City Commissioners Propose Anti-Poverty Plan

Apr 14, 2014

Attendees wait for seats at a packed City Commission meeting.
Credit Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Kalamazoo City Commissioners say community involvement would be  key to the effectiveness of a proposed anti-poverty initiative.

Commissioners Don Cooney and Stephanie Moore introduced plans for a program called Kalamazoo United for Shared Prosperity or KUSP at a packed meeting at City Hall last night. Among other ideas, they suggested creating a task force to consider solutions and expanding local data collection after the example of Calhoun County’s Coordinating Council.

But they added that the commission would base its action plan on input from residents. Cooney said that was because he anticipates community members will have the best understanding of what can be done to address poverty locally.

The city says about 30 percent of Kalamazoo residents live in poverty, not including college students who live off-campus. Those attending college tend to have incomes below the federal poverty line.