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That’s The Alarm Bell You Are Hearing

first_imgThat’s The Alarm Bell You Are HearingBy CCO Statehouse Editor Gail Riecken John Krull, Publisher of The Statehouse File, clearly was alarmed about poverty in Indiana in his recent article, ‘Shouts Across the Great Divide’.He had just learned that almost half the people in Marion County (Indianapolis) are struggling to make ends meet. They are either below the poverty line ( 19% ) or above and struggling – the working poor (26%).Added together that brings the number of people to 45%, according to the ALICE Report, Asset Limited, Income Constrained – folks that don’t have the buying power in personal income for basic necessities.The numbers are about the same in Vanderburgh Co – 14% below the poverty line and 29% struggling to afford the basic necessities, a total of 43%.It doesn’t take Newton’s apple falling on our heads to understand we all, including policymakers, have a real challenge to do something different than what we are doing. Our communities can’t succeed with nearly half of the population on survival mode.Krull quotes The Indianapolis Business Journal: “the consequences to society of having a portion of the population consistently in poverty [are] – loss of productivity, increased crime rate, higher medical costs, greater rates of incarceration.”It’s time that our legislators move ahead on issues that affect working families, including policies like paid family and medical leave and increasing the minimum wage. We need to improve our education system statewide to help students get the good paying jobs, including model programs for incarcerated youth; we need to help families stay physically and mentally healthy. And yes, we need to protect the most vulnerable and that means solving the problems of the Department of Child Services (DCS).In Indiana, legislators have a chance every summer to address family-support issues. This summer there are two study committees on family issues. One is going to continue work on the criminal justice system, and another is set to begin work on restarting the troubled Department of Child Services.Ask your legislators to do everything they can to advance the issues that can help families exist the ALICE poverty numbers.John Krull is right to be alarmed.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more