Misplaced Priorities?

Apr 30, 2013 | | categories: Advocacy

The following post was written by long-time supporter, friend and University Settlement Board member, Steve Schall:

I recently met with fellow Board members and executive staff at University Settlement and our affiliate, The Door. The discussion focused on the upcoming July-to-June fiscal year. Like many human service organizations, we have programs with tenuous government funding as well as programs whose vital services to low-income children, young people, adults, seniors and families have already been slashed.

We are talking about after-school programs closing, leaving more than 700 of our children with nowhere (safe and productive) to go; hundreds of children under the age of 5 with developmental delays unable to access even a measly 30 minutes of service a week. 30 minutes! And hundreds of runaway and homeless youth at risk of being cast out even more.

University Settlement Advocacy Steve SchallAll this set to crumble around us as Congress literally rushed to address the "onerous" impact of flight delays caused by the 5% sequestration cuts on air traffic controllers. Last Thursday, as I sat in a meeting trying to wrap my mind around the tens of thousands of children and families whose lives will be at best stalled, at worst set in reverse by cuts to truly vital programs, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill that would end the furloughs of air traffic controllers.

I don't deny the necessity of efficient travel and I'm pleased that we don't have to count thousands of air traffic controllers among our country's unemployed, especially as that number will undoubtedly grow with parents losing the affordable childcare options that let them work. I do wonder - and I know I'm not alone - about the priorities of our nation's leaders when the threat of flight delays causes more panic than that of the life delays that will certainly accompany these cuts in human services.

Six comments:

It's like we have lost our way and our minds. Thanks Steve for your advocacy.

— Larry S. , April 30, 2013

Exactly right

— Ellen S, April 30, 2013

Amen to that, Steve -- it's truly appalling to see what passes for "action" in Congress. Why is it that shortcuts, quick fixes and superficial band-aids almost always take precedence over good, thoughtful, proven programs for the underserved that would ultimately have a far, far more reaching impact?? Very troubling indeed!

— Betty Londergan, April 30, 2013

Poor folk just don't figure as prominently on the electoral landscape to tip the scales of justice...yet. Cynicism aside--no choice but to "keep on keepin' on".

— David L., May 1, 2013

Your comparison highlights the precarious state of our current value system. Those of us who do not agree with the shift suffer in empathy for the those left in a lurch.

— Lisa Schiller, May 1, 2013

With the airlines on track, maybe we can fly our needy children to countries that actually support children!

— Dan M., May 1, 2013

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