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HUD says deregulation, not affordable housing, needed to solve homelessness
10/4/2019 11:34:57 AM

By Charlene Crowell   For more than a decade, economists, lawmakers, and others have heralded the nation’s economy. Often citing how unemployment has declined as new jobs have been created, or Wall Street trading and major bank profits rising, some might be led to believe that all is well in America. But as Sportin’ Life in the folk opera Porgy and Bess sang, “It ain’t necessarily so.” On September 16, California Governor Gavin Newsom joined by state officials representing cities and counties wrote a letter that urged President...

Protect Children Not Guns!
10/4/2019 11:33:15 AM

By Marian Wright Edelman   “Sometimes, I sit back and I have to escape from what I see and hear every day.” I hope this opening line of Milwaukee 11-year-old Sandra Parks’ award-winning essay on gun violence will make enough adults wake up and act to stop the slaughter of children. An aspiring writer, Sandra entered her school district’s Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest in sixth grade with “Our Truth,” her devastating account of growing up in a neighborhood and nation terrorized by guns. “We are in a state of chaos,” she...

To grin or not to grin, is my dilemma
10/4/2019 11:07:05 AM

Dr. James L. Snyder   Through the years, I have experienced one dilemma after another. I remember my father once told me, “Son, when life delivers you a dilemma, make lemonade out of it.” To which I looked at him with a big grin and said, “Is there any dilemma I can make a root beer out of it?” My father did not grin back. This may have been the beginning of my career as a grinner. Rarely a day goes by that I do not find something to grin about. I have earned a Ph.D. in Grinology. One problem I have discovered in this is that I do not...

I wasn’t born old, it just happened that way
9/26/2019 11:07:52 AM

Dr. James L. Snyder   Everywhere I look these days, people are obsessed with age. More products are sold today to make you look younger than anything else. Everybody desires to look younger than what they actually are. I think that is rather hypocritical. Just saying. It seems to me that nobody is happy with the way they are. When you are young, you want to be old and then when you get old you want to be young. Nobody is happy being what they are at the time. The problem with me is that not all my clocks are ticking at the same time. Things seem to just creep up on...

Ask the Question: When Are We Going to End Child Poverty in America?
9/26/2019 11:06:03 AM

By Marian Wright Edelman   “No child living in America today should have to worry about whether they’ll have a place to sleep at night or enough food to eat. But these are daily realities for the 1 in 6 poor children in this country. Children like me.” These are the words of 18-year-old Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota Beat the Odds® scholarship winner Israel Glenn in a petition to add a question about child poverty to an upcoming presidential debate. Israel continues: “Growing up on the North Side of Minneapolis, I know what it...

Debt Collectors Target People Making Less Than $50K
9/26/2019 11:00:31 AM

By Charlene Crowell   A new survey asked likely voters across the country what they thought of a proposed debt collection rule. The response was strong and broad opposition.  Proposed earlier this year by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathleen Kraninger, the rule would authorize debt collectors to expand how often consumers could be contacted as well as the ways such contacts could be made: email, text messages, and more.   Conducted by Lake Research Partners and Chesapeake Beach Consulting, the poll was jointly...

Sense of privilege and ‘right’ drives college admission scandal
9/19/2019 12:33:52 PM

Felicity Huffman says she just wanted to give her daughter "a fair shot" at getting into the college of her choice. That is the reason the Emmy Award-winning actress paid someone to cheat on her daughter’s college entrance exam. Huffman pled guilty in federal court to paying $15,000 to have her daughter’s SAT exam answers illicitly corrected by a test proctor. Huffman, who, along with her celebrity husband, William H. Macy, reportedly has a net worth of $45 million, believed that her daughter, Sophia Macy, was educationally disadvantaged...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?
9/19/2019 12:32:40 PM

By Charlene Crowell   Whatever happened to the American Dream of owning a home and giving your children a better life than you experienced as a child? Is this ‘dream’ being deferred or denied? In 2019, these questions are as timely as they are timeless. Beyond rising housing costs for would-be buyers and renters alike, serious doubts are emerging about the nation’s commitment to the letter and spirit of fair housing laws, related enforcement, and regulations supporting both. Today’s Black homeownership rate is 41.1%—lower than it was when...

Remembering Toni Morrison
9/19/2019 12:19:59 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman   When great writer Toni Morrison passed away August 5th our world lost an incomparable voice. I always have been especially moved by her portrayals of children, and the knowledge that her care and perceptive attention to children’s emotions and needs did not stop on the printed page. I remember gratefully her presence at CDF’s 1999 National Symposium on the Arts and Scholarship held at the Children’s Defense Fund Haley Farm for the dedication of the Langston Hughes Library designed by Maya Lin on the grounds formerly owned by...

Ending Fair Housing Rule Removes Opportunities for All
9/12/2019 8:59:30 AM

By Rev. Dr. Willie Gable   Like most people, I care about my community, its opportunities, as well as its future. But as a man of faith, I believe I am additionally called to give voice and support to lift every life. From counseling congregants on ways to find hope, I am keenly aware of many who see none at all, despite the heralded claims that the nation’s economy is flourishing. Of all the issues confronting Americans, none is more basic than that of housing. Whether renting or owning a home, every family needs a place to come home to at the end of the day. It is...