Tuesday Word: Rich, but not rich

We talked this Sunday about how, from many views, Edmontonians are part of the top 1% or 2% in the world – certainly in access to resources and overall income.  We have to keep in mind our general view and position in the world as we discern who God is calling us to be, and how to act.

However, to be sure, this is a complex story.

It should draw the attention of those generally-well-off why it is that some in Edmonton live and exist well below the poverty line.  In fact, city numbers by population submit that 1 in 8 of us are living in poverty.  In Fulton Place, I think the numbers are different, but Fulton Place is not the complete image of Edmonton.

While our general position in the world holds, we must also face the hard facts of why such poverty exists in the richest province in one of the best countries of the world.

Thankfully we live in a city where our local leaders are asking the same questions.  In fact, they asked the church to help them do it.  Don Iveson asked our Bishop Jane to co-chair a committee that has researched and determined a plan and roadmap to end poverty in Edmonton

Not surprisingly, they address systematic issues underlying local poverty.  You may be surprised that the first issue is racism.  Who us?  Yes.  The group found it to be one of the top issues keeping people in poverty.

As Christian people, it should not surprise us that real change requires facing the difficult realities of ourselves.  It is one of the reasons we include confession in worship – to draw us to face those difficult things in the love and care of community so that we may begin a new life together.  (Do you know that middle-upper class lifestyles cannot ever be sustained across the whole world population, our planet does not have the resources or space.)

Have a read of the End Poverty Edmonton Priorities at a glance and learn more here: http://www.endpovertyedmonton.ca/

Jonathan+

 

EndPovertyEdmonton: Priorities at a Glance

 

TOWARD TRUE RECONCILIATION

  1. Establish an Aboriginal culture and wellness centre
  2. Initiate people-first and trauma-informed policy

and practice

  1. Implement a community witness program
  2. Provide opportunities where Aboriginal people

in poverty can “show and grow” their talents

  1. Make systemic changes to better reflect the

needs, interests and culture of Aboriginal people

 

JUSTICE FOR ALL

  1. Eliminate racism
  2. Decriminalize poverty
  3. Make it easier to vote and participate in elections
  4. Make Edmonton a “human rights city”

 

MOVE PEOPLE OUT OF POVERTY

  1. Advocate for livable incomes for Edmontonians
  2. Make transit reliable, accessible and affordable

for Edmontonians

  1. Improve and expand transit services
  2. Negotiate with other orders of government to increase

funding for affordable and supportive housing as well

as rental subsidy programs

  1. Develop a community-based learning group

to look at housing and zoning innovations

  1. Improve skills training to help people gain

sustainable employment

  1. Improve literacy
  2. Reduce barriers to getting information

and accessing City programs and services

  1. Help people navigate systems in order

to access resources and opportunities

  1. Improve timely access to mental health

and wellness services

 

INVEST IN OUR POVERTY-FREE FUTURE

  1. Grow social enterprises to build sustainable livelihood

and assets

  1. Invest in food security-oriented enterprises aimed

at increasing food access and gainful employment

  1. Partner with community organizations and other

stakeholders to create a community development

corporation

  1. Plan and implement a system of early learning and care
  2. Reduce barriers for children and families to access

services, including out-of-school care and respite care

  1. Advocate to the provincial government for the

implementation of culturally sensitive curricula and for

standards that require well-educated staff in all early

learning and care centres

  1. Advocate to the provincial government for sustainable,

predictable and adequate funding for school-based

wrap-around services

  1. Keep the individual at the centre in providing care,

services and supports

 

CHANGE THE CONVERSATION:

BUILD A MOVEMENT TO END POVERTY

  1. Launch a collaborative broad-based community

engagement and education initiative to change

people’s attitudes about poverty