New York State has the Greatest Disparity of Wealth in the Nation- PUSH has a solution!

As many of you folks know, PUSH has a solid Anti-Poverty Platform which calls for specific, numeric, and achievable goals in housing rehabilitation and demolition as well as mandating the jobs created by that work go to people who live in the neighborhood. We're actually meeting with Deputy Mayor Donna Brown on April 17th to see if she'll come on board with us regarding the platform. Just to review: specific achievable goals, local jobs for local people, and weatherization, all as a means taking the bull of poverty by the horns because, poverty is not an option. Makes sense, right? Well, we think so, but as you can see below, NYS is not on the path of enlightenment (thanks "WIDEST GAP BETWEEN NY RICH AND POOR New York has the dubious distinction of having the widest income gap between the rich and the poor of all 50 states, according to a new report released by the Fiscal Policy Institute in conjunction with a national study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute. Over the past two decades, the gap between rich and poor in New York State has continued to widen. In the late 1980s, families in the top 20 percent made almost seven times as much as those in the bottom 20 percent. By the mid 2000s, the top earners made almost nine times as much. Only four states have had greater increases in top-to-bottom income inequality than New York since the late 1980s. "There's no mystery to how this happened," commented Trudi Renwick, Fiscal Policy Institute senior economist.. "Wages at the high end of the spectrum have exploded, while at the low end they've grown only slightly." Renwick noted that this trend was more dramatic in New York than in the rest of the country. Through two full cycles of expansion and recession in the economy, from the late 1980s through the mid 2000s, the rich in New York got significantly richer, while poor families saw only minimal increases in their standard of living. Measured in 2005 dollars, the average income of the richest 20 percent of New Yorkers increased from $110,000 to $148,000 - an increase of 35 percent - while the average income of the bottom fifth went just from $16,200 to $17,100." Okay, so you may be asking how this relates to what PUSH does. Well, one thing that's been in the NEWS recently is how Congress is attempting to deal with the ongoing housing crisis. One method being proposed is to increase Community Development Block Grant money. Now, you may be thinking, "CDBG, where have I heard that before?" Well, CDBG funds are pots of federal money which cities get to (ostensibly) funnel into poor neighborhoods. In February, PUSH rallied the membership to a public hearing on Buffalo's proposed use of CDBG funds. As CDBG funds stand to increase, we have to pump of the volume and make some noise with our Anti-Poverty Platform. CDBG money belongs to low-income people and low-income neighborhoods, and with our member-driven and developed platform, we have a way to make sure it gets there and is used properly.