Monday, August 17, 2009

4th DIstrict Candidate Forum on Duluth Poverty Issue is on Aug. 26th

The public is encouraged to attend a District 4 city council candidates’ forum on poverty issues on August 26 at the Harrison Community Club 3002 Grand Avenue from 6:00-7:30 pm.

All District 4 candidates who filed with election officials by the July 15 deadline have confirmed their attendance. The candidates for the 4th District City Council seat are Kerry Gauthier, Gordon Grant, Heath Hickok, Matt Potter and Celia Scheer.

The forum, scheduled for 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. , will feature five questions posed by people from the Duluth community currently experiencing poverty. If time allows, questions from the audience will also be included.

The event was initiated by graduates of the Blandin Foundation’s - Leaders Partnering to End Poverty (LPEP) in Duluth who wanted to help city leaders better understand key poverty issues and hear candidates’ visions for a healthier community.

Event sponsors include the League of Women Voters-Duluth, Community Action Duluth, Twin Ports Action Coalition, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, CHUM and the A.H. Zeppa Family Foundation.

The event is free. Refreshments will be served.

Some relevant statistics on poverty:

  1. According to U.S. Census Data for 2000, the poverty level in Duluth of 15.5% is dramatically larger in comparison to the national (12.4%) and state (7.9%) rates.
  2. According to the 2009 Race Matters Report, 93% of the Duluth population is white and 13% of them are living below the poverty level. Less than 2% of the Duluth population is African American, yet more than 40% of the African American population is living below the poverty level. Native Americans make up 2.5% of the Duluth population, yet more than 43% of Native Americans are living below the poverty level.
  3. Women and children make up 50% of homeless people in St. Louis County .