Letter | John Horejsi

The recently established Governor’s Poverty Taskforce and Poverty Summit, an event held in Richmond on May 7th, has been given extensive coverage.
I find it troubling that not one person on the task force is poor himself, herself. Do the poor have nothing to contribute? It’s almost as if we, the well-heeled, should not be listening to the poor, not caring what they are actually thinking. Far better strategies and easier implementation can result by including the community, all segments of the community, in the process of creating strategies and in making the actual decisions. People who live in poverty can understand the concepts of decision-making about resource allocation, based on my experience.

Bringing to the table the indigenous leaders, much to the surprise of the taskforce, once these leaders understand the choices, will have relevant input into some if not most of the service problems.

The point is, inclusiveness works! It’s not just political correctness; it assumes that we all have talents to contribute, regardless of whether these gifts have been attained experientially or via professional training.

We urge consideration of our proposal.

  

John Horejsi is the coordinator of the Vienna-based Social Action Linking Together (SALT).

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