Joe Sestak on Welfare & Poverty

Democratic Senate Challenger; former Navy Admiral


War on Poverty made real improvements; let's do more

It has been more than 55 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared a "War on Poverty" in his 1964 State of the Union address. The official poverty rate in the United States then was 19%. Today, it stands at 12.3%. By some measures, it is closer to 14%. While that does represent a real improvement, it is still a far cry from where we need to be as a nation. Far too many people still lack the resources to provide for their basic needs, including food, water, shelter, electricity, and heating. Far too many children still go hungry, the only square meal they receive coming just five times a week at their public school lunch. This should be unacceptable to all of us--and as President I will work every day to finally bring an end to poverty in America.
Source: 2020 presidential campaign website JoeSestak.com , Jun 23, 2019

Voted YES on instituting National Service as a new social invention.

Congressional Summary:Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act:
    Adds to National and Community Service Act of 1990 (NCSA) purposes:
  1. providing year-round opportunities in service-learning;
  2. involving program participants in emergency and disaster preparedness, relief, and recovery;
  3. increasing service opportunities for retiring professionals;
  4. encouraging service by individuals age 55 or older and continued service by national service alumni;
  5. focusing national service on the areas of national need.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. BARBARA MIKULSKI (D, MD): [In developing national service over many years] we were not in the business of creating another new social program. What we were in the business of was creating a new social invention. What do I mean by that? In our country, we are known for our technological inventions. But also often overlooked, and sometimes undervalued, is our social inventions.

We created national service to let young people find opportunity to be of service and also to make an important contribution. But not all was rosy. In 2003, when I was the ranking member on the appropriations subcommittee funding national service, they created a debacle. One of their most colossal errors was that they enrolled over 20,000 volunteers and could not afford to pay for it. That is how sloppy they were in their accounting. I called them the "Enron of nonprofits."

And they worked on it. But all that is history. We are going to expand AmeriCorps activity into specialized corps. One, an education corps; another, a health futures corps; another, a veterans corps; and another called opportunity corps. These are not outside of AmeriCorps. They will be subsets because we find this is where compelling human need is and at the same time offers great opportunity for volunteers to do it.

Opponent's argument to vote No:No senators spoke against the amendment.

Reference: Serve America Act/GIVE Act; Bill H.R. 1388 ; vote number 2009-H169 on Mar 31, 2009

Support school breakfast for low-income children.

Sestak signed bill favoring school breakfast for low-income kids