Navy Veteran John Plumb participates in poverty simulation to highlight continued poverty across the region
Despite persistent high poverty rates across the region, the current representative, Congressman Tom Reed, voted against increasing the federal minimum wage to $10 an hour, voted to eliminate Reagan-era anti-poverty services for children and seniors in the region, and has voted to ship the region’s remaining manufacturing jobs overseas multiple times by voting for every free trade deal that has ever come across his desk, in any form – including his most recent vote in support of fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
On Tuesday May 17, Commander John Plumb, a 4th generation Western New Yorker and Navy Veteran running for Congress in NY-23, participated in a poverty simulation at the First Presbyterian Church in Bath, NY. The simulation, run by ProAction of Steuben and Yates County, Inc., requires participants to make a series of difficult choices that often confront families living in poverty. Participants had to consider which bills to pay or not pay; how to make sure there is enough food to feed their families; whether to drop out of school and sacrifice a higher paying job later to take a low paying job for money needed now; childcare choices; and transportation challenges. All simulations are based on real world family cases.
“It drove home how a seemingly small problem can utterly derail a family fighting to get out of poverty while living paycheck to paycheck,” said Plumb. He noted that “Across Western New York, the Southern Tier and the Finger Lakes region, hunger and poverty are real problems that affects thousands in our own communities. We have been left behind by our politicians and the economy to too long – and as a result too many individuals and families in our communities struggle every day just to keep food on the table for their children.”
Poverty rate pulled from NYS Community Action Poverty Report: http://nyscommunityaction.org/PovReport/2015/FINAL%202016%20Poverty%20Report.pdf
Veteran Poverty Rate (P. 10):
Reed Vote against raising the minimum wage pulled from: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2013/roll074.xml
Veteran Stat pulled from: http://www.va.gov/vetdata/veteran_population.asp
As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Reed voted in March 2016 to eliminate the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) program, which was passed into law under President Reagan and provides critical anti-poverty funding for child welfare services, senior citizens, and individuals with disabilities:
Reed’s job-killing trade votes:
Reed was the only Member of Congress from Western New York to support the TPP and its fast-tracking. He voted twice to fast-track the TPP: first on June 12, 2015 and again on June 18, 2015. Both measures passed. [H.R. 1314 passed 219-211, Vote #362, 6/12/15; H.R. 2146 passed 218-208, Vote #374, 6/18/15]
- Reed Voted To Implement The Colombia Trade Agreement. The bill passed 262-167. [CQ Floor Votes, 10/12/11; USA Today, 10/13/11; HR 3078, Vote #781, 10/12/11]
- Reed Voted To Implement The Panama Trade Agreement. The bill passed 300-129. [CQ Floor Votes, 10/12/11; USA Today, 10/13/11; HR 3079, Vote #782, 10/12/11]
- Reed Voted To Implement The South Korea Trade Agreement. The bill passed 278-151. [CQ Floor Votes, 10/12/11; USA Today, 10/13/11; CQ Floor Votes, 10/12/11; HR 3080, Vote #783, 10/12/11]