The Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc., (RurAL CAP) encourages public support for House Resolution Number 8 which calls for the development of the House Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity, supporting low-income Alaskans.
As the only Community Action Agency in Alaska, RurAL CAP operates with the mission to empower low-income Alaskans through advocacy, education, affordable housing, and direct services that respect Alaskan’s unique values and cultures. Accordingly, RurAL CAP supports the proposed creation of a House Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity that directly addresses the poverty crisis in Alaska and fosters necessary dialogue between the public and legislature.
Approximately 80,000 Alaskans experience poverty, and another 70,000 individuals benefit from programs that limit further poverty. Additionally, in 2019, 10.1 percent of Alaskans lived in poverty with the highest impacts being felt by Alaska Native communities and people of color, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The COVID-19 pandemic has further strained limited resources needed for low-income individuals and populations to meet basic needs. As the Alaska Legislature meets to discuss the state budget, further cuts to social aid would adversely impact the most vulnerable and marginalized Alaskans while creating additional strain on low-income populations.
RurAL CAP CEO, Patrick M. Anderson, states “While progress has been made, Alaska has not recently re-examined its policies for addressing poverty. Our neighbor to the south, the state of Washington, has done so and their findings are instructive: they recognize inequality and historical trauma as root causes of poverty, and they have adopted strategies for addressing both. We believe that House Resolution Number 8 can serve as a foundation for having a similar conversation.”
House Resolution Number 8 highlights the need to address poverty through the state budgetary process and through the support of critical social programming. RurAL CAP commends this approach and will continue to work toward the alleviation of poverty while advocating for vulnerable populations statewide. Thank you to Representatives Tarr, Foster, and Hopkins for introducing and sponsoring this impactful resolution.
Support low-income communities and families by virtually participating in public testimony during the Community and Regional Affairs meeting on Thursday, May 6th at 8am via the Alaska State Legislature website.
RurAL CAP is a private, statewide, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is governed by a 24-member Board of Directors representing the public sector, the private sector, and the different regions of rural Alaska. With a mission to empower low-income Alaskans through advocacy, education, affordable housing and direct services that respect Alaskan’s unique values and cultures, RurAL CAP collaborates with community partners to ensure that all Alaskans have access to the vital services needed to promote the vision of Healthy People, Sustainable Communities, Vibrant Cultures.