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You hear more and more talk about affordable housing and with stark and so I think people are really starting to pay attention to it , and so it’s just a way to say here’s what’s happening today and we need before it gets bad. We need to really make sure that we’re paying attention to this .
And I guess it’s one of those things that can kind of compound and become a bigger issue because if you don’t have the money to buy a house in town , and you have to live outside of town and sometimes transportation is an issue for lower income people. Right . So if you can get to the javelin , how do you have the job to support your family , and it just kind of snow .
All right. In some of the places you know that we see on the list . They have they may have very affordable housing . But they may also have a strong transportation system that can really really robust transportation system that can can help people come in from outside areas to work , which obviously is an ideal and that’s not what we want , we want to have affordable towns where people can live and work and be part of the community but but if they , if it is unaffordable , then you know there is some kind of system to get people in and out , and we . Although we have public transportation . We certainly don’t have the robust system that some of these other areas might well , what are some of the other facts that you’ve found in your report . Well , we , as I mentioned , we , we still have more kids living in poverty than we did 10 years ago , one of the reasons we put this report out is we were remarking that the fact that we’ve had 10 years of our northwest Arkansas office opened in September 2008 and so we wanted to kind of just look back and look at some of the indicators the the number of kids in foster care has really skyrocketed in northwest Arkansas . It’s growing much faster than the overall population , but that is true . Statewide , that doesn’t mean that it’s okay and we also have not enough case workers to fill the positions that really are watching out for those kids . And so we’re , we’re concerned that in this very low unemployment area where jobs are plentiful that’s the Department of Human Services has trouble keeping people in these jobs because their case loads are so high . So the State address there about a year ago with putting more money into the Division of Children and Family Services . So we saw some of those case loads go down , but we haven’t seen them go down enough and they’re starting to creep back up again . And just to let you know what that means it’s about you know 30 kids per caseworker and the recommended number is 15 so we’re with the recommended number on them .
And so with this report , you’re looking at a lot of different factors in terms of poverty and racial and ethnic ethnic disparities still exist and that something is , is it growing as the region grows and becomes more diverse. Is that what you found in this report .
Children of color , more than twice as likely to live in poverty as their white peers their non-Hispanic white peers and those numbers are about 33% of African-American kids and about 33% of Hispanic kids live in poverty , compared to 15% of non-Hispanic white kids and so we were really wanting to point out is you know this is a long history of inequality that really has created the situation that we’re in and public policy really kind of dictated that over centuries. Really . And so what we’re trying to do is really point out the kind of public policy changes that we can make to provide opportunities for kids that they need to thrive . And the reason this is so important is , I mean you’ve seen some of the statistics lately about how much more diverse our region is growing and so this is our opportunity today . Do we want to continue to grow as a region that has this huge gap in opportunities for children or do we want to put in place the kind of policy opportunities that we could , that would help us grow to be a region where there were , there is much less inequality . So what are some of those ways that you can address the inequalities . Yes . So if you could take it wouldn’t be an Arkansas advocates report if we didn’t put forward a pragmatic policy solutions that we think that can actually work at an Arkansas , one of the things you know so we had this great income inequality in northwest Arkansas and one of the things that we recommend is that if the legislature is going to cut taxes which they look on their way to do in 2019 that we need to really target tax cut to low-income people to help even out some of that inequality and so we have proposed state level earned income tax credit and there you know there’s a federal income tax credit , you know . president Reagan said was one of the best ways you know the best anti-poverty policy that Congress ever passed . And so they really works at the federal level , but most states have a state EITC ITC as well and Arkansas does not , and so we’re really trying to get the state to look at that , like if you’re going to cut taxes and cut the state revenue , then let’s put it directly to low-income families because guess what . Those are the families who are going to spend it right back into the community at your at their local stores and businesses . So we recommend that another thing that we’re calling for is investing in early childhood education . These are the type of opportunities you know really quality early childhood education makes all the difference in preparing a low income child or a child who lives in poverty to be ready for kindergarten . And if they’re ready then they’re more likely to be reading on time and they’re more likely to sort of turn around that economic gap that their family , is it . And so we , we recommend that the state has really not put forth a lot of investment towards that in the last few years . And so we want to make sure that we do that and we also recommend that the raise the minimum wage , which is on the ballot in November . So everyone will have an opportunity to have a say in that as well we have several other recommendations too , then people can read that in your report , which is on your website . Yes . And it’s at AR advocates oh r g . One other thing that we want to make sure people understand when they see these indicators in these statistics is that low-income families and children in poverty live in northwest Arkansas . I mean , that sounds like a really obvious thing to say but when people think about kids in poverty in Arkansas , they don’t often think of Northwest Arkansas and so we want to make sure that people understand you know 22,000 kids live in poverty and Washington counties and , when we are talking about programs that really help families economic security from snap , which is also known as food stamps to Children’s Health Insurance Program , like our kids first you know 50,000 kids in northwest Arkansas have their access to healthcare through our kids first and so the , we just want to make sure that people understand when you see the debates at the federal level over supporting these programs are not that how many families and office Arkansas are really on the front line of that debate and that we need to know that thing is much for your time . Thank you for having me .
That was Laura columns director of Arkansas advocates for Children and Families northwest Arkansas for speaking with Ozarks at large as Antoinette grader earlier this week the nonprofit published another study this week that shows about one in 4 Arkansas workers almost 300,000 would benefit from an increase in the state’s minimum wage. The proposal , which will be on the November ballot would gradually increase Arkansas‘ hourly minimum wage from $8.50 to $11 by 20-21 . You can read more about this report as well as the Child Poverty Report at a are advocates.org and disclaimer time I had nothing to do with the assigning editing preparation or riding of this story or columns is my wife .
The North West Arkansas Democrat-Gazette the region’s daily newspaper offers local news where we live play and work in Benton and Washington counties , it’s one newspaper for one region , the North West Arkansas Democrat-Gazette online ET in W A D , E g.com the Alma Performing Arts Center presents the national tour of Wizard of Oz October 6th at 8:00 PM this family friendly production includes a real dog it offers special effects with choreography in classic songs Alma PAC.org or 6-3 2 21-29 for tickets.
During the civil war. There were more than 770 offensive military operations across Arkansas only Missouri Virginia and Tennessee some more military activity between 1861 and 1865 one of those offensive operations took place in Greenwood on a ridge called devil’s backbone . A local group wants to preserve the battlefield those aren’t at large is Zuzana SciTech found out more about their efforts .
The devil’s backbone has always been.
Passion of man to try to see something preserved.
Greenwood Fire Chief Stewart Bryan is standing next to a battlefield dioramas that’s on display at Greenwood’s or jail Museum which is run by the South Sebastian County Historical Society Brian who is a past president of the organization in civil war history buff explains what’s happening in the miniature battle playing out before us.
You are standing at the bottom of the hill , with the Union troops and they are looking up the hill and at the top of the hill is where the Confederate troops under General cable Erika mill , where they set up an ambush and they have a couple of mountain howitzers F on top of the hill and hand in at the bottom of the hills where the Union troops are.
The battle of devil’s backbone took place on September first 18-60 3 right in the middle of the civil war. Brian says over the course of several hours 1,250 Confederate troops were able to hold off 2 frontal assaults .