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DeJongh To Hold Anti-Poverty Summit

May 5, 2009 — A daylong summit on poverty and economic opportunity in the Virgin Islands will take place beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, May 8, at St. Croix's Carambola Resort, bringing together stakeholders from the private and public sectors of the community.
“The summit will cover a range of topics which will generate recommendations which will guide the anti-poverty agenda of my Administration,” Gov. John P. deJongh, Jr. said in a statement. DeJongh, who is hosting the conference, said he intends to develop a task force under the Children and Families Council and charge it with refining and adopting this agenda and producing a strategic plan for poverty reduction in the territory.
Keynote speaker Jodie Levin-Epstein, deputy director of the Center for Law and Social Policy, will focus on working conditions — issues such as paid leave and workplace flexibility, particularly as they impact on low income workers.
Levin-Epstein has written many publications for CLASP, including "Getting Punched: The Job and Family Clock," and was recently published in Mother Load, a special report by The American Prospect. She has worked to create paid sick days legislation, and mobilize progressive businesses to support new labor standards.
Breakout panel discussions planned for the summit include:
— Income and Assets: Programs and policies that help families build assets in addition to increasing household income.
— Adult Education & Employment: Imparting the skills and education necessary to secure good jobs and build careers.
— Work Supports & Safety Net: Ensuring that families can rely on a strong public safety net when they experience periods of hardship.
— Housing: Supporting the basic needs for shelter by providing families with affordable housing options.
— Health: Reducing the impact of health-related issues on the financial well-being of families.
— Family Structure: Encouraging stable, two-parent households as a means of economic security for their children.
Those who want to register can do so by visiting the summit's website. For more information, call Karl Knight or Angeli Ferdschneider at 773-1404 or Rebecca Smock at 774-0001, extension 4316
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