The Chronicle i
617 N. Liberty Street ^
336-722-8624 I 41 \
Ernest H. Pitt Publisher/Co-Founder
Donna Rogers Managing Editor
Elaine Pitt Business Manager
The Chronicle is dedicated to serving the
residents of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County
by giving voice to the voiceless, speaking truth
to power, standing for integrity and
encouraging open communication and
lively debate throughout the community.
The Watergate scandal put a blot on Richard
Nixon's tenure as president, but he had some good
ideas during his time in office. One of them was a
way to fight poverty.
Rob Schofield of N.C. Policy Watch reported that
in 1969, Nixon gave a televised address to the nation
in which he proposed to establish a minimum, feder
ally funded family income. Nixon recognized the
power of money to combat poverty.
Schofield mentioned a recent article in the
Washington Post titled "The remarkable thing that
happens to poor Kids
when you give their par
ents a little money." It
talked about a study that
showed that the lives of
people, including chil
dren. improved when par
ents had an increase in
Schofield said "the
implication of these find
ings for public policy
ought to be clear: The
simplest, most fefficient
and best thing that state
and federal leaders can do
to combat the scourge of ?
poverty and its devastat
ing long-term impact on
children is to craft and
enact policies that lift the incomes or the poor.
Winston-Salem officials have decided that they
want to fight poverty, but as a groupthink project.
They believe a 21-panel group initially will get the
ball rolling, then hundreds more people will be able
to join in to help solve the issue of poverty in
Winston-Salem. And the process could take five
years just to cut some of the poverty in the city,
which by the way, is at more than 24 percent, or a
quarter of the population of 235,527 (which is an
estimated population figure as of 2013). That means
58,882 people are in poverty if the 2013 figure is
Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines on Oct. 29
led the announcement of the formation of the
Winston-Salem Poverty Thought Force. The group
will hold a series of community meetings to ask res
idents for input on how to tackle various aspects of
the poverty problem. Another organization will pro
vide data analysis and look nationwide for examples
of what has worked and what has not worked.
In the end, the panel will come up with a list of
recommendations and set a percentage goal to reduce
the poverty rate.
Why is a panel needed, and such a large panel at
that, to work on ending poverty in Winston-Salem?
A broad range of civic and academic leaders
makes up the 21-member panel. It will be chaired by
Wake Forest University Provost Rogan Kersh, who
is the same person who in September chaired the
public "hunger talks," otherwise known as Feeding
Change: an Interactive Community Conversation on
Hunger. We are still waiting on the results from that
Kersh said that the Thought Force will have five
subcommittees that focus on various aspects of
poverty: health and wellness; housing and homeless
ness; jobs/workforce development; education/life
skills; and hunger/food insecurity. These subcommit
tees will hold meetings to gather information and
ideas from the public and from people who work in
Now, look at how Winston-Salem handled the
homeless veterans problem.
The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Commission
on Ending Homelessness announced that it has
ended veteran homelessness. This was its first goal
as part of its overall drive to end chronic homeless
ness in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County by 2016.
Was a 21-member panel used to reach that goal,
which took about a year to achieve?
The issue of poverty is serious and real in the city.
The question is, why don't city officials treat it that
Wtj BE LOOKING
^ \vro- ? y
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Sad day for hard
To the Editor:
Dear Members of the Forsyth
The passing of House Bill 318
represents another sad day for many
hard-working citizens of our State.
This intentionally deceitful legisla
tion is titled the Protect North
Carolina Workers Act. Many in our
community are out of work and still
looking for jobs every day without
much luck. By Gov. McCrory sign
ing this bill into law, these extremely
vulnerable citizens face a pathway to
Adults that were not disabled and
looking for work were, under previ
ous law, able to apply and receive a
small allocation of food stamps. That
is no more. HB 318 also makes it
more difficult for local police and
governments to protect and serve the
public while making it easier for
exploitation of immigrant workers.
One of the primary sponsors of this
bill, Debra Conrad, is actually among
our delegation from Forsyth County.
We respect the right of all members of
the delegation to voice their opinion
through legislation. We cannot in
good conscious, however, support a
bill that will starve and disenfranchise
children for the political amusement
of those who no longer wish to adhere
to a simple and age-old American
adage: This land is your land ... this
land is my land.
Those whose compassion for our
citizens still living on the margins are
deeply grieved about this abusive
law. We know how much people
depend on a little boost when they are
down and out, lose a job, do day
work, or work fewer than twenty
hours a week. These affected mem
bers of our community are invisible
to some. They are not invisible to us.
We respect them. We know that they
This unbridled abuse of and disre
gard for the basic tenants that have
made this country the greatest-in
world, an international melting pot,
will not last forever. We urge every
body to use your power to vote while
you still have it. When we as a com
munity believe in the Power of One,
all things will become possible.
The Forsyth County Legislative
Rep. Edward F. Hanes Jr., Co
North Carolina General
Assembly, District 72
Rep. Evelyn Terry, District 71
Sen. Paul Lowe, District 32
To the Editor:
While visiting my daughter or
my sister-in-law in Jacksonville,
Florida, I have often shopped at a
wonderful Publix there. I was
delighted when I saw that a Publix
would be opening in Winston-Salem.
But then came the surprise. I
learned that Publix, a wealthy, pri
vately-owned, giant grocery store
chain, will not support a 1 cent
increase per pound in the price of
tomatoes and join the Coalition of
Immokalee Workers (CIW) Fair
Food Program. The CIW is a well
respected farm worker rights organi
zation in Florida. Their Fair Food
Program is an innovative partnership
among farmers, farm workers and
retail food companies that ensures
decent wages and humane working
conditions on participating farms.
The program has been lauded by
the Washington Post as "one of the
great human rights success stories of
our day" and recognized for its
effectiveness by the United Nations.
Despite what seems like a no-brain
er, Publix refuses to sign on and sup
port a 1 cent increase per pound in
the price of tomatoes. The increase
would insure that there is no market
for tomatoes which have been pro
duced in Florida on farms where
slavery and sexual harassment are
well documented. Other major com
panies have joined the Fair Food
Program including McDonald's,
Taco Bell, Burger King, Trader Joe's
and Whole Foods. Since Publix will
not join them, 1 cannot in good con
science peruse the aisles of what I
am sure will be a beautiful store.
Publix, please reconsider your deci
sion, and do the right thing for the
farm workers who put food on our
Sara Swann Watson
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