letter to the editor
Letter to the Editor: We Need a Big Plan to Address Poverty, Homelessness
The full page “Advertising Feature” in the July 12, Sunday Chronicle, Chan/Zuckerberg Initiative – Housing Affordability is a Regional Issue and it Requires a Regional Cross-Sector Response, has high-sounding language, but lacks specifics on how to effect real change. To quote, “The goal is not only to create more economic mobility opportunities for people but also to attack the crisis at its roots by disrupting the cycles of poverty and homelessness.”
A big plan like that needs more than “a Regional Cross-Sector Response.” A plan to disrupt the “cycles of poverty and homelessness” needs big ideas and big money, like Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s plan to cut as much as $350 billion from Pentagon spending. As Ms. Lee says, “It’s time to cut weapons of war and prioritize the well-being of our troops, anti-poverty programs, public health initiatives, and diplomacy.” Ms. Chan and Mr. Zuckerberg, would you be willing to publicly support this plan? I think Barbara Lee knows what she’s talking about.
Would you advocate for increasing the top marginal tax rate for the very wealthy? When Ronald Reagan took office, the top tax rate was 70%; today it’s 37%. We could really use that money to raise teachers’ salaries and to provide clean, safe, well-equipped classrooms for all children so they can actually have “more economic mobility opportunities.” California has the nation’s highest rate of poverty at 20.6% according to the U.S. Census Bureau. We need billions to fix the decades of neglect that created this inequality. A recent report in the SF Chronicle has the headline, “Income gap highest in more than 50 years.” Are you willing to address the income gap? That would go a long way way towards ending homelessness.
You talk the talk, will you walk the walk?