Smith Statement on Joining Democratic Whip’s Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity
Today, Congressman Smith joined the Democratic Whip’s Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity, chaired by Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Congressman Smith released the following statement regarding his new membership in the Task Force:
November 3, 2015
“Today, I am honored to announce that I have joined the Democratic Whip’s Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity, chaired by Congresswoman Barbara Lee. This Task Force examines inequities in our society and looks at policy proposals to expand opportunity in areas including higher education, job training and employment, and stable housing. I look forward to engaging with my colleagues on the Whip’s Task Force to work to remove barriers that stand in the way of hard-working Americans reaching the middle class. Over the past few decades we have institutionalized barriers that too often keep people in poverty and limit economic prosperity. This cannot stand and we must do better.
Americans today are confronted with a system where upward mobility has become increasingly out of reach. As the son of a ramp serviceman at the SeaTac airport, I often wonder how my family would fare under the same circumstances today. My father made upwards of $15 an hour with benefits for United Airlines in the 1980s. In today’s economy, similar jobs in our region often only earn $9.47, an amount that simply isn’t enough to provide for a family in King County.
I am committed to increasing the jobs here at home and ensuring that we have a strong, well-trained workforce. Throughout my time in Congress, I have been working to do just that. Not only have I supported robust investments in education and workforce training and development, but I have also supported programs to assist American manufacturers access new markets. Additionally, I have pushed to increase the minimum wage to ensure our workers are compensated fairly for their work and can be part of our country’s middle class.
In the coming months, the Task Force will continue to consult with key stakeholders and work closely with the Administration to develop support for a national strategy to eradicate poverty. We will evaluate the impact of anti-poverty programs, as well as the long-term economic outcomes of the Americans who receive assistance; and remove barriers and obstacles that prevent low-income Americans from joining the middle class. I am looking forward to working with the Task Force to develop policies that reduce poverty and create a better future for all Americans.”
“I am thrilled to have Congressman Adam Smith join the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “In Congress, Rep. Smith is a tireless champion for working families and good paying jobs. His work to advance American manufacturing in the Puget Sound region and across the country has helped lift families into the middle class. I look forward to working with Rep. Smith to build pathways out of poverty by raising the minimum wage, creating good paying jobs, and strengthening our safety net for vulnerable families.”
“I’m pleased to welcome Rep. Smith to our Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality, and Opportunity,” said Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer. “From pushing for an increase in the minimum wage to supporting investments in workforce development and training, Rep. Smith has been a tireless advocate for working men and women. I thank him for his dedication to lifting more of our people out of poverty and into the middle class, and I look forward to working with him to continue to advance our agenda of job creation and economic opportunity for all Americans.”