Alleviate Poverty in America by Expanding Outreach

Alleviate Poverty in America by Expanding Outreach


Have we spent too many years overlooking the real challenges of our economy? Are there still too many of us living from paycheck to paycheck? After years of cautious and prudent federal spending, the economy is finally turning the corner yet many of America’s families are more financially insecure now than their upper income counterparts.

Yes, the federal debt has decreased significantly and many of us are beginning to recover from the great recession.  However a recent Pew Poll demonstrates that we are also experiencing wealth inequality. We now see a gulf of financial experiences developing between upper income and lower income Americans. Moreover, the enormous difference in net worth for White, Black, and Latino households is becoming a bellwether for income inequality. What’s shocking is that the impact of this financial insecurity is felt in white working class families as well as lower income families of color. As demonstrated in a recent Pew Poll:

  • People of Color and women make up over 61% of the financially insecure community — about 48% are white non-Hispanic.
  • Unmarried women represent over 42% of the community.
  • Just under 53% of this community is unemployed — 20% employed part-time.

Today, there are many efforts underway aimed at addressing important issues that impact financially insecure communities–minimum wage, access to quality education, housing, healthcare, and food security. Ironically, in order to participate in these transactional experiences an individual needs to have a sense of financial security. This leaves “good” hard working people living on the margins of society and grasping for a ladder of hope and opportunity. It’s hard to take advantage of efforts centered on livable wages, access to education and housing when you don’t have bus fare or even worse the buses are not operating in your community.

This leads me to ponder about the old adage — “abandoned voters disengage.” How does this dynamic play out in their lives?  What impact does it have on our democracy, in particular civic engagement where regardless of one’s zip code and bank account each citizen has a vote. What is the correlation between income inequality and voting—one of the most powerful ways to have impact?

The midterm elections are a good place find answers. Wealthier, older men who are less racially diverse make up a large portion of the midterm electorate.  For example, in the 2014 midterm, only 20% of the least financially secure citizens voted.  Here are additional data points to consider:

  • Last year, over 93% of the financially well-off community said they were registered to vote – compared to less than 55% of the least financially secure.
  • Less than 31% of the least financially secure cast a ballot in the 2010 midterm elections – compared to more than 68% of the financially well-off.
  • Over 33% of the least financially secure community articulated “no choice” in candidates regardless of party affiliation – a clear sign of apathy.

We all know that democracy works best when everyone has a voice and their values are represented.  After all, most voters support candidates that reflect their interests. The problem for our democracy is that candidates inclined to create policies that “promote and enforce giving everyone a fair shot” will not have a fair shot if their voters stay home on Election Day. This creates an unbalanced political system that gives the financially “well-off” an unfair advantage over financially insecure Americans.

I believe we are in the midst of a watershed moment. There are many organizations working hard to build social, political, and financial capital for people living at or below the poverty line. Although they have enormous challenges to face in upcoming years they must do more to help our neighbors engage. As the next decade approaches, it’s important to keep in mind that our ultimate objective should be to create a nation where everyone in need of assistance receives it and leads a life of respect, dignity and opportunity. Let’s try to alleviate poverty in America.


Previous articleOpen Internet: FCC Chair proposes reclassifying the internet as a public utility
Next articleBlack Unemployment for Jan. 2015: 10.3%
Kirk Clay
Kirk Clay has returned to PowerPAC as a Senior Advisor, Political Analyst & Strategist. In 2013, he led an independent expenditure to elect U.S. Senator Cory Booker. Before that, he worked for PowerPAC as the national field director during the 2008 primary season where he led a $10 million effort that mobilized more than 500,000 voters in ten states. Between 2008 and 2011, Mr. Clay was the National Civic Engagement Director for the NAACP where he was responsible for developing and implementing political research, advocacy and training agenda. Under his leadership, the NAACP executed three 4.0 style voter mobilization campaigns and a national census effort to increase civic participation rates in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Kirk served as Vice Chair of the Census Information Center Steering Committee. Members of the Census Information Centers are recognized as official sources of demographic, economic, and social statistics produced by the U.S. Census Bureau. Kirk Clay’s experience includes serving as the Director of Outreach at Common Cause where he cultivated relationships with contributors and developed a diverse national coalition of strategic partners. Earlier, Mr. Clay was Deputy Director of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation where he managed day-to day operations as well as participated in efforts to mobilize members, activists, community leaders, faith leaders, and state legislators in grassroots issue campaigns. In 2004, he served as the National Field Director of the Unity’04 Voter Empowerment Campaign. Mr. Clay was a Deputy Director for People For the American Way’s field department where he managed the Partners for Public Education program and organized successful pro-public education coalitions and rallies in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, Jackson, Jacksonville, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, New Orleans, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Richmond, and St. Louis. He also mobilized the Los Angeles community to oppose Proposition 38 and helped to mobilize activists in Detroit against proposal 209. While at PFAW, Mr. Clay developed the African American Ministers Leadership Council to build national support for public education with ministers from around the country. Kirk has been featured in many newspapers and magazines. He has written many articles including “Redistricting Strategies for Civil Rights Organizations” for the State of Black America publication. He has also been a guest on numerous television and news programs across the nation. Kirk began his career as a trainer and lead administrator for the Democratic National Committee Campaign Training Academy where he helped to train over 500 campaign staff and activist. He is a former White House intern and has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife and three children. His hobbies include traveling, cooking, and Jazz. He is a popular political blogger - - and is active on twitter @kirkclay


  1. Education, voting and getting involved in your community may also be helpful. Starting a business of your own is a great start,self independence and motivation is a sure winner.

  2. […] Alleviate Poverty in America by Expanding Outreach As the next decade approaches, it's important to keep in mind that our ultimate objective should be to create a nation where everyone in need of assistance receives it and leads a life of respect, dignity and opportunity. Let's try to alleviate poverty … Read more on Politic365 […]

  3. Having read this I believed it was really informative. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this short article
    together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time
    both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  4. 4b ;-:See my blog;_:: 2f_:_;:; 7u ;See
    Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll
    just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing.

    Do you have any tips and hints for first-time blog writers?
    I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  5. 2x -;See my blog_:_; 1y_:
    :;_/; 6e ;-:Look my blog … CLINICA ESTÉTICA MARBELLA 9f;_;:
    First off I want to say superb blog! I had a quick question in which
    I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear
    your thoughts prior to writing. I have had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there.
    I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the
    first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted just trying to figure
    out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Thank you!

  6. 0w -:;See my blog; 9l;_:-:: 5z
    -Look my blog::; CLINICA ESTÉTICA MARBELLA 9n;-;_:
    Thanks for another wonderful post. Where else may anyone get that kind of information in such a
    perfect means of writing? I’ve a presentation next
    week, and I am at the search for such information.

  7. Hey I am so glad I found your website, I really found you by error,
    while I was looking on Askjeeve for something else,
    Anyways I am here now and would just like to say many
    thanks for a remarkable post and a all round interesting blog (I also love
    the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time
    I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the fantastic work.

  8. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is fundamental and all. However imagine if yoou
    added some great photos or videos to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with pics and clips, this site could undeniably be one
    of the best in its niche. Awesome blog!

  9. 5x -;Look my blog-; 6b_;-:
    8v ;_Look my blog … CLINICA ESTÉTICA MARBELLA 5v:-;
    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your
    sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back down the road.

  10. De conformidad con lo preparado en la Ley Orgánica 15/1999 de
    trece de diciembre, de Protección de Datos de Carácter Personal,
    le notificamos que el correo electrónico facilitado va a ser incorporado en un archivo titularidad de computador COMPONENTES Y
    MULTIMEDIA S.L (de ahora en adelante, computador COMPONENTES) con el objetivo de
    enviar el boletín de ofertas. , El lector confronta que la huella codificada en la tarjeta sea exactamente la
    misma que se está poniendo sobre el lector,
    proporcionando un grado mayor de seguridad y eliminando las restricciones de espacio de almacenaje
    de huellas en un servidor, pues se pueden producir credenciales con huellas codificadas de manera infinita.

  11. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for
    your weblog. You have some really great posts and I
    think I would be a good asset. If you ever want
    to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a
    link back to mine. Please shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  12. naturally ⅼike ʏour web site Ьut yoᥙ neeԁ to check the spelling оn quite ɑ few of youг posts.
    Ꭺ number of thеm aare rife witɦ spedlling pгoblems аnd Ӏ
    іn finding it very troublesome tо inflrm thе reality nevertheless I wiⅼl ϲertainly сome Ьack again.

  13. When you pay additional principal, the interest part of all subsequent payments will be smaller, because you owe less that the original amortized If your lender applies an additional payment towards interest, that just means that your account will be carrying forward "prepaid In that case you do not benefit from actually paying less interest

  14. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you, However I
    am ezperiencing difficulties with your RSS. I don’t understand why I am unable to subscribe to it.
    Is there anybody elkse having identical RSS problems?
    Anybody who knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  15. Hello, i think that i noticedd you visited my blog so i
    got here to return the desire?.I am attempting to in finfing issues to enhance my web site!I guess its good
    enough to make use off a few of your ideas!!

  16. Have you eer thought about publishing an e-book orr gusst authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog centered on the same subjects you discuss and would really
    like to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors
    would appreciate your work. If you are even remotely
    interested, feel free to shoot mee an e-mail.