Congress must work to improve lives of all Americans

Horizon Elementary Principal Edmond Wong knows poverty first hand and encourages kids to plan their own paths to a future out of poverty (“Horizon principal draws on own life as child of immigrants,” The Herald, Dec. 12).

This is the kind of conversation for the new Congress: What’s the plan for providing ladders out of poverty? A good start was the current Farm Bill protecting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamp). But what about the fact that over half of the recipients of SNAP are working, sometimes more than one job? The basic needs: Housing, food, health care, opportunity for living wage jobs are what more than 40 million Americans need to be able to count on. Working at the moment is no guarantee.

The transition from needing help to independence is not smooth; people are too often faced with not enough money when they lose their benefits. This transition needs to be a ladder out of poverty, not a choice between a better job and putting food on the table. Congress works for us. We voted, now it is time to tell them what matters to us.

Surely people’s basic needs and paths to self-sufficiency are a first priority. Our calls, letters and visits to those who represent us can insure dealing with this tragedy of millions of Americans will be on the early agenda.

Willie Dickerson


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