Catholic Charities Pushes New Antipoverty Legislation

By Filteau, Jerry | National Catholic Reporter, October 15, 2010 | Go to article overview

Catholic Charities Pushes New Antipoverty Legislation


Filteau, Jerry, National Catholic Reporter


WASHINGTON * Catholic Charities leaders from across the nation flooded the offices of U.S. senators and representatives Sept. 28 to push for a major new U.S. approach to drawing Americans out of poverty.

"It is time to think and act anew" said Fr. Larry Snyder, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA.

More than 700 Catholic Charities delegates from nearly all U.S. states stormed congressional offices asking members of Congress to become cosponsors the National Opportunity and Community Renewal Act, a bill drafted by Catholic Charities that could transform the way federal, state and local antipoverty programs operate.

The Capitol Hill visits marked the final day of Catholic Charities' centenary convention in Washington. It also marked the first time in its 100-year history that Catholic Charities has proposed its own legislation to Congress.

Although it has been deeply involved in the past century in working for effective federal antipoverty legislation--including laws against child labor, minimum wage and affordable housing laws and the Social Security Act--those laws were drafted by others.

The initiative was unveiled to 1,000 Catholic Charities delegates Sept. 26, the second day of their Sept. 25-28 national meeting.

Introduced as a modest national pilot program, it proposes to establish new model experiments in 10 communities around the country in which traditional government antipoverty programs are replaced by a more flexible and comprehensive approach. At least three of the communities would be rural--where poverty is even more endemic than in major metropolitan areas--and at least one would be in an area with a military base, another area of high poverty levels.

If the pilot programs succeed as expected, they could form a model to realign all U.S. antipoverty programs so that they focus more on holistic poverty-exit plans than on program-specific relief of current conditions without a clear overall plan for people to free themselves from the downward spiral of poverty.

In the proposed approach, the goal is to get the individual or family back on its own two feet, rather than simply filling the gaps of needs--food, shelter, etc.--that drew the individual or family into current welfare or other dependency programs in the first place.

The legislation is a new step in Catholic Charities' goal of cutting U.S. poverty in half within the next decade.

Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa., introduced the bill in the Senate Sept. 28 and Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., introduced it in the House.

In his keynote speech Sept. 26, Snyder described the current economic crisis and the rich-poor inequities that helped create it as a new "opportunity to establish priority on the well-being of the poor."

Catholic Charities has always had an important role in providing a safety net for those in need "and the sad reality is that there will always be people who need a safety net," he said.

But for those who, with appropriate assistance, have the tools to break out of the cycle of poverty "our efforts must be transformational," he said.

"With this legislation, today we tell the tens of millions of Americans living in poverty that there is a new hope, that they are not destined to live in poverty for their entire lives," he said.

Candy Hill, Catholic Charities senior vice president for social policy and government affairs, highlighted the significance of the possible new moment in welfare reform by noting that "it has been more than 40 years since this country has experienced a truly transformative moment for social change."

"Now is the time for a new conversation on what it means to live in poverty in the United States in the 21st century," she said. "We need to use this economic crisis to create a new economy that does not leave out millions of people."

The key to transformation would be flexible combining of existing programs, tailored to the specific needs and capacities of clients, to enable them not only to survive in poverty but to lift themselves out of it.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Catholic Charities Pushes New Antipoverty Legislation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.