ONEONTA – U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-19, today met with the poverty-fighting Opportunities for Otsego’s board of directors and staff.
The freshman congressman called the meeting “illuminating and deeply important to understand the headwinds facing thousands of Upstate New Yorkers experiencing poverty and homelessness.”
OFO CEO Dan Maskin said he was “honored” to have Delgado visit the organization, adding, “I was thoroughly impressed that he took the time to listen to each of the 25 participants’ stories about issues impacting the poor.”
As mandated by the Constitution, the United States conducts a decennial census.
This once-every-10-year count of the population – it is coming up in April 2020 – shapes the future of our communities and helps ensure political power is fairly allocated among the states and at the local level.
Some communities, like those with higher rates of low-income households and people of color, have historically been classified as hard to count.
As it does annually, the New York State Community Action Association has just published “Poverty in NY,” which has a poverty report for each county and city in New York State.
Otsego County has a poverty rate of 16.1 percent, meaning roughly one out of six people are living in poverty. Forty-eight percent of school children are enrolled in either the free or
reduced school meals program.
There are two distinctions at play here. The overall poverty rate is classified as 100 percent of poverty. This is a calculation of what the lowest income needs to be in order to be classified as poor by the federal government. So a family of four earning $24,000 or less is considered living in poverty.
By LIBBY CUDMORE • Hometown Oneonta & The Freeman’s Journal
ONEONTA – Daniel Maskin, Opportunities for Otsego president, wants people to rethink poverty.
“Most people who are poor work,” he said. “They’re not sitting on their porch drinking beer. But where in this county can working class families get substantial jobs that support their families? There aren’t a lot of those.”
The annual poverty report, put together by the state’s Community Action Association and released in the past few days, rated the county’s poverty rate at 16.1 percent. “Poverty is defined as $24,000 for a family of four,” he said. “That might be two parents with two kids, or a single parent with three kids,” he said.