An overdue state advisory panel tasked with finding a way to reduce childhood poverty in New York by 50 percent over the next decade is scheduled to meet for the first time on Thursday, Oct. 13.

The Child Poverty Reduction Advisory Council is responsible for developing and publishing a timeline, with yearly benchmarks, for reducing child poverty by half in ten years, release annual reports, and consider the costs and savings from child reduction policies. Under state law, the group was supposed to convene for its first meeting by May 1.

“The work of the council is intended to empower some of our most marginalized and vulnerable fellow New Yorkers and improve the quality of life for those most in need,” said New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz, who will serve as the council’s co-chair.  The other co-chair is Jihoon Kim, the governor’s deputy secretary for Human Services and Mental Hygiene.

Heading into the pandemic, more than 700,000 children in New York, about 18 percent of all kids, were living in poverty, according to the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, which championed the idea of setting a state statue targeting a 50 percent reduction in poverty. The organization’s  president, Kate Breslin, who joined The Capitol Pressroom in 2020 to make the case for the measure, will serve on the council as a legislative appointee.

The rest of the appointees are:

  • State Office of Children and Family Services Commissioner Shelia Poole
  • State Department of Taxation and Finance Deputy Commissioner of Processing and Taxpayer Services Kristin Dence
  • New York State Council on Children and Families Deputy Director and Counsel Elana Marton
  • Former Children’s Defense Fund Director of Health and Economic Justice Policy Ben Anderson
  • Robin Hood Foundation CEO Richard Buery
  • Community Member Candace Cabral
  • Community Member Pamela Walcott
  • Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council member Shelly Callahan
  • Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council member Kathy Connerton
  • Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy President & CEO Kate Breslin
  • Westchester Children’s Association Executive Director Allison Lake
  • The Children’s Agenda Director of Policy Peter Nabozny
  • The Education Trust Executive Director Dia Bryant
  • New York City Human Resources Administration Administrator Lisa Fitzpatrick
  • Erie County Department of Social Services Commissioner Marie Cannon

It is likely that the legislative appointees will push for some costly measures, such as expanding the state’s child tax credit and Medicaid coverage. The council is also required by state law to review the earned income tax credit, work training, subsidized housing and subsidized child care.

“This talented and diverse group of policy experts, service providers, advocates, and community members will examine both proven strategies and new approaches to further this goal of dramatically reducing child poverty,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement. “The council’s roadmap allows us to address the broad and systemic inequities that perpetuate cycles of poverty in communities throughout New York state.”

The first meeting will be held in Meeting Room 6 at the Empire State Plaza in Albany and will be available to stream at otda.ny.gov/news/meetings/.