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Hochul announces Rochester Anti-Poverty Task Force

hochul_cuomoNew York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul announced Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan for a “Rochester Anti-Poverty Task Force,” Sunday, Jan. 18, during a speech at Hillside Family of Agencies’ Monroe Ave. campus.

The new program will be a part of Cuomo’s “2015 Opportunity Agenda,” Hochul said.

Cuomo’s administration has been rolling out parts of the agenda for the past week, as a preview to his Jan. 21 State of the State address.

“The governor made a commitment today that we are not going to rest until we have found out the answer to eradicate poverty in places like Rochester, which has a lot of great things going for it,” Hochul said. “There are a lot of good news stories coming out of Rochester. But one statistic we’re not proud of, and that we’re going to change, is that we are number one in some statistics for childhood poverty.”

The Rochester Area Community Foundation, and ACT Rochester, recently released a report which found more than half of Rochester’s children are living in poverty, and only three other cities in the top 75 metro areas in the U.S. have higher rates of child poverty than the city.

Hochul also said some of the components of the governor’s ten-point plan for Rochester will include:
• Raising the statewide minimum wage to $10.50 by 2016; and to $11.50 in New York City;
• targeting and boosting unemployment rates;
• increasing funding for urban youth jobs programs;
• increasing funding for affordable housing;
• investing in homeless services;
• increasing funds for an Anti-Hunger Task Force initiative;
• and increasing opportunities for Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs).

In addition, Hochul said Cuomo plans to involve public, private and not for profit leaders in the initiative.

Cuomo will reportedly release more details regarding the program Wednesday.