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Mike Espy on Welfare & Poverty

 

 


Help the poor move to homeownership

Q: At what point did you see the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) as an ideological home for you?

A: [As a Congressman], I was involved in a task force that had a bunch of hearings on welfare reform, and IDA, Individual Development Accounts, and moving renters to homeownership. It was called the Empowerment Caucus or something like that. I'm not sure of that name, but I was a leader in that effort to bring poor people new strategies for wealth development. The DLC liked that. Then, obviously, my record in Mississippi [when running for U. S. Congress] is one of being able to get white votes, and they liked that. Al From, one of the founders of the DLC, began to come to my speeches. He began to talk to me about this effort to create the Democratic Leadership Council, which was a moderate wing of the party, [saying things like] "the party was moving too far left." Then they asked me to become one of the three DLC vice presidents.

Source: MillerCenter.org on 2018 MS Senate Special Election , May 15, 2006

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