Tuesday, June 17, 2014

284th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,
The Rincon Market is BACK.

Two days short of the one year anniversary of their July 2, 2013 fire, The Rincon Market will open its doors and celebrate a much anticipated Grand Opening. The date …  Monday, June 30 from 7 am to 9 pm. 

To make sure everything runs smoothing on Grand Opening Day, The Rincon Market will open for the first time on Friday, June 27th at 7 am. Then again at 7 am on Saturday and Sunday. This will be a great opportunity for you to stop by and say hello to Ron and Kelly and the rest of the Abbott family. So go spend some money and tell them how much you appreciate all of their hard work and commitment to bringing a very important Tucson icon back to life.

Fighting Fire with Facts

A critically acclaimed documentary by Robert Reich,
former Secretary of Labor under Presidents Ford, Carter and Clinton.
Click on the photo or Mr. Reich’s name to learn more about downloading the video.

Robert Reich, currently the Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy, University of California at Berkley, thinks his stature is the perfect size to “stand up for the little guy.” As he grew up he always had to protect himself against abuse from big guys who regularly made fun of him. Now that he is a renowned economist he is more than prepared to confront and fend off conservatives who perpetuate false statements and misinformation concerning the poor in America.

And his approach is very blunt. In an op-ed piece on the Huffington Post this weekend, “The Three Biggest Right-Wing Lies About Poverty,” Mr. Reich succinctly states the facts, quickly refuting each of the three lies. This is the same approach I use when folks say inane and ignorant things to me. As cordially as possible I beat them up with the facts.

I thought you might appreciate hearing some of those facts from an expert so I’ve listed the lies and the responses below in kind of a Cliff Notes style … direct and to the point.

“Lie #1: Economic growth reduces poverty
  1. “Since the late 1970s, the economy has grown 147 percent per capita but almost nothing has trickled down.” (Editor’s note: I think the conservatives purposefully picked the word “trickle” because a trickle of water, say, only goes a short distance and then dries up.)
  1. “The typical American worker is earning just about what he or she earned three decades ago, adjusted for inflation.”
  1.  “…forty years ago the richest 1 percent of Americans got 9 percent of total income. Today, they get over 20 percent.
  1. “…the lesson we should have learned from the past three decades is economic growth by itself doesn’t reduce poverty.
“Lie # 2; Jobs reduce poverty.
  1. Around one-fourth of all American workers are now in jobs paying below what a full-time, full-year worker needs in order to live above the federally defined poverty line for a family of four.
  1. While low-paying industries such as retail and fast food accounted for 22 percent of the jobs lost in the Great Recession, they generated 44 percent of the jobs added since then…”
  1. “...the real value of the minimum wage continues to drop. This has affected female workers more than men because more women are at the minimum wage. (Editor’s note: This is just one more reason why single moms have it so hard.)
  1. “…government assistance now typically requires recipients to be working. This hasn’t meant fewer poor people. It’s just meant more poor people have jobs.
  1. “Work requirements haven’t reduced the number or percent of Americans in poverty. They’ve merely increased the number of working poor — a tern that should be an oxymoron.”
Lie #3: Ambition cures poverty.
  1. “…there’s no evidence that people who are poor are less ambitious than anyone else. In fact, many work long hours at backbreaking jobs.
  1. “What they really lack is opportunity. It begins with lousy schools.”
  1. America is one of only three advanced countries that spends less on the education of poorer children than richer ones…”
  1. “…what the poor really need – good-paying jobs, adequate safety nets, and excellent schools.”
  1. “These things cost money. Lies are cheaper.”
I suggest you read Mr. Reiche’s Huffington Post article in full and try to remember the facts when you are next confronted with some hurtful statements about struggling Americans. We’re all in this boat together and if we don’t acknowledge this fact, the next perfect storm will sink us all.

Sprouts Farmers Market Update

21st Truck Load – 2014
Lately, the Axis Food Mart’s Food Bank canister collects approximately $40 per month in coins and bills. This is very impressive especially when that money turned into 124 lbs. of potatoes last Tuesday.

This week’s donations amounted to 805 lbs. and included Sprouts (Speedway), 194 lbs.; Sprouts (Oracle), 309 lbs.; Sprouts (River Road), 56 lbs. and Miles Neighborhood including The Axis Food Mart, 246 lbs.

Mannequins for the Poor
In Amsterdam, JWT Advertising Agency created a campaign for BADT, a nonprofit that helps 
homeless people in the city. They shabbily dressing mannequins and placing them on the streets with signs asking for help. The response was pretty good with many people stopping to read the signs, take photos and donate. A spokesperson said, "The idea is that the mannequin eliminates the invisible barrier that seems to separate 'us' from 'them.'"

What a silly observation. If the mannequins were filthy and appeared germ ridden, no one would have taken a second look and not a penny would have been raised. People have to have sympathy—better yet, empathy—for the reality, and engage over a long period of time. Momentary ‘cute’ is just not a solution for helping the homeless … or anyone else for that matter.  And such antics are so disrespectful.        

We collected a total of 246 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $30.00, a $25.00 check and $5.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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