Press & Resources


By Jennifer Jones Austin: On a wall in my office at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA) hangs a photograph of protestors marching with placards bearing the now-famous declaration, “I Am a Man.” The iconic image comes from the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike in 1968, where the road to civil rights joined the path to economic equity. It was an intersection that our country had been careening towards for nearly 350 years. In many ways, neither of those destinations – equality or equity – has yet been reached. The harsh effects of the criminal justice system are a major reason why.

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A Rising Tide Does Not Lift All Boats

Even as poverty declined, growth in median household income stagnated and inequality is the highest on record. Following a strong increase of 5.1 percent in 2015, growth in median incomes slowed in subsequent years before stalling out last year. Meanwhile, high-income earners continue to capture a disproportionate share of the nation’s economic growth. The rising tide that is the longest economic expansion on record is not lifting all boats.

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Today’s release by the U.S. Census Bureau of local poverty statistics indicates that New York City residents experienced reductions in poverty and increases in median household income from 2017 to 2018. Any reduction in the number of people living in poverty is heartening; yet a cursory look at the data reveals that we are only at the beginning of the journey to economic equity for all New Yorkers.

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How SNAP helps New Yorkers in poverty

Nonprofits in New York have been mobilizing to support SNAP, most recently partnering with U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney to speak out against the proposal which would cut off food assistance for more than 3 million Americans.

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U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney joined a coalition of nonprofits at a Long Island City rally Wednesday to call on Congress to increase federal funding for programs like food stamps and Medicaid.

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