Digging deeper than stats on poverty
To the Editor,
While recent U.S. Census figures illustrate a declining national poverty rate, down to 12.7 percent in 2016 from 13.5 percent in 2015, the inescapable fact was that nationally more than 40 million people were living in poverty. New York City similarly has witnessed a slight decline as well. Yet a report from NYU’s Furman Center found that 44.8 percent of New Yorkers were living in what were termed “extreme” or “high” poverty neighborhoods last year.
These troublesome findings highlight a need to ensure that New Yorkers confronting economic insecurity are connected with resources to improve their living standards. This needs to be a priority to improve healthcare, employment, and quality of life across our city.
For more than 100 years, the Women’s City Club of New York has worked to address equity issues, championing policies that increase access and secure rights for those who are struggling to put food on the table and a roof over their heads.
In response to these ongoing needs, the Women’s City Club developed The Citywide Guide to Services and Resources in New York. The Guide is a print and online portal featuring hundreds of low and no-cost resources covering 21 areas of need, from jobs programs and education to healthcare, childcare, and nutrition — and they are available in multiple languages (including Spanish, Chinese, French, and Russian).
While we worked hard to include a wide array of services and resources across the city, we want to be sure that these resources are as comprehensive as possible. We need your help — we are asking for help from your readers, encouraging them to visit us at wccny.org to review The Guide, take a short survey, and let us know how to continue to improve The Guide so we can most effectively support New Yorkers.
By working together, we can help address the needs of those living in Manhattan by connecting people with programs and ensuring that we have a stronger, safer New York City filled with opportunity and promise.
Carole J. Wacey
Chief Executive Officer, Women’s City Club of New York
A taste for resistance
I found the following few lines on a piece of paper I put in my poetry book many years ago. The poet is Zbigniew Herbert. He was Polish and was a young man in the resistance in WWII and later worked to resist communism. The title of the poem is “The Power of Taste.” The lines that struck me and seem relevant to our world today are:
“It didn’t require
great character at all
our refusal disagreement and resistance
we had a shred of necessary courage
but fundamentally it was a matter of taste
in which there are fibers of soul the cartilage of conscience
Joyce Kent, Gramercy