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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2008

Governor Blagojevich Announces Schedule for Illinois Poverty Summit
Summit to Focus on Income Supports and Assets; Employment; Healthcare Access, Food & Nutrition; Housing

CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the preliminary schedule for the upcoming Illinois Poverty Summit, entitled Opportunities for Change: Taking Action to End Extreme Poverty in Illinois, on December 9th and 10th, 2008 at Northwestern University in Evanston.  The summit will focus on four broad themes: Income Supports and Assets; Employment and Opportunities; Healthcare Access, Food & Nutrition; and Housing. There will be four different breakout sessions for each theme.  Each breakout session will serve as a setting where participants will be challenged to think about barriers and also come up with viable, tangible solutions to extreme poverty.  The entire schedule can be viewed on the website at www.illinois.gov/povertysummit.

 

“Too many Illinoisans live in extreme poverty.  With the focus on these four areas of need, I am confident the Illinois Poverty Summit will produce comprehensive, viable solutions to eliminate extreme poverty in Illinois,” said Governor Blagojevich.

 

The following sessions are currently scheduled for the summit:

 

December 9, 2008

INCOME SUPPORTS AND ASSETS:

·        “Strengthening Illinois’ Safety Net – Helping People Meet Basic Needs”

·         “Protecting Assets – Holding On To What You Have”

EMPLOYMENT & OPPORTUNITIES:

·        “Relationships between Deep Poverty & Chronic Unemployment/Underemployment”

·        “Successful Strategies to Employ People with Significant Barriers”

HEALTHCARE ACCESS/FOOD & NUTRITION:

·        “Access to Health Care”

·        “Access to Food and Nutrition”

HOUSING:

·         “Helping Those in Greatest Need – Supportive Housing”

·         “Staying Housed – Homelessness Prevention”

 

December 10, 2008

INCOME SUPPORTS AND ASSETS:

·        “Providing Work Supports – Enhancing Illinois Families’ Bottom Line”

·        “Lifetime Savings Opportunities – Preparing For A Strong Financial Future”

EMPLOYMENT & OPPORTUNITIES:

·        “Strategies to Help Low Wage Workers Obtain Better Paying Jobs”

·        “Opportunities and Priorities for Illinois

HEALTHCARE ACCESS/FOOD & NUTRITION:

·        Access to Mental Health Services”

·        Improving Birth Outcomes and Access to Family Planning”

HOUSING:

·        “Making Housing Affordable – Rental Assistance”

·        “Affordable Housing - How Do You Pay For It and Build It?”

 

The opening plenary session will feature a keynote address by Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) and a long time proponent of human rights and the elimination of extreme poverty nationwide.

 

“With more than 37 million Americans living in poverty—and more than 13 million of them children, nearly 6 million of whom live in extreme poverty—the Illinois Poverty Summit couldn’t come at a more important moment. Not only do we have a moral obligation to lift every poor child and adult out of poverty but doing so will help every community in Illinois.  It is time for each one of us to step up and commit ourselves to ending child poverty in every corner of America and I thank the Governor for making this a priority” said Mrs. Edelman.



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