Women’s POV – New Orleans Recovery / Welfare Reform 20 Yrs Later 8/27

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Photo by Derek Bridges

All week we have been hearing about New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, and that New Orleans better than ever.  What about the 100,000 African Americans that were displaced, particularly African American women and their children?
Why has the lower 9th Ward been written off?  The much heralded school system – charter schools?  Is that really the best?  DR. JANE HENRICI, Study Director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in Washington, DC. She specializes in gender, policy, and development among low-income communities internationally and nationally.  She is also a professorial lecturer at Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

Here is their intensive report on the lives of black women who had lived in public housing in NO when Hurricane Katrina made landfall. 

80 years, Social Security.  40 years, Medicare.  Sad to see the constant efforts to chip away or privatize them.

But it is also 20 years since Welfare Reform.  Long enough to collect some data and frankly it doesn’t look good.  Poverty is worse than  ever, particularly for single mothers and children.  Minimum wage? – let’s hope.  Affordable day care – not in this country.  But perhaps most the sobering statistic: a 16% increase in the death rate of people receiving assistance since the reforms.  Yes, if  you can’t afford to live and care for your children in this society, you die.  This is not a kind society to those in need.  It is very kind to those with greed.  DR. FELICIA KORNBLUH, Director of the Program in Women’s and Gender Studies and an Associate Professor of History at the University of Vermont, author of A Battle for Welfare Rights: Politics and Poverty in Modern America, will discuss these issues.

Read more here.

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