After nearly 50 years of the War on Poverty, 46.2 million Americans remained below the poverty line in 2011, according to the Census Bureau.
While talk of poverty in America were largely absent during the 2012 presidential campaign, the Republican Study Committee says they have been working to bring lawmakers into a conversation about best practices and solutions to confronting poverty since September, and emphasize how private charity and free enterprise can help fix the problem.
“Conservatives are quick to point out the failures of the welfare-state’s fifty years-old War on Poverty. We need to be equally fast in saying, ‘So here’s a better approach,’ RSC spokesman Brian Straessle wrote The Daily Caller in an email.
In the first of what the committee expects to be a monthly newsletter distributed to RSC members, the committee focuses on two case studies in neighborhood participation in combatting poverty.
“Social entrepreneurs who live in the neighborhoods they serve are showing that success is possible as they transform lives and communities,” the newsletter reads in part. “We need to build on that success and identify and remove barriers to expanding these efforts. Many conservatives believe that effective welfare reforms should include efforts to empower these institutions to do more of the work they do.”
This month, RSC spotlights the work of the social work of the Richmond Outreach Center ministry in Richmond, VA, and the Safe Passage Program in Washington, D.C., which helps children to safely walk to school through troubled neighborhoods, and build relationships with male mentors in the community.
“This initiative is about highlighting the entrepreneurial methods that really do reduce poverty, building relationships with the people who use them, and working together to achieve better results for the poor and for taxpayers,” Straessle added.