Thursday, January 05, 2006

Poverty Task Force

Well, we’re heartened today to note that one of our New Year’s predictions has sort of already come true, in that a public-private poverty task force is forming up.  We’re awfully glad to see someone doing something about this.

Of course, we wouldn’t be AthPo if we didn’t have our knickers in a twist (as one of our commenters has said) about something, so, while we’re excited about seeing some movement on poverty and we hope that good will come of this, we’d like to point out a few things that make us a little nervous.

  • Appointed Excuse-Maker-in-Chief Lewis Holloway is on the executive board.  While we’ve said loudly and often that education is key in fighting poverty, we just don’t have a tremendous amount of respect for Holloway as an educator or administrator, and we question whether he’s got the gumption to come up with the bold ideas we need to fight poverty.

  • The whole task force idea kind of bums us out.  To us, task force sounds like a think tank, and we’d much prefer to see some hard core action, such as raising money and bringing some grant-writing skills to bear on keeping the homeless shelter open.  We’d rather see the ACC Team Action Force: Poverty Edition take the stage, but we’ll take what we can get.

  • Finally, we’d note that there are no actual poor people on the task force, which seems sort of counterintuitive.  Who knows better how to alleviate poverty in ACC?  A $75,000 a year professor or a $14,000 a year single mom?  The professors have their place too, don’t get us wrong.  But we’d like to see some of the folks actually affected by poverty get a seat at the table.

Again, though, don’t get us wrong.  This is a huge step, and a very positive step, and we couldn’t be more excited about having someone like Judge Steve Jones (who, if his middle name isn’t Common Sense, well, it should be) in charge of this hootenanny.  By the way, anyone involved in this thing who knows how your humble editors (in their role as citizens of ACC) can help out, feel free to shoot us an email at  Seriously.

Go Task Force!


Dawg Corleone said...


Put the $14,000-a-year single mom on a task force that looks for ways out of poverty.

Wouldn't that be rather like putting Richard Simmons on a committee that looks for ways out of being gay?

If I'm forming a panel on how to make people Not Poor, seems to me I'd want to people with folks who Aren't Poor.

Now, if I want a committee on ways to get INTO poverty, I'll let that $14,000-a-year single-mom chair the darned thing.

hillary said...

Yes. A mix of perspectives to lend a little realism to any proposals that might come out of said task force = wrong and stupid.

Fishplate said...

I'm not sure this proposal includes an injunction against talking to anyone outside of those on the task force.

If you had ever served on this type of committee, you would know the tremedous commitment of time and resources necessary to participate, something that may be difficult for the targets of the task force.

I think a little rationality and perspective is in order...

Publius said...

In the interests of rationality and perspective, Fishplate is right. And, I for one, would rather have Athens' impoverished spending that couple of hours a month at a PTA meeting or maybe just getting some rest.

Given the credibility of who is actually running the show (Judge Jones), I'd wager that he will do his level best to keep the focus on what matters.

But, to explain my original comment that sparked the controversy, I'd say that the way the ABH put it sounded an awful lot like the disclaimer movies use to assure everyone that they kept in line with the SPCA. You know, "No actual poor people were used in the creation of this policy."

Now, I wonder how the task force is actually going to go about it's bidness.