UPTOWN INEQUALITY

August 30, 2018 at 5:00 am

A sobering report on racial inequality and income disparity in uptown Manhattan.

Aired on August 29, 2018. 

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>> INEQUALITY BETWEEN RACIAL
AND ETHNIC GROUPS IN TERMS OF
INCOME, HEALTH CARE, HOUSING,
EDUCATION AND OPPORTUNITY IS
OFTEN EVEN GREATER IN NORTHERN
MANHATTAN THAN CITYWIDE.
A ANY REPORT CELEBRATING
STRENGTH ADDRESSING NEEDS BY THE
CITIZEN'S COMMUNITY FOR CHILDREN
OF NEW YORK, A NONPROFIT
CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY ORGANIZATION
IS IMPROVING THE WELL BEING OF
THE 500,000 RESIDENTS AND 90,000
CHILDREN IN NORTHERN MANHATTAN.
AND JOINING US NOW TO TALK ABOUT
THAT REPORT AS PART OF OUR
ONGOING INITIATIVE, CHASING THE
DREAM, POVERTY AND OPPORTUNITY
IN AMERICA, IS JENNIFER MARCH,
THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE
CITIZEN'S COMMITTEE FOR
CHILDREN.
JENNIFER, WELCOME TO THE
PROGRAM.
>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.
>> SO JENNIFER, WHAT IS THE
PRINCIPLE MISSION OF YOUR
ORGANIZATION?
>> SO, CITIZENS FOR CHILDREN ARE
OFTEN REFERRED TO AS CCC IS A
CHILD ADVOCACY ORGANIZATION
WHOSE MISSION IS TO ENSURE THAT
EVERY CHILD IS HEALTHY, HOUSED,
EDUCATED AND SAFE.
>> TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT
THIS REPORT, FIRST OF ALL, WHY
DID YOU FOCUS, DECIDE TO FOCUS
IN NORTHERN MANHATTAN?
AND WHAT IS NORTHERN MANHATTAN?
>> IT INCLUDES WEST HARLEM,
CENTRAL HARLEM AND WASHINGTON
HEIGHTS AND WE CHOSE TO FOCUS
OUR REPORT ON THIS DISTRICT
BECAUSE WE HAVE A LARGE DATA SET
CALLED KEEPING TRACK OF NEW YORK
CITY'S CHILDREN AND WE LOOK AT
THE DATA ACROSS DIFFERENT
IMPORTANT DOMAINS, ECONOMIC
SECURITY, HOUSING, HEALTH,
EDUCATION, YOUTH AND FAMILY AND
COMMUNITY.
WE SEE THAT NORTHERN MANHATTAN
RANKS VERY HIGH RISK FOR
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.
>> ALL RIGHT, WE'RE GOING TO
TALK ABOUT THE NEEDS THAT ARE
SHARED OVERALL IN NORTHERN
MANHATTAN, BUT LET'S FOCUS ON
EACH OF WHAT YOU CALL THE
COMMUNITY DISTRICTS.
TALK ABOUT -- WILL YOU TALK
ABOUT THAT, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE
UNIQUE NEEDS OF EACH OF THOSE
DISTRICTS?
>> SO I THINK IN WASHINGTON
HEIGHTS WHAT'S A VERY UNIQUE
NEED IS SOCIAL -- IMMIGRATION
STATUS, WE HAVE HIGHER RATES OF
ADULTS WITH LIMITED ENGLISH
ABILITY, AND REALLY CONCERNS
GIVEN THE NATIONAL CLIMATE
AROUND IMMIGRATION ABOUT SEEKING
SERVICES.
SO THAT'S ONE PARTICULARLY
UNIQUE NEED TO WASHINGTON
HEIGHTS.
AND CENTRAL HARLEM AND WEST
HARLEM, WHAT WE'RE SEEING IS
LARGER THAN AVERAGE SHARES OF
ADULT HOUSEHOLDS HEADS THAT LACK
A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA AND WHO
ARE STUCK IN EMPLOYMENT SECTORS
WHERE WAGE GROWTH IS LIMITED.
>> SPEAKING MORE BROADLY, YOU
KNOW, HOW DOES THE POVERTY RATE
OF NORTHERN MANHATTAN GENERALLY
COMPARE TO THE POVERTY RATE
CITYWIDE?
>> WHAT'S INTERESTING IS THAT
THERE'S BEEN A MORE DRAMATIC
DECLINE IN CHILD POVERTY RATES
IN THE DISTRICT AS A WHOLE THAN
THE CITY OVERALL.
SO THE POVERTY RATE HAS
DECLINED, ALMOST 4%, WHERE
OVERALL IN THE CITY IT'S
DECLINED 1% OVER THE LAST
DECADE.
WHAT WE SEE, THOUGH, IS THERE
ARE FAR HIGHER NUMBERS OF
CHILDREN LIVING IN POVERTY IN
THOSE DISTRICTS, MEANING 60% OF
CHILDREN ARE LIVING IN
HOUSEHOLDS THAT EARN LESS THAN
$38,000 A YEAR.
THAT'S DRAMATIC WHEN WE KNOW THE
MEDIAN INCOME IN NEW YORK CITY
IS ABOUT 56,000.
>> AND THE DROP OF THE POVERTY
RATE IN NORTHERN MANHATTAN, I
KNOW FOR A FACT THAT PARTS OF
THAT, PARTICULARLY IN HARLEM,
HAVE BEEN HIGHLY GENTRIFIED.
I'M WONDERING IF THE DROP IN
POVERTY IS BECAUSE THE GENERAL
POPULATION'S INCOME HAS
INCREASED OR IS IT BECAUSE THE
PEOPLE MOVING IN RAISE UP THE
AVERAGE INCOME?
>> THAT IS EXACTLY WHY WE WANTED
TO DO THIS REPORT AND ACTUALLY
SPEAK TO COMMUNITY RESIDENTS AND
DIRECT SERVICE PROVIDERS IN
THESE DISTRICTS BECAUSE WE SAW
MUCH HIGHER GROWTH AND INCOME IN
THESE DISTRICTS, AND LOWER RATES
OF POVERTY, WHICH MADE US
QUESTION WHETHER OR NOT ALL
RESIDENTS WERE BENEFITING FROM
KIND OF THAT LIFTING TIDE.
>> LET'S TALK ABOUT EDUCATION.
HOW DO STUDENTS FROM NORTHERN
MANHATTAN PERFORM IN THE
STATE-MANDATED TESTS COMPARED TO
STUDENTS CITYWIDE?
>> WELL, IT'S PARTICULARLY
TROUBLING BECAUSE THEY'RE
PASSING THE ESL, OR ENGLISH
LANGUAGE ARTS AND MATH AT RATES
THAT ARE HALF THAT OF THE
CITYWIDE AVERAGE.
THEIR SCHOOLS ARE A REALLY POOR
RESOURCE AND CHILDREN ARE NOT
ATTAINING PASSING RATES AT THE
LEVEL THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE.
>> SO AS THE REPORT SUGGESTS,
IT'S NOT JUST NEEDS, BUT THERE'S
STRENGTH IN THESE COMMUNITIES,
YOU TALKED ABOUT THE INCREASING
INCOME OF PARTS OF NORTHERN MAN
THA
HAT TAN.
>> I THINK OUR PARTIES PAATORY
RESEARCH PROCESS DEMONSTRATED IS
THAT COMMUNITY MEMBERS, PARENTS
AND YOUNG PEOPLE, ARE ACTIVELY
INVOLVED IN THINKING ABOUT HOW
TO STRENGTHEN THEIR COMMUNITIES.
THERE'S A LARGE, VERY ROBUST
HUMAN SERVICE, SOCIAL SERVICE
INFRASTRUCTURE AND HEALTH CARE
INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE DISTRICT,
THERE ARE BEAUTIFUL PARKS AND
PLAYGROUNDS, AND THAT THERE ARE
YOUNG PEOPLE AND PARENTS THAT
ARE REALLY ACTIVELY TRYING TO
THINK ABOUT HOW TO ACCESS THE
SERVICES THAT THEY NEED TO BE UP
WARDLY MOBILE, TO SUCCEED IN
SCHOOL AND IN THE WORKFORCE.
OUR CHALLENGE REALLY IS THE
NEEDS ARE GREAT AND WE NEED TO
HELP THINK THROUGH HOW THEIR
LOCAL ADVOCACY CAN BE INFORMED
BY DATA AND HOW WE ENSURE THAT
THE CITY OF NEW YORK IS PAYING
ATTENTION TO THE TRENDS AND
MAKING SERVICES CONVENIENT AND
AFFORDABLE FOR THOSE THAT NEED
THEM MOST.
>> WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE
WITH THIS REPORT?
>> WELL, I HOPE -- WE HOPE
MULTIPLE THINGS.
THE PROCESS WAS A YEAR LONG
PROCESS OF TALKING TO PEOPLE
THAT LIVE AND WORK IN THE
COMMUNITIES.
THAT WE'RE FOCUSED ON.
AND WE HOPE THAT THE PROCESS HAS
CREATED NEW RELATIONSHIPS
THROUGH WHICH PEOPLE CAN EXPLORE
COLLABORATIVE SERVICE MODELS AND
ADVOCACY AT THE VERY LOCAL LEVEL
AND WE'RE HOPING THAT THE REPORT
AS WELL INFORMS OUR OWN ADVOCACY
ON CITYWIDE INITIATIVES TO MAKE
SURE THAT EVICTION SERVICES ARE
IN THE RIGHT PLACE, THAT WE
EXPLORE NEW MODELS OF CHILD CARE
AND OTHER THINGS THAT HELP
PARENTS LIVE, WORK AND RAISE
THEIR FAMILY HERE.
>> JENNIFER, THANK YOU SO MUCH.
GOOD LUCK TO YOUR ORGANIZATION
AND TO YOU.
THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY.
>> THANKS FOR HAVING US.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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