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Public Statements

Passionate Compassion

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Location: Washington DC


CONGRESSIONAL RECORD
EXTENSION OF REMARKS

Jan. 30, 2004

PASSIONATE COMPASSION

HON. BARNEY FRANK OF MASSACHUSETTS

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Friday, January 30, 2004

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, I am increasingly distressed by the trend of public policy at the federal level. For years people blamed federal deficits and increased federal spending on excesses in programs that seek to alleviate poverty and meet the needs of lower income people. Today, from the standpoint of those of us who care about social justice, we have the worst of both worlds-a steeply increasing deficit at the budget level while the percentage of national resources devoted to meeting the economic needs of the poorest of our citizens decreases.

I try to keep this issue constantly in focus, and I am greatly aided in doing so by one of the most dedicated fighters for social justice I have even met-Mark A. Sullivan, Jr., the Executive Director of Citizens for Citizens, an excellent community action program based in Fall River, Massachusetts, with responsibilities in much of the southeastern part of our state.

Mark Sullivan is a man of very considerable talent. His intelligence, commitment, and organizing skills could have led him to a number of lucrative careers. He has instead for the past thirty years stayed at his post in trying to fight poverty and economic deprivation.

Sadly, his job had been made much harder in recent years by the distorted budget priorities being followed by the current administration and Congressional majority. Too often people here vote for cuts as if they were dealing with abstractions without understanding the terrible human consequences of their efforts. No one I know does a better job of trying to make these impacts clear than Mark Sullivan, and in a recent excellent article in the Fall River Herald News, by Deborah Allard-Bernardi, Mr. Sullivan gives one of the expositions at which he excels about the negative effects of what we have been doing.

Because in my mind no issue is more important than reversing this trend of cutting back on the help we give to the neediest among us, I ask that this important discussion by Mark Sullivan in the Fall River Herald News be printed here.

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