Open Government Project
A Government Watchdog Group
State of Texas
City of Galveston
Public Interest Groups
Local Poverty Industry Referred to Federal and State Authorities!
by David Stanowski
09 August 2013
The problem with the Poverty Industry is that it cannot show meaningful results considering the money it receives. If their efforts actually reduced poverty, taxpayers would be much more supportive; but the data shows that their efforts make very little difference.
The War on Poverty has not failed due to lack of spending, because spending on welfare programs has increased 13 times since 1964, even after adjusting for inflation. It has failed due to the ill-conceived nature of the programs themselves, and the people running them.
In October of 2009, we wrote “In 1968, four years after the War on Poverty began; the U.S. poverty rate was 12.8%. Forty years later, after spending over 14 TRILLION 2008 dollars; there was absolutely no progress, because the rate was still 13.2%!”
During the early days of the debate over the rebuilding of Public Housing in Galveston, the primary argument put forth by the local Poverty Industry was that it must be rebuilt, because many of the families had lived there for three or more generations. They claimed that the site of the destroyed Public Housing projects represented some kind of "homeland" for the former residents that they had to return to rather than even considering if there were better places for them to live.
This argument was a stunning and very revealing admission that they believed that Galveston Public Housing residents had a "right" to government-provided housing in perpetuity, IN THESE LOCATIONS, and that their previous efforts had completely failed to lift the residents out of poverty and out of Public Housing.
In more recent times, the local Poverty Industry has fought every effort to allow the former residents to relocate to high-opportunity neighborhoods on the Mainland where they would have the best chance to escape from poverty. Their opposition is the primary reason that the Poverty Industry from Washington, DC to Austin has refused to even consider the best interests of the people that will have to live in the new Public Housing units.
Currently, the GHA Board seeks to significantly upgrade the effort to lift people out of the multi-generational poverty that has become the tradition in this city. Unfortunately, they have encountered significant resistance from the local Poverty Industry that does NOT want contractors from other cities to be awarded the money ($2.5 million) to implement this Human Capital Plan.
The locals have every right to bid on this plan, but the obvious question is, if many local groups have a long history of vigorously supporting, and in fact celebrating, multi-generational poverty, in this city, to the point that they are trying to force the government to rebuild the segregated reservations of poverty north of Broadway, how could they possibly have the right mind set or “philosophy” to successfully manage a Human Capital Plan that seeks to lift people out of poverty?
Many local groups claim that they have a long history of “supporting” the local Public Housing residents, so they are familiar with their “needs”, whereas “outsiders” do not; so they would be the best choice for this project. But what they call “support” seems to simply be institutionalizing the poor.
Yesterday, the GHA Board was forced to cancel its Human Capital RFP, due to improper local interference with the bidding process, with the hope of rebooting it in the near future.
The "interference" with the process was so extreme that Vice-Chairman Tony Brown has turned the matter over to "appropriate federal and State authorities".
We do NOT support the construction of ANY additional Public Housing in this City, particularly the segregated reservations of poverty north of Broadway, but hundreds of Public Housing and Section 8 units already exist, and those residents need more than the warehousing that the GHA and the local Poverty Industry has provided in the past.
Therefore, we support the GHA Board’s effort to provide an authentic Human Capital Plan and applaud their effort to award this contract to a contractor who can implement it properly!
Please read Vice Chairman Tony Brown’s powerful statement: click here
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