Johnson City Flag and Pal's

Half of our community is living in poverty or near poverty.

Fifteen percent of Washington County households are living below the federal poverty level. An additional 30% are “ALICE” households: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. It’s a more complicated way of saying “the working poor.”

This includes everyone from young single adults entering the workforce for the first time to our senior citizens and families with children. They are households struggling to meet what economists refer to as a “Survival Budget” or, in other words, the bare minimum needed to get by.

The percentage of current ALICE households is also double what it was in 2009.

That amounts to approximately half of our population living month-to-month, hand-to-mouth, barely eking out a living with no room for an unexpected expense. No room for a healthcare emergency. No room for a car to break down. No room for future goals or aspirations.

This is not sustainable. Not for them. Not for our state.

We deserve a fair economy that works for everyone.

Our current representative says he’s “giving our citizens the opportunity to work for what they have.” But it’s not much of an opportunity when what you work for, what you earn, can’t meet your basic needs.