Commentary: Thoughts on Pathways Out of Poverty

(​originally included within a blog post on the subject matter posted to Vermont Watch, here; as well as since cross-posted to iBrattleboro, here)

For the sake of full disclosure: Morgan W. Brown is a newly appointed member of the Vermont Council on Homelessness, however the opinions expressed within this particular commentary are solely his own and represent none other.

What people living in poverty truly need most is real political power.

​This means, as well as begins with, being allowed to speak for and represent themselves as well as have ample opportunities afforded in order to meaningfully participate in any policy making and other decisions made about them at various levels, whether political or otherwise, and, either as individuals or as a group.

What people living in poverty do not need any more of is having others speak and making decisions for them, most especially not those who have their own or an organization’s agenda and interests at stake.

Regrettably, Governor Peter Shumlin’s newly established “Pathways Out of Poverty” initiative falls seriously short of what is in fact required and, additionally, has all the appearances of merely being a new version of the same old thing and not much else.

This is yet another well-meaning initiative and council that, as usual, has more to do with funding programs as well as aiding certain political agendas and interests than it has to do with helping people most in need.

Rather than being “pathways out of poverty” as is purported, this will likely only lead to additional dead ends and could be just another setup for failure, ironically, of which the person living in poverty will typically be found to blame.

Unless and until people living in poverty have a real and meaningful say about any and all policy as well as programs intended to help them out of poverty, nothing will ever truly change, no matter how much funding is found and dedicated to the effort.

Only real political power in the hands of people living in poverty will ever make a difference and create lasting change.

Anything else is a poor substitute. Nothing else should be acceptable. Those in power and authority should know better. As those of my peers within the disAbility community are fond of saying: Nothing about us, without us!

Morgan W. Brown

Montpelier

Sunday, January 5, 2014

For the sake of full disclosure: Morgan W. Brown is a newly appointed member of the Vermont Council on Homelessness, however the opinions expressed within the above commentary are solely his own and represent none other.

13 thoughts on “Commentary: Thoughts on Pathways Out of Poverty

  1. It’s rather telling that so many of us are inclined to distrust the governor on this.

    If this program doesn’t genuinely deliver, the governor’s already tarnished reputation among liberals and progressives will take an even bigger hit.  

    No one likes a rich guy who plays political games with the lives of the poor.

  2. For those, like myself, who had not yet managed to come across it due to either not receiving it directly or being able to find it anywhere online, view a digital copy of the official Executive Order for the formation of the POoP Council (via Google Drive; no sign in required), here.

  3. your unique perspective. Good luck in all you are doing, it’s a difficult life for the disadvantaged & hard row to hoe.

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