Lee Alarmed By U.S. Census Bureau Report Findings

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-09) on Wednesday issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Census Bureau report that found that 8.4 percent of the residents over the age of 65 in Alameda County are living in poverty and that African-American households continue to pull up the rear when it comes to family incomes, earning substantially less than their Hispanic, Asian-American and non-Hispanic white counterparts.
“I am troubled by the statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau that found that the number of elderly residents living in poverty continues to increase throughout Alameda County,” Congresswoman Lee said. “It is unconscionable to have so many of our elderly residents living at or beneath the poverty line, especially when you consider that they reside in a state that is among the wealthiest in the nation. The report shows that we must redouble our efforts to ensure that those in the twilight of their lives can live comfortably.
“The report also confirms that Republican economic policies are taking America in the wrong direction,” Congresswoman Lee continued. “Some 5.7 million Americans fell into poverty while Republicans ran up record deficits on tax cuts for the wealthy few and a failed occupation of Iraq based on false intelligence. We cannot allow the Republicans to continue to ignore the plight of the American people who are the engine that drives our economy and the backbone of our democracy.”
Congresswoman Lee, co-founder and co-chair of the Out of Poverty Caucus whose resolution to cut poverty in half over the next 10 years was unanimously passed by the House in January, added that she is “equally concerned about the lack of growth in household incomes among African-American families in the county.”
“Our minority communities are clearly being hit the hardest by the second Bush Iraq recession, which threatens to push more Americans into poverty,” Lee said. “We as a nation must commit to breaking this cycle of poverty. We must work to ensure that no child in America grows up knowing hunger and poverty.”