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Statement On The New NYC Poverty Stats

September 22, 2011
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One in five New York City residents are living in poverty, according to new data out today from the Census Bureau. The Living Wage NYC coalition, representing thousands of New Yorkers, responded with the following statement:

"The new poverty data on New York City released today by the Census bureau is deeply unsettling but it should not come as a surprise. The Bloomberg administration’s economic policy has prioritized the interests of corporations and developers, and neglect the needs of most New Yorkers. Poverty has increased in so many communities and households because this administration is not investing in living wage jobs. It has given corporations and developers billions of taxpayer dollars and allowed them to create poverty-wage jobs with impunity. That needs to stop. This aristocratic agenda of protecting the rich and ignoring the most vulnerable has clearly failed countless New Yorkers across the city.

The same failed policy cannot continue. Morally and economically, the statistics released today are unacceptable. It’s time to focus on real solutions that will address this poverty epidemic. Now is the time to pass the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act, City Council legislation that would create more living wage jobs, reduce inequality, and rebuild the middle class. The Living Wage NYC Coalition calls on the administration to support this legislation and help the City Council move it forward quickly.

With nearly 2 million New Yorkers living in poverty, city government has an obligation to do everything it can to create living wage jobs and ensure that taxpayer money is no longer wasted on the wealthy."