Deval Patrick on Welfare & Poverty
Housing First strategy: 1,000 families out of shelters
A thousand families moved out of shelters and motels and into permanent housing last year--not by accident but because we chose to move toward a "housing first" strategy, to work to end homelessness for good. This and much more of the progress we have
made together is happening because of the choices we have made together, choices inspired by our generational responsibility, our commitment to leave to others a better Commonwealth than we found.
Source: MA 2012 State of the State Address
, Jan 23, 2012
Saw severe poverty in 1970s West Africa
I traveled to Cameroon in West Africa, and then hitchhiked from there across Nigeria, spending the night in the home of people I met along the way. I trekked through large cities and tiny villages, verdant bush and dusty desert. Benin, Togo, Ghana, Mali,
Niger were each so different--each with points of great pride, each with its own aspirations & grudges.
I had never seen such poverty. It made my own experience growing up in Chicago seem small & insignificant. Most people lived in rudimentary shelters
Everything was put to use. Every part of every animal, every part of every crop. And everything was shared. The generosity of material and spirit humbled me and changed me. I surrendered to it.
Even before my year in West Africa was over, I had stood
in places that I could have never conjured on my own, and I had received what I had come for: a deeper understanding of how broken, impoverished, or otherwise challenging surroundings could not defeat the resourcefulness and generosity of people.
Source: A Reason to Believe, by Gov. Deval Patrick, p. 83-84
, Apr 12, 2011
As law student, won Legal Aid landlord-tenant cases
At the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, law students could handle civil cases for clients who couldn't afford lawyers. In one early case, I represented a poor Haitian family. They were behind on their rent & about to be evicted. They were confused & vulnerable,
and they needed help.
The case then went to trial, which was unheard of in a landlord-tenant dispute. I argued that in MA, you can withhold your rent if the conditions of tenancy have been violated. I showed how the faulty appliances, sporadic utility
service, and general unresponsiveness of the landlord were chronic and justified my clients' withholding the rent. We won, and the judge grudgingly ordered the largest payment to a tenant in the history of that court at the time. My clients never
collected, but they remained in their home & stabilized their lives. I will never forget the look of relief on their faces and the pride they felt in a system that would vindicate those who were most vulnerable. That, I felt, was why I was in law school.
Source: A Reason to Believe, by Gov. Deval Patrick, p.149-151
, Apr 12, 2011
Increase funding for employment and job training programs
Indicate which principles you support regarding welfare.
Source: 2006 MA Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test
, Nov 7, 2006
- Increase funding for employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
- Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
Use federal TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) funds to extend health and child care subsidies to the working poor.
Promote more multi-family housing starts
Working in partnership with local authorities and community interests, we will pre-permit multi-family housing development sites throughout the State,
and provide additional support to local public schools to address the impact of having additional school age children in the system.
Source: Moving Massachusetts Forward, Patrick’s policy booklet, p. 5
, Sep 15, 2005
Page last updated: Nov 14, 2019