Center for Community Futures
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jmasters@cencomfut.com
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Center for Community Futures
P.O. Box 5309
Berkeley, CA  94705
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Office of Community Services  
Creating the 21st Century Model to Address Poverty  

APPENDIX E: MEETING RECORDS

The following meeting records from the 2004 working sessions are included in this appendix. 

* Redefining Poverty  
* Community-Based Solutions  
* Family Economic Security  
* Maximizing Technology
 

Redefining Poverty Working Session

August 18-19, 2004  
Aspen Wye River Conference Center  
Queenstown, MD

MEETING RECORD

Distributed to participants: October 19, 2004

Revised, based on participant feedback: January 4, 2005

This document contains the proceedings of the working session and has been compiled from the small and large group discussions, the associated flipchart records, and from the presentations given by project staff. Reaching consensus during the session itself was not attempted.  Therefore, this document merely reflects the viewpoints as they were expressed in the session and does not imply agreement among participants and/or project staff.

Redefining Poverty Working Session: Meeting Record

PRE-MEETING MATERIALS

Participants received the following materials prior to the working session:

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Preliminary Agenda

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Core Elements: Mission, Imperatives, Vision, and Principles (Appendix A)

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Research Themes: Redefining Poverty (Appendix B)

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Article: Kanbur, Ravi and Squire, Lyn (1999). The Evolution of Thinking About Poverty: Exploring the Interactions. (Appendix C)

ON-SITE PACKET MATERIALS

    Participants were provided a meeting packet containing the following materials:

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Final Agenda

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Core Elements: Mission, Imperatives, Vision, and Principles

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Initiative Context presentation: Characteristics of Successful Change (Appendix D)

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Current state presentation: Highlights from the research (Appendix E)

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Research Themes: Redefining Poverty

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Article: Kanbur, Ravi and Squire, Lyn (1999). The Evolution of Thinking About Poverty: Exploring the Interactions.

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Participant List (Appendix F)

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Project Staff List (Appendix G)

MEETING AGENDA

 Overarching Goal: The goal of all of the working sessions is to allow people from a variety of backgrounds and sectors to bring their expertise to bear toward creating a fundamentally different model for thinking about and addressing poverty.

Session Objectives: This working session has five objectives:

1)      Share a compelling case for change and articulate a vision and set of principles upon which to build strategies to fundamentally change the way we think about and address poverty as a nation.

2)      Catalog the current definitions and measures of poverty and assess their utility in moving toward the stated vision.

3)      Identify some key elements of a desired future state (i.e. what it would look like in the ideal) from the perspectives of the individual, the community, and society. These elements go beyond the snapshot of the conditions of poverty (based on the income/consumption definition) to the individual, social, and economic capacities and dynamics that are more fully representative of the causes of poverty and the solutions to it.

4)      Identify some of the areas in which work must be undertaken (i.e. change levers) in order to close the gap between existing and the ideal states.

5)      Brainstorm preliminary strategies for filling the gaps.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004:

3:00 – 4:00 Welcome and Overview by Clarence Carter: The overall case for change and why we are here; the vision of the 21st Century Model to Address Poverty and the underlying principles for the development of the model.

4:00 – 4:45 Session Content and Context: Overview of the overall initiative, an exploration of the current state and key themes regarding definitions and measures of poverty, and large group discussion of how we arrived at the current state from the participants’ perspectives.

4:45 – 5:00 Facilitative Strategy (Facilitator)

5:00 – 6:00 Break

6:00 – 7:30 Dinner

7:30 – 9:00 Small Group Work (3 groups—person, community, societal): Each small group engages in visioning to describe what definitions and measures of poverty would ‘look like’ in the ideal. The goal of the small group work is to bring focus to a desired future—built upon the principles—from each of the three perspectives.

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Individual includes: human capital -- the education, attitudes and experience that enable a person to avoid poverty or get out of it.

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Community includes: social capital -- the family and community networks and support systems, and family or clan assets.

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Societal includes: the broadest frameworks -- the social values, norms and laws that create ‘the rules of the game’ (e.g. non-discrimination, terms and conditions of work), the economic opportunity structure and the dynamics of social mobility (what enables or promotes movement).

9:00 – 9:45 Small Groups Report: Groups present their work to the large group. Large group will not discuss presentation content at this time, but will be asked to post questions and comments on wall for discussion the next day.

9:45 – 10:00 Evening Close Out: Facilitator leads interactive session about the work that’s been done so far, and what remains for tomorrow.

 

Thursday, August 19, 2004

8:30 – 10:15 Large Group Discussion: Processing Small Group Work from Wednesday

      Using the notes taken by the participants the night before, the group will focus on and discuss each of the focus areas presented. The focus will be on the identification of the key elements of the desired future, not on problems with the current state 

10:15 – 10:30 Break

10:30 – 11:45 Identification of Gap Areas and Change Levers: Identification of levers for change (and related considerations and challenges) that would require work in order to get ‘there’ from ‘here.’

11:45 – 12:45 Lunch

12:45 – 2:15 Identification of Preliminary Change Strategies: Moving from visioning and change levers to ideas for closing the gap.

2:15 – 3:00 Session Close Out and Next Steps: Discussion of how the work that’s been done here will be synthesized to create the pieces of a draft systemic change strategy and about how to begin the work of change.

PROCEEDINGS

August 18, 2004: Afternoon

INTRODUCTIONS (facilitated by Barbara Hulburt)

WELCOME AND OVERVIEW BY CLARENCE CARTER

  Clarence Carter provided the overall case for change and why we are here; the vision of the 21st Century Model to Address Poverty and previewed the underlying principles for the development of the model. Notes from his overview are provided below and contain an amalgamation of his opening remarks from all four of the working sessions.

As America continually strives to form that ‘more perfect union’ envisioned by our founding fathers, one of the key factors we have always struggled with as a society is how to care for those in greatest need. For purposes of our work here, we focus on the segment of our society that exists within the condition we define as poverty.

Every generation or so, our society recalibrates its thinking and approaches for addressing poverty and it is clearly time for another recalibration. It is time for us to change the way we think about and address poverty because:

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We know that as the number of people living in poverty increases, it becomes more and more difficult for any society to sustain itself. None of us wants that for our great nation. As long as many of our citizenry remain under-optimized, our society can never reach its full potential.

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The most recent major recalibration was initiated 40 years ago via the 1964 “War on Poverty.” President Lyndon Johnson believed that turning the power of the federal government loose on the issue that we as a society could eliminate poverty.

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While there is much progress to celebrate, we clearly have fallen woefully short of the lofty objective of ameliorating poverty. As a result of the “War on Poverty,” scores of programs were created, the U.S. Poverty Index was established, unprecedented public spending was dedicated to the objective, and a massive ‘helping’ industry was created. Though there have been impressive gains in many important indicators of societal well-being, we have not shifted in our approaches as quickly as the conditions have.

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The U.S. Poverty Index, developed in the 1960’s and based on an income/food consumption model, is no longer representative of the conditions of poverty (e.g. cost of living, basic income needs, economic trends, technological advancements, family structure and roles, workforce trends, etc.). As the economic, social, technological — societal conditions change the nature of poverty, we must also change the way our society thinks about it and addresses it in order to remain economically, socially, and morally sustainable as a society.

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We are still using the income/consumption model and the basic formula as designed in the 1960’s under vastly different circumstances. Proposed reforms to the Poverty Index over the last three decades to add other cost elements such as housing and health care and to add other income sources such as the cash value of benefits have not been successful, resulting in the continued use of a formula that has outlived its efficacy as a accurate definition of the conditions of poverty.

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We currently spend hundreds of billions of dollars annually on assisting those in greatest need in America without an acceptable return on investment. Unfortunately, since there is no shared vision guiding and leveraging our investments toward a common objective. Our spending is ad hoc, in categorical programs—with their own rules, regulations, and objectives—which often work at cross purposes with other programs and initiatives. Private initiatives often suffer from not having enough resources to be truly effective. In the aggregate, our fragmented and categorical approach results in the old adage; ‘If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.’

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The issue of poverty is best addressed at the community level. The current construct in which the ways to address poverty is prescribed at the Federal level fails to fully engage and empower communities to develop their own vision for the future and the strategies they need to get there. The uniqueness of America’s communities demands a service strategy unique to each community’s objectives, resources, and obstacles.

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The current construct forces the needs of individuals and families to fit into categorical programs that cannot possibly anticipate or address the whole and interdependent nature of what they need to make their lives work for them. Often the goals and objectives of the various ‘helping programs’ work at cross purposes, making a comprehensive set of services and support that would be effective problematic at best. This approach is another example of not leveraging the resources that are currently being expended on the issue and does not give us a return on our investment.

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The existing construct does not maximize the use of technology that would provide for infinitely more efficient and effective delivery of service and/or to reduce the need for the services in the first place. The current categorical construct requires separate technological infrastructures for each of the programs, which means that precious resources are required to fund the separate infrastructures and resources that could go directly to the individual or family needing assistance. It means that helpers in the different program structures have difficulty sharing vital information that would help serve individuals and families more effectively. Furthermore, technology could be leveraged to allow many decisions to be placed directly in the hands of the individual or family, thus obviating the need for intermediaries.

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The current helping system is financed principally by government and philanthropy, despite the widely-used economic construct of market solutions in most other advancement endeavors. Recognizing that every sector has a role in addressing poverty and that market solutions are encouraged in most facets of American problem-solving, we must acknowledge that market-based strategies are significantly underutilized in America’s helping system.

All of the above leave America with less than the most effective helping system. As the economic, social, technological—societal conditions change the nature of poverty, we must also change the way our society thinks about it and addresses it in order to remain economically, socially, and morally sustainable as a society.

We need to create an urgency in society to do the work of this recalibration, such that our society views eliminating poverty as:

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an exercise in developing self-sustaining conditions at the individual, family, community, and societal levels,

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a win-win exchange between society and individuals, individuals and institutions, and

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a way to create the harmonious conditions that allow for continued innovation, economic growth, strong relationships, non-violence, health, etc.

    As the Director of the Office of Community Services, I draw on the history and intent of my organization to help communities address issues of poverty—first as the Office of Economic Opportunity, and in its subsequent evolutions as the Community Services Administration, and now as the Office of Community Services—to leverage the power of its mandate toward new constructs for thinking about and addressing poverty.

We have convened this group of the best and brightest thinkers to help begin a social movement toward developing this new construct. Understanding that it will be a long-term, complex endeavor, we recognize that we will not, over the course of the next 24 hours of our initial working session, solve the problem. Rather, we are simply seeking to start the dialog by putting forward some guiding principles upon which to build a new construct and by creating the “space” in which to begin building it. Welcome, thank you for coming, and let’s get to it.

SESSION CONTEXT AND CONTENT (Nancy Polend, Ed Strong, Jim Masters)

Project staff presented context and content material to ground the work of the session: 1) Overview of the overall initiative using the characteristics of successful change as a conceptual framework and a description of the project’s activities as an operational framework; and 2) an exploration of the current state and key themes from the research regarding definitions and measures of poverty. See Appendixes D and E for staff presentations.

The Characteristics of Successful Change presentation suggested that, since the initiative is at its core the creation of systemic change, it is useful to map its evolving strategies and activities to a framework that represents components of successful change. The change  model this initiative is using for this purpose is based on the work of John Kotter and John Corlett. The presentation made connections between the change model and the working session activities in which participants would be engaging. The presentation also made distinctions between what could reasonably be accomplished during the working session and what was long-term, evolving work to be done over the next decade and beyond. Acknowledgment of the uncertain, uncharted territory of this work was made explicit.

The second component of the Characteristics… presentation included the operational flow of the project’s short-term activities, showing what had been done to date, where the working session fit in, and what would come next.

The subject-matter-expert presentation, The Impact of Changes in Measuring Poverty, provided an environmental scan of definitions and measures of poverty that have been established and the impact different definitions have had and could have on society. The literature review that was conducted as part of the initiative, as well as the collective view of the participants (as observed during the discussions) suggests strongly that the existing U.S. Poverty Index—based on a 40-year old consumption/income model—is not representative of the real conditions of poverty and is therefore incomplete.

The Impact… presentation also provided a historical perspective, beginning with the 1960’s and the establishment of the current U.S. Poverty Index. In the 1960’s, antipoverty workers liked the “poverty line” for several reasons. (1) It was easy to understand and apply. (2) It could be used to ‘prove’ to skeptics -- who claimed there was no poverty in their community -- that poverty existed in their area. (3) It was an easy target to reach. For example, if you helped Dad get a GED and get a job in the factory at the minimum wage then that family moved above the poverty line.

In the 1970’s, there were many initiatives to better integrate services in the hopes that by better linking services (inputs) it would help create better family outcomes. In the 1980’s, the emphasis shifted to the providing public charity functions that provided a “safety net” of basics (food and income). These, too, were based on consumption and family “needs.”

There were numerous efforts to change the poverty index in the 1980’s and 1990’s – to add other cost elements such as housing and health care and to add other income sources such as the cash value of benefits. None of these efforts at large-scale reform were successful, and so even today we are still using the income/consumption model and the basic formula as designed in the 1960’s.

Turning to large-scale frameworks, one of the largest was developed by Nobel Prize Winning economist and Harvard Professor Amartya Sen. In it, he creates a framework of society that flows from inputs, to rules and processes, to outcomes. He says that “…every normative theory of social arrangement that has at all stood the test of time seems to demand equality of something – something that is regarded as particularly important in that theory.” (Inequality Reexamined. P. 12, Harvard University Press, 1995). One challenge in his model is that you can only establish equality across one slice of the system, because everything on either side of that plane will of necessity be in disequilibrium.

Sen says that too great an emphasis has been placed on trying to generate equality of outcomes -- which in our example is family incomes. Further, the traditional counter argument to the idea that the government should guarantee these outcomes (the welfare/majoritarian/utilitarian arguments) has been the libertarian argument, that the government should only guarantee the processes or ‘rules of the game’ and should have no role in assuring outcomes.

Sen moves further back from both of these arguments, and says that the best role for government is helping people get the education and other “inputs” (primary goods) that they need to function in that society. Sen’s work is useful to us because it provides a framework that is generally accepted in the fields of economics, philosophy and international development. Sen’s framework enables us to organize and synthesize all the bits-and-pieces of the other definitions in use. It is consistent with the principles proposed in the 21st Century initiative and can be operationalized and used to assess existing policy and program priorities.

Sen’s work moves us away from a focus on “needs” and shifts our attention to a focus on “strengths,” including social capital, human capital and financial capital. These forms of capital – which in Sen’s approach are the “primary goods” that people should start with or acquire -- provide insurance against slipping into poverty and provide effective ways to get out of poverty. They are therefore worthy of further development as potential elements of the 21st Century Model.

As we survey the definitions in use in international organizations and other countries, we see that they have added in many dimensions that are not considered in the current U.S. definition. These offer insight and examples of alternative ways to define poverty. One approach that was tried was an “inductive” approach to synthesize these existing definitions. An effort to compare the dozens of definitions and their thousands of variables through a ‘factor analysis’ got lost in the virtual blizzard of factors. Instead, it is recommended that we turn to guiding principles, such as the ones proposed in the 21st Century Model, to help us develop a new definition that is more “deductive” in character.

We will start with the broadest possible vision, and develop definitions that are derived from the desired future.

FACILITATIVE STRATEGY

The facilitator set up the evening’s small group visioning activities by restating the idea that “definitions lead to strategies” and “if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” She also announced the rosters of each of the groups and addressed various housekeeping and logistical items.

Participants took an evening break to check in to their rooms and convened in the dining room at 6:15 for dinner. After dinner, each of the three small groups convened in their break-out rooms to begin their task of envisioning the elements of an ideal definition of poverty (i.e. more encompassing and representative definition of the conditions of poverty).

SMALL GROUP WORK: VISIONING THE IDEAL (DETERMINING DESIRED FUTURE STATE)

Based on the belief that the existing operational definition of poverty is outdated and incomplete, the large group was broken down into three small groups representing specific perspectives of poverty—Individual, Community, and Society. The groups were tasked with identifying elements of a new “ideal” definition relative to the perspective their group was assigned. The goal of the small group work was to bring focus to a desired future—built upon the principles — from each of the three perspectives.

Ideal Elements of a Definition: Individual Perspective

This small group was given the following definition to help focus their discussion: Individual includes human capital -- the education, attitudes and experience that enable a person to avoid poverty or get out of it.

    As the group attempted to settle in to their task of identifying ideal elements for a new definition of poverty, they decided to start with “what poverty is NOT.” The participants acknowledged that this was an exercise in defining “non-poverty.” The group’s ideas represent a first glimpse of possible components of a future definition, upon which future indicators and measures could be based. They also explored the work of Peter Townsend and others as starting points for their discussion.

Elements of a Definition (non-poverty):

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Independent (see also “Appropriate interdependence”)

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Respect for self, life, others

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Respected

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Autonomy

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Privacy

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Self-Respect,

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Availability of credit,

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Availability of insurance

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“Appropriate interdependence” on institutions, people, services, and their surroundings

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There is a pervading societal myth of “independence” which falsely suggests that anyone can be totally independent when in fact, everyone has some level of interdependence on institutions, other people, services, and their surroundings.

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The myth is supported by language in the constitution

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The myth provides a disincentive to ask for help

bulletSelf-definition of role in society
bullet Ability/ latitude to make mistakes
bulletHope
bulletExtent to which individual have control over circumstances (e.g. work, housing)
bulletExtent to which individual has control over “response” to circumstances (voice in society in self definition, influence, power)
bulletInterdependent relationships (access to spiritual nurturance and support)
bulletEducation
bulletAccess
bulletContent: Critical thinking skills, learning how to learn, building and sustaining relationships in personal and professional life
bulletWork (access) bulletMoney, meaning, friendship bulletPhysical environment
bulletIndividual’s surroundings are a component of their world view. For example, if what I see as impoverished/not impoverished, that will be my world view
bulletThese surroundings play a role in “dreaming”, creativity, and making plans for the future
bulletHope, spiritual connections = resilient
bulletThe leisure to care about the future
bulletMental space
bulletAbility to protect self/family (capacity and conditions are diminished if you are poor; e.g. predatory lending, police brutality)
bulletAbilities to be proactive about protecting one’s family and self
bulletAbilities to make sound choices/ decisions to protect ones family and self
bulletResponsibility for ones future, circumstances, change bulletStamina/health

The group decided to explore some existing conceptual definitions offered by key published experts to ‘mine’ for additional useful elements.

      An Implicit Description of an Individual in Society (adapted from Peter Townsend, The International Analysis of Poverty (1993), p. 36. Provided by Gordon Fisher)

bulletAn individual needs to be able to participate in society.
bulletThis participation requires having access to the following things:
bulletRelationships
bulletDiet
bulletAmenities
bulletServices (e.g. education, health care, etc.)
bulletIf access to these items are available to individuals, then they should be equipped to play/participate in their customary roles within that society

A Definition of Individual Poverty (also adapted from Townsend)

bulletPeople are poor when they don’t have sufficient access to food, shelter, services and amenities that allow them to participate in relationships, protect themselves and loved ones and engage in the customary behaviors expected of them as part of a community (from the source cited above; provided by Gordon Fisher).

The group developed a narrative statement of a definition of individual poverty based on the results of their brainstorming and discussions:

“People are poor when they don’t have hope, access/ability to participate, and adequate income to opportunity to meet physical needs, to achieve innate potential of all kinds, and to achieve a meaningful life, and when they lack the resources, abilities and moral clarity to lead others out of poverty.”

Ideal Elements of a Definition: Community Perspective

      This small group was given the following definition to help focus their discussion: Community includes: social capital -- the family and community networks and support systems, and family or clan assets.

Before the group was able to envision what the ideal community would look like in a future where poverty was optimally defined, a number of members were compelled to identify and discuss a range of definitions for “community.” They felt this was important to do to set the stage for a visioning conversation.

Possible Definition of Community (“How do you define community?” “One size does not fit all.”)

bulletNeighborhood
bulletTown
bulletRegion
bulletTax Jurisdiction
bulletVirtual Technology
bulletIdentity (Race, Ethnicity)

The group then began to describe different elements of a strong or healthy community. They saw these elements comprising a set of indicators or measures for poverty (or for non-poverty) from the community perspective.

Ideal Elements

bulletStrong interconnections between neighborhoods and residents
bulletOrganized
bulletAccess to family households and clan assets (“extended family and friends”)
bulletAccess to surrogate relational systems where family/clan has broken down
bulletRegional equity/stewardship
bulletCultural/community awareness of societal norms/values
bulletBringing corporate and institutional players to the table
bulletHolding corporations and institutions accountable/ responsible
bulletCommunity/regional capacity is built to the greatest extent possible; sustainability
bulletLeveraging best practices to show holistic possibilities
bulletGreatest degree of business and economic diversification consistent with comparative advantage
bulletLooking inside community for opportunities to develop business and economic diversity.
bulletEthnic diversity leads to richer communities
bulletPriority-setting and commitment of resources to meet priorities, picking those that work and laying down those that don’t
bulletInvolvement of residents of community/region in planning and priority setting The group moved to creating a list of the economic indicators or measures of a healthy or strong community:

Economics of Healthy Community

bulletCharacteristics:

o Local Ownership  
        o Self Reliance  
        o High Labor Standards  
        o Environmental Quality  

bulletAssets for Business
bulletFinance Mechanisms
bulletInstitutions/Mechanisms for Wealth and Asset Creation
bulletCommunity Individual Development Accounts
bulletCommunity strategies include a focus on:
bulletLand
bulletLabor
bulletCapital
bulletEntrepreneurial Support bulletPopulation retention (especially in crisis) bulletSafety
bulletCrime
bulletDomestic Violence
bulletIncarceration
bulletNatural Capital
bulletAir, Water, Land
bulletRecreation Opportunities

Indicators of (Non) Poverty

bulletPeople have voice
bulletPeople and places are better integrated
bulletAccess to:
bulletOpportunities
bulletHealthcare
bulletEducation
bulletJobs
bulletHousing
bulletSocial Capital   Better Opportunities   Social and Economic Equity
bulletShared standards on equity bulletReduced disparities bulletCommonality bulletConnectivity
bulletSocial
bulletJobs
bulletLocal ownership bulletSelf Reliance bulletHigh Labor Standards bulletNetworks (of support systems)
bulletFamily
bulletChurch
bulletBusiness
bulletParticipation, Empowerment, Optimism (Non alienated)
bulletEconomic
bulletPolitical
bulletVoting
bulletTown Meetings
bulletVolunteerism
bulletIntegration of Sub communities into Larger Communities bulletLand use policy supports integration (e.g., Mixed income housing and Inclusive Zoning)

 

Helping System

bulletFormal/Informal
bulletPresence?
bulletAsset Based?
bulletReciprocity?
bulletCommunity linked and participation?
bulletInformal
bulletGenerationally rooted (e.g. Korean Banks)

Multiplier

bulletFinance/Cash
bulletLiquidity
bulletWealth
bulletBarter

The large group made the following additions to group’s flipchart record:

bulletWhich comes first?
bulletNurture trusting relationships which lead to opportunity  
--Or--  
bulletOpportunities which when made available lead to relationships of trust
bulletOpportunity structures within communities are often affected or controlled by resources and circumstances that are not local.

Ideal Elements of a Definition: Societal Perspective

This small group was given the following definition to help focus their discussion: Societal includes: the broadest frameworks -- the social values, norms and laws that create ‘the rules of the game’ (e.g. non-discrimination, terms and conditions of work), the economic opportunity structure and the dynamics of social mobility (what enables or promotes movement).

The discussion was an open one in which the participants freely exchanged ideas moving from area to area as their thoughts developed. It was a self-guided process with the facilitator acting as note taker more than process guide. Therefore there is an appropriate randomness to the flow of the conversation but very powerful nuggets of inspiration that emerged from the collective wisdom.

Society Vision

In viewing society in a future where poverty was optimally defined the group described what they would see to include:

bulletInstitutions working together at the regional level to impact economic issues so that everyone had:
bulletA voice - all could exert influence and power
bulletAdequate income for all
bulletFreedom from vulnerability to market fluctuations because the community had carved out its niche and held a solid market share, minimizing the risks of suffering adversely from globalization and other factors that negatively have impacted community strength and residents’ income
bulletRegional market stability with a diversity of market opportunities to weather outside changes and the ability to make market adjustments as circumstances warranted
bulletSociety would invest in Self-Sufficiency – but define it as broader than income
bulletCultural diversity and recognition of the value of all sectors
bulletAccess to Technology for all bulletA society that leaves no one behind bulletAll levels of society have assets to tide them over in times of instability (accumulated assets) bulletAll members of society have the capability to take advantage of opportunity – including opportunities to access quality education and quality health care. bulletAll parents know their children have safe and nurturing surroundings bulletCultural and societal standards and practices that allow access to services for all including undocumented immigrants bulletCultures are honored, maintained and revitalized. Individuals and groups are free to pursue their own unique heritages recognizing that all are not the same e.g. Native American cultures differ from immigrant cultures. bulletHope is part of everybody’s future. bulletFreedom from abuse by legalized economic exploitation (e.g. check cashing, loans) bulletFinancial service are available to all
bulletEqual access to financial services
bulletFinancial literacy for all
bulletSolid planning is in evidence. Planning can only come when hope is invigorated bulletIntergenerational communities are nurturing bulletViable, legal opportunities are available for all bulletRole models and support systems exist for all bulletThere is access to support systems to overcome social injustice bulletInclusiveness pervades all society does bulletSociety has solid social values and solid social systems; both are needed bulletEvery individual is given the opportunity to maximize his or her potential to:

      Learn  
               Work  
               Have housing  
               Have a safe environment

bulletWe all accept responsibility for ourselves and others.
bulletThe group collectively came to a general statement summarizing much of the discussion above as follows:  

Definition of the Ideal Society of the Future (this is framed in terms of what would put a society at risk of not thriving):

bulletA society is at risk when it does not respect every individual and does not provide the mechanisms for each person and group to recognize and achieve their potential.

The group arrived at this short definition after considering such factors as:

bulletIncentives and disincentives must exist in all kinds of social contracts.
bulletOutcomes measures must lead to accountability.
bulletThere must be economic and social justice
bulletReciprocal responsibility must drive action at all levels of society
bulletThere must be support for businesses that adopt the “triple bottom line” – profit, environment, society
bulletSociety must provide opportunity for the extended practice of democracy
bulletSociety must provide clear and honest information and education to potential voters
bulletSociety must provide guidance, authority and engagement at all levels of government.


    The large group made the following additions to the group’s flipchart record:

bulletConsider relationships across Race/Class lines
bulletAdd accountability of the corporate structure
bulletReference to the overpowering and self serving nature of the corporate element is missing
bulletThere is in that sector a great capacity for harm but if re-oriented the possibility for value to community and society is great.

    Other additional thoughts included:

bulletThis discussion makes me think that we should slightly redefine the task. That is 1) how do we define who is poor? and 2) how can we address the elements that make people poor at the individual, community, and larger societal level?
bulletConsider the philosophy of free enterprise. What about philosophy of cooperatives?
bulletValues personalized can be made real.
bulletExpectations fulfilled
bulletThe problematic issues that the undocumented immigrant worker faces
bulletRace
bulletClassism
bulletSexism

SMALL GROUP PRESENTATIONS TO LARGE GROUP

      Each small group presented their work to the large group. All of the groups used the flipcharts they produced (as transcribed in the previous section of this document) as talking points and generally presented the highlights of their small group discussions. By design, the content of the presentations were not discussed in the large group during this evening session. Participants were instead instructed to write notes, comments, and questions on pieces of paper and attach them to the “facilitation wall” to inform the full group discussion to occur in the morning (see large group additions to flipcharts at bottom of each small group section—above—for written comments).

Individual Perspective: Talking Points 

bullet“Appropriate interdependence” on institutions, people, services, and their surroundings.
bulletHope
bulletExtent to which individual have control over circumstances (e.g. work, housing)
bulletExtent to which individual has control over “response” to circumstances (voice in society in self definition, influence, power)
bulletInterdependent relationships (access to spiritual nurturance and support)
bulletMeaningful work
bulletEducation
bulletAccess
bulletContent: Critical thinking skills, learning how to learn, building and sustaining relationships in personal and professional life

Community Perspective: Talking Points

bulletStrong interconnections between neighborhoods and residents
bulletAccess to family/clan assets
bulletMoving toward “regions” as “community” and the notion of regional equity
bulletCultural or community awareness of social norms
bulletDegree of community asset diversification consistent with comparative advantage (e.g. diversify assets, not all eggs in one basket from a business perspective, such that a community depends too heavily on one factory or industry as an economic driver.
bulletExtent to which community sets priorities and commitment of resources to meet priorities
bulletChoosing strategically among the many programs, projects, etc. to only engage in those things that get most “bang for the buck.”
bulletAbility to do assessments of community assets
bulletAbility to engage residents and all stakeholders; turn them loose on the community’s poverty issues
bulletBring institutions and corporations to the table
bulletCapacity in sustaining anti-poverty efforts

Societal Perspective: Talking Points

bulletInjustice is a major cause of poverty
bulletSociety is in decline when it does not take care of and respect all people in it.
bulletRespect and a sense of responsibility for all its members
bulletThe extent to which there are societal incentives for helping all citizens reach their potential.
bulletOutcome measures for accountability for obligations to the well-being of all its members
bulletExtent to which it develops business enterprises that are mindful of the “triple bottom line” (profit, environment, society) bulletExtent to which clear and honest information and education is provided to potential voters bulletAbility to differentiate and devolve authority at the state level

EVENING CLOSE OUT: CLARENCE CARTER

      Clarence closed out the evening by summarizing what the group had done collectively and his feelings about what the group had accomplished and how the group had carried it out. Key concepts from his close out discussion include the following points:

bulletDiscussions highlighted the complexity and bigness of what is being done
bulletThis is a process of writing an important chapter in history
bulletThere has been real tension on how we deal with this in history
bulletNeed to “check weapons at the door” (referring to a desire to have a “turf-less” discussion)
bulletThe project team has been both planning and protecting our work until it has legs enough to stand on its own and to take “hits” that may occur in a broader audience o Intentional about not creating a circumstance by which we project ourselves too far out in public until we’ve had a chance to frame the discussion
bulletNot interested in casting aspersions; the natural reaction to blaming is protecting
bulletExtremely exhilarated
bulletThis is the beginning of a conversation and appreciation for the willingness and spirit in which we were able to have it.

August 19, 2004: Morning

The morning began with an opportunity for participants to reflect on the work of the day before and to share anything that came to mind. Some of the thoughts expressed were:

bulletThe need to build accountability into the system for alignment with values (as expressed in the initiative’s principles)
bulletTake responsibility for circumstances
bulletNeed to build in reciprocal responsibility, especially with corporations
bulletExample of jails/prisons was given
bulletThe need to build urgency for change. For example, address the question of why should those “not affected” care about addressing poverty?
bulletClarence agreed that we need to make the societal case for change and that we  need to be able to articulate it in a way that makes sense from a “what’s-in-it-for me” perspective.
bulletThe need to articulate the idea of “common wealth” bulletThe notion that expectations (of individuals) tend to get fulfilled and, as a result, the need to approach changing perceptions to an asset- or strengths-based frame. bulletThe moral and economic imperative: We have not made this case; that this is everybody’s work

The facilitator focused the group on the task for the day:

bulletLarge group review and discussion of the guiding principles
bulletLarge group discussion of small group work to arrive at a sense of:
bulletCompletion of the visioning task and a starting point for developing ideas for what needs to change.
bulletWhat the elements of non-poverty look like
bulletWhat the unanswered questions are
bulletIdentify and discuss what has to change in order to begin move toward the ideal. It was acknowledged that we would probably not get to the specific strategy development level in the time that we had left.

REVIEW AND DISCUSSION OF THE PRINCIPLES

The group was asked to walk around the room to read and internalize the fourteen principles in preparation for the large group discussion. Participants were asked to think about whether and how the principles should be enhanced, whether they were clear (and what clarifications were needed), and about their reactions to them. The large group discussion regarding this exercise is summarized below.

Comments on Existing Principles

bulletShared vision: New ways of thinking about and addressing poverty are aligned with the assumptions built into the founding documents of the nation
bulletDiscussion and Feedback: Language in the founding documents also stated that not everyone had the same level of entitlement. For example, African Americans were described as 3/5ths of a person. Suggest reference to founding documents should be deleted. More appropriate language would reflect participation, agency, ownership, and building power.
bulletEverybody has a role: Every sector of society (government, private industry, non-profit, communities) has a role in creating a nation of reciprocal responsibility and opportunity.  These roles may or may not be consistent with current roles.
bulletDiscussion and Feedback: Reword to include notion of “poor, rich people;” and “rich, poor people” and the need to move people who believe they have no role in addressing poverty out of their mental “comfort zones.”
bulletFundamental right to individual potential: Every individual has the right to achieve their potential, regardless of circumstance, strengths, or weaknesses.
bulletDiscussion and Feedback: Reword to strengths-based language that reflects the individual’s aspirations from their own perspective. Delete from “regardless” to end of sentence
bulletGovernment as convener: The government role is one of convener and catalyst for enabling innovation.
bulletDiscussion and Feedback: Add “a” before “convener” to ensure that it does not appear as if we are saying that the government only acts as a convener. It acts in other capacities as well and other sectors/entities also act as conveners.
bulletConsistency with America’s tenet of free enterprise: As in most facets of the American experience, the helping system should leverage the philosophy of free enterprise. Doing so encourages and supports free market solutions to geometrically expand the helping resources available to serve Americans in need.
bulletDiscussion and Feedback: Too passive; the “helping system” should be about more than leveraging more resources to the poor, which sounds like charity. It should be imparting skills, knowledge, dignity, motivation – and entrepreneurship. Move toward language that speaks more of “market solutions” toward that end.

One suggestion is “Consistency with America’s Market Economy” – “As in most facets of American problem-solving, the helping system should be grounded in market solutions. Tapping private resources can expand geometrically resources available to serve Americans in need, especially through self-financing antipoverty enterprises, and imparting entrepreneurial skills to those in needs can empower them to become the stewards of their own future.”

Comments on Potentially “Missing” Principles

      There was some discussion suggesting the addition of a principle that specifically addresses the notion of participation and engagement, drawing on the concept of “maximum feasible participation” and what participation can lead to (e.g. power, influence)
 

LARGE GROUP DISCUSSION OF SMALL GROUP VISIONING WORK

Large group discussion of the small group visioning presentations included the following components:

bulletThere are themes in the elements identified that run across all perspectives—individual, community, and society—suggesting that definitions of “non-poverty” can help to create a shared vision for change (see “Themes” section below).
bulletIdentifying elements and developing new definitions of poverty/non-poverty is important for change because definitions lead to strategies. That is, how we define things determine how we address them.
bulletAny definition should be focused on equity vs. “equality.”
bulletSociety has used “capitalism” as a substitute for “democracy” when, in fact, capitalism  [does not equal] democracy. Aligning the way we think about and address poverty with the concept of democracy vs. aligning it with the concept of capitalism would significantly change the approach.
bulletThe U.S. has an operational definition of poverty (U.S. Poverty Index), but not a conceptual definition (i.e. what we mean by “poverty”)
bulletWe have been operating from the operational definition without having a conceptual definition.
bulletThis affirms Clarence’s view that “if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” Federal, philanthropic, non-profit, community, etc. spending and programs have no shared conceptual definition to guide them and are therefore fragmented and collectively ineffective.  
bulletIn exploring the societal perspective, an offering of the following statement to describe societal poverty:
bullet“We believe that a society is at risk when it fails to inspire its members to respect others and fails to align its resources in ways that seek to lift up those who are most disadvantaged.”  
bulletSignificant discussion about the dilemma that results from the notion of “poor, rich people” and “rich, poor people.”
bulletPoverty is broader than income leads to…
bulletbroadening the definition and its elements, which leads to…
bulletthe notion of “poor, rich people” and “rich, poor people, which leads to…
bulletdilution of the issue of “real” poverty, which leads to…
bulletquestions of whether that line of thinking is self-defeating if we are trying to help the folks who most need it.
bulletThough it could also help people get out of their conceptual “comfort zones” regarding “who” is poor.

On the other hand…

bulletWe really DO want everyone to reach his/her potential and “poor, rich people” need to be able to reach theirs, especially when it comes to realizing their potential to help others reach theirs.
bulletWe really DO mean that a thriving society needs everyone (including poor, rich people) to be contributing fully, which suggests that if a person is financially non-poor, but socially poor, they should be helped as well in order to build their capacity…
bulletWhat DO we mean?
bulletAt the end of this discussion, the idea that a transformative definition would include BOTH components; it would identify sectors of society/individuals who are not poor (in the traditional sense) AND sectors of society/individuals who are poor (in the traditional sense).
bulletThese separate and complimentary definitions would have utility in different contexts and could therefore be used strategically, selectively, and intentionally toward improving conditions and capacity throughout society.
bulletThere could be multiple definitions developed for a variety of purposes.

THEMES: COMMON ELEMENTS OF A NEW DEFINITION ACROSS ALL PERSPECTIVES

bulletHope
bulletInternal spirit
bulletSense of future/possibilities
bulletAccess (to opportunity structures)
bulletFood
bulletHealthcare
bulletTransportation
bulletEducation
bulletContent: Critical Thinking/Problem-Solving skills
bulletContent: Relationship building skills
bulletMeaningful work bulletHousing bulletArt/culture bulletParticipation
bulletVoice/Influence
bulletControl – “appropriate autonomy/interdependence”
bulletFreedom from (negative) stereotype
bulletSafety bulletRelationships/Connectivity bulletResponsibility
bulletSelf
bulletFamily
bulletCommunity
bulletTo hold system accountable

The large group made the following additions to overall session’s flipchart record:

bulletPreamble to definition of Poverty – when poverty exists, everyone in society is affected, therefore it is a shared responsibility of every person, community, entity and corporation to ensure that poverty, where it exists is alleviated, and that it is not promoted through community, societal and corporate actions, policies, and in its …
bulletOutcome Replacement for Customary Behavior – to engage in endeavors that benefit their lives and those of their community.

August 19, 2004: Afternoon

IDENTIFICATION OF WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE TO GET TO VISION OF NEW DEFINTIONS (GAP ANALYSIS/DEVELOP STRATEGIES)

      Categories of potential “change levers” (i.e. places for change) were put up on the facilitation wall. Participants were asked to identify what has to change in order to begin move toward the ideal within each of the change levers. Participants wrote down their ideas and affixed them to the wall beneath the appropriate category. After everyone had finished, the facilitator read each idea aloud. NOTE: These are unfiltered ideas that were not processed, agreed upon, or representative of consensus, nor were they tested against the principles of the 21st Century Model initiative.

Service Delivery

bulletServices need to be supported and delivered at the community and neighborhood level
bulletService delivery should be informed by those who are receiving the services.
bulletAdequately funded demonstration projects that examine evidence for effectiveness in the implementation of new strategies.
bulletFrontline workers need to be re-oriented to their role in reducing poverty. It’s not about screening people out, but rather connecting them to resources that will help them to help themselves negotiate systems and obtain needed education, income, and resources.
bulletServices are delivered based on ease of access of the individual, not the agency, single application forms are used and shared.
bulletUse nonprofit structures that include people served in government contracts
bulletNonprofit anti-poverty organizations need to change to be “fast, fluid, and flexible.” How to lead at the speed of change.
bulletAll service delivery groups/initiatives etc. gain knowledge of how violence impacts people’s lives and implement strategies that move our society towards being free of violence.
bulletClarify mission/purpose of service to reflect the common elements.
bulletUsing the modalities of family and clan as effective places of engagement (relationship building) – providing opportunities, voice, resources, etc. through these linkages.
bulletSociety creates energy policy at the local level, which informs a federal energy policy that is based in renewable energy sources greatly reducing /eliminating (eventually) the need for energy assistance programs. First start with green building for low income housing.
bulletHealth care, child care, and elder care are viewed as rights not privileges and are therefore extended to each person through universal systems.
bulletTraining and encouragement for low income people to learn about and run for public office.
bulletMore integrated service approaches within community action to use all of their resources (as well as other community resources) to address the full range of “barriers to escaping poverty” for all of their clients.

Roles

bulletParticipation/ Voice Control: Those in the local community permitted to have an “active” role in community decisions – Elected Officials
bulletAlso, discussions, education, etc. of “haves” on issue of their roles/responsibilities.
bulletProvide venues/opportunities for holistic models of helping/empowerment to mentor others
bulletGovernment at all levels has an obligation to develop ways to include all residents.
bulletSchools teach children about parenting and give children skills to create and maintain violence free relationships

Systems

bulletAlso – jails are removed from profit making institutions. Jails are charged with the outcome to release people who have the skills to reintegrate in society in positive ways and to reduce recidivism rates and to treat mental illness and addictions
bulletBusinesses pay a living wage
bulletPublic elections are publicly funded (only) - no private contributions. Officials are accountable to the populace.
bulletPrison system’s “purpose” re-defined to prepare more of those incarcerated to function when they “get out” rather than just “put away” (e.g. programs to maintain contact with family, or education)
bulletCreate support and transition systems for people coming out of prisons and foster care * Require jails and foster care systems to ensure that all of their “graduates” have high school level skills
bulletLook at how “programs” get people out of poverty, thereby reducing silo effect. Organize services for “ACCESS” to opportunity, housing, meaningful work, etc.
bulletRecognize, revamp, reeducate the training environments that reinforce old patterns, stereotypes, etc. of the service provider world.
bulletRe-Create Nationwide program and strategy development and evaluation systems to identify good ideas to take to scale. Only CFED does this well!
bulletPrisons and jails become places where inmates are educated, trained for jobs, learn relationship-building skills and maintain connections to “family” and “clan”
bulletInstitutions are funded based on outcomes- contracts imbed both incentives and disincentives for achievement of those outcomes. This is true for Economic Development initiatives (IRB’s, tax breaks, in-plant training) such as HMO’s, jails, schools, etc.
bulletUSA policy and outreach distinguishes capitalism and democracy and how each system can affect poverty and equity.

Funding

bulletFor all block grant programs for states; hold states accountable for agreed upon outcomes or reduce funding
bulletEvery benefit from government should be linked with “giving back” by the beneficiaries to government’s corpus.
bulletReinvest money from public pension funds and trusts (e.g. Social Security) in antipoverty enterprises.
bulletEliminate all corporate welfare to make new resources available.
bulletFocus government grants on promoting entrepreneurship and empowerment (and end restrictions on various streams)
bulletShift foundation money to program related investments in anti-poverty enterprises
bulletCreate more venture, hedge, and mutual funds to focus equity investments in anti poverty enterprises.
bulletSeparate fundraising for “charitable purposes” from “developmental purpose.” Support both using Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s).
bulletRequest for proposals (from both state and federal fundraising sources) requiring partnerships across sectors (e.g. county welfare, community action, workforce development, private non-profit, community or church groups, etc.)
bulletPrioritize the support services system to deliver service (NGO’s) and hold them accountable by outcome and payment
bulletIncrease eligibility standards upwards to 110% of median income (even if graduated)
bulletCluster funding by the government into one funding source
bulletGovernment (federal & state) assists agencies and organizations in breaking down the ‘silos’ of service delivery in such a way that the current resources spent on so-called antipoverty programs can be reallocated in ways that reduce poverty.
bulletFunding needs to be more flexible, as to allow for adaptation to local community needs/conditions
bulletOutcomes will be used in measuring all government contracts
bulletMulti-sector funding that links economic capacity building activities support for capacity building.

Policy

bulletRecognize the existence of many “undocumented” poor in the U.S. that have no country of origin to effectively return to- are clearly underserved.
bulletMake it easier for workers to form or join labor unions
bulletFocus on programs that “make work pay” – these increase incentives to work and reduce dependency:
bullet1) continued support for EITC
bullet2)childcare accessibility
bullet3)periodically increase minimum wage
bulletNeed explicit agreement that achieving the outcome listed (e.g. access, participation, etc) are policy priorities. bulletFind explicit/formalized ways of getting input/comments strategies from poor people as an input to making or changing policies. bulletEliminate anti-community and anti-small buy bias in law concerning tax insurance, securities trade, banking, and subsidies. bulletGather better data for community economies (e.g. “leakages” of dollars, demand, residents, etc.) bulletCreate a new type of “Community Corporation” that facilitates anti-poverty enterprises. bulletEconomic strategies should be measured against a set of “Social Justice” principles. bulletNeed national commitment to poverty reduction/elimination to be used as a lens for evaluating certain federal expenditures. bulletStop incarcerating people for status crimes or other personal behavior…create alternative community based social frameworks (these can be mandatory) bulletNeed change that would not see policy as something that is done to you (poor folks etc) but rather people as informed and engaged policy players themselves. Assumptions:
bulletFolks want to improve their lives (quality) chances and outcomes
bulletThere is wisdom, experience and things that work in poor communities
bulletThe self-interest of the poor and the non-poor are not necessarily mutually exclusive
bulletLeadership with the right combination of capabilities can make a difference
bulletLanguage and forming of the right metaphors—means everything.
bulletLink schools and service agencies in tracking student’s attendance. Universal healthcare access. Support inclusive planning process as a pre-requisition for funding. Simplify residency requirements to access safety nets. Prisons provide rehabilitation alternative to incarceration are funded.

Attitudes

bulletPeople are the best and most essential asset in which this country can invest. Also, belief that every person is important.
bulletActive participants in a democracy can hold systems accountable and create change.  Helping systems (IAPS) have an appropriate role in facilitating the participation of the poor in the electoral and governing process.
bulletStress existing assets and build on them. We all have a responsibility for recovering and addressing the structure and institutional forms. White privilege and racism are acknowledged and addressed.
bulletWe need to get beyond “Blaming the Victims” and “Fostering Low Expectations” that flow from stereotypes, prejudice, and ignorance.
bulletReduction in stigma and stereotyping might be achieved by getting everyone (at various levels and in various circumstances) to understand their role and responsibility and stake in the overall exercise of creating a more just and less at risk society.
bulletEducation about attitude, aspiration and the value of dreaming plus visualizing should be taught in pre-school and reinforced in later year of childhood.
bulletNeed to promote ideal of mutual responsibility among individual, business and institutions
bulletAlert (disturb/agitate) people- larger society to the invisibility of the poor, overcome callous attitudes toward current conditions.
bulletMore widely realized perception (across social classes and cultural groups) that society is at risk when we are not actively engaged and aligning resources to help those who are most disadvantaged.
bulletHelp the poor help the poor
bulletOpportunities of “dialogues between the haves and have-nots” -- maybe through faith-based initiatives (to alleviate stereotyping, may embrace hope)
bulletCommunities decide that it is essential to create an environment where individual success is optimized. Each sector knows that they can be a part of the solution to end poverty and how they can make a difference. The community has incentives to encourage this participation.
bulletEliminate concept of “the poor”, and instead focus on programs to empower people
bulletAssume that every person receiving public assistance would become an entrepreneur
bulletRethink prisons as institutions to reintegrate people into society.
bulletGet the “right people” into places they can make the most difference – Leadership development.
bulletRecognition of our “interdependence” as individual, community, society.
bulletFind or create social values that are cultural universe’s to provide a foundation for capacity-building-for-all

Structures

bulletStructures and systems have to be reengineered to include the things that the poor and non-poor could potentially do from themselves
bulletAssumptions :
bulletThere are things that work
bulletThere are assets in every community that should/could be creatively leveraged
bulletThings that work, best practices – must have a policy context and outcome lest they die on the vine.
bulletInstitutional structures need to be elliptical, not hierarchical. Encourages teaching initiatives (e.g. Learning Organizations) bulletFederal, state, local government need to look at the above models bulletRecognize, celebrate, leverage the role of the faith community to secure the moral and economic premise upon which this initiative is grounded. bulletImprove healthcare delivery system:
bulletReduce administrative bureaucracies
bulletExpand coverage
bulletContain costs
bulletHow to achieve the above needs a lot more than this piece of paper

Behavior

bulletCommunities adopt strategies and provide resources to deal with sexism, racism, classism, etc. Where is it identified?
bulletIndividuals come to understand their own part in oppression and seek resources to deal with it.
bulletRe-channel all charity into acts of empowering others.
bulletBuy, invest, hire local, to restore community economies
bulletIndividuals who are poor meet elected officials – vote – and work in their communities to effect policies.

Incentives

bulletTax incentives for livable wages – Support (public and private) for regional coordination – reimburse the opportunity cost.
bulletSeeking market incentives for “paying for” all human capacity building initiatives. Are they there?
bulletShift Resources from subsidizing consumption (food stamps) to developing capabilities –Voc Ed, E & T, and to managing risks and economic uncertainty. “Economic Security insurance”
bulletGrants to community groups willing to develop plans for addressing the needs of low income people in their community
bulletGrants to community groups to examine (conduct an assessment) of the needs and assets of people in their region.
bulletFocus on corporations, insurance companies, and industry, etc. to create TAX and other financial incentives to encourage community investments and individual job creation
bulletBonuses or tax breaks could be granted for those who help get and keep individuals out of poverty through significant wage and opportunity increases.

  SESSION CLOSE OUT AND NEXT STEPS: CLARENCE CARTER

      Clarence thanked the group for their engagement during the session and provided information about next steps. Next steps included:

bulletThe project team will be compiling the proceedings of the session and distributing it to participants for clarifications and enhancements.
bulletParticipants will be given a set amount of time to submit enhancements
bulletOnce all of the working sessions are completed and all meeting records were revised based on the participants’ review, the development of a “blueprint for change” will begin. bulletThere may be some follow up needed with some of the participants as the blueprint development progresses. bulletHope to set up a web-enabled space for participants to remain connected to the initiative and to each other. bulletBlueprint draft to be completed in early January bullet“Mega-Session” in which participants from all working sessions will be convened in the same space to see and discuss the draft blueprint.

  Clarence also took the opportunity to bring into the discussion the issue of politics and partisanship in this work.

bulletWhile the presidential election is an important factor, its impact on this work is minimized because this initiative is NOT about another government program or solution. For example, waiting until after the election would suggest that it is politically motivated or is seen as another government program, when in fact, this work transcends partisanship and government.
bulletThe “distraction” of the presidential election provides the opportunity to engage folks and develop preliminary strategies that will gain momentum and be defined and sustainable enough to carry through into any future administration.  
bulletNo partisan discussion/debate has ever helped “Ms. Mamie” (a symbolic image Clarence uses to personalize the issue of poverty) and so this discussion that we have had proves that we don’t have to make it political in order to have the discussion.
bulletA rich discussion of ideologies and philosophies ensued with participants and Clarence self-disclosing affiliation with party or ideology that resulted in a collective understanding that, by the very nature of the principles upon which the discussion was based (see Core Elements), it didn’t matter which “side” you come from.
bulletParticular focus on the Reciprocal Responsibility principle as an integrating/collaborative force that brings both ideologies (e.g. “do it your self” vs. “let us do it for you”) together toward and understanding that the answer is not in either exclusive ideology, but rather in the integration of both.
bulletParticipants from both “sides” expressed that they felt that they had connected to the vision and spirit of this initiative and collegially agreed that they could continue the conversation, even knowing that they would not agree with each other on everything.

Clarence thanked the project staff for making the working session a reality and Barbara Hulburt for her expert facilitation. He spoke of his desire for this initiative and this group of participants to “write an important chapter of history” and his belief that we had gotten a great start with the thoughtful contributions and engagement of the group. He thanked everyone once again and wished them safe travels.

-----------------------------------

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Appendix A  (21st Century Model to Address Poverty)
Appendix B (Poverty Programs Summary and Matrix)
Appendix C  (Issue Papers)
Appendix C1 (
Initiative context presentation: Characteristics of Successful Change)
Appendix D  (Income and Work Support Policies and Strategies)
Appendix D1 (Working Session Descriptions)
Appendix D2 (Working Session Descriptions, continued)
Appendix E  (Working Session Descriptions, continued)
Appendix E1  (Working Session Descriptions, continued)
Appendix E2 (Current state presentation: Highlights from the research)
Appendix F (Participant List)
Appendix G (Project Staff List)

 


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