ALBANY - Child poverty has reached “epidemic proportions” in cities across upstate New York, with rates of 50% or higher among many minority communities, a new report revealed.
While 23% of children statewide lived in poverty, black and Latino children in cities like Troy and Schenectady had rates stretching as high as 73.7%, according to the report released Friday from the Assembly’s Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force.
Assemblyman Marcos Crespo (D-Bronx), chairman of the task force, said the report showed “an alarming trend that threatens the economic and social stability of the state.”
In New York City, 30% of children under 18 were living in poverty, but the rates were higher for Latino children, 40.1%, and black children, 33.1%, the task force found after reviewing census data.
Crespo said the report showed the need to, among other things, boost New York’s minimum wage and increase funding for affordable housing and child care subsidies.
Governor Cuomo's solution to the epidemic of child poverty that has occurred under his watch?
The Cuomo Hunger Games:
When Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a competition last month for upstate New York regions, with $1.5 billion in prize money, he said it would help revitalize the winners like his $1 billion investment in Buffalo helped energize that city.
Some upstate officials, however, say the Democratic governor’s proposal is more like “The Hunger Games,” forcing them into a brutal faceoff where some will be cast out.
Dubbed the Upstate New York Economic Revitalization Competition, the proposal would grant three winning regions some $500 million each, a slice of the more than $5 billion windfall the state garnered from banks to settle financial-crisis-era allegations. Seven regions, including the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes areas, are eligible.
“All the opportunity you need is there,” Mr. Cuomo told upstate officials in January. “Why the competition? Because I believe in competition.”
If he simply doled out the money, Mr. Cuomo added, “you wouldn’t do all the hard things you have to do.”
It isn’t unusual for states to offer city grant competitions, and Mr. Cuomo has created them in the past as well. But critics of his latest proposal said its winners-take-all design is frustrating when such urgent needs are at stake.
The prospect for fighting for money they could use to repair roads and water mains, they added, is particularly painful.
“The neediest places have the least capacity to make the case for the money,” said Peter A. Baynes, the executive director of the New York State Conference of Mayors. “All the mayors I heard from expressed the same concern: There is need at every municipality.”
Cuomo's response to the criticism?
If you can't take care of yourself, he will not help you:
Mr. Cuomo and his officials have said the funds can help build sustainable economies so that cities can fund their own infrastructure.
“Show us how you become economically stronger and create jobs. Then you fix your own pipes,” he was quoted as saying in a February article on Syracuse.com.
In Andrew Cuomo's New York, only the strong survive and everybody else can go crawl into a corner and die.
No wonder child poverty has reached epidemic proportions in the state.
And now he's coming for the public schools to hand them over to his criminal friends in the charter school sector.
Because there's nothing better than public school privatization to fix "epidemic" child poverty.