Sending Office: Office of the Majority Whip
Cosponsors (46): Bass, Beatty, Bishop (GA), Blunt Rochester, Brown (MD), Butterfield, Clarke, Clay, Cleaver, Cox, Danny K. Davis, Demings, Doyle, Espaillat, Evans, Fudge, Hastings, Horsford, Jackson Lee, Jeffries, Johnson (GA), Johnson (TX), Kelly
(IL), Langevin, Lee (CA), Lewis, McBath, McEachin, Meeks, Moore, Norton, Omar, Panetta, Plaskett, Pressley, Raskin, Richmond, Rush, Ryan, Sewell, Soto, Thompson (MS), Veasey, Wasserman Schultz, Watson Coleman, Wilson (FL)
Supporting Organizations: Children’s Defense Fund, Save the Children Action Network, Oxfam America, National Rural Water Association, Housing Assistance Council, National NeighborWorks Association
Poverty is a perplexing conundrum and has plagued our nation for centuries. We have the tools to address this chronic problem, but for various and sundry reasons we have never developed the will to find solutions. The bill Senator Cory Booker and I are reintroducing,
An Act Targeting Resources to Communities in Need, is an attempt to codify a funding effort that has proven to be successful.
The bill’s targeted funding formula—10-20-30—is simple and direct. Where applied, it targets at least 10 percent of funding to communities where at least 20 percent of the population has lived at or beneath the poverty line for the last 30 or more years.
The Census Bureau has labeled the nearly 500 counties across the country that meet this threshold as “persistent poverty counties.” They are both geographically and ethnically diverse: largely black in the deep South, white in Appalachia, Hispanic in the
Southwest and Native American across the West. They are politically diverse as well, with about three-fourths represented by a Republican Member and one-fourth by a Democratic Member. My essay on this subject was published in the
Harvard Journal on Legislation in 2013 and can be found
The 10-20-30 formula was inserted into three funding accounts in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Over 4,000 projects were funded in persistent poverty counties around the country, including building water and wastewater infrastructure,
expanding community health centers, and extending broadband service. Since the ARRA, I’ve worked on both sides of the aisle to expand the initiative. With the support of Republican and Democratic leaders, 10-20-30 was applied to 15 accounts in recent appropriations
bills, investing billions of dollars in thousands of projects in areas of great need.
This legislation would apply 10-20-30 far more broadly to help fight poverty.
It is obvious that many communities that struggle with poverty are not located within persistent poverty counties. To ensure federal investment reaches
all high-need communities, including smaller pockets of deep poverty and those communities experiencing more recent economic downturns, our bill proposes a new formula to target resources into
high poverty census tracts throughout the country. The formula would require federal agencies to increase overall investment in high poverty census tracts by 5% above the previous three years’ average.
Bipartisan action in Congress to address persistent poverty is possible, and this type of targeted funding is now a proven strategy. To join as a cosponsor, or if you have any questions, please contact Matthew Ellison in my office at 6-3210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join in this effort to end persistent poverty as we know it and leave no community in need out of the equation.
With kindest regards, I am
James E. Clyburn
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0