WORKING CLASS BLUES

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A new report by the Center for an Urban Future and the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy reveals that the number of low-income working families in New York State (defined as earning less than twice the federal poverty standard) has continued to rise in recent years. The report, titled “More Hard Times for New York’s Working Families,” shows that the number of low-income working families in New York grew by 33,531 (6.1 percent) between 2002 and 2003, the most recent year for which data is available. As a result, there are now roughly 585,000 low-income working families in the state, representing 27.7 percent of all working families in New York. On Wednesday, the two organizations held a forum to examine the factors contributing to this increase and what the next governor can do to address them. William A. Johnson, Jr., former mayor of Rochester; Assemblymember Deborah Glick; former State Senator John Dunne; Jane Knitzer, executive director of the National Center for Children in Poverty and Frank Mauro, president of the Fiscal Policy Institute served as panelists. A range of recommendations were offered, including: an increased focus on poverty in cities, development of more progressive tax policies, additional funding for Pre-Kindergarten and establishment of statewide asset building strategies. (T. Colton) [3/27/06]