Alabama Commission to Reduce Poverty

Background

In 2009, the Alabama State Legislature passed a law establishing a permanent Commission to Reduce Poverty. The Commission is required to present a report to the state legislature at the beginning of each session. They are commissioned to study and evaluate state-supported programs, current policies and services, and recommendations and proposed legislation that serve or affect Alabamians living in poverty. It also will look at the impact of poverty on the state’s ability to attract economic development.

Progress

The Commission has convened three times since May 2009. During the first meeting, they elected officers and entered into a discussion about the Commission’s goals. Representative Patrica Todd was elected as the board chair, and Kristina Scott of the Alabama Poverty Project was elected as the vice-chair.

During the second meeting, members of the poverty commission invited Jodi Levin-Epstein, Deputy Director of the Center for Law and Social Policy, to report on other state poverty commissions and to advise them going forward. Read a report of her remarks here.

At the last meeting, Larry Lee of the Center for Rural Alabama spoke about rural education, and Jennifer Clarke spoke about neighborhood revitalization. Read a recap of the meeting.

News

June 24, 2010: Larry Lee addresses the third meeting of the Alabama Commission to Reduce Poverty

May 2010: The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham has awarded APP a $14,000 matching grant to support the Commission’s work.

January 2010: Rep. Patricia Todd filed the Commission’s 2010 Progress Report to the Alabama State legislature

Follow blog updates on the Commission’s work

Feedback

We want your ideas: what strategies should the Commission examine? Email kscott@alabamapoverty.org or reptodd@gmail.com with the subject line “Poverty Commission.”

Resources

Read reports from poverty reduction task forces in other states

Commission members

View the members of the Alabama State Commission to Reduce Poverty