Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A spike for Albany’s poverty rate

Today’s Times Union has a front-page story by Chris Churchill about the fact that, from 2009 to 2010, the share of Albany residents living below the federal poverty line increased from 22.9 percent to 28.2 percent. The article, available here, also noted:
“Albany is hardly the only place with more poor people. The economic downturn has delivered rising poverty -- and declining incomes -- in most areas, locally and nationally. But the poverty jump in Albany easily outpaced the regionwide increase. Poverty in the Capital Region metropolitan area, the census said, increased from 9.9 percent to 11.5 percent.”

Earlier this week, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the following news release about how the Church can respond to news such as this:
Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), urged bishops and other Catholic clergy nationwide to bring the issue of poverty into their homilies.

He also underscored the need for educational and advocacy efforts on behalf of the poor and jobless.

Archbishop Dolan made the appeal in a September 15 letter to the nation’s bishops at the urging of the USCCB Administrative Committee. The Committee oversees USCCB work between plenary sessions and met in Washington, September 13-14.

“Widespread unemployment, underemployment and pervasive poverty are diminishing human lives, undermining human dignity, and hurting children and families,” he wrote. “I hope we can use our opportunities as pastors, teachers, and leaders to focus public attention and priority on the scandal of so much poverty and so many without work in our society.” The entire letter can be found here.