A few months ago, anticipating that the presidential campaigns would fail to focus in any substantive way on the record levels of poverty now plaguing the country, The Nation kicked off a campaign to push the candidates to think and talk about this issue.
“#TalkPoverty: Questions for Obama and Romney” profiles experts who have devoted their lives to fighting poverty, and gives them the opportunity to ask the presidential candidates the questions that they want answers to. Next, The Nation will hound the campaigns for responses.
To date, Peter Edelman, Mariana Chilton, Jessica Bartholow, Tim Casey and Lisalyn Jacobs have offered twenty-one questions, which—if the candidates were to respond directly to them—would give voters a much deeper understanding of poverty in this country and the next president’s vision for taking it on.
We will still have at least one more round of questions from families who know poverty firsthand. But, today, I’ve selected thirteen questions from our five experts that deserve immediate attention—starting with tomorrow’s debate.
We encourage you to tweet this article to all of the presidential debate moderators: @NewsHour, @CrowleyCNN, and @BobSchiffer. During and after the debate, use #TalkPoverty to push your own questions about poverty and to weigh in on whether the candidates are taking this issue seriously enough.
We are thrilled that so many individuals and organizations have taken up the #TalkPoverty campaign—organizations like the Half In Ten coalition and the Coalition on Human Needs, among many others. Now it’s time to step up our game—keep pushing for a substantive conversation and action—through tomorrow’s debate and beyond the Election Day.
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1. More than 20 million people in America have with incomes below half the poverty line—less than about $9,000 for a family of three. That’s up from 12.6 million in 2000. What will you do to address this growing problem?