To the Editor:
About 12 percent of Mainers live in poverty. That’s the poverty rate for folks in Hancock County too, but for Washington County the figure is 18 percent, making it the poorest county in the state. The COVID pandemic and the recession that came with it have only made things worse for poor and low-income people in our state. One in eight adults, including one in five children, experience food insecurity yearly. One in 12 Mainers have no health insurance, and the rental housing market in Maine is among the nation’s least affordable.
We need to address poverty in our part of Maine, across the state and throughout our country.
Recently the Congressional Task Force on Poverty, the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Poor People’s Campaign launched a Congressional Resolution, “Realizing a Third Reconstruction: A Moral and Political Commitment to Fully Address Poverty and Low-Wealth in America by Building Up from the Bottom.” If adopted, this non-binding resolution would represent a recognition by the House of Representatives of the great harm poverty has inflicted on people and a commitment to enact policies to ameliorate that harm.
On Monday, June 7, the Maine Poor People’s Campaign will hold a rally and press conference at the Bangor office of Congressman Jared Golden at noon at 6 State Street (Suite 101) to urge him to sign on to the resolution. Please join us as we press our representatives in Congress to publicly declare their support for efforts to end poverty here in Maine and in every state.