January 8, 2014
Statement from HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan on the 50th Anniversary
of the War on Poverty
President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty” was more than just a slogan. It was a proclamation of our nation’s most basic values and ideals: every person deserves a fair chance at success; we all benefit whenever the needy can lift themselves up; and our country can solve big challenges when we are committed and work together.
Today, 50 years after President Johnson’s historic declaration—and just a few short years after an historic economic crisis—these causes are as important than ever. Upward mobility is still too hard. Opportunity is still too scarce. The pain of poverty is still too prevalent in our neighborhoods. That’s why HUD is firmly committed to collaborating with a wide-variety of leaders to address these challenges, including helping the homeless get a fresh start in life, assisting families in fighting off foreclosure and ensuring that people have access to quality affordable housing that’s part of communities where a child’s futures isn’t determined by his or her zipcode.
We are a nation that cares about our neighbors and strives to build a better future for all. That’s why all of us must make addressing poverty a top priority. Working together, we can build ladders of opportunity that reach all neighborhoods and fulfill the basic American promise that you can make it if you try.