Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gov. Patrick, shame on you! Clothe our children!

When I was on welfare, I remember how much I looked forward to September.  That was the month that Massachusetts issued a $150 per child clothing allowance to help parents get kids ready for the school year.  No matter the bills still unpaid, I'd take that $150, pull out all my shopping skills, and dress my daughter as best I could.

That $150 allowance hasn't gone up in twenty-plus years, and of course it doesn't go as far as it once did-- even a secondhand pair of pants costs over five bucks at Goodwill-- but for families on public assistance, it lightens the load.

Last night I heard that Massachusetts' Governor Patrick plans to not pay the clothing allowance this year.

Yeah, I know, times are tight, just about everything (except health care) is being cut, but cutting from the bottom brings the whole weight of this economic disaster down on the poorest people's heads.  Local merchants should be unhappy about this, too.

The way I figure it, an additional 66,000 children in Massachusetts will be wearing last year's, now ill-fitting winter jacket, or shoes too small, or unmatched gloves.  I say additional because sixteen years of welfare reform has reduced the welfare caseload but not the number of kids living in poverty whose families don't receive TAFDC benefits..

I'm hoping that maybe, just maybe, if we flood the Governor's office with phone calls, we can get him to reverse his decision. 

Starting Monday, start calling!
Governor Patrick's office:
Phone: 617.725.4005 or  888.870.7770 (in state)

Tell him NOT to make life any harder for Massachusetts' poorest kids.


Martina said...

I looked this up, but could find no news coverage. Can you source it, so I can cover it in my column?

With love,

Martina said...

Here's my article on the cut: