans is all for this. “Make as many cuts as possible,” he says, “so we can stay away from revenue hikes.”

I’m thankful not all Councilmembers share his view — especially thankful for my own Councilmember Tommy Wells’s outspoken support for a tax increase.

He’s of course concerned about the safety net programs under the jurisdiction of the Human Services Committee he chairs. But the argument he’s making for progressive reforms in our tax system reaches beyond his turf."

The DC Fiscal Policy Institute, of course, posts an awesomely wonky reponse from the Capital Area Asset Builders:

"It’s the busy season for us at Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB); we’re gearing up for tax season. But while taxes can fill many with dread, CAAB is grateful for tax credits that help working families in DC, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). 

The EITC can significantly augment the income of a working individual or family.  Both the federal government and DC offer an EITC, with the result that a single mother of two earning $15,000 can receive more than $6,000 in combined EITC benefits. Studies have shown that the EITC has helped many single parents leave welfare for work, and that the EITC lifts more children out of poverty than any other single federal program. The EITC also stimulates the local economy. A recent study showed that each dollar received from the EITC creates a further $1.58 in local economic activity, as families spend tax refunds locally on food, clothes, and other family needs." 

DC Learns pens a heartfelt tribute to literacy programs:

"My mother taught me how to read when I was three.  She told me that she was very bored staying at home and hated soap operas, so she read books about how to teach reading, and taught both myself and my sister so by the time I entered school, we were both  reading several grade levels ahead of where most of our peers were.  I also remember going over to one of my younger friends houses when I was in fourth grade to “teach” him how to read. At that age, I couldn’t really teach anyone how to read, but the intent to help was there.

Many people aren’t as lucky. There are many reasons why people aren’t literate, or didn’t get a high school diploma, or have problems learning the English language.  The good news is that there are many programs in the District to help them.  I’ve been fortunate to work in some of them and have visited most of them to know that because of the threat of constant funding shortages, people have to really want to be in this field. I’m thankful to have met and known for many years people who have taught me through their experience how to care deeply about others.

But most of all, I’m thankful for getting to know all of the adult learners I’ve taught, met through my job at the DC Public Library, talked briefly through my outreach activities, and also gotten to know through my advocacy efforts volunteering for DC LEARNs."

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  • Rick Mangus

    Bla, Bla, Bla, typical liberal dribble!

  • Tax the rich?

    Seven words for those favoring a tax hike: Grandma Walters, Ron Moten, taxpayer subsidized blowjobs.

    Anyone who doesn't think there's a ton of waste in DC spending is simply delusional. And lots of it is listed as anti-poverty programs in Ward 8 and ascertainment programs (whatever that is) in Ward 5. Of course, those realities are simply an inconvenient truth to the "progressives."

    Progressives don't have the balls to speak truth to corruption. It's easier to raise taxes and further enable the corrupt. And it feels better.

  • Drez

    God Bless you, Jason.
    But this Dem nee Green believes your world view is not "Progressive".
    It's pretty much old-line liberal.
    Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but the title progressive connotes an affinity for progress, and old-line liberalism does not appear to be the way forward to the greater good in this modern world.
    Compromise. The Third Way will win here.

  • Jason Cherkis

    Drez:
    You make a good point. Yes, the solutions, etc. are pure old-line liberal. But I just don't quite understand what you were trying to say about compromise....Explain.

    Tax the rich?: I with you on the oversight. I'd have more faith in the system if we held the nonprofits and gov agencies accountable when they spend money on BS. How about banning no-bid contracts?

  • TheresaUglyDudley

    Having taught schools in PG County and got fired for teaching dumb black children how to insult each other (I got caught black-handed)I hate being black and having oversight. We should do what we want and PG County Exec Jack Johnson and his wife Leslie, truly know how to stack the profits(even in their underwear) and I love the corruption. That is why I came to US Dist Court in Greenbelt last week to support the WHITE accuse corrupt PG cop named 'Richard Delabrer' of Laurel MD because White is Right....Black is Slack.
    Never would I go to court to support a black man, they ain't it.
    The stupid elite in PPC keep paying me to teach the kids dumb stuff, my union supports this and the lil black kids suffer -so what, I get fatter and uglier-but my house is almost out of foreclosure danger,if I leave Mickey Dee's alone.
    * I promise to stop stalking Jacques Chevalier of PGC, he is handsome,articulate,married,light-skin w braids and I need to stop vying for his attention when I am around white folk. I wish I were a white lady and did not have kids by the black dude I married, he forces me to go on the internet looking fo men to %^&*!

  • Sally

    Local progressives probably aren't thankful for Cherkis. His blog postings usually result in strongly negative reactions against whatever bleeding heart, tax & spend program he's advocating.

  • Charmaine

    I normally don't respond to ignorance but the post before the last had just threw me off. First of all, either the person who had posted that "fiasco" is either a man posing as a woman and being sarcastic,or the person is a woman with serious self-esteem/self-image issues. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which is true. But, I as a woman would not ever dare to title myself, in a handle or anything else, as "Ugly" and anyone who does have issues within themselves. Second, if the person is black and the are making statements such as; calling black children "dumb" and how they wished that they were white or any other race than what they truly are, they have image issues on how they perceive themselves and people who look like or similar to them. Last, if you are married,but on the internet looking for other men to screw, then you have no one else to blame but yourself for you don't do anything that you do not want to do-we all have choices in life. That, or you got hooked up with a pimp for a husband.

  • Truth Hurts

    I'm thankful that Jason Cherkis is my friend. I don't always agree with his reporting and opinions, but I always admire the passion and drive he's demonstrated year after year.

  • cherkis

    cherkis is awesome.

  • teddyg

    The fact of the matter is that we spend 75% of our budget in 3 areas: public safety, education, and human services. Unless folks want to return to the Barry days when trash was not picked up, this is where the cuts have to come from.

    A tax increase (including the so called millionaire's tax) would be a drop in the bucket and would not "save the safety net." Cuts have to be made, plain and simple.

    I for one am glad that Evans seems like the only one willing to tell it like it is on this issue and am glad to have him as my Councilmember.

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