Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
Many of of us simply accept the notion that Lowell is destined to be a city strapped by poverty, with a broad swath of social maladies plaguing it. That this condition just is.
Do we ever wonder, if those serving the less fortunate among us are truly motivated to minimize poverty? Or, are they inclined to sustain an “acceptable level,” so that they may enjoy a long and fulfilling career? Do the do gooders do as much good, as they could do?
Community Teamwork, Inc. is the mothership of such services.
SAVE COMMUNITY ACTION!
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Programs that serve our Most Vulnerable Citizens are targeted for cuts by the Obama Administration. See our fact sheet to see how Community Action impacts the Greater Lowell area. Help save Community Action–the only nation-wide program providing a comprehensive approach to helping vulnerable families! Find out more at www.capworks.org
Mission CTI’s Mission is to assist low-income people to become self-sufficient, to alleviate the effects of poverty, and to assist low-income people to participate in the decisions that affect their lives.
CTI will be an advocate and catalyst for systemic change on issues that affect low-income people, including education, workforce training, housing, economic development, and civic engagement.
CTI is not a passive organization, by the way. They work hard at engaging the community around them, applying themselves at every level. My understanding is that CTI’s Executive Director Karen Fredericks
Testerman encourages staff members to seek public office.
This holistic philosophy has recently taken an interesting turn.
Besides CTI, he is also representing the Massachusetts Chiropractic Society and a California-based educational services firm he also does consulting work for.
In addition to running his Lowell-based law firm, Panagiotakos has also worked as a strategic policy adviser for the firm Greenwood & Hall, a national educational firm that contracts with universities to assist with admissions, financial services, retention and other student services, after leaving the Senate. Greenwood & Hall is now one of Panagiotakos’s lobbying clients.
Panagiotakos said he is still working out what his clients’ legislative priorities will be. He said he is not advocating for any particular piece of legislation.
He said his work with CTI, a local nonprofit community action agency, will focus on issues such as housing, homelessness, mental health assistance and employment.
“Right now it’s in its infancy,” he said. “Strategizing. Getting it up and running.”
In the 1990’s, President Clinton and Speaker Gingrich charted a course that was meant to cut the welfare roles. However, let’s consider what has happened since then. What have we accomplished? And, as we strive to shrink government until we can drown in a bathtub, do we mean to make government go away? Or, are we simply transforming it? Are we creating a privatized system that sustains itself on tending to the needy in such a way that poverty will continue to be generational?
Taxpayers are burdened with huge costs associated to micro-economies fastened to industries in Energy, Defense & Health Care sectors. When we try to cut these “structural costs,” a legion of advocates gush forth to quell the populist uprising.
Locally, we have our own micro-economy. How many homes/apartments are paid for or subsidized by Section 8? How much home heating is subsidized? Food? Do the sellers of these goods and services take a “haircut?” We know doctors don’t get full rate for Medicaid? Do absentee landlords get full market rate for the apartments they rent? We have local convenience stores trading EBT credits for booze and cigarettes. Have you heard about the sting busting these store owners? ;v)
Truthfully, part of me is proud, and thankful, that Lowell endeavors to help the less fortunate. I was lucky enough to have had someone there when my family was challenged. It is critical that a safety net be there for those that need a “hand up.” Further, there are those among us that will always need a “hand out.” For various reasons, some folks can’t make it on their own. As humans, we must do what we can to assist, if not completely carry them. In between the brackets of occasional assistance and full institutional care is the wheelhouse of many not-for-profit organizations, like CTI. What checks and balances do we have to ensure that they are run efficiently? That the senior management and executive staff are fairly compensated for what the do? For those skeptical that govenment can, let alone should, provide such services; what proof can we give them?
Once, this city was great at pumping out cloth. That carried Lowell for several decades. Now, we excel at propping up paupers. How long can we do this? How long should we?
PS. For context, please watch the video below. Thanks to Felicia Sullivan for her timely facebook post.
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