Just in time: Washington state coalition releases 10-Year Plan to Dismantle Poverty as blueprint for a just, equitable future

Release Date: 
Jan 14 2021
DSHS Office of Communications
Norah West
(360) 902-7833

OLYMPIA — Washington has long ranked among the top states to live in the nation, and the state has enacted several leading policies to support lower-income families such as a strong minimum wage, the Washington College Grant, paid family and medical leave, paid sick leave and the nation’s first public long-term care benefit.

Poverty, however, has been a persistent challenge, even as Washington’s economy has consistently ranked among the best. Despite a strong economy prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly one in four Washingtonians — 1.75 million people, including 500,000 children — struggled to make ends meet. The pandemic ushered in a public health and economic crisis that exposed many existing disparities in our communities.

Gov. Jay Inslee’s Poverty Reduction Work Group has a plan to meet this moment through its newly released A Blueprint for a Just and Equitable Future: The 10-Year Plan to Dismantle Poverty for all Washingtonians. Inslee launched the workgroup in 2017 to develop a strategic plan for reducing poverty and inequality. With state agency leadership from the Department of Commerce, Department of Social and Health Services and Employment Security Department, the work group is a diverse, dedicated corps of 45 stakeholders, powered by a 22-member steering committee of people experiencing poverty. The plan has eight strategies and 60 recommendations to help eliminate poverty.

Read the full announcement on the DSHS Medium page and learn more about the 10-year plan at Dismantle Poverty in Washington's website.