Last week the Northwest Area Foundation released the findings of a national survey about Americans’ perceptions of people “struggling to get by” within their communities, what respondents are willing to do to help, and what roles they think local elected officials should play. The survey of 2,400 included over-samples for Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
Here are just a few of the national findings:
- Nearly 2/3 of Americans believe a family of four needs at least $40,000/yr to make ends meet, far exceeding the federal poverty threshold of $19,806
- 70% say they would be likely to pay more in taxes if they knew the funds would help people in their communities
- 75% say keeping and attracting businesses with good-paying jobs, and improving access and reducing costs related to healthcare should be high – or top – priorities for local elected officials.
As interesting as the survey findings are, they are only part of a bigger story
- That there are hundreds of communities nationwide that are taking strategic action to reduce poverty long term, and they are beginning to see results, and
- There are resources – strategies and tools – communities and elected officials can use to begin this work
For full survey results, please visit http://www.nwaf.org/Resources.aspx?pg=Resources/Community_Perspectives_on_Poverty_Release.htm.
We have posted the national and state press releases, summary survey data and analyses, briefings especially for local policymakers, and a Tools List (strategies, tools and case studies focused on reducing poverty).