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Coalition Urges Politicians To Tackle Poverty

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By Leslie Byford

The number of D.C. residents falling into poverty is growing. Now one local coaltition is calling on city officials to take action.

By any indication D.C. residents are struggling.

Unemployment has doubled since the recession. The number of people on food stamps increased by more than 15 percent last year. And according to the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, nearly one in five residents is now living below the poverty line. Director Ed Lazere says the issue of poverty has been overlooked for far too long.

"We feel like it can't go on much longer. That it's time as the city continues to grow and as it grows out of this recession to think about what it can do for those families who have been left behind," says Lazere.

The policy institute is teaming up with other city organizations to launch "Defeat Poverty D.C." The campaign's goal is to highlight the issue of poverty during the city's November elections.

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