New York Must Commit to Cutting Child Poverty in Half in Ten Years with a Focus on Racial Equity

Nearly one in five New York children lived in poverty in 2019 and the pandemic brought high unemployment statewide, significantly exacerbating child poverty. New York children are more likely to live in poverty than in 32 other states, with 18% experiencing poverty in 2019. In some New York communities the percentage of poor children exceeds 50%. Due to structural and systemic racism, child poverty among New York State children of color has long approached 30%. Research shows that this unacceptable level of child poverty costs New York over $60 billion a year.

  • Poverty affects the social, emotional, and cognitive well-being of developing children and babies. It creates and widens disparities and increases risk of school struggles and child welfare involvement.
  • Historical and ongoing structural racism in employment, housing, and education, among other realms, cause children of color to experience poverty at approximately twice the rate of white children.
  • The younger the child, the more likely they are to experience poverty. Our youngest children are our poorest New Yorkers.

If you’re a lawmaker interested in cutting poverty in half in 10 years, please co-sponsor the bill: S.9012/A.11063.

If you’re an advocate who is interested in cutting child poverty in half in ten years, please join the campaign.

The Latest:

Capital Tonight: Pediatrician: Child Poverty Can Become a Lifelong Ailment (PDF). January 14, 2021

Capital Tonight: Kate Breslin, Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy President and CEO, discusses how advocates are using New York’s Climate Act as a model to tackle child poverty, December 21, 2020.

View a recording of a Facebook Live: Virtual Legislative Briefing on the NY Childhood Poverty Reduction Act S.9012/A.11063 by bill sponsors Senator Jessica Ramos and Assemblymember Harry Bronson. Also participating in the briefing was Wes Moore, CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation; Dr. Omolara Thomas Uwemedimo, a pediatrician and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics; and Norma Degante, a Children’s Defense Fund-New York College Navigator who participated in CDF-NY’s Beat the Odds program, December 15, 2020.