Urban Fold

Cities Lead a New Push to Reduce Urban Poverty

Recent reports have documented an alarming rise in poverty levels across America. With the federal government cutting funding for social programs serving the poor, cities are stepping into the void by creating anti-poverty centers.

"Perhaps the most high-profile example [of city-led efforts to reduce poverty] is New York City's Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO), which raises public and private funding to test social service programs and reinvest in ones that work," observes J.B. Wogan. "In the realm of anti-poverty work, the CEO model appears to be catching on."

"This year Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter launched the Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, which goes by the same acronym as its New York sibling -- evocative of the corporate research-and-development approach that mayors hope will finally reduce urban poverty. "

"Mayors from several other cities, including Hartford, Conn.; Providence, R.I.; and Richmond, Va., have launched anti-poverty campaigns that mirror New York's in the past few years," adds Wogan. "In each case, the hope is that mayors can force state and local agencies to coordinate programs, collect better data on social outcomes and raise supplementary funds from the federal government and the private sector for effective policies."

Full Story: Cities Launch Anti-Poverty Centers


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