11/25/14 - Today’s Topical Currents examines studies of South Florida’s “working poor.” Having a job doesn’t preclude a lack of sustenance. Only 1% of those who get food assistance are unemployed. Seniors often face a choice of paying utilities and rent . . . or going hungry. We’ll learn more about the efforts with guests: United Way of Miami-Dade Sr. Dir.
If you walk into Legal Services of Greater Miami on any given weekday morning, there are rows of plastic chairs filled with people looking for help with legal issues. Over the past couple of years, though, it’s been the various legal service and aid providers themselves that have needed help -- financial help.
To make up for significant loss of funding in recent years, Florida Legal Services, the umbrella organization, is floating an idea to get more money. Through the Florida Supreme Court, it will ask the Florida Bar to up its dues -- to have lawyers pitch in more.
The North Miami Police Department, code enforcement teams and even parks and recreation are joining forces in what are being called “building inspection sweeps.” The city says going in together as a team helps streamline code enforcement.
Three months ago, the roof of an apartment building in North Miami collapsed, displacing over 250 people from their homes. Though that was not the impetus for creating this coalition, city representatives said they learned from the accident.
Today, Florida’s poverty rate is just over 17 percent and the city of Miami’s hit 29.5 percent in the most recent Census data. At the end of the 1960s, poverty levels in the South hovered around 18 percent of the population.
It was during that time when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spent much of his energy organizing what he called the "Poor People's Campaign." It worked to achieve economic justice and equality for poor people -- a disproportionate number of whom were black.
This Jan. 8 marks the 50th anniversary of former President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty, which left a checkered legacy after 1960s policies to combat growing poverty. We thought this marked an appropriate time to take stock of how local communities are doing.
10/22/13 - Tuesday's Topical Currents is with Georgetown University law professor and author Peter Edelman. He’s written SO RICH, SO POOR: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America. The US has the highest child poverty rate in the industrialized world. Income disparity is at its highest point since the great depression. One-half the jobs in the nation pay less than $35,000 per year. Learn more at 1pm on WLRN.