Press Release ● Ending Poverty & Expanding Opportunity
For Immediate Release: 
June 1, 2018
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) and Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality, and Opportunity Chair, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), along with Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30) and Congressman Marc Veasey (TX-33), visited Dallas, Texas, as part of their Pathways Out of Poverty Listening Tour. In Dallas, the Members visited three sites developing innovative solutions to reduce poverty and expand opportunity, including Bonton Farms, Jubilee Community Center, and Promise House.  

“Democrats are committed to lifting Americans out of poverty and expanding opportunity for everyone,” said Whip Hoyer. “That’s why we visited Dallas today to learn more about how communities are breaking the cycle of poverty. It has been deeply disappointing to see Republicans in Washington not only ignore the issue of poverty, but continue to undermine proven anti-poverty programs. Democrats will take what we’ve learned from those on the front lines of fighting poverty here in Dallas and return to Washington to inform our colleagues of what is happening on the ground and how Congress can do more to assist those living in or on the edge of poverty. I thank Reps. Johnson and Veasey for hosting us, as well as Rep. Lee for her leadership as chair of this Task Force.”

“In communities across the country – urban, rural, and suburban – families are struggling to make ends meet. But instead of offering families a helping hand, too many of our national policies lock hardworking people out of opportunities for economic stability,” said Congresswoman Lee. “On our tour, we met with innovators focused on addressing the contributors to poverty, like homelessness and food insecurity. At the end of the day, parents shouldn’t be working two or three jobs and still sending their kids to bed hungry. Together with my colleagues, I know that we will use these discussions to inform our policymaking in Congress.”

“Poverty is not a problem we can solve overnight, but, like the steps we are taking in Dallas, there is much we can do to significantly reduce poverty,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “The work of the Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality, and Opportunity represents a political will to enact policies to fight poverty in our communities. I appreciate Whip Hoyer and Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s visit where Congressman Veasey and I were able to highlight some of the hard, meaningful work those of us dedicated to providing a pathway out of poverty engage in every day. I believe we can make a difference and break the cycle of poverty.”

“There is a clear crisis in access to economic resources across Texas, and especially in the Dallas, Fort Worth Area, that needs to be addressed. Today, we heard directly from those affected, and met with local organizations that provide relief through nutrition and education programs, and housing for the homeless. Communities within the DFW Metroplex deserve our continued support and resources to attain a basic level of care – a level of care we all deserve,” said Congressman Veasey. “That is why it is imperative we have a holistic approach to ease economic barriers within our communities, and a common goal to end poverty nationwide. Our efforts for outreach and assistance will continue to lift up North Texans, as part of a national movement to support a healthier economy for the country.”

On the tour, the Members of Congress heard directly from community leaders and Americans families on the front lines of the national poverty epidemic. At Bonton Farm, they toured one of the largest urban farms in the country, which is located in a food desert where grocery stores are not easily accessible. In addition to improving access to nutritious foods for low-income families in the community, the farm is also creating jobs and employing local residents. At Jubilee Community Center, Members saw how comprehensive, wraparound services – including childcare, afterschool and summer programs for children and teens, education and job support for parents, and housing for seniors – are benefiting families and giving them the tools to break the cycle of poverty. Finally, at Promise House, a shelter for youth experiencing homelessness, Members saw how early intervention services and providing education and training reduce the risk that these young people become homeless adults. 

The Pathways Out of Poverty Listening Tour will continue later this month in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Launched in 2013, the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality, and Opportunity works to raise awareness of Members of Congress and the American people about the ongoing crisis of poverty, the positive human and economic impacts of effective poverty alleviation programs, and the need for a comprehensive national effort to eradicate poverty. The Task Force consults with key stakeholders to develop support for strategies to eradicate poverty and build opposition to proposed cuts to anti-poverty programs by the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans.