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Green Party Senate candidate promotes jobs program

The Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate was in Syracuse this week and called poverty an issue that's being ignored this political season.  Colia Clark says 46 million Americans have fallen into poverty, the highest level of Americans living in poverty since 1993.

"We have got to deal with the fact that the American people now have a new poverty," said Clark. "The old poverty is there, but that was mostly blacks and browns.  But now we see increasingly middle class whites falling into poverty, and yes it's being put under the rug."  

Clark supports a public jobs program that would hire the unemployed to work in jobs that meet community needs, things like park restoration, youth programs and services for seniors.  The Green Party's public jobs proposal would let communities plan the projects that would create the employment, while the  federal government would provide the funding.  

Clark says the idea is to eliminate unemployment for anyone who wants to work.  

Clark, who is from Harlem, says gentrification there has pushed poor people out of her community, and she says she's found that many of them are relocating in upstate cities like Syracuse.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.