Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Local Politics Need the Federal Government's Support

"All politics is local", or so the legendary U.S. Senator Tip O'Neill is to have said. I have to admit that has usually come to mind when national politics aren't turning out the way I think they should. Yep, sometimes even preachers can be guilty of sour grapes!

But there is always hope that large scale history making electoral politics can actually have significant local impact, after all, aside from local sales tax, local and state income taxes, property taxes and fees, all that's left is federal money. So 'local', practically speaking, is relative isn't it?

Jim Reid, is the former Executive Director of the South Dallas Development Corporation and is now president of a statewide non-profit called Momentum Texas.

Jim's insight into the local implication of the incoming administration's policies are, I believe spot on. And his understanding of the need in areas of concentrated poverty in Dallas are inarguable:

"The severity of poverty in this part of town and the absence of "living wages" make initiatives to increase income imperative. Thousands of southern Dallas residents who work full time are unable to pay living expenses. A tax policy initiative that could move hundreds of southern Dallas residents above the poverty level is linked to proposed increases in the Earned Income Tax Credit program, which is designed to promote financial stability and "make work pay."

"Also germane is a proposed increase in the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour by 2011. Subsequent increases would be indexed to inflation. The minimum wage is now $6.55 an hour, or $262 weekly. How can a single parent with two children meet basic needs at this income level?

"In the late 1990s, the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas did a study of southern Dallas indicating that residents' main concern was good-paying jobs. This concern remains totally relevant based on today's rate of unemployment and a fragile economy."

The fact is, the people who are going to be hurt the most if this economy craters are not the people on Wall Street or Main Street. It will be the people on local streets most of which neither the people on Wall Street or Main Street have never heard of.

You can read the rest of Jim's analysis here.


Anonymous said...

Momentum Texas is another one of those grass roots neighborhood political organizations that you Marxists seem to thrive on?

Gerald Britt said...

Anonymous 11:27,

I'll give you credit for having read not only the quotes in the post, but the article as well. I'll also give you credit for having checked the link to Momentum Texas' website and that describes its work.

I've decided that there's no real hope in trying to explain anything to those who believe that if there is work that doesn't fit into an conservative ideological framework it must be Marxist, sociolistic, communistic or something detrimental to our country.

Obviously are engaged in work that is lifting people out of poverty, transforming the lives of people through relationships and engagement with people who are not like you and helping to build community.

I'd be interested in hearing how that is going on with you. I'm probably giving you much more credit than is warranted, but anything is possible!