KANKAKEE – The Illinois Commission on the Elimination of Poverty has scheduled a public hearing for Thursday in Kankakee where members hope to gather people from Grundy, Kankakee and Will counties to give testimony on Illinois’ poverty issues.
“In the past we have urged people impacted by poverty, or organizations that are addressing poverty to attend our public hearings,” said Kim Drew, project manager of Economic Security Policy with Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights. “We want to know what poverty looks like in the Kankakee and surrounding areas like Grundy and Will counties.”
The Illinois Commission on the Elimination of Poverty is an organization focused on the elimination of poverty in Illinois in a manner consistent with international human rights standards, according to its website www.poverty.illinois.gov.
The commission is working to implement a Poverty Elimination Strategy which aims to cut in half the number of people in Illinois who live in extreme poverty.
“We want to know what the state can do better and what policies can address poverty,” Drew said.
The commission will reflect on advances made over the last year, and seek input from the public.
“When we fail to adequately prevent the issues surrounding extreme poverty, the cost to taxpayers is much higher than if we actually provide real solutions for the people,” Grundy County Housing Authority CEO Brent Newman said. “Sometimes I think people believe their voices don’t matter, but perhaps the idea they share is a really good one; it could change the lives of thousands of people. I hope both the local and public agencies will attend.”
The group is requesting testimony related to the progress made by the state in reducing extreme poverty, as well as suggestions for specific policy solutions the state should advance in the coming year.
IF YOU GO
What: Public hearing on state poverty
When: 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday at the Azzarelli Building, 145 W. Broadview Drive, Kankakee
On the agenda:
• 6 to 6:15 p.m. – Introduction to the Commission
• 6:15 to 8 p.m. – Oral testimony from the public
Food will be served