Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Bush Social Services Cuts are a War on the Poor

President Bush's budget has been released, and, as I wrote in an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times [.pdf], the message to the nation's poor, its elderly, and its urban youth is clear: You're no longer our problem. Up until this year, the city's allocation of Community Development Block Grants, or CDBG, had been shrinking steadily: the national allocation had held steady, but the increase in poverty from city to city meant that Los Angeles's share dwindled. I was encouraged to see many of the people helped by CDBG show up up at a City Hall rally to oppose the cuts. Children from the Echo Park Silver Lake People's Childcare turned up, and a young man who had gone through the Aztec Firefighters gang intervention program—who had changed his life from being in a gang to fighting wildfires—spoke. Mayor Hahn is engaged on this issue and has rallied other California mayors to join the fight to keep this funding source of last resort for poor communities.