Letter to the Editor

City needs to fight poverty

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I am writing to make our community aware of the financial impoverishment in this area. According to Census Bureau information, 15.2 percent of Cape Girardeau's population is below the poverty line. This means that for a family of four the household income is less than $19,350 a year. I think it takes an organized and strong person to do the best he or she can to provide for a family with such little financial resources.

The National Low-Income Housing Coalition states that it takes a wage of $11.15 an hour to afford a typical two-bedroom apartment in Missouri. This is more than $4 over the minimum wage in Missouri. I feel the community should come together to advocate for a living wage in Missouri. A living wage is the amount of minimum wage needed to attain a specific standard of living, not just the lowest amount an employer can pay by law.

Each individual in Cape Girardeau should get involved in the fight against poverty. Getting involved could change the lives of many individuals and our community as a whole. We all need to work together to empower those in poverty and advocate to our local officials and state legislators. Making a difference can often be extensive and difficult, but as Frederick Douglass said, "If there is no struggle, there is no progress."

ANNA DAVIS, Cape Girardeau