Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day, and I thought I would take a minute to contribute.

Admittedly my contact with poverty has always been safe and removed. I grew up in a relatively well-off household where my parents paid for an expensive education for myself and my brothers. I've lived in some poor neighborhoods in Los Angeles, but I've always had a stable job and was there more as a financial choice than necessity. I certainly saw the effects of poverty around me, but I was never affected. So although I've lived a very lucky life I do realise that poverty exists and finding the means to pay bills and feed your family is a huge problem for a large number of Americans.

I think a large part of the problem is the current administration and the years of trickle-down economic policy that have left the lower class withered and dying. That's why voting and choosing to vote for Barack Obama is one of the steps I'm taking to fight poverty. From tax relief, to expanding child support facilities for low-income families, encouraging investment in local communities, and investing in re-training programs for workers in industries that are either dying or being outsourced, Barack Obama has a plan of action to revitalize the working class which is and always has been the foundation of the American economy.

Secondly, my charity of choice is Kiva, which I was pleasantly surprised to see highlighted on the Blog Action Day site. Kiva is a service that provides microloans to entrepreneurs in developing areas, giving them the tools to lift themselves out of poverty. You can invest anywhere from $25 to $500 in a microloan that will be repaid by the recipient. I think it's such a brilliant idea because it squashes the idea that giving to a charity you're simply giving away your money. This is investment that gets directly to the people that need it and will help improve communities.

Many thanks to Clito for highlighting Blog Action Day and being a relentless source of optimism and change.