[Hpn] Fw: Welfare: Bipartisan Success?

H. C. Covington - I CAN! America icanamerica@email.msn.com
Fri, 15 Sep 2000 10:54:19 -0500

         Thursday, September 14, 2000

         Welfare: Bipartisan Success?

LIZ ACCLES, wmadcampaign@yahoo.com, http://www.wmadcampaign.org
Accles is national coordinator for the Welfare Made A Difference
National Campaign, which today launched a public education drive. Accles can
arrange interviews with current and former welfare recipients; some of their
stories are available on the web page.

FRANCES FOX PIVEN, fpiven@email.gc.cuny.edu
Piven is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at
the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New

Her books include "The Breaking of the American Social Compact." Piven
said today: "The welfare rolls are down and politicians, the media, everyone
touts the success of welfare reform. But it is really no feat, and no
accomplishment, to cut the welfare rolls unless poverty among single
mothers and their children is also reduced.... The Congress regularly voted down
proposals to systematically monitor the impact of welfare reform on the
well-being of families.

Wisconsin, the welfare reform pioneer that has slashed its rolls by 68 percent,
won't release employers' quarterly reports that tell not only whether recipients
got jobs, but how long they kept them.

New York City won't open its records to outside researchers. When the
Massachusetts welfare department was told that one in three of the
people leaving welfare was unemployed, their response was to stop collecting
information on why people were leaving the rolls."

GWENDOLYN MINK, GMink1@aol.com
Professor of politics at the University of California at Santa Cruz and
author of "Welfare's End," Mink said today: "In this campaign year, both
Republicans and Democrats are taking credit for reducing the welfare
rolls by 46 percent, and both sides are touting the 'brilliant success' of
punitive innovations such as time limits and coerced work outside the

But between 30 and 50 percent of families leaving welfare do not have
earnings: that's a 30-50 percent unemployment rate among former
recipient families. Three years after leaving welfare, the median income even
among employed former recipients was only $10,924 -- well below the poverty

By any measure, these data show that welfare reform has been a disaster
for families who need welfare. The hardest hit are women of color and their
children: welfare reform has had an unmistakable disparate racial
impact. If Al Gore truly means to redistribute the joys and opportunities of
prosperity to folks who have been left out, he needs to spearhead a campaign to
reform welfare reform. And if he's truly committed to women's rights and racial
equality, he must fight to repeal welfare provisions that make poor single
mothers a separate and unequal caste."

LINDA BURNHAM, chisme@igc.org, http://www.coloredgirls.org
Director of the Women of Color Resource Center and co-author of the
report "Working Hard, Staying Poor: Women and Children in the Wake of Welfare
'Reform,'" Burnham said: "Undoing the damage of welfare 'reform'
requires the restoration and strengthening of the social safety net for women,
while funding programs that support women all along the path to economic
self-sufficiency.... Welfare 'reform' compromises the human rights of
poor women in the United States. United Nations human rights instruments
attest to the strong link between economic stability and all other human

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020

Institute for Public Accuracy
915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org * ipa@accuracy.org

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