Congress offers billions of dollars in corporate welfare to wealthy multinationals; Laura Bush condemns the brutaltreatment of Afghan women; and Mayor Rudolph Guiliani lures tourists to New York by casting it as a city ofcompassionate unity after September 11.
But politicians are overlooking a group of people mostly women and children who live in this country and who needassistance the most.
At midnight on Friday night, tens of thousands of families in New York reached a five-year lifetime limit on federalwelfare aid. They are by far the largest group yet to face the federal cutoff that has long loomed in the nation’swelfare overhaul, and they are among the first to face it in a recession.
New York is required by its Constitution to aid the needy, and it has spread a state-financed safety net to catch theestimated 40,000 families whose welfare grants were canceled over the weekend.
But advocates say many recipients of welfare have been improperly severed from assistance because of bureaucraticbungling, if not deliberate intent by the Giuliani administration.
And in much of the country, there is no state safety net, leaving these families with no alternatives.
- Liz Krueger, anti-poverty advocate and former Associate Director of the Community Food Resources Center.
- Maribel Soto, organizer for Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE).