What is The State’s “Ten Year Plan to Dismantle Poverty?”
The title of the document is "Blueprint for a Just and Equitable Future," and it's 70 pages long.
Released Thursday by the Washington State Department of Commerce, this plan was commissioned by Gov. Inslee's Poverty Reduction Work Group; whose stakeholders (participants) include a long list of special interest, social activist, social justice and other related groups. This plan was likely created to involve Gov. Inslee's new Office of Equity, which he is seeking funding for this legislative session. It was passed in 2020, but due to COVID, never funded.
The goal of the group is as follows, from the plan:
"The goal of this strategic plan is to build a just and equitable future in which all Washingtonians have their foundational needs met, and the resources and opportunities they need to thrive."
The blueprint claims despite our robust economy, 1 in 4 WA residents live below what's called the 200% Federal Poverty Line. The blueprint is a very challenging read, one that must be studied carefully see what's proposed and what it really means.
The plan does not contain any private sector initiatives or economic incentives to boost job and growth opportunities for those in lower incomes.
However, on Page 15, where 8 strategies are listed to combat poverty, the following items are eye-catching: Undo Structural Racism, Balance Power, and Decriminalize Poverty.
As part of the Undo Structural Racism portion, the report claims the majority of policies, programs and practices "create inequal outcomes."
In the Balance of Power section, this eye catching item is listed:
"Recommendation 2a. Provide resources to the Office of Equity for a collaboration with Indigenous, Black, and Brown leaders and organizations to develop a formal process for truth and reconciliation. Truth and reconciliation efforts can be a powerful way to educate people about injustice, both past and present, and accelerate healing from the effects of historical trauma and its present day impacts. The process should include, but not be limited to: • Acknowledgement of past injustices, including decolonization of education curriculums; • Resources and spaces to support forgiveness and healing; and • Investment to promote the health, wealth, and well-being of Indigenous, Black, and Brown communities." (bold lettering added for emphasis).
This ties in with the news reports from some leaders who claim those on the 'right' need to be reconciled, to see the errors of their ways when it comes to political and societal opinions and beliefs.
Under the section of Decriminalizing Poverty, the following reccomendation is made:
"Recommendation 7a. Shift resources away from child welfare, juvenile justice, and criminal justice toward comprehensive social, economic, and health supports for children, adults, and families. Shifting resources away from these systems and investing in services that support the economic stability and health and well-being of families." This would be the defunding law enforcement efforts we have already seen in Seattle, although they also did away with the Navigation Team; which helped provide resources for homeless and those suffering from addictions on the streets.
These are just a few of the eyebrow raising items in this 70 page report that caught our eye. To see the entire report, click on the button below.