Americas

Centering on Poverty

A coalition of the Right and Left launches a new project to reduce poverty.

Just before President Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus bill into law, an intentionally diverse group of religious leaders gathered in Washington today to announce a new project to reduce poverty.

President George W. Bush's former speechwriter Michael Gerson called it "an orgy of strange bedfellows" as he and Sojourners founder Jim Wallis launched the Poverty Forum, a shared commitment to help the poor during an international financial crisis.

"It's a serious, substantive, innovative list of policy ideas that I think are going to be taken quite seriously," Gerson said at a press conference at the National Press Club. "It was a real opportunity to make sure that this set of issues was part of a broader dialogue on the economy in a time when our economy is a major topic of discussion."

The forum calls for increasing child tax credits and raising the minimum wage, issues which are usually perceived as being at opposite ends of the political spectrum. The group's recommendations involve ...

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