Confronting Suburban Poverty in America
Publication Year: 2013
It has been nearly a half century since President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty. Back in the 1960s tackling poverty "in place" meant focusing resources in the inner city and in rural areas. The suburbs were seen as home to middle- and upper-class families affluent commuters and homeowners looking for good schools and safe communities in which to raise their kids. But today's America is a very different place. Poverty is no longer just an urban or rural problem, but increasingly a suburban one as well. In Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube take on the new reality of metropolitan poverty and opportunity in America.
After decades in which suburbs added poor residents at a faster pace than cities, the 2000s marked a tipping point. Suburbia is now home to the largest and fastest-growing poor population in the country and more than half of the metropolitan poor. However, the antipoverty infrastructure built over the past several decades does not fit this rapidly changing geography. As Kneebone and Berube cogently demonstrate, the solution no longer fits the problem.
The spread of suburban poverty has many causes, including shifts in affordable housing and jobs, population dynamics, immigration, and a struggling economy. The phenomenon raises several daunting challenges, such as the need for more (and better) transportation options, services, and financial resources. But necessity also produces opportunity in this case, the opportunity to rethink and modernize services, structures, and procedures so that they work in more scaled, cross-cutting, and resource-efficient ways to address widespread need. This book embraces that opportunity.
Kneebone and Berube paint a new picture of poverty in America as well as the best ways to combat it. Confronting Suburban Poverty in America offers a series of workable recommendations for public, private, and nonprofit leaders seeking to modernize poverty alleviation and community development strategies and connect residents with economic opportunity. The authors highlight efforts in metro areas where local leaders are learning how to do more with less and adjusting their approaches to address the metropolitan scale of poverty for example, integrating services and service delivery, collaborating across sectors and jurisdictions, and using data-driven and flexible funding strategies.
"We believe the goal of public policy must be to provide all families with access to communities, whether in cities or suburbs, that offer a high quality of life and solid platform for upward mobility over time. Understanding the new reality of poverty in metropolitan America is a critical step toward realizing that goal." from Chapter One
Published by: Brookings Institution Press
I t has been nearly a half century since President Lyndon Johnson declared war ...
Table of Contents
In January 1964 President Lyndon Johnson spoke to Congress and theAmerican people to announce that the United States was declaring a waragainst poverty: ?It will not be a short or easy struggle,? said Johnson.?No single weapon or strategy will suffice, but we shall not rest untilthat war is won. The richest Nation on earth can afford to win it. We...
We first got into the issue of suburban poverty by accident. We came tothe Metropolitan Policy Program to study the social issues facing citiesand regions, most notably poverty, and to advance public policy thataddresses them. Both of us were motivated to pursue this line of workby journalists such as Alex Kotlowitz and scholars such as William...
Poverty and the Suburbs: An Introduction
Drive about forty-five miles east of San Francisco, tracing a route acrossthe Bay Bridge, through the Caldecott Tunnel outside Oakland, past thewealthy suburbs of central Contra Costa County, and along the CaliforniaDelta Highway that eventually leads to the state?s Central Valley. Thereyou find a series of communities in transition? from industrial cities to...
Suburban Poverty, by the Numbers
Lakewood, Ohio, hugs the city of Cleveland?s northwest border. It is anarchitecturally diverse community. Some of its 50,000-plus residents livein Tudor homes in beautiful neighborhoods along Lake Erie. Others livein high-rise apartment buildings in the city?s nearby Gold Coast section.Still others live in smaller bungalows and multifamily duplexes that line...
Behind the Numbers: What's Driving Suburban Poverty?
The communities of South King County, Washington, inhabit the shad-ows of one of the nation?s leading economic lights: Seattle. Yet some ofThe small city of Tukwila, located along the city of Seattle?s southernborder, exemplifies that phenomenon. For much of the postwar period,Boeing plant or the Port of Seattle and its related warehouse industry....
The Implications of Suburban Poverty
On Pittsburgh?s eastern border lies the suburban city of Penn Hills, thesecond-largest community in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. PennHills came of age in the mid-twentieth century as a middle-class bed-room community for workers and managers at the nearby WestinghouseElectric Company, among other once-significant Pittsburgh-area firms....
Fighting Today's Poverty with Yesterday's Policies
Chicago, America?s ?second city,? has been getting a second lookrecently, with the election in 2011 of its first new mayor in more thantwo decades, the emergence of more of its corporations on the globalstage, and the 2012 reelection of one of its own as president of theFor all of Chicago?s urban muscle, though, it remains a heavily subur-...
Innovating Locally to Confront Suburban Poverty
...wealthiest counties. In 2010, it ranked twelfth in the nation forlawyers, consultants, scientists, technology workers, and govern-changing the scope and scale of need among the county?s residents.The 2000s, in particular, were a period of marked transformationand people to the county and a slight drop in the number of residents liv-...
Modernizing the Metropolitan Opportunity Agenda
In November 2011, a group of representatives from local organizationsmet in Bay Point, California, one of the Cities of Carquinez at the east-ern edge of the San Francisco Bay Area. All of the participants, whoincluded professionals in workforce development, homelessness andhunger prevention, legal aid, human services, philanthropy, and commu-...
Page Count: 169
Publication Year: 2013