OSWEGO – On Tuesday, August 16, Mayor Billy Barlow organized the first meeting with the city of Oswego Poverty Reduction Steering Committee as part of a larger statewide effort to address poverty.
Under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s leadership, the State of New York created the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative of which the city of Oswego was identified and selected as one of ten upstate communities to receive $500,000 in funding to create public and private partnership in working together to design and implement coordinated solutions to increase social mobility.
The Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative has now been expanded to enable 16 communities across the state to develop and implement innovative plans that will reduce poverty.
Mayor Barlow said, “Poverty is a serious issue in our community and is an issue I am passionate about. I’d like to thank Governor Cuomo for allocating this funding for the city of Oswego and we hope to put it to good use. We’d like to focus on workforce development and preparing members of our community for job interviews and workplace etiquette so they can get a job, retain a job and lift themselves out of poverty with dignity.”
The steering committee is comprised of eight individuals representing a diverse group that have a vested interest in formulating measurable goals and a concrete action plan to improve the socioeconomic fabric in Oswego.
The committee is represented by Mayor Barlow; Justin Rudgick, community development director; Eric Bresee, executive director of Farnham Family Services, Chuck Gijanto, president and CEO of Oswego Health; Bruce Holman, resident; Diane Cooper-Courier, executive director of Oswego County Opportunities; Shane Broadwell, Oswego County Legislator 17th District and majority leader; and Karen Goetz, executive director of the Richard Shineman Foundation.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the city of Oswego to take charge in alleviating poverty through the establishment of a platform for developing innovative initiatives, solutions and programs to begin to shift the pendulum of a bottom heavy socioeconomic demographic to provide a higher quality of life in our community,” said Rudgick.