Archive for Media Coverage

Legislator Unveiling Report on PA Poverty- Pittsburgh Post Gazette

By Kate Giammarise / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau


HARRISBURG — A Republican state representative on a mission to learn more about poverty in Pennsylvania will unveil some of his findings today.

Rep. Dave Reed, R-Indiana County, who chairs the GOP-controlled House Majority Policy Committee, will discuss his report at a Harrisburg homeless shelter.

Mr. Reed and his staff spent months researching the project. They visited the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank in August with several other legislators and heard from anti-hunger activists who made a number of suggestions.

The report identifies 13 barriers that can trap a person in poverty, such as lack of family support, not having affordable child care, poor economic conditions, not having health care, a criminal record, lack of financial literacy skills, inadequate education, homelessness, mental health problems, hunger, substance abuse, lack of transportation, and the so-called “benefits cliff” — when a small increase in pay could cause a person to lose vital government assistance.

In Pennsylvania, some 13.1 percent of residents live in poverty, about 1.6 million people.

The preliminary report does not make explicit legislative recommendations but states Mr. Reed and the policy committee hope to focus on improving the outcomes of assistance programs and benefits that aid work, and essentials like food, shelter and education.

Mr. Reed’s announcement last year that he intended to target poverty as a problem drew sharp criticism from at least one of his fellow House Republicans, and some advocacy groups were initially skeptical of his intentions.

However, the group’s preliminary findings seem to be garnering positive reviews.
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PennLive Editorial Board, PA Can Do Better in Fight Against Poverty


State Rep. Dave Reed (R-Indiana Co.) wants Pennsylvanians to have a more intelligent conversation about effectively attacking the poverty that continues to afflict 1.6 million state residents. He’s off to a good start.

 After researching anti-poverty efforts and talking to people around the state, Reed and his House Majority Policy Committee have issued a “mid-term report.” It offers what might be called a compassionate, pragmatic conservative’s approach to fighting poverty.

Titled “Beyond Poverty,” the report seems to reflect a genuine concern that in our land of plenty, people should not go hungry or homeless. There’s none of the overt Social Darwinist victim blaming sometimes found among hardcore Tea Party partisans.

 “It is impossible to successfully combat poverty without first addressing the basic needs of life,” says the report, listing those needs as food, water, shelter and clothing. (Another one would be health care. As the report notes elsewhere, “Far too many individuals and families are living in a world where they are one health care disaster away from falling into poverty.”)

 Reed and Co. seem to think that government should make sure the door of opportunity is open, while ensuring that anti-povery efforts work and badly designed programs don’t discourage people’s effort to climb out of poverty.


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State House Committee issues Newest Report on Poverty in Pennsylvania- 90.5 WESA Pittsburgh NPR

By &


In July 2013 State Representative Dave Reed (R-Indiana) set out to travel the state and learn more about poverty as a part of what he’s called “Empowering Opportunities: Gateways Out of Poverty.” Ten months later, Reed has issued his preliminary report on poverty in the commonwealth.

Reed, who chairs the House Majority Policy Committee, conducted his evaluation through hearings, roundtable discussions, and tours in rural, suburban, and urban parts of the state.

Reed says that there is one common factor.

“Employment, each of these barriers was either a barrier towards somebody gaining employment and gaining self-sufficiency, or a barrier that was a result of somebody losing employment.”

According to the Department of Welfare’s website, there are 1.8 million Pennsylvanian’s receiving SNAP food benefits and 191,058 receive TANF federal cash assistance for indigent families with dependent children

According to Reed, government programs aren’t effective, even when the numbers say they are.

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Tour of Harrisburg School District’s Downey School

By Courtney Cherry, Fox 43

Reed022514PolicyMeeting01_1Members of the Pennsylvania House Majority Policy Committee took a tour of Downey School in Downtown Harrisburg Tuesday afternoon. The tour is part of the Gateways out of Poverty initiative, which is part of a larger district wide initiative to improve student achievement. Committee members say they are using this program as a blueprint for others across the state.

Rep. Dave Reed (R-62nd District) says, “One of the things we’ve been looking at is let’s find successful programs and see how we can replicate those programs across the state. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, you have to find what one community is doing well and how do you take it to another community and help them do well, as well.”

This visit was just one of many stops on the committee’s tour. Previously, they visited the Bethesda Mission in partnership with the House Homelessness Caucus.

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Fox43′s Coverage of Bethesda Mission Tour

Special Visit by House Majority at Bethesda Mission
Source: WPMT – Harrisburg, PA







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Newsworks-WHYY Article On Initiative

After closeup look at poverty, Pa. lawmaker to begin work on policy

By Holly Otterbein

December 6, 2013

A Pennsylvania GOP lawmaker has finished the first part of his mission to learn more about the nearly 1.8 million people in the state living in poverty.

Indiana County state Rep. Dave Reed and other Republican legislators spent the last five months crisscrossing the state, traveling everywhere from the Poconos to North Philadelphia, and talking to low-income residents, government officials and advocates for the poor.

Reed said he has learned that there is near-unanimous consent among those people that the government and nonprofit sector’s current efforts to combat poverty are insufficient. He expected at least some advocates to defend the status quo.

“Probably the most eye-opening component to me was the recognition by so many folks at the grassroots level that the system was broken,” he said, as well as the “frustration that a lot of folks held that they didn’t feel like there was any hope of actually changing the system for the better.”

Reed explored education, homelessness, financial literacy, public assistance programs and hunger. On the latter issue, he expressed concerns about the across-the-board cuts to the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka food stamps, that went into effect last month.

“It’s a little frustrating to hear folks always focus on cutting benefits in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “Perhaps if they look at the integrity of the [food stamps] program, and some common-sense changes with the program and give the states a little bit more flexibility, we could actually make those dollars go further and serve the truly needy in a more effective manner than just arbitrarily cutting benefits across the board.”



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Unionville Times on Chester County Roundtable

Until there is a collective will to really address poverty, things won’t get better

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

COATESVILLE — With wealth bordering on abundance t times in Chester County, it can be difficult to confront the truth that for many here — arguably far too many — poverty remains a stark reality and a reality that in recent years has gotten worse.

This past week, six state representatives — five from Chester County — held a free-wheeling discussion with groups from around the county to look at what could be done. The discussion was led by State Rep. Dave Reed — majority chair of the House Policy Committee. Reed has been traveling the state, looking closely at the issue of poverty and its related symptoms from crime to hunger.

Reed, a Republican from Indiana County, admits that not everyone has been supportive of his study of poverty. He notes that some of his fellow Republicans don’t see poverty as a serious issue or at least one that needs so much attention, while Democrats don’t seem to think he’s serious.

“Both parties want to stick to their talking points,” Reed said.



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Pocono News.Net On Pocono Poverty Event

Rep hosts discussion on poverty in the Poconos

HARRISBURG – As part of the House Majority Policy Committee’s continuing initiative to recognize current programs in place to help combat poverty across the state, Rep. Rosemary M. Brown (R-Monroe/Pike) invited Chairman Dave Reed (R-Indiana) to host a roundtable discussion with area stakeholders working in the Pocono region.

The discussion took place in Stroudsburg and was part of the House Majority Policy Committee’s initiative, “Empowering Opportunities: Gateways Out of Poverty,” which started in June, it seeks to identify challenges that families across Pennsylvania are faced with that prevent them from rising out of poverty.

“As a member of the policy committee, when I learned that they chose to focus their initiative on helping people get above the poverty level, I immediately suggested that one of their stops be in the Pocono region”, Brown said after the meeting. “Monroe County is very different than what a lot of people think it to be. The reality is that we have a lot of issues related to poverty in our area. Fortunately, we have several groups, many of which were represented at the meeting today, that work day-in and day-out to ensure they are doing all they can to help those living below the poverty line.

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Pocono Record on Policy Event in Stroudsburg

Pocono poverty fighters meet with Pa. legislators

By Chris Reber

A western Pennsylvania legislator met with local anti-poverty advocates Wednesday to hear about the issues facing Monroe County and some of their best solutions.

Rep. Dave Reed, R-Indiana, is traveling around the state to learn more about poverty in Pennsylvania. He said he wants to use the information to possibly shake up the way the state funds anti-poverty programs.

On Wednesday, Reed met with officials from Family Promise of Monroe County, Pocono Alliance, Pocono Area Transitional Housing, Monroe County Head Start and the Pocono Family YMCA.

“Eventually, somebody has to make real decisions, and they may not be popular,” Reed said. “Over 50 percent of the state’s budget is spent on public welfare programs.”

Locally, the number of people in poverty has skyrocketed in the last 10 years, said Arthur Piancone of Bridges Out of Poverty, a local job skills and self-sufficiency program. One out of five children in the county lives in poverty, and every school in the county has more than 45 percent of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch.

And families climbing out of poverty face significant barriers like housing costs, transportation, child care, and above all, decent-paying jobs.

Piancone said a liveable wage in the county is $14-$18 per hour, and employment opportunities in the county don’t supply that.

“We’re a tourism community. Unfortunately, we’re not bringing in the jobs to give people a living wage,” he said.

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Express-Times Covers Event in Allentown

Poverty leaves too many unaware of the ‘American dream,’ official says

By Colin McEvoy

Pennsylvania state Rep. Dave Reed is a Republican. But when it comes to fighting poverty, he doesn’t have much nice to say about either political party.

“It sometimes seems like Republicans don’t want to believe poverty exists or that government has any role in getting out of it, while Democrats fall all too often into thinking that if we give money to the same programs, somehow we’ll get a different result,” said Reed, R-Indiana.

Reed and state Rep. Justin Simmons, R-Lehigh, led a roundtable discussion today with two dozen elected officials and community leaders that focused on finding ways to alleviate poverty.

Reed said Jan. 8 is the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson declaring a War on Poverty, but 26 million Americans still live in poverty despite $7 trillion in national spending to fight it since 1964.

“We’ve got too many folks not just not living the American dream, but not even knowing there is an American dream, and that’s a sad state of affairs in America,” Reed said today at Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown.



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