Truth Commission on Poverty - Buffalo


Despite New York’s reputation as a progressive bastion, racial and economic injustice continue to devastate and divide communities across the state. New York perennially has the highest income inequality in the nation. Immense wealth is concentrated in the New York City area, but more than 3 million New Yorkers live below the federal poverty line, and millions more struggle to make ends meet. Child poverty has reached a crisis level particularly in upstate New York, where more than half of children in Rochester and Buffalo and over 40 percent of children in Binghamton, Utica, Syracuse, Schenectady, Troy and Niagara Falls are poor. Over 1 million New Yorkers have no health insurance and millions more, despite having insurance, are unable to afford copays, deductibles and out out-of pocket costs that create barriers to accessing care. 


The Truth Commission on Poverty will shine a light on these realities and - most importantly - the leadership and insight of those directly impacted by them. This project is part of a national Truth Commission on the Right Not to Be Poor, organized as part of the Call for a New Poor People’s Campaign.


The event will feature testimony from people directly impacted by poverty and related injustices, direct service providers, advocates, faith or other community leaders, and academics and other experts. Testimony will address:

  • The material conditions of poverty and related injustices in these communities, and their impact on people and the community at large.

  • The abundance of resources that exist that could address these crises.

  • Our values (both faith-based and democratic) and their relationship to the current reality.

  • The leadership, organizing, resistance and resilience that already exist in directly impacted communities.


Goals of the Truth Commission on Poverty in New York State:

  • To tell the truth about ongoing injustices in New York communities - both their root causes and potential solutions.

  • To develop stronger relationships and a commitment to collaboration/solidarity among anti-poverty leaders in diverse parts of our state.

  • To support existing local efforts to organize and advocate against poverty.

The Truth Commission is seeking for testimony from individuals have have been directly impacted by poverty and related injustices, direct service providers, advocates, faith or community leaders, or other experts, which addresses any of the following:

  • How poverty and related injustices impact you, your family, and/or your community;

  • The leadership, organizing, resistance, and resilience that you’ve seen or experienced in directly impacted communities;

  • Your values and vision for a just community


After RSPVing, you will be directed to a form where you can share your health care story with the Campaign for New York Health. If you've ever struggled to access health care due to financial barrers, postponed needed care due to concerns about costs, experienced debt or other hardship due to healthcare costs, please fill out the Health Access Survey and consider sharing your testimony at this event. 

Note: By RSPVing, you are RSPVing to the event, not to testify. Information coming soon about how you can sign up to testify and speak at the Truth Commission.  

January 25, 2018 at 6:00pm - 8pm
1199 SEIU Union Hall
2421 Main St
Buffalo, NY 14214
United States
Google map and directions

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