Congresswoman Barbara Lee Holds Summit on Childhood Poverty with Bay Area Anti-Poverty Advocates

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Barbara Lee. Photo by Michelle Snider.

On Tuesday, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) continued her work to eradicate poverty in the U.S. by bringing together Bay Area anti-poverty advocates for a summit on efforts to address childhood poverty at the federal, state, and local levels.

The summit featured a presentation from researchers at the National Academy of Sciences on their recent landmark report, A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty. The report examines the developmental impacts and societal costs of childhood poverty and makes recommendations for how to cut the nation’s child poverty rate in half in 10 years.

Congresswoman Lee helped commission the study along with Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard.

The summit was held at the East Bay Municipal Utility- District administration building. About 100 anti-poverty advocates attended the summit.

‘“Twenty-six percent of children in Oakland live below the poverty line”, said Rep. Lee. “South of Fruitvale, where most residents are people of color, forty-three percent of children live in poverty. This is unacceptable in the richest nation on Earth and in a state as wealthy as California.

“We have the tools necessary to eliminate child poverty once and for all — we just need the political will to implement them. It’s because of the tireless work of the advocates that joined me today that I know we can tackle this pressing issue in the East Bay.”

“EBMUD was one of the first utilities to adopt a Customer Assistance Program (CAP) in California to lend a hand to customers struggling with financial difficulties and unable to pay their water bill,” said Andrew Lee, EBMUD Manager of Customer and Community Services. “CAP is income-based; eligible customers receive a 50 % discount on water and a 35 % discount on EBMUD waste- water charges. CAP participants pay as little as $ 1.20 per day for EBMUD services.

“The program is open to all EBMUD residential customers regardless of whether they own or rent. CAP is also available to homeless shelters making it easier for nonprofits to provide crucial services,” Andrew Lee said.

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