Former Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards was in Hartford today (Thursday) promoting his anti-poverty campaign.
The "Half in Ten" Campaign hopes to cut poverty in America by 50% in 10 years. Senator Edwards met with community leaders and politicians at the Hartford Boys and Girls Club to discuss how they can fight poverty at the local level.
Edwards says there has not been an effective national policy to fight poverty in nearly 40 years and he blames leadership in Washington.
"Most people in America, working families, middle class families, they have enough struggles just to get by themselves. So they're not spending a lot of their day thinking about those who are struggling more than they are. That's what leadership is about. That's why we desperatly need national leadership."
According to Edwards, part of fighting poverty in America is creating a living wage and affordable housing. Edwards says Connecticut's Governor Jodi Rell was wrong to try to veto an increase in the state's minimum wage.
"In the places where the minimum wage has been raised by states or local governments above the national minimum wage, the studies show that the economioes have actually impoved. Because what happens is, number one, peolle are able to support themselves. Number two, they make more money so they infuse the local economy with more money. And because of those things the local economy grows and jobs are created. Obviously the people who overrode her veto understood that."
In 2004 Connecticut passed a mandate to cut the child poverty rate by 50%. Jim Horan of the Connecticut Association of Human Services homes Senator Edwards' visit will spotlight the fact that there has been no change in the child poverty rate since the law was passed.