New America Foundation: 50 Years Since the War on Poverty - Looking Back, Moving Forward
MARCH 11, 2014 - 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM ET
The War on Poverty is 50 years old. In his first State of the Union address in January 1964, President Lyndon Johnson announced his ambitious goal to improve the outlook for the millions of Americans who "live on the outskirts of hope." But it was not until March that he forwarded the initial legislative proposals that would begin a remarkable period of legislative activity.
Many programs that form the foundation of our social safety net (such as Food Stamps/SNAP, Social Security, Head Start, and Medicaid) were created or bolstered as part of this burst of historic bipartisan policymaking designed to improve health, education, and economic outcomes. Yet today's gridlocked Congress no longer seems to share a broad commitment to these programs, and too many Americans still live on the economic margins.
Expert panelists will consider the historic roots of the War on Poverty, how anti-poverty approaches have evolved over time, and the legacy's impact on contemporary policy debates, such as eligibility for public assistance, the role of assets, and the call for a higher minimum wage. Our goal will be to take stock of what modern families need to get ahead, consider how public perception and political discourse shape the anti-poverty agenda, and elevate promising new approaches to help all families move up the economic ladder.
Copies of the executive summary of the Assets and Education Initiative’s new paperHarnessing Assets to Build an Economic Mobility System will be available.