LAMPa is helping Pennsylvania lawmakers get beyond rhetoric so 1.6 million Pennsylvanians can get beyond poverty. Last summer, House Majority Policy Committee Chairman David Reed, a Republican serving rural Indiana County, approached LAMPa, along with other faith advocates, and asked us to help create a new kind of discussion around poverty in order to move past entrenched partisan views and divisions.
Over the past several months Rep. Reed and his committee traveled the state to visit anti-poverty programs and hear from advocates. LAMPa connected the committee to Lutherans in ministry with and on behalf of the poor in Pennsylvania who shared their stories. On Monday, Reed unveiled "Beyond Poverty," the first report stemming from visits and interviews around the commonwealth. In it, he outlines a five-prong strategy for helping to move some 1.6 million Pennsylvanians from poverty to lives of self-sustainability. As the process moves forward, LAMPa continues to engage Lutherans with lawmakers on this subject.
On May 6, Reed will address more than 100 people at Lutheran Day in the Capitol. Attendees are then invited to participate in a roundtable discussion with committee members and staff. That discussion will be followed by a workshop on communal discernment around poverty led by the Rev. William Snyder, LAMPa policy council member and Vice President Marketing and Philanthropy at Luthercare. We will be using the report of the ELCA's Communal Discernment Task Force as a tool. The goal of the workshop is to equip Lutherans to move beyond partisan rhetoric and engage in authentic dialogue about the roots and tolls of poverty as well as our call to seek sufficient, sustainable livelihood for all.