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Census reports

August 30, 2006

Poverty rates have not risen in New York City for the first time in several years, but reports published by several New York media outlets say that the fight against poverty is not over.

The census report was the top story on NY1 News. Joel Berg, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Hunger was quoted saying “The bad news is hunger and poverty continue to be significant major problems in New York, affecting one in five New Yorkers. The good news is if the government shows real leadership, and not just rhetoric but resources, we really can reduce poverty.”

An article written for The New York Times by Sam Roberts, mentions Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to reduce poverty as a goal for his second term. It also states that New York was the only state where both the median income and poverty rates surpassed the national average, indicating that the gap between the wealthy and the poor might be increasing.

Income increases listed in the census report released on August 29th, seem not to be wage increases, as reported in an editorial of The New York Times. The gains came most likely from investment income and social security, since wages and salaries declined.

Richard Parsons, Co-chairman of Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-poverty commission and CEO of Time Warner, got a taste of what his life will be like on the board of the commission, according to Jill Gardiner, staff reporter of The New York Sun. After the release of the census report on August 29th, a group of citizens demanded that he and the commission be aggressive in its plan to reduce poverty in New York.

Poverty among seniors increased however, as WNBC reported on its website.

Of all of the five boroughs, Bronx is statistically the least wealthy, according to federal government poverty rates, with over 29 percent of people living in poverty. Although the overall poverty rate for New York did not increase, the Bronx still remains one of the nations poorest counties, according to Cindy Rodriguez at WNYC, New York Public Radio.

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