WCPO:We need action to improve the picture for kids in poverty

Imagine you are on a relay team. You know it will take teamwork to win the race. Individual performance must be excellent; however, it is the teamwork that will win the day. On your team are strong, powerful, motivated people. All of them want the best for the team and for themselves.

However, one in three members of your team live in poverty. In fact, 44 percent of your team -- Cincinnati children and youth under age 18 -- are living in poverty right now. That is double the national poverty rate (22 percent). For African American children under age 5 in the City of Cincinnati, it is even worse: nearly 60 percent of those members of your team live in poverty.

Your relay team -- our team -- is competing with the best in our region, state, our nation, and the world. We are all on the same team ... and as a team we are only as strong as our weakest members.

Leaders of our city and county have come together to change this picture, to change the trajectory for children in our region.

This is not “just a city problem.” The number of children and adults in poverty living in the county is also growing. The entire team in our area is impacted. It is not due to lack of caring or dedication or effort. Something more is needed.

The Child Poverty Collaborative is a commitment from all sections of our community to come together to create and implement an action plan that will dramatically reduce the number of children living in poverty.

Read more of the OpEd from Executive Director Lynn Marmer at WCPO here