PRESTONSBURG — Marking Wednesday’s 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson declaring a “War on Poverty,” Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes said that while some important battles have been won in that endeavor, others still remain to be fought.
Next week, the candidate will host a meeting in Prestonsburg to lay out her plan for how to fight those remaining battles.
Johnson launched the War on Poverty Jan. 8, 1964, during his first State of the Union Address. The following April, he visited Inez and Paintsville as part of a tour to raise awareness of areas of the country that had not taken part in the nation’s postwar economic boom.
Grimes said in a statement released Wednesday that positive changes resulting from the War on Poverty are evident.
“We have neither won nor lost that war, of course,” Grimes said. “Important battles have been won. Much of the worst poverty in America has been alleviated; many fewer Americans live in appalling squalor or experience genuine hunger. Even in the poorest areas, life is better.”
However, Grimes also said the job remains unfinished.
“But so much more remains to be done, and poverty still denies many Kentuckians the opportunities they deserve to share fully in the American dream,” Grimes said. “That is why I put jobs first in my campaign. It is why I will be a relentless advocate for fair pay and for the education and training that can prepare Kentuckians to advance economically.”
Grimes will appear at the Mountain Arts Center on Thursday, Jan. 16, to talk about her vision for Eastern Kentucky. The event will begin at 6 p.m., with doors opening at 5 p.m.
Grimes has noted during her campaign that, although women make up half of Kentucky’s workforce, they earn only 77 percent of what their male counterparts do.
She has also come out in favor of raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, which she says would raise the incomes of a quarter of the state’s workers.