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Walker, J.C. Watts Talk Poverty During Triad Visit

April 12, 2016
Press Release

GREENSBORO, N.C. –U.S. Representative Mark Walker (NC-06) and former U.S. Representative J.C. Watts met Monday with charitable, civic, and faith-based organizations in the Piedmont-Triad. The purpose of their visit was to discuss the issues surrounding poverty (hunger, homelessness, food deserts, etc.) and how to tackle such issues. 

“Greensboro and High Point are consistently ranked as one of the most impoverished areas in the nation,” Walker said. “One approach to dealing with poverty has always been to grow the size of government and create safety nets. My fear is that safety nets sometimes turn into spider webs by keeping people in a vicious cycle of poverty. J.C. Watts and I share a similar philosophy about dealing with these issues – a people-up approach rather than government-down. I look forward to continuing my work with Rep. Watts and our area’s charitable and civic organizations to ensure that we are helping those most in need,” Walker added.

“Government seems to always measure success and compassion by how many people are on social programs. Congressman Walker and I believe that the best way to measure success and compassion is by how few people are on social programs,” Watts said.  “We spend a $1 trillion a year on poverty programs, but we have a deeper poverty problem today than we did in 1965. During my visit to North Carolina, I’ve been impressed by the community and faith leaders who are taking charge to alleviate poverty and I applaud Congressman Walker for his work on this issue at home and in Washington,” Watts added.  

J.C. Watts served Oklahoma’s 4th District in the U.S. House from 1995-2003. From 1999-2003, Watts served as the Chairman of the House Republican Conference, the fourth-ranking position in the majority party.

Watts is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where he was an All-American quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners. From 1981-86, Watts started for Ottawa and Toronto in the Canadian Football League.

During the morning, Walker and Watts met with over 75 pastors and faith leaders in Greensboro to discuss the church’s role in the fight against poverty.

In the afternoon, Walker and Watts toured Backpack Beginnings, a local nonprofit dedicated to providing children in need with nutritious food, comfort items or certain basic necessities through the use of backpacks and other efficient means.

Walker and Watts ended the day meeting with Project Re-Entry at the Welfare Reform Liaison Project in Greensboro. Project Re-Entry assists former offenders returning to the community after serving prison sentences. Their objective is to help former offenders avoid the potential pitfalls associated with life after incarceration.