More worrying than the stock market

While the nose-diving stock market may be monopolizing headlines today, I urge you to focus on another set of numbers that has deep implications for us all. According new Census data released yesterday, child poverty continues to rise in the District.

Nearly one-third, or 30.4 percent, of D.C. children live under the poverty line. That’s nearly 8 percentage points higher than in 2007. The economy is forcing belts to tighten around the country, but for more and more families in our city -- there’s no more room for tightening. The poverty line for a family of four is just over $22,000. I don’t have to tell you how far that goes in Washington, D.C.

So why am I sharing this bad news on such a bleak day? Because, unlike the stock market, this is one crisis that we can actually do something about. We can let our leaders in Congress know that we MUST preserve funding for critical programs like food stamps, unemployment insurance, the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. These safety net programs are proven to lift children out of poverty.

As the Congressional super committee considers ways to trim $1.5 trillion from the budget, we can let them know, loud and clear, that OUR CHILDREN ARE NOT ON THE TABLE.

Please take 2 minutes to sign this petition: https://www.change.org/petitions/tell-congress-champion-programs-that-lift-kids-out-of-poverty.

Stay tuned -- We will be digging deeper into the data from the American Community Survey and will post a detailed look at child well-being in the District on our blog soon.

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