While America spent the past summer and early fall obsessing over emails and tweets, Open Door America kept its eye on the ball.
With an estimated 31 percent of U.S. adults now saddled with a criminal record -- yes, you read that right -- the grim job prospects of our exploding ex-offender population represent the least-understood national security threat awaiting the next President and Congress.
For the past five years, ODA has made the issue of ex-offender employment its top priority. That's because no single group of Americans will have a greater impact on the nation's future in the coming decades. Put every ex-offender to work in a living-wage job and you decrease the number of people living in poverty by 20 percent. On the other hand, do nothing to reduce the nation's 50 percent recidivism rate and the Gross Domestic Product will continue to lose $65 billion annually.
I heard someone say the other day this is going to be the summer of Clinton. It made me stop and think that maybe it really should be. After all, it's been 20 years since President Bill Clinton "ended welfare as we know it." Seems to me it may be time to take a hard look at how that bipartisan moment with Speaker Gingrich worked out in the poor households of America. From our perch in Maryland and Florida, I can tell you that reports of poverty's demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Open Door Baltimore, a nonprofit that fights poverty by working with businesses to provide living-wage jobs, is expanding beyond the beltway. To better reflect the organization’s larger mission, the board of directors recently approved a new identity and logo.Read More